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The SciTech Award Goes to... The Phantom Family of High-Speed Cameras

COW Library : HD High-End : Debra Kaufman : The SciTech Award Goes to... The Phantom Family of High-Speed Cameras
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Top, Chief Technical Officer Andy Jantzen. Below, Chief Scientist Radu Corlan.
On February 11, the Academy will honor the Vision Research team behind the design and engineering of the Phantom family of high-speed cameras for motion picture production: Chief Scientist Radu Corlan who was responsible for the sensor specification and design, camera architecture, firmware, CineMag and CineStation mass storage devices; Software Architect Petru Pop, who was in charge of software design to realize the image processing pipeline and the CineMag and CineStation mass storage devices; Chief Technology Officer Andy Jantzen, who contributed to the sensor specification, camera and workflow requirements and system integration; and Vice President, Research and Development Richard Toftness who was responsible for the system product realization, production and engineering support as well as product fine tuning.

The Award honors "the Phantom family of high-speed digital cameras, including the Phantom Flex and HD Gold, which provide imagery at speeds and efficacy surpassing photochemical technology while seamlessly inter-cutting with convention film production," says the Academy.

The Phantom family of cameras -- which includes the Phantom HD, Phantom HD GOLD, Phantom 65 and Phantom Flex -- shoot images in HD, 2K or 4K resolution at speeds greater than 150 fps that, when viewed at normal projection speeds, are super slow-motion. Feature films that have used Phantom cameras to create slow motion effects include Sherlock Holmes (1 & 2), Born to be Wild 3D, Inception, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Green Hornet, Secretariat, Zombieland, Source Code, Captain America: The First Avenger, TRON: Legacy and many others.

Prior to the Phantom cameras, shooting high-speed film at greater than 150 fps was expensive and technically difficult. The method of capturing slow-motion footage required a large, noisy and expensive specialty camera that consumed a 1,000-foot roll of film in less than 15 seconds. The difficulties and expense in acquiring the footage often meant that directors had to curtail the usage of high-speed film.


Phantom Flex: Up to 2,570 fps at 1920x1080 in Standard Mode.
The roots of the Phantom cameras date from 1950, when the Jantzen family began to distribute 16mm film-based high-speed photographic products, including cameras, lights, and film projectors -- which they did until 1988, as Photographic Analysis Company. "In addition to being a distributor, we also provided high speed photographic services for various industrial clients in the Northeast," says Andrew Jantzen. "In 1988, we became a manufacturer by purchasing a company that made the high-speed film cameras we were distributing at that time." In the early 1990s, with the advent of personal computers and the conversion of the consumer market from film to video cameras, the Jantzen family made a conscious decision to develop a 'electronic-based' high speed camera that would obsolete its film-based business.ntom v2.0) had a throughput speed of 128 million pixels/second. By 2004, throughput was at 2.3 billion pixels/second; it is currently at 16 billion pixels/second.







Academy Plaque for the Scientific and Engineering Award

This story on the Phantom family of high-speed digital motion picture cameras is one of a series on the winners of the Scientific and Engineering Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded The Scientific and Engineering Award® (Academy Plaque) to Radu Corlan, Andy Jantzen, Petru Pop and Richard Toftness for the design and engineering of the Phantom family of high-speed cameras for motion picture production.

The Phantom family of high-speed digital cameras, including the Phantom Flex and HD Gold, provide imagery at speeds and efficacy surpassing photochemical technology, while seamlessly intercutting with conventional film production.



ACADEMY AWARDS® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.








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