With 1,000 frames per second and a global shutter, Phantom Flex focuses on science

phantom flex4k gs
Vision Research has unveiled an updated version of its high-speed Phantom Flex4K camera, popular for shooting cinematic slow-motion sequences at up to 1,000 frames per second. The new version is called the Flex4K-GS, with “GS” standing for global shutter. While a global shutter is desirable in all aspects of video production, the Flex4K-GS is specifically focused on the scientific, defense, and aerospace markets.

In a standard CMOS sensor, pixels are exposed and processed one line at a time, commonly called a “rolling” shutter. This means each row of pixels is capturing a different moment in time from the row above and/or below it.

For shots without much motion in the frame, the effect is unnoticeable. But when shooting fast-moving subjects (or, alternately, when the camera itself is moving quickly), this can cause a real problem. In the filmmaking world, the resulting skew and wobble of the image is colloquially known as “jello cam.” In science and research applications, it’s simply called unacceptable.

A global shutter, by contrast, exposes every pixel at exactly the same moment and is much better for accurately capturing motion. By introducing a global shutter version of the Flex4K, Vision Research is packaging the best high-speed cinema camera tech in a product that meets the exacting demands of scientists and engineers. The company sees it as being particularly useful in aerospace and defense, where the camera can record spinning propellers and other rotating motors without causing motion artifacts.

A global shutter often comes with one drawback, however: decreased dynamic range. Dynamic range refers to a camera’s ability to capture detail from shadows to highlights, and depending on the situation, achieving the maximum dynamic range may be more or less important than getting accurate motion capture. As such, The Flex4K-GS will allow users to toggle between global and rolling shutter modes.

“There have always been trade-offs between speed, sensitivity, and resolution in modern CMOS-based cameras, but Vision Research is changing the game with the new Flex4K-GS,” said Product Manager Toni Lucatorto in a statement. “The camera brings pixel resolution to the forefront, allowing for incredibly fine detail and improved visibility of phenomena and measurements.”

Like the standard Flex4K, the GS model can shoot 4K resolution at up to 1,000 FPS, or 2K up to 1,975 FPS. It can record uncompressed RAW video or shoot directly to Apple ProRes, a popular format for users who want to maintain a high-quality file that can be more easily stored, ingested, and edited. The camera body has also been redesigned with isolated electronics and can endure temperatures as low as -4 and as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit.


This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.