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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #1
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Press Release: Panavision Acquires Phantom from Abel CineTech

PANAVISION ACQUIRES PHANTOM HD HIGH-SPEED
DIGITAL CAMERAS FROM ABEL CINE TECH

Couples Phantom HD with Panavision Lenses for
Feature Film, TV and Commercial Customers


New York, NY – October 14, 2008: Panavision, the leading supplier of digital and film camera systems through its rental operations around the world, has announced an agreement with Abel Cine Tech and Vision Research for the acquisition of Phantom HD high-speed digital cameras.

The contract means that the Phantom HD cameras and custom accessories will be available for rent in a complete Panavised system package along with Panavision’s inventory of industry leading optics, including anamorphic lenses. Abel Cine Tech, the exclusive North American agent for Vision Research’s Phantom HD and 65, is supplying the camera systems, technical support and training to Panavision.

The Phantom HD, capable of recording up to 2048x2048 resolution, captures motion like no camera before it in the entertainment industry. At full HD resolution (1920x1080P), frame rates of over 1,000 frames per second can be recorded, played back and accessed immediately. Its circular in-camera buffer recording enables cinematographers to “trigger” the camera either before, during or after the event being photographed. These and other features enable a world of high-speed imaging possibilities previously unattainable in movies, television shows and commercials.

The 35mm sized CMOS imager accommodates all standard Panavision lenses, including anamorphic, and has the same depth of field characteristics as Panavision’s 35mm film and digital cameras, including Genesis.

Each Panavised Phantom HD camera system will include two newly introduced products, the 512 GB CineMag flash storage magazine and the CineStation download station. These products speed up production and enhance workflow on set and off. Panavision is the first to supply this full system (2 CineMags and 1 CineStation) to each Phantom HD Camera package.

“We’re very pleased to help create a digital standard for high-speed cinematography by offering the Panavised Phantom HD camera to our feature film, television and commercial customers,” said Bob Beitcher, President and CEO of Panavision. “The combination of Panavision’s lenses, Vision Research technology, and Abel Cine Tech know-how will change how the industry looks at high-speed imaging.”

Peter Abel, President of Abel Cine Tech, agrees, adding, “Our strategic relationship with Panavision moves Phantom HD into an arena we have eagerly sought since the camera’s inception. With their experience and unique position in the market, we couldn’t hope for a more accomplished partner than Panavision to make this objective a reality.”

The complete Panavised Phantom HD camera package with Panavision lenses will be available for rent at select Panavision offices around the world beginning in October 2008.

About Panavision Inc.
Founded in 1954, Panavision Inc. is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-precision camera systems, including both film and digital cameras, lenses and accessories for the motion picture and television industries. Panavision systems are rented through its domestic and internationally-owned and operated facilities and agent network. Panavision also supplies lighting, grip and crane equipment for use by motion picture and television productions. For more information, visit Panavision

About Abel Cine Tech Inc.
Abel Cine Tech Inc., established in 1989, is an industry leader and well-respected voice for new film, digital and HD technologies. With facilities in New York City and Burbank, CA., Abel is a Sony Elite III Reseller, Panasonic Specialty Reseller, the exclusive US agent for Aaton motion picture cameras, and the North American agent to the production market for Phantom HD/65 high-speed cameras.

Abel is also the exclusive reseller of specialty equipment including HD Scope, Panther Broadcast tripods and dollies, and the CamTram System, as well as a reseller of major broadcast equipment lines. For more information on the company and its services, visit Abel Cine Tech

About Vision Research Inc.
Vision Research Inc., established in 1950, designs and manufactures high-speed digital imaging systems used in domains including defense, automotive, engineering, scientific and medical research, industrial and commercial, sports and entertainment, and digital broadcast and cinematography.

The Wayne, N.J.-based company prides itself on the sensitivity, high-resolution and quality of images produced by its systems, robust yet easy-to-use software interfaces, and reliability and versatility of its camera family – that continues to be the benchmark for all other high-speed digital camera manufacturers. For more information, visit High Speed Cameras: Digital High Speed Video Camera Systems and Accessories.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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This will be an interesting one to watch. Up until now, going faster than 50 fps on a Genesis show would require bringing in a 435 or Panastar and having to intercut 35mm with the HD footage (usually works pretty well but obviously not identical). I wonder if the intension will be to use the Phantom for these shots, although I would think the imager will look quite different between the Phantom and the Genesis...certainly the Phantom will be great for commercials or super-high speed work that the Photosonics cameras used to cover (by burning massive amounts of film)!
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #3
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Not a massive amount of news there really. The Phantom's been around for quite a while now, and has always had a PL mount so could take industry standard lenses. Cinemags have also been around for quite a while now, only the Cinestation is pretty new, but has nothing to do with Panavision, it's purely a Vision Research item.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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Compatibility with PV lenses and accessories is probably the biggest news there, not so much a technological achievement as an interesting business move, another notch in Panavision's shift from film to digital.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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How were they not compatible before? Is it meaning support bars, follow focus etc.? I thought Panavision lenses were just PL lenses?
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:32 AM   #6
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By definition, PL mounts and PV (Panavision) mounts are incompatible, something like Canon and Nikon mounts. You can't get a PL version of the Panavision lenses, so if you want to use those, you must rent them along with their cameras. The lenses are a large part of why so many DP's prefer to use Panavision, along with the particular architecture of the accessories and the support than one receives from a rental-only organization. However of all those factors, only the lenses themselves affect the actual look of the footage.

Panavision lenses are proprietary, built from the ground up at their factory and have their own unique characteristics. What adds to the confusion is that other manufacturer's lenses have been "Panavised" over the years, which can be as simple as just converting the mount as is the case with the 15-40 Optimo or rehousing the optics and reworking the mechanical elements, such as the Zeiss Superspeeds. Where Panavision originally made its name was in the area of anamorphics; they have multiple series of these lenses although they have not been updated in many years.

A Panavised camera such as the 435 will be identical in many respects to the Arri factory version but will have a number of mods that will make it compatible with standard Panavision accessories, like the side-mounting 5/8" rod system, different connectors and additional bracketry. The Panavised F900 has many such changes, and the company built a whole set of lenses for that 2/3" camera that were technologically advanced to accomodate the concentrated resolution requirements and optimized to shoot wide open.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 04:01 AM   #7
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It seems that Panavision UK has a RED fitted with a PV mount, so the RED may also become part of the their rental fleet at some time. Suitably Panavised of course.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 04:52 AM   #8
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Thanks Charles, you learn something new every day!
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Old October 16th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #9
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Panavision has also begun offering the F23 as their premium 2/3" camera, and I heard a rumor that they will also have the F35 although I'm a little surprised at that considering that it is a direct competitor to the Genesis.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Panavision has also begun offering the F23 as their premium 2/3" camera, and I heard a rumor that they will also have the F35 although I'm a little surprised at that considering that it is a direct competitor to the Genesis.
Could be that in the longer term the lower unit cost of a F35 compared to the manufactured for rental only Genesis makes economic sense. I suppose they'd start to replacing these HD cameras after a working life of 5 years, although I know broadcasters that use video camera kit for 10 years.
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