NAB 2013: Vision Research debuts high-speed 4K camera
Marc Loftus
April 7, 2013

NAB 2013: Vision Research debuts high-speed 4K camera

LAS VEGAS — Wayne, NJ's Vision Research is previewing a new high-speed 4K camera at the NAB show in Las Vegas. The Phantom Flex 4K will be the company’s top of line cinema camera when it ships in October of this year and is based on the same technology used in Vision Research’s Phantom Flex product line, which has been honored with both Emmy and Academy Awards.

The new Phantom Flex 4K can shoot 4K imagery at up to 1,000fps when capturing at 4096 x 2160 resolution. The full resolution of the unit’s sensor is actually 4096 x 2304, which allows for capture at 900fps. According to Vision Research’s cinema product manager Toni Lucatorto, the Phantom Flex 4K offers low noise and good dynamic range.

Vision Research introduced a 4K camera back in 2006 in the Phantom 65, which shot at 140fps, and more recently, the company has released high-speed 2K cameras. The Phantom 4K will be equipped with up to 64GBs of RAM and will be able to offload data at a rate of 2 gigapixels per second. The camera is designed to shoot at frame rates ranging from 23.97 to 3,000. Imagery can be captured in a RAW format on in a compressed format to CineMag IV. The company is already working with other manufacturers such as Blackmagic, Baselight, Digital Vision, Assimilate and Quantel to ensure support of the 12-bit linear Phantomcine file format. There will also be a Mac app available that will open the RAW files as if they were QuickTime files.

While the units the Vision Research, and partner AbleCine, have at NAB are not final versions, they were able to show working demos as well as footage captured with the Phantom 4K. The unit weighs in at around 12 lbs. and has controls for capture, playback and save on both sides. It will work with the same rigs designed for use with the Phantom Flex.

At NAB, Vision Research is taking preorders. Interested parties can leave a $2,500 deposit in order to be one of the first recipients of the camera once it becomes available. The deposit would then be credited toward the final purchase price, which could range between $100K and $115K, depending on memory, and up to $150K for a fully outfitted unit with two drives and an offload station. 

Vision Research is also offering discounts on its Phantom Flex 2K. Anyone who purchases a Flex 2K can trade it in for 100 percent of its value towards the purchase of the 4K once it becomes available.