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Spyros Zervos

high speed HD cameras

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Hi, I am looking for information about shooting with new HD high speed cameras like Phantom or cinespeedcam or....? my main subject is for tabletop and commercials . Any advice will be extremely helpfull.

Thank you in advance

 

Spyros Zervos

D.o.P

Athens-Greece

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I have shot lots of tabletop with the Cinespeed. Elhanan Matos, on this board is one of two Cinespeed operators in the US.

 

I can answer a lot of questions about it, but what are curious about specifically?

 

 

Kevin Zanit

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hi Kevin,

what I like to know, for the beggining, is how easy are these cameras - in terms of learning curve - and also what about the produced quality .How far is from 35mm? How much time you need for downloading the shots?

Are you happy with your final shots? I am a film guy and sometimes ,I find myself confused, about digital world, but anyway I must enter to that ........

Thank you in advance

 

Spyros

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We've post produced a number of projects with the Phantom.

 

Generally our clients have been extremely happy with the results. The phantom camera can take several minutes to transfer the data to storage after shots, so you will need to build this time into your shooting schedule.

 

Also, if you create lots of shots, you also create lots of data. So also build into your post schedule the transferring of this data and if necessary, converting it to video tape if thats the way you need to proceed. You can import directly into most non-linear editors, but if you plan on working across multiple platforms (eg cut on Avid, finish in Flame) it is better to get the images to tape so that you have a common timecode for your shots.

 

On one occasion, we were provided with material that had flicker on it from the wrong choice of lights. Just something to watch for.

 

David Cox

Baraka Post Production

www.baraka.co.uk

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On one occasion, we were provided with material that had flicker on it from the wrong choice of lights. Just something to watch for.

 

David Cox

Baraka Post Production

www.baraka.co.uk

 

David,

 

Do you remember how many FPS they were shooting?

 

Stephen

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On the last CineSpeedcam I witnessed I saw a message that clearly said that when using HMI lamps (on flicker-free of course) , they should be 6K or more otherwise a problem with flicker can occur.

 

It has probably more to do with the size of the bulb and the arc inside it than the fps you are shooting.

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On the last CineSpeedcam I witnessed I saw a message that clearly said that when using HMI lamps (on flicker-free of course) , they should be 6K or more otherwise a problem with flicker can occur.

 

It has probably more to do with the size of the bulb and the arc inside it than the fps you are shooting.

 

Hi,

 

That may have been for tungsten lights as well. Small tungsten lights running on AC can lights can flicker at 500fps.

 

Stephen

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David,

 

Do you remember how many FPS they were shooting?

 

Stephen

 

Hi Stephen - I believe it was in the order of 500FPS, although we also suspected that there was some "contamination" of the light from domestic sources as it was a scene shot in a home kitchen. It wasn't too bad though and we were able to correct in post so no shot was unusable.

 

David Cox

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He Stephen - I believe it was in the order of 500FPS, although we also suspected that there was some "contamination" of the light from domestic sources as it was a scene shot in a home kitchen. It wasn't too bad though and we were able to correct in post so no shot was unusable.

 

David Cox

 

David,

 

If there was any 'old' flourescent lights they flicker very badly. Normal household 100w bulbs will flicker at 500fps.

 

Stephen

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The flicker you see in tungsten units at high speeds is introduced by AC power, because the power is not continous the light bulb is flashing on and off 60 or 50 times per second (50/60Hz), because the filament is losing power cooling down and then regains its power back and turns back on and repeats this 60 times in one second. Now the larger the fillament the longer it takes it to come back down, from all the tests that I have done I have come to the conclusion that 5K's, 10K's, and 20K's are your only choice of lights when using AC power, if you can get DC power then any tungsten light will work just fine. With HMI's (NO MATTER THE SIZE), the flicker that you see is Arc wander... meaning that you see the change in brightness from the arc in the globe moving around, this can be overcome by diffusing the light and moving it farther away from the subjects, the larger lights are easier to use because you can move them farther away from the subject and still have enough light to get an image.

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Hey, guys im shooting a victoria secret spec commercial within the next month. I am looking into shooting with the cinespeed as i may have a chance to rent it for a good deal and the director calls for slow motion imagery. I will be working with this camera on a music video in less than a couple of weeks but i would like to know what im looking at as far as lighting before then. so my question revolves more around the EI of this camera. I will only really want to shoot at around 150fps or what the cameras closest equivalent is. i would love to try a few shots at 300-500fps but because i have a feeling i will lack the light to appropriately attain an image i will hold off until i can finally put some more numbers into lighting this bad boy. My locations are studio interiors, bedroom, hallway, living room/couch area, so forth. I have yet to scout the locations because they are not locked. But from the looks of it i may be able to play with daylight for some of the rooms. But before i get too deep into to this what am i looking at? K. Zanit? E. Matos? Anyone?

 

Thanks.

 

EDIT: Im planning to keep this around 720p aswell, what am i looking at as far as work flow?

Edited by Darrin P Nim

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Hi,

 

The camera seems to be about 160 ISO at 24fps and a 180 shutter.

 

The camera has very limited latitude, and I have found getting good results with people in the frame can be more challenging than with more forgiving subjects such as liquids, etc.

 

It takes 2 or 3 minutes to download a take from the camera onto the computer.

 

Kevin Zanit

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We rent the Phantom. You should talk to Jesse Rosen here at Abel. The thing looks fantastic and I believe he's rated it at 640 ASA, but I haven't been around to get details from him.

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We rent the Phantom. You should talk to Jesse Rosen here at Abel. The thing looks fantastic and I believe he's rated it at 640 ASA, but I haven't been around to get details from him.

Yes, actually you can talk to me about the Phantom. Rated at about 640 ISO with 10+ stops of lattitude. And it's gorgeous. Only system to give you instant gratification with a playback (without rendering) that let's you view the shot immediately. Uses 35mm format PL mount lenses with a huge chip so you get that lovely shallow depth of field as well.

 

We also have the Phantom 65. That's a HUGE chip -- 4Kx2K. Several inches across.

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With the Cinespeed, you are able to play back off the camera without rendering as well. Its just saving the take once you decide to keep it that takes 2 - 3 minutes, which I am told, is faster than the Phantom's 10 minutes.

 

As far as lens mount goes, it also has a PL or PV mount, with an imager near 35mm in size.

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I stand corrected then, but I do believe the Phantom is more sensitive with a greater exposure range.

 

 

Yes the Phantom does look more sensitive, but the picture is FAR noisier, the cinespeed has almost no noise, the picture is incredibly clean whereas the Phantom looks more like a video image with about +3 or +6 db of gain, don't quote me on the numbers, I'm just estimating from what I can see from still frames. There's also some kind of weird pattern of black pixels all over the whole image if you take a really close look at a still frame.

 

Each camera has it's own up and downs. I think if resolution is the most important thing you need then the Phantom HD might be the choice. But If you are more concerned about color then the Cinespeed is better.

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i have a couple more questions.

 

about operating with the camera, im concerned for my operator as ive noticed that with the phantom that they dont have eyepieces/viewfinders. the cinespeed does. if i some how ended up with the phantom or a camera like it (which may happen as we have found a rental house with theyre own type of highspeed hd cameras). How will my operator be able to operate? By using an on board? how have you guys handled that issue? because i notice most footage i see with this cameras are static.

 

How are follow focuses and non-clip on matte boxes attached?

 

I know i wont be able to get an exact answer but on average how much does the phantom hd and/or cinespeed rent for for a weekend in LA? with out lenses just the camera and system. please help if you can thanks.

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I don't know what model Phantom you have experience with, but I've never had any issues with noise or a pattern of black pixels. Perhaps it was through an inferior deBayer program.

 

We package the Phantom HD and the Phantom 65 with either a color viewfinder or an onboard LCD monitor. We also include a pair of 24v battery blocks and a sliding baseplate for 19mm rods as well as lightweight 15mm rods. This will handle all followfocus/mattebox needs.

 

Book rate on the Phantom HD is $2000/day; $2750 for the Phantom 65. We also require an engineer to operate the camera and it's computer system, which is an additional charge. If one wishes to become trained as a certified operator by us we can do this as well, but there is also a charge for this.

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Yes the Phantom does look more sensitive, but the picture is FAR noisier, the cinespeed has almost no noise, the picture is incredibly clean whereas the Phantom looks more like a video image with about +3 or +6 db of gain, don't quote me on the numbers, I'm just estimating from what I can see from still frames. There's also some kind of weird pattern of black pixels all over the whole image if you take a really close look at a still frame.

 

Each camera has it's own up and downs. I think if resolution is the most important thing you need then the Phantom HD might be the choice. But If you are more concerned about color then the Cinespeed is better.

 

If you've got some data with the noise I'd like to compare it with the image data we have from our qualification process of the Phantom HD which we did in December. I believe we are scheduling the Phantom 65 for next week and some EXT and INT shots at our practical and set locations. I pushed the gain up 10db to test the noise level in low light because we have INT night shots with moonlight light from window with warm light from gas heater and lava lamp in a dark room with medium to very dark complexion actors in the scene. We didn't detect any noise problem at all. Maybe this was an earlier prototype. When did you do the tests?

Edited by Lance Flores

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Why didn't anybody here mentioned the Weisscam?

 

P+S TECHNICK - Weisscam HS1

According to P+S Technik's website,

it is avaliable for rental in Athens (Greece) from:

 

ABL Films

www.ablfilms.com

+30 210-61 05 206

 

Regards

Igor

 

PS: Usual disclaimer.

 

 

I really like the Weisscam, I saw it at NAB last year, but I havent seen any available in the United States.

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One of your biggest challenges is getting enough light on your subject. It takes a huge amount of light I?ve shot water in a bowl that quickly started steaming. One great tool is the Dedo Cool. It is a high intensity dedo with an amazing cooling system that keeps the heat from being directed at the subject. You may find yourself lighting with 10 Ks, a narrow beam ?Fire Starter? pars. You may also want a dimmer on you lights so you can maintain cooler environment. Here is Innovision?s Dedo Cool site. http://www.innovisionoptics.com/prod/dedocool.shtml

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