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Rodrigo Prieto

Phantom 65 vs. Red Resolution

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I have not posted in a while. For a film I am prepping, the VFX supervisor suggested shooting Day for Night background plates for a train interior scene (through an open door) with the RED camera with a fish eye lens to crop into the image for the different angles of the foreground plates shot poor man's process on stage. Since the background images will be darkened quite a bit and will be soft focus, he thinks the resolution of the RED will be good for cropping into the image. I am curious about the Phantom 65 for this application instead of the RED. I have no experience with either one of these systems, so I would appreciate any input in terms of comparative resolution and latitude of these two cameras. Can I use some sort of Fish Eye lens with the Phantom 65? How do the two cameras compare in noise levels? The foreground plates will be shot with G Series Anamorphic Lenses. Any thoughts?

 

Rodrigo Prieto, ASC

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I have not posted in a while. For a film I am prepping, the VFX supervisor suggested shooting Day for Night background plates for a train interior scene (through an open door) with the RED camera with a fish eye lens to crop into the image for the different angles of the foreground plates shot poor man's process on stage. Since the background images will be darkened quite a bit and will be soft focus, he thinks the resolution of the RED will be good for cropping into the image. I am curious about the Phantom 65 for this application instead of the RED. I have no experience with either one of these systems, so I would appreciate any input in terms of comparative resolution and latitude of these two cameras. Can I use some sort of Fish Eye lens with the Phantom 65? How do the two cameras compare in noise levels? The foreground plates will be shot with G Series Anamorphic Lenses. Any thoughts?

 

Rodrigo Prieto, ASC

 

I don't have experience with the phantom 65 but I have a lot of experience with the RED, so I'll put in what info I can until someone can add to it.

 

The Phantom's resolution is listed at 4,096 x 2,440 while the RED is 4520 (h) x 2540 (v).

 

Since these are both CMOS bayer pattern sensor cameras the actual resolution will be somewhat lower (and has been endlessly debated with various answers out there), but without testing I would imagine you would get slightly more detail out of the RED.

 

The Phantom should have lower noise as a result of its larger photo sites. However, if you are shooting the plates day for night you shouldn't have to worry about underexposure - and the RED is very clean if you give it plenty of light and then grade it down.

 

One possible advantage of the Phantom 65 I think would be that a wide lens on a 65mm size sensor won't exhibit the same distortion a fisheye on the RED would while capturing a similar field of view, which might might make for better background plates.

 

If you do go RED get the new MX sensor - it is much cleaner than the old sensor.

 

I hope this helps, and I should mention I am a big fan of your work.

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-_-

 

The RED's listed resolution is 4,520 x 2,540, but you're only going to be able to shoot in either 4.5k 4,480 x 1,920 or 4k 16:9 at 4,096 x 2,304, and you'll have to shoot in RedCode 36 MB/sec.

 

I'd say the Phantom's also a great option, shooting in 4k 16:9 at 4,096 x 2,304. With proven 14 bit depth.

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If memory serves, the Phantom does give some beefier images for later manipulation. Given the option I'd lead towards Phantom, not that the RED couldn't do it. Rather, I'd like more information on the "neg" (D-Neg?) for post to work with.

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I'd lean towards the Red unless the efx people have a problem with the compression, which I doubt -- just because it's easier to shoot, record to, PL-mount lenses are more commonplace.

 

Unless the efx people don't like the motion skew from the rolling shutter, but I personally have never noticed that much in Red footage, not compared to the issue with strobes. The M-X sensor seems to have a better rolling shutter read-out time, and certainly the noise is better and thus the workable dynamic range, which would be more than enough for day-for-night plates (where highlights are going to be underexposed anyway and any bright sky replaced.)

 

So I would base this mostly on which camera you can more easily find the right fish-eye lens for, secondly on which would be easier to record to -- I don't know the power requirements for the Phantom 65 and the cine mag, but the Red is certainly mobile enough for car work. Just make sure you record to the CF cards or to the Red RAM's (SSD) not the Red Drives (HDD).

 

DFN plates tend to be darkened and thrown into soft-focus so I wouldn't be so worried about the quality issues... you probably could get away with any top-end 24P HD camcorder for those sorts of plates, just that it's better to use something with more dynamic range than Rec 709, hence a Log or HyperGamma or RAW camera would be good.

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For the BG plates, either one should do just fine. The critical thing is what you use to shoot the FG and green screen. That's what determines how big a pain it'll be to pull clean mattes.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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To note, however, the Phantom uses a global CMOS, which definitely helps work around some of the messy artifacts of CMOS sensors.

 

Does it have a global shutter?

 

On this website (vision research) the shutter type is listed as 'electronic rolling blade' - which implies a rolling shutter, unlike their other cameras which are listed as having 'electronic global' shutters...

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Does it have a global shutter?

 

On this website (vision research) the shutter type is listed as 'electronic rolling blade' - which implies a rolling shutter, unlike their other cameras which are listed as having 'electronic global' shutters...

 

Copy that - I'll amend my post. Was mistaken with the Flex. Definitely not the same camera.

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