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Phantom S991 high-speed camera shoots 4K video at 937 frames per second

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Vision Research has announced the Phantom S991 high-speed camera. The new specialized camera combines impressive Phantom sensor technology and CoaXPress-over-Fiber (CXFPoF) with CXP-12 to deliver 9Gpx/sec (70 Gbps) throughput to record 4096 x 2304 video at a blazing-fast 937 frames per second.

Like other Phantom cameras, the S991 can record much faster than 937 frames per second with reduced resolution. Before diving into the specs, though, the highlight feature of 937 fps at 4K resolution requires 8-bit video. If you want to record 12-bit video, the speed drops to 625 fps. For the rest of the specs, we are assuming 8-bit video quality and the use of two fiber banks. If you’d like to see the full breakdown of all possible framerates at specific resolutions and video settings, visit the product page.

By reducing resolution to 3072 x 2000, the camera shoots at 1,075 fps. At 1280 x 800, you can shoot at 2,635 fps. Dropping the resolution further to 1024 x 512 results in 4,035 fps shooting. The maximum shooting speed is 52,080 fps when recording 2304 x 16 video using the rolling shutter (the maximum speed is 47,550 fps with the camera’s global shutter).

We mentioned the caveat about using two fiber banks. Vision Research writes that ‘imaging flexibility is enhanced through adjustable capacity settings.’ You can use a single fiber cable for half-capacity operation or use two for full capacity operation. It’s up to the user to determine how they wish to balance speed and resolution.

The use of CXFPoF technology is critical to the S991’s performance capabilities. It’s also a big difference between the S991 and the previous S990 model. The S990 required 16 copper cables to achieve maximum performance, whereas the S991 needs just a pair of fiber cables. Users require fewer cables and the S991 offers an easier, more efficient setup.

The Phantom S991 is not the fastest camera available. Last July, Vision Research announced the Phantom TMX 5010, which is an ‘entry-level’ high-speed camera that can shoot at up to 1.16M fps. The Phantom TMX 7510 offers more throughput than the S991, 75Gpx/sec versus 9Gpx/sec. However, the Phantom S991 offers 4K resolution, something neither the TMX 5010 nor TMX 7510 offer. By the way, it appears that the S991 uses the same image sensor as the Phantom Flex 4K.

The Phantom S991 offers interchangeable lens mounts. Options include Nikon F, EOS, C, M42 and PL. Considering additional specs, the camera weighs 3.2 kg (7 lbs), offers sensitivities up to ISO 1600 (mono) and ISO 400 (color), and includes active cooling technology. As is often the case with Phantom cameras, pricing information is not available. If you’re interested in learning more, click here.


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