Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Vision Research Phatom captures Super Bowl XLII replays in ultra SloMo
Mounted high above the 50-yard line at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the Phantom V10 high-speed camera from Vision Research provided Super slow-motion replays during Super Bowl XLII. Due to the height and distance from the field, the Phantom V10 was outfitted with a large Canon HD 86X telephoto lens, enhancing the sensitivity and resolution of the camera.
The Vision Research Phantom V10 was used as part of a HD slow-motion replay system developed by sports production company Inertia Unlimited, which has provided similar services for a number of high-profile sports broadcasts. Called the X-MO, the Phantom V10 camera serves as the backbone and provides the high-performance required to record each and every play of fast-action sports.
Fox Sports used four HD replay cameras from Sony at Super Bowl XLII. Each of the four cameras recorded the action on the field at speeds of 180fps during the game. Inertia Unlimited used its system to record “ultra-slow motion.” With the Phantom V10, Inertia Unlimited captured key plays at speeds ranging from 300fps to 500fps. This provided playback that was 1.5 to 3 times slower than that provided by the Sony HDC-3300 3X Super SloMo camera systems.
With a specially designed CMOS sensor, the Vision Research Phantom V10 captures at 480fps in a resolution of 2400 x 1800 active pixels. When used for live HD broadcasts, the Phantom V10’s CAR (Continuously Adjustable Resolution) feature allows Inertia Unlimited to fine-tune and adjust the active image area in 96 x 8 pixel increments. This allows the operator to maximize the field of view by closely matching the shape and dimensions of the test subject in the horizontal and vertical plane. This flexibility enables users to optimize recording speed, exposure, and recording time.
During Super Bowl XLII, the Phantom V10 was set to a 720p resolution, and recorded each play at a speed of approximately 300fps. The footage was then broadcast at a frame rate of 30fps yielding 10X slow motion. The Phantom V10 is also equipped with HD-SDI output, which supports 720p, 1080i and 1080p at 24fps, 25fps, 59.9fps and 60 fps.
To ensure that the slow-motion replays were as seamless as possible, Inertia Unlimited modified the Phantom V10’s color matrix so that its output matched that of the other cameras on the field.
For more information on the Phantom V10, visit