My friends at Rule Boston Camera hooked me up with a Phantom Flex for a job and I had an extra day to play with this amazing high speed camera.

I asked on my Twitter feed if any of my follows were interested in a techy video blog that showed off the different resolutions and frame rates on the Phantom Flex. Many people posted positive replies, so I called my buddy Jesse.

Jesse is a member at a Massachusetts outdoor gun range, the perfect place to test fire guns in daylight conditions for light-hungry high speed.

He brought a handgun I was particulary fond of, the 9mm Ruger SR9c. But when I say “fond of…” I meant fond of the explosion and resulting “fire rings” that came out of the barrel. And that muzzle flash could only be appreciated when captured in high speed. The shapes and formations were invisible to the human eye.

I brought a few Glocks in different calibers, 9mm .40 and .45, and we shot them off. We got some interesting explosions out the end of the barrels, but nothing like the rings that formed at the end of the SR9c.

After our initial testing of all the handguns with different sized cartridges, the Ruger SR9c was my favorite. I did like the evil-face muzzle blast that popped out of the .45 caliber Glock 36.

Some of the pictures on this page are frame grabs from the Phantom Flex showing off what I call “Muzzle Art”.

The video blog above was shot with no lights. It would have been nice to have a few flicker free HMIs.

In most cases during our test, in order to capture a bullet leaving the barrel of the gun, we had to be out on the open range. The Phantom was not doing well under the shade of the small roof that was over our heads. You will see in some of the 10,000 frame per second shots, the footage is grainy. I had to work on it in post because it was so dark in the Phantom Flex viewfinder and resulting file. The Zeiss CP2 85mm f2.1 was really struggling near the end of the day to allow us to get usable stuff at super high speed.


The key to picking frame rates when it comes to capturing very fast objects, is you hit the sweet spot when you can run the shutter wide open and not have any motion blur in the object. This video blog tries to explain that.

And if you have read this far and watched the video, I will give you a bit of info on Jesse and guns. He is good, in fact better than me at hitting the mark. BUT… as shown in the video, he is not THAT good of a shot with a handgun. Most of the target work was done with a 9mm rifle with a fine tuned scope on it. But I tailored the edit to make him look like a hand-cannon sniper!

Post any questions below.