Screen Shot 2013-02-12 of Phantom Flex Camera

A lot has been written about the Phantom Flex digital camera from Vision Research — including its eye-popping price tag. Our Shutterstock Footage team decided to take a closer look at the coveted camera, and to answer some pressing questions for high-speed enthusiasts.

What is the Phantom Flex camera? In 2007, Vision Research named Abel CineTech the exclusive North American reseller of Phantom products, and introduced a high-speed, high-quality camera for cinema and television — the Phantom HD. The Phantom is best known for its ability to shoot 2,570 fps at 1920×1080 in Standard Mode, which translates to super-slow motion. There’s even a video of the Phantom Flex “capturing a speeding bullet.”

Why the “Flex”? The camera earns its name by accommodating various format lenses. 35mm PL lens coverage is standard, while the HDx2 optical adapter, available from Abel CineTech, allows B4 mount lenses to be used. Super16 optics will work with (1080p) or without (720p) an adapter.

What are some of the highlights?

These are some of our favorite features:

  • 12-bit pixel depth.
  • HQ Mode provides ultimate image stability under changing conditions.
  • 2 x 4:2:2 HD-SDI video ports can be configured as dual-link 4:4:4 video (but not in 60fps formats).
  • Internal mechanical shutter for hands-free and remote Current Session References.
  • Frame synchronization to external signal allows multiple cameras to be synced — essential for stereo 3D recording.

So just how “eye-popping” is that price tag? The Phantom camera line ranges in price from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the specific model and features. If you’re planning on renting, it will cost you approximately $3,000 per day.

How can I see the Phantom Flex in action? Check out these footage clips from the Shutterstock library, each shot with a Phantom Flex.

Stir-fry footage ©wavebreakmedia

Strawberry chocolate drop footage ©wavebreakmedia

Paint-splash footage ©wavebreakmedia

For more amazing videos like the ones above, check out our Phantom Flex clipbox:

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 Wavebreak clipbox
Screen Shot 2013-02-12 Wavebreak clipbox