It might not have as cool a name as it's stablemate, the Phantom Flex, but at 900fps in 4K, the new Vision Research Phantom S991 certainly has the performance.
New Vision Research Phantom camera releases are always a fairly low key affair, yet the cameras themselves are always capable of mind-bending performance. The new S991 is no exception, with continuous 900fps possible at a resolution of 4096 x 2304, and up to 52,000fps being possible if you cut the resolution down to 2304 x 16.
Clearly that latter resolution will only be useful in very niche applications, but the full 4K ability at 900fps places the S991 firmly into the cinematography arena, and in fact the sensor being used in the S991 is the same one found in the Phantom Flex. The S991 provides both rolling and global shutter capabilities in 12-bit colour, with a pixel density of 6.75µm. Light sensitivity is rated at up to ISO400 in full colour, and ISO1600 in monochrome mode whilst using the global shutter.
Additionally the camera features a mechanical shutter to allow for remote black reference and EOS mount option to allow remote focus capability.
The secret sauce to how the S991 achieves those high speeds is Vision Research's new protocol, CoaXPress-over-Fiber (CXPoF). According to the company, CXPoF uses CXP12 and optical fibre, which eliminates the requirement for multiple CXP 6 copper cables. In contrast, Phantom S991 only requires two fibre cables, compared to 16 copper cables required by its predecessor, the Phantom S990.
Users can gain higher frame rates by placing the camera into 8-bit mode. Resolution can be increased in small increments of 128 x 8 pixels, allowing resolution to be maximised for any given frame rate.
Dan Hafen, Director of Business Development for Machine Vision at Vision Research stated regarding CXPoF, "It leverages Vision Research’s industry leadership by offering high quality images at extreme frame rates in a simple, user-friendly package. Furthermore, the CXP-over-Fiber technology provides many benefits to support extremely high throughput. It has a high bandwidth, low latency, manages link integration, and is poised for future bandwidth increases, all while using common, low-cost components."
Vision Research Phantom S991 main specifications
- 9-Mpx sensor (4096 x 2304)
- Throughput: 9 Gpx/sec (70 Gbps)
- Maximum frame rate at 4096 x 2304: 937 fps
- Maximum frame rate at reduced resolutions: 52,080 fps
- 5 µs minimum exposure
- Rolling and Global shutter
- ISO – Daylight (Global shutter): 1,600 (Mono), 400 (Color)
- EVMA Data:
- QE @ 532 nm (%): 59.5 (G); 57 (R)
- Dark Noise (e-): 30.04 (G); 10.02 (R)
- Dynamic Range (dB): 55.8 (G); 68.6 (R)