Friday, August 5, 2011

Discovery made Shark Week awesome with this camera alone

Time for some camera porn. Check these stats:
  • 1080p video at up to 1,052 frames per second, and 720p at 1,576 fps
  • Need more resolution? Shoot at 2K (2048x2048) at up to 555 fps
  • Screw resolution? 256x256 shooting at 4,400 fps
  • Depth of field equivalent to that of a 35mm camera (8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-bit pixel adjustable depth)
  • Records 2.3Gpx (that's Gigapixels) per second
That's just the basics of the Phantom HD Gold, one of only 150 produced so far. It records to solid state drives up to 512GB in size. Which means using the Phantom means having a ton of SSDs to fill up...recording 1080p video at full speed (1,052 fps) will fill up the 32GB of internal memory in 8.45 seconds. It's basically Team Fortress 2 Heavy's weapon, in camera form. All that sheer power for a mere $118,000.

I mean, hell, it even supports RAW shooting. The kind of computer and hardware you'd need to process 2K video at 555 fps, and the handful of SSDs after a few hours of filming must be a technical nightmare. The Phantom does come with it's own software, CineMag, built specifically to handle and edit footage taken. 

It makes sense that Discovery would throw down that much cash - the $118,000 plus at least another $100,000 on additional equipment, not to mention the hiring a top-notch team of cinematographers, editors and crew - Shark Week is the channel's prime week of viewing. That, and sharks are wicked cool. How much better to see their ferocity slowed down so we can see the ripples in time themselves. So worth it.