The $US118,000 Super High Speed Shark Week Camera

Best part of Shark Week? Watching a 1900kg fish jump a metre clear of the water. This $US118,000 high speed camera is what Discovery Channel uses to capture those breathtaking moments in glorious HD.

The Phantom HD GOLD isn't just a $US118,000 high speed camera — it's a high-speed camera that can produce stunning 35mm depth of field shots at HD or 2K resolutions. And it's super-rare too, with only 150 currently available worldwide.

What really sets the Phantom apart from other high-end cameras is the capacity of its lens. It typically films from 555fps at 2K resolution to over 2000fps at 512 x 512. It records 1920 x 1080 at a staggering 1052fps. What's more, the frame rate is adjustable on the fly, allowing the cinematographer to shorten and lengthen any moment as he sees fit. It can even capture HD at just 10fps, though it seems a waste to use a shutter that closes in 1/500,000 of a second for six-second exposures.

All this data, roughly 2.3 gigapixels per second, needs to go somewhere. The Phantom uses two solid state systems for storage: either with 8Gb, 16GB or 32 GB of internal memory or the Phantom's proprietary hot-swapping SSDs, dubbed CineMags, that hold 128, 256 or 512 GB each. When one of these storage magazines is filled, the Phantom CineStation allows downloading of the images to a PC running the Phantom software application. The Cinemags can't record as much as the internal memory — only 1.3 gigapixels per second, but can download a 14.4GB video (roughly four seconds of 1920 x 1080 at 14-bits-per-pixel, each 3.6GB) in seconds versus the nearly 15 minutes required through a standard GB Ethernet.

[Born Rich, Vision Research, Time Techland]

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