SOURCE: Vision Research

September 12, 2008 03:00 ET

Vision Research Advances 1,000,000 Frames-per-Second High-Speed Digital Camera Offering With Launch of the Phantom® V12.1

New V12.1 Builds on Success of the V12 Offering New Features and Functionalities

WAYNE, NJ--(Marketwire - September 12, 2008) - Vision Research, a leading manufacturer of high-speed digital imaging systems, today unveiled the Phantom® V12.1, the next generation high-speed digital camera in the company's V12 series. Like its Phantom V12 sibling, the Phantom V12.1 offers users unsurpassed performance with an advanced CMOS sensor and a maximum recording speed of 1,000,000 frames-per-second (fps).

This version builds on the original camera's success, boasting a new and improved feature set. The Phantom V12.1 is the ideal solution for recording extraordinarily fast events, specifically ballistics and explosions testing as well as those that take place at the microscopic level.

Essentially the heart of the Phantom V12.1 camera is a specially designed, 1280x800 high-definition CMOS sensor that is available in color or monochrome and built specifically for high-speed imaging applications. At full-resolution, the Phantom V12.1 can record 6,242 fps in a wide aspect ratio, making the camera perfect for applications that require both high speed and high resolution. At lower resolutions, the camera can go even faster maxing out at 1,000,000 fps at a resolution of 128x8 (optional).

The Phantom V12.1 also features low-noise and unprecedented light sensitivity with an active pixel size of 20 microns coupled with improved quantum efficiency. To eliminate blur and accentuate detail, the camera features sub-microsecond shuttering, down to 300 nanoseconds (optional), programmable in 18 nanosecond increments.

New to the Phantom V12.1 is an internal shutter that can be used for shading the lens to perform a session-specific black reference, also known as a current session reference (CSR). During use, the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor's pixels can drift due to changes in resolution, exposure time and temperature, which can lead to inaccurate color representation and substandard image quality. A CSR calibrates all pixels that will be used for a given set of camera parameters and sets them to pure black -- an important step in ensuring that the Phantom high-speed camera delivers the most accurate image possible.

With the new internal shutter on the Phantom V12.1, users no longer have to physically access the camera to perform a CSR. The operation can now be performed remotely or users can program the camera to automatically perform a CSR after every shot. This proves extremely useful especially in situations where the V12.1 would be mounted out of reach or used in a range for ballistics or explosives testing.

The Phantom V12.1 supports both 8- and 12-bit pixel depth for maximum detail and clarity, and also boasts Vision Research's Extreme Dynamic Range (EDR) feature, which allows the user to capture two different exposures within one single frame. The V12.1's color CMOS sensor is rated at ISO (ISO 12232 SAT) 1600 and the monochrome CMOS sensor is rated at ISO 6400, and for added ease of use and flexibility, the Phantom V12.1 also features auto exposure, which automatically adjusts the camera to adapt to changing lighting conditions.

In addition, the new Phantom V12.1's high-resolution timing system yields a timing resolution of better than 20 nanoseconds. Frame rate and exposure accuracy have been improved and a frame synchronization signal is now available via a dedicated BNC for easier cabling and increased signal integrity. This is combined with a 500 nanosecond straddle time and no image lag make the Phantom V12.1 ideal for particle image velocimetry (PIV) applications.

Eight gigabytes of high-speed dynamic RAM comes standard with the Phantom V12.1, with the option to upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. The high-speed dynamic RAM is also dividable, up to 64 segments, allowing users to record multiple shots, back-to-back without having to download data from the camera.

Taking versatility to the next level, the Phantom V12.1 also is compatible with Vision Research's CineMag™ system. CineMag is a non-volatile, hot-swappable memory magazine that mounts directly to the body of the camera, providing added storage and data protection. Available in 256GB or 512GB, the CineMag gives end-users the ability to record full resolution video at a maximum frame rate of 950 fps, directly to the magazine. To record at higher speeds, users can utilize the Phantom V12.1's onboard memory and then manually or automatically transfer those files to the CineMag at a rate of approximately 1 Giga-pixel per second.

CineMags also are designed to work with Vision Research's new Phantom CineStation™, which streamlines workflow by allowing CineMags to be viewed, trimmed, played over video, and saved to hard disk using an offline docking station rather than the valuable camera asset.

The Phantom CineStation is a simple setup that connects to a PC using GigaBit Ethernet. Users simply snap in a CineMag to the CineStation and use the supplied Phantom Video Player (PVP) software to view each cine stored on the CineMag, play the cine files over the dual HD-SDI ports or component video ports, set in- and out-points to trim the cines, and save the files to a connected hard disk drive.

To view recordings immediately, the Phantom V12.1 features a video-out port which users can connect to a component video monitor. The recordings can be displayed in a variety of formats, including NTSC, PAL, SDI and high-definition 720p. The new Phantom V12.1 also features two HD-SDI ports that can be used together for 4:4:4 video out or used independently, using one for playback and one for live preview. The camera also incorporates a component video viewfinder port.

The Phantom V12.1 is available in two models, either with or without the CineMag interface and in either color or monochrome. The V12.1 base model operates at up to 680,000 fps with a minimum shutter speed of 1 microsecond, and the step-up model can record at up to 1,000,000 pps with a minimum shutter speed of 300 nanoseconds.

About Vision Research

Vision Research designs and manufactures high-speed digital imaging systems used in domains including defense, automotive, engineering, scientific and medical research, industrial and commercial, sports and entertainment, and digital broadcast and cinematography.

The Wayne, N.J.-based company prides itself on the sensitivity, high-resolution and quality of images produced by its systems, robust yet easy-to-use software interfaces, and reliability and versatility of its camera family -- that continues to be the benchmark for all other high-speed digital camera manufacturers.

Vision Research cameras add a new dimension to the sense of sight, allowing the user to see details of an event when it's too fast to see, and too important not to™. More information on Vision Research can be found at

Vision Research is a unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annualized sales of more than $2.5 billion.

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