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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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Dedicated high speed cameras

This could be in the wrong spot, I don't know.

I'm looking hard at an FS700, primarily because it has that fun little toy (which it will now oversaturate the world with) Slow Motion.
It is still fairly pricey however, so I'm still wondering if it's worth the commitment just for that. The alternative, it occurred to me, could be some sort of cheap, bare bones industrial or research type camera. Low on/devoid of proper video camera features and practicality, but does one thing well.

They generally seem to be pretty expensive themselves, but offer quite terrifying specs a lot of the time (Vision Research Phantoms keep coming up in searches. Bit excessive for me)
I'm wondering if anyone knows of any modest options in that area, shoots maybe a 1080-ish frame at 200 and doesn't cost the earth, or if I'm being terribly optimistic.

And do relate any experience playing with these things, of any price, along the way: image quality, resolution etc.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Huh, Murray...............

You wait months for hi speed cameras to get mentioned, and two references turn up on one day.

I just posted this a bit further down the index page, yeah it's a Phantom, so out of your price bracket (unless you can work out an earning scenario to pay for it - that's the point), but does show just what it can do in the right hands and with the right support systems.


Cheetah Running Video By National Geographic Features Cat In Slow-Motion, High-Definition Footage


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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:04 AM   #3
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Not exactly inexpensive, but the Sony PMW-F5 looks good as a moderate performance high-speed camera (once they come out with the "planned upgrade"). Out of the box it will do 60fps HD quality. With the upgrade, it'll do 120fps 2K. Not buffer limited and not cropped either, will shoot high speed as long as your storage media has the space. I haven't seen anything else in this price range. What's else is nice, is that it' s not a one-trick pony, all around good specs.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Shot on a Casion EX-FH25 at 120fps. No audio on the clip.
Attached Files
File Type: wmv F-18 fly-over.wmv (1.81 MB, 72 views)
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

The FS700 is fun to play with on the overcranking side of things. Beyond the high frame rate it is a competent video camera. 120 and 240 are plenty fast for most things. It looks great shooting 60 (I just wish Media Composer could directly use it, grrrr).

It isn't a cheap camera cost wise but you do get quite a lot of features and function for the price. It is far from being a one trick pony. I consider it a valid choice for casual overcranking needs. When you need a hard core high speed capture just rent.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Well indeed. Hence my looking for a one trick pony instead of the FS700.

I don't know about renting most of the time. I know it's standard practice, but mostly it seems like you fork over a lot of money and just have to do it again because you ran out of time. It's bad enough with regular gear. With something as finicky as slo-mo I don't want to feel those minutes ticking away as a cold day makes the bugs all refuse to fly, or whatever. The inability to wake up in the middle of the night and proceed to 'the lab' for some noodling would also be disappointing.
It's obviously necessary for gear that Rupert Murdoch would have trouble buying. But if the option is there, within reason, I'm a to have and to hold kind of guy. Which is what I'm here to find out; is it within reason.

Other Chris: Yeah, I just read the magazine article to go with that video and was wondering how on earth they did it. They just can't pull that wooly ball fast enough. Very impressive.

The Casio looks like a fun little number too.

I've run into these ones a few times in searches and they seem like they might be modest enough

Bonito - High speed camera, CMOS Sensor - Allied Vision Technologies

Hard to find places that will give a price though (I guess because they're mostly industrial inspection camera specialists and the like)
Anyone had any experience with such things?
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Old December 1st, 2012, 06:58 AM   #7
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

That camera, capture card, and cables will be in the neighborhood of $10k. The capture card itself is about $3200. I didn't find any solid pricing on the camera but cameras with lesser specs are $4500 and up.

The real trick would be to find software that would record the images. You'll also be tethered to a desktop computer running Linux or Windows (No Mac support).

Certainly possible though.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Thanks

Yeah, that's kind of the picture I'm getting. Just how relatively limited the FS700s high speed is (can only shoot so many seconds at a time etc) gives an indication of how specialised and costly dedicated equipment must be.
Being tethered isn't necessarily a problem if the price is right. But after a certain amount of outlay having a nice video camera as well starts to become pretty important.

Oh well. The rough, consumer un-friendly aspect to these things is probably a lot of fun. At least AVT make theirs a bit sexy looking too. Most of these sorts of things look like a security camera from 1985.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:26 AM   #9
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Its going to be a challenge to beat the FS700 in the value for money category.

The 8sec recording time seems like a serious hindrance in comparison to a camera that can record continuous high speed. In reality it isn't nearly as limiting as it sounds. When you look at being able to "front trigger" or "rear trigger" the 8sec capture window it works very well. One thing is for certain - It makes you focus on exactly what you want to shoot and that is never a bad thing in my opinion.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

I have been keeping an eye out for anything new that does continuous high-speed. I have the little Casio EX-FH25, but would like something that can zoom while recording and better resolution. I would need at least 120fps, and would like to have 240fps.

Here's a bit of a summary of some cameras I've configured as I'd use them:

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition: As configured: $480. Camera $400, LCD Touch BakPak $80. Includes recording speeds/resolutions: 2592x1458P @30/25/24fps, 1920x1080p @60fps, 1280x720p @120fps, 854x480p @240pfs. Small and light. Fixed lens, fixed focus. FOV is "ultra-wide" at 120 and 240fps. I believe ultra-wide is about 170 degrees FOV. Inputs/Outputs: HDMI, USB 2.0, microphone 3.5mm jack. Included on the LCD is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Aperture is fixed F/2.8. File format is MPEG4-AVC/H.264. Image sensor is 12Megapixel. Unlimited mounting options.

Casio EX-FH25: $500. Can shoot 120fps at 640x480. Will shoot continuously until the clip size reaches 4GB or about 10 minutes. Has 20X zoom. Cannot zoom while recording. Uses 4xAA batteries and a single SD card. Very light weight and compact. Camera has been discontinued.

JVC GY-HM70U (Not yet shipping): As configured: $1,878 (Camera $1600, two 128GB SDXC Sandisk Extreme Class 10 cards $278) . Can shoot 300fps at 740x480 (GY-HM70E 250fps at 720x576). Can zoom while recording. 10X optical zoom. Uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. 12.7megapixel 1/2.3" CMOS back-illuminated sensor. File format is AVCHD progressive, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. File extension is .MTS. Can hold two batteries and two memory cards. Included with camera are a EVF, LCD, 1 battery, battery charger/power adapter. Extra batteries cost $70 each. The LCD and EHV are not very high resolution. The camera weighs more and is larger than the Canon XF300. 6.61 lb with 1 battery and SDHC card. If it's not a piece of crap, I'll get one.

Sony FS700: As configured: $19,669 (Camera + 18-200mm lens $8,100, HXR-IFR5 recorder interface $2,500, AXS-R5 recorder $5,350, V-mount battery BP-FL75 $540, Charger BC-L90 $829, AXSM Card $1,800, AXS-CR1 USB 3.0 card reader $550). The recorder allows you to shoot 2K raw at 100fps, 120fps, 200fps or 240fps continuous recording. Additional batteries are $110. Camera comes with 1 battery, charger, viewfinder tube, microphone.

Sony PMW-F5: As configured: $24,439 (Body $16,490, LCD $3,800, two SxS+Pro 128GB cards $2,780, BP-GL75 battery $540, EOS Lens adapter $420). This config. assumes you already own a Canon lens for use on this camera. The camera will accept almost any lens. Sony has a 14X zoom lens that is fully compatible and costs $9,699. Once the free v1.3 upgrade is released (expected Sept. 2013) this setup will record 120fps XAVC HD video continuously. With two 128GB cards, you can get approx. 30 minutes of 120fps video. Getting the external recorder will let you record higher quality (2K raw), but you don't get any faster than 120fps. The recorder + media card will add another $7,160.


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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

What the dedicated HS cameras have that these lack is global shutter. Have you considered buying used? I think Able Cine had some used Phantom Flex for sale last year for not much more than your looking at on your high end (although the ancillary stuff might put it out of reach). Not sure if they still have any of those but they're probably on the market.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

The Phantoms are way out of my range. From what I've seen on the Phantoms and similar is that they have limited record time. Hard to find prices for the cameras and then when you figure with the high resolutions and frame rates those cameras have, the recording media has to be pricey. I actually don't mind SD resolution if I can get long/continuous record times. The new JVC GY-HM70U has fixed 300fps at a resolution I could live with. I'm not sure what to make of the price drop even before it's begun shipping....

The F55 has the global shutter. Here's how it prices out...

As configured: $52,378 (Camera $28,990, DVF-L350 LCD $3,800, Sony 14X zoom lens $9,699, AXS-R5 recorder $5,360, SxS+Pro 32GB (2 cards) $1,360, V-mount battery BP-GL75 $540, Battery charger BC-L90 $829 (crazy expensive), AXSM 512GB card $1,800. Without the Sony lens it's $42,679. In this configuration, and after the firmware update, this should do 240fps. Of course you're getting a camera that's useful for much more than high-speed stuff. I'd go this route if I had that kind of money to blow.

BTW - I've seen the FS700 outfitted with the external recorder, interface and battery. It ain't pretty. Kind of like walking around with a railroad tie on your shoulder. Very unweildy looking contraption since the add-on gear doesn't neatly attach to the back of the camera like on the F5/F55.

Last edited by Mark Watson; June 11th, 2013 at 10:07 AM. Reason: added F55 info
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Old July 25th, 2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Mark's comments are very valid so I'm looking to add not replace his advice.

Lets start with this comment - I've been looking for a decent High Speed camera for a long long time, I really love the effect and it matches my shooting and artistic styles. I just bought a FS700 and could not be happier.

I've historically tried the Casio (there were a few cameras in the day from them that could do high speed, but if you were not in the brightest of sunligh the image quality was garbage IMHO) but they could not really be matched to non-highspeed segments of your video.

GoPro, very nice results (again in daylight), definitely better in low light but wide angle lens and user interface kills this camera as film tool dead in its tracks (unless you have a lot of time to play around with the thing and batteries to keep it going).

Phantom and other dedicated high speed film camera (digital or otherwise) - super nice - super expensive. And do you really need 2500fps? Want sure but practical need?

Cheap High Speed Industrial Cameras (that plug into computers) - They work, but their colour rendition is often not pleasing and their small sensors lack that narrow DOF film look; also finding 1080p is pricey. B&W versions work very well, you can put filters in front for selecting colours but this is better for scientific study not artistic films where you want RGB. In addition they are not portable and again for film lack a lot of features you may want (such as controlling shutter speed to film rate).

RED Epic - Gold Standard for digital film quality IMHO with raw recording etc. That said RED is a pricey ecosystem to get into and HighSpeed although not limited to bursts does crop your sensor and fill up your SSD card fast!

Brings us to the FS700 (and F5) - They are pricey cameras (FS100 is nicely priced), but when you think about upgrading to 4K capture or continuous highspeed and things like internal ND etc. The price of that high speed on top of your regular camera is something like $2000. For $2000 show me a better high speed camera. You also get all the features of the FS700 in the high speed mode including Custom Colour Profiles, full manual control, etc. Plus the colour is nice enough that you can match the high speed with regular time footage flawlessly (note you do need to match shutter speed and lighting as you can't shoot 240fps at 1/48 of a second - keep that in mind and be sure to use the internal ND filters to compensate so your on the same Gain/ISO setting for both to match grain etc).

In the end I'm happy with the FS700 so far and highly recommend it for slow-motion lovers.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

Graeme,

How do you get continuous high speed out of the NEX-FS700 for $10,000?
Is it possible to just hook it up to a third-party recorder and get that feature set?
Have you converted yours to continuous or do you find the short record times tolerable?
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 11:42 AM   #15
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Re: Dedicated high speed cameras

With v3 of the FS700 firmware you can get continuous high speed out of the camera to a compatible recorder.

To utilize that ability it will run closer to $15k for a FS700 and compatible recorder.
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