WAYNE, N.J., March 27, 2009 – Vision Research Inc. has unveiled the Phantom v640, a 4-megapixel digital high-speed camera offering 6-gigapixel/s throughput and enhanced light sensitivity.
Targeted at industrial, military, and research and development applications, it operates at greater than 1400 fps at full 2560 × 1600-pixel resolution. At reduced resolution, it operates at a maximum frame rate of 300,000 fps. For normal use, it also can record at rates as low as 10 fps. At 1920 × 1080-pixel resolution, frame rates from 10 to higher than 2700 fps are possible.
The proprietary CMOS imaging sensor has a maximum resolution of 2560 × 1600 and a wide aspect ratio that allows the user to keep a moving target in the frame longer than is possible with traditional square imaging sensors.
Peak quantum efficiency is 60 percent. The company’s microlens technology uses a tiny lens bound to each pixel to direct incoming light into the active areas of the photo site, increasing the efficiency of the sensor.
Available in color or monochrome, the sensor supports 8- and 12-bit pixel depths. The color version is rated at ISO (ISO-12232 SAT) 1000 and the monochrome at ISO 4000.
Proprietary “extreme dynamic range” technology allows users to capture two different exposures within a single frame. The autoexposure function automatically adjusts the camera to adapt to changing lighting conditions.
During use, the response of a 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. To ensure optimal performance, a session-specific black reference, known as a current session reference (CSR), must be performed to calibrate all of the sensor’s pixels that will be used for a given set of camera parameters, setting all pixels to pure black to produce an accurate image.
Previously, the user had to physically access the camera and cover the lens, a time-consuming process. The Phantom v640’s internal mechanical shutter enables a CSR to be completed remotely through a software command. The shutter also benefits applications that require more than one camera, enabling the user to perform a CSR simultaneously for all cameras in use.
The camera is suitable for use in particle image velocimetry applications. It yields a timing resolution of better than 20 ns, 1-µm straddle time, and a frame synchronization signal for easier cabling and increased signal integrity.
It is supplied standard with 8 GB of high-speed dynamic RAM, with the option to upgrade to 16 or 32 GB. The RAM can be divided into 64 segments, allowing users to record multiple shots back-to-back without having to download data from the camera.
Options for viewing recordings immediately include a component video-out port for use with a viewfinder. The camera also features the company’s Versatile Dual HD-SDI, which can be used in four configurations: two identical 4:2:2 outputs, independent 4:2:2 outputs where one is live and one is playback, one dual HD-SDI 4:4:4 output, or 4:4:4 playback while the live image is displayed on the component viewfinder.