Gavin Free of the Slow Mo Guys is no stranger to Phantom cameras. In his time producing slow motion videos, he’s used pretty much all of the ones they make at some point. In this new video for their “Behind the Scenes” channel, Gavin takes a trip to Vision Research in New Jersey to see how they’re made.
Having donned his anti-static lab coat, Gavin, along with the rest of us, are taken on a tour of the production line. Starting with the bare circuit boards and resulting with a fully finished Phantom v1612, capable of capturing a million frames per second. We also see them testing out one of their new Phantom VEO 640 cameras with water droplets.
All Phantom cameras start off as a series of unpopulated circuit boards. From there, a solder mask is applied, followed by components using pick-and-place machines. It’s pretty standard procedure for electronic devices, with tiny components far to delicate to solder by hand. The board is then photographed by a high resolution camera, and a computer inspects the images to ensure proper placement.
Once boards come off the pick & place machine and pass inspection, they are sent into a reflow oven. These are well controlled, and temperature profiled so as to ensure high enough heat to work with the solder, but not too high as to damage components. Large and small components require different temperatures, and these profiles allow them to subject different parts of the board to different temperatures.
When they come out of the other end, the board goes in again upside down to solder the components on the other side. Larger components that are too big for automated placement and soldering are soldered by hand.
Sensors and other critical components are checked for defects before being put into the assembly line.
After the cameras are assembled, they’re temperature tested. All Phantom cameras are rated to operate within a certain temperature range. So, each camera gets a full test at those temperatures in the factory. During the temperature tests, the image quality of the cameras is monitored throughout, to look for problems.
Finally, the screws and bolts are hand checked ensuring a good fit. You don’t want it falling apart once it gets in your hands.
It’s always fun seeing how things come together from their constituent parts and end in their final form. Especially so when it’s something as unusual as this. It seems, too, that even Phantom are fans of vertical video.
Do you shoot slow motion footage? With a Phantom or something else? Let us know what you use and your thoughts in the comments.
[via Slow Mo Guys]