Phantom Flex high speed camera hire

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Phantom Flex or Phantom HD Gold? 

In short, it’s really dependent on what you need to film and what your budget is.  The Phantom Flex is much more light sensitive and can go at much higher frame rates, where as the Phantom HD Gold is more budget-friendly and can run at a higher bit rate.

Frame rate

Put simply, the Phantom Flex can run at much higher frame rates - proving essential for some jobs.  Indeed, in its standard mode, the Flex has over 2.5 times the frame rate potential of the Phantom HD Gold; at 1920 x 1080 resolution the Phantom Flex can shoot at 2570 fps versus the HD Gold at 1000 fps.

Image quality

Both the Phantom Flex and the HD Gold have fantastic image quality and it ultimately comes down to personal preference as to which camera is chosen (assuming 1000 fps is enough as a minimum, of course!).  The Flex’s image is at its best in the camera’s high quality (HQ) mode but the standard quality (SQ) gives more frame rate options (see Phantom Flex specs).

High speed cameras from all manufacturers are inherently noisy things at the best of times (you'll often hear the industry talking about crushing blacks in post!) and the Phantom Flex and HD Gold cameras exhibit different noise characteristics due to different sensors – and different people prefer different things.  The image from the Phantom Flex (12-bit pixel depth) is considered more ‘filmic’ as opposed to the often ‘cleaner’ HD Gold picture (14-bit pixel depth via laptop, 12-bit onto CineMag).

Light sensitivity ISO/ASA

High speed cameras need a lot of light (see our FAQs section for more details) but the ISO ratings of the Phantom Flex and Phantom HD Gold are very different – 1000 ASA for the Flex, and 320 ASA for the HD Gold.  In reality, this translates to an increase of almost 2 stops – which may not sound a lot – but in low light levels (eg at dusk or indoors) and where there are few lighting options available this suddenly becomes very valuable.

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