It is quite possibly the coolest camera around. Due to its price, it is unfortunately out of reach for most users. With the capability of shooting 1000fps at 4K resolution, the Phantom Flex 4K is a beast to be reckoned with. The data media management side, on the other hand, has always been troublesome. 64GB are used for a 5 second shot (in real time terms), with only limited ways to access the footage from the camera. That is where PHANTOMfuse from Kamerawerk comes in.
Digital Image Technicians fear the word “Phantom.” Converting Phantom Cine Files is cumbersome and takes a lot of time. In order to combat this, Vision Research recently launched a new firmware upgrade for the Phantom Flex 4K camera, which allows for simultaneous CineRaw and ProRes422(HQ) recording. This has almost completely cut out the need to convert Phantom RAW files on set. It does however also mean that less space is available on the CineMag, thus enforcing a faster turnaround to make safe and verified copies.
To get access to the Phantom’s CineFiles, DIT’s connected a CineStation via a 10GB ethernet hub to a Mac or PC. Only limited software such as Seance on MacOS or PCC on Windows could read the CineMag. It doesn’t show on the desktop as a card or a virtual drive, it had to go through specific software to get access to the Cine RAW files from the Phantom, and then to be able to download CineFiles from the CineStation. The Files would be processed through this software, and then copies would be made afterwards.
With PHANTOMfuse, you can knock two birds with one stone. By just installing the software, it creates a virtual drive of the CineMags that are docked in the CineStation and displays it in the File Browser. This either allows for easy drag-and-drop from the card straight onto a drive, or for media management software, such as Pomfort’s Silverstack, to recognize the card and perform verified and safe copies on-set within their Browser.
PHANTOMfuse automatically detects CineMags and creates reels for them. Usually, the Phantom is not an A Camera on-set, and I haven’t been able to figure out whether one can change the naming convention from A to something else. This could be a slight setback.
The software is currently in BETA stage, available for OSX and is free to test for 14 Days. Price is yet to be determined. Feel free to look at PHANTOMfuse website.