When your slow-motion needs to be slower than slow, the Phantom TMX 5010 should be your port of call. Just announced, this specialist slow-mo camera can capture video at an impressive 1.16 million frames per second.
It’s the latest entry in a series that also includes the TMX 6410 and the TMX 7510, both of which can shoot at even faster frame rates. The TMX 5010 differs, however, in that Vision Research is billing it as “entry-level”. This means a comparatively lower price tag than the other Phantom models – though, as we’ll see, this is something of a relative term.
• Read more: Best slow-motion cameras (opens in new tab)
The Phantom TMX 5010 uses a back-side illuminated sensor, a special high-speed model that allows for the super-high frame rates. At its maximum resolution of 1200 x 800 it can reach a frame rate of 50,725; to get the faster frame rates, including the 1.16 million, the resolution is reduced.
It’s designed for research applications first and foremost. It’s equipped with 512GB of RAM, and is capable of achieving exposures as short as 95 nanoseconds, completely eliminating motion blur. This is done using the dedicated FAST option, wherein the camera can achieve 50Gpx/second throughput. The upshot of this is higher resolution images at faster frame rate, which has many uses in research applications, where getting crystal-clear with nanoseconds of difference can be paramount.
The Phantom TMX 5010 can also be used with some of the best Canon lenses (opens in new tab), and allows for control over aperture and focus via software, though this does require an adapter. There is also a viewfinder port that allows for connection of an external viewfinder or monitor.
While the Phantom TMX 5010 is described as “entry-level”, as we said, this is relative – it’s still going to come with a five-figure price tag (you have to get in touch with the team at Vision Research (opens in new tab) to get a quote). Still, it’s always interesting to see what’s going on at the forefront of camera development technology – it can give a few hints as to what kind of advancements we might expect to appear in consumer cameras a few years down the line.
We’re probably not going to see a million frames per second in the next Canon RF or Sony Alpha camera, but hey – it doesn’t hurt to dream. And in the meantime, maybe some enterprising YouTuber will rent out a Phantom TMX 5010 to give us a closer look at the 1.16-million fps footage…