Sometimes good things happen in a wink, much too fast for normal cameras. Well, the Vision Research Phantom v2640 isn’t such an ordinary camera: it shoots 11,750 fps in FullHD. No further questions, Your Honour.
The Phantom v2640
11,750 four-megapixel frames per second. That’s a lot of data to crunch! Because your average CFast card just wouldn’t be able to keep up, the Phantom v2640 requires its own proprietary solution which comes with a trade-off: the ultra-fast internal 288GB RAM storage can only hold a relatively short sequence due to the massive amount of data coming in. FullHD 12Bit video @ 11,750 fps will eat up these 288GB in just 7,9 seconds. After that, you’ll need to download the data to a downstream computer using a 10 Gbit ethernet connection on the back of the camera, a process that takes about 9 minutes. Check out the video below for a quick demonstration of the Phantom:
The camera can achieve even faster frame rates by reducing the resultion. 14.740 fps at 1.024 x 976, 19.690 fps at 1.792 x 720 and even 28.760 fps at 640×480. A strange 1.792 x 8 resolution is also available, which one can only guess is for scientific use. With it, you can record a whooping 303.460 fps.
You can also connect an external 1TB or 2TB CineMag IV to the Phantom v2640. These extra Terabytes enable longer shooting times but decrease the possible frame rates significantly, as they can only handle only 1 gigapixel per second, while the internal RAM crunches 26 Gp/s straight from the custom 4-megapixel CMOS sensor!
It’s a bit like a magic triangle, actually. Speed (fps), resolution and recording time. You can’t tick all the boxes, so making sacrifices is a must:
- Reduce the resolution and get more frames per second.
- Using external 1TB or 2TB CineMags get you more recording time but you will lose speed (fps). Big time.
- Maxing out the resolution will decrease both, speed and recording time.
You have to choose what’s the perfect compromise for your given shot.
The Phanotm v2640 can be operated in two modes: color or monochrome. In color mode the camera is rated at 3,200 ISO, while the monochrome mode transforms into a 16,000 ISO beast. Again, this mode may prove more suitable for scientific work. The camera sports an electronic global shutter with a claimed dynamic range of 64 dB.
The unit itself weighs 17 lbs, 8 oz. (8.1 Kg) and comes with an 120V/240V 280W external power supply. No word on pricing or availability, yet. Maybe the missing quotation isn’t so bad, because the Phantom v2640 will be expensive, there’s no doubt about it!
What do you think of this high-speed monster? Share your thoughts in the comments below!