Cheep High speed video camera

I am a science teacher that needs a "cheep" high speed video camera for a project we do as part of our forces and motion unit.  The students build carts out of paper and straws, then race them down an incline.  I videotape them and then analyze the video and the students determine the speed of their cars. (see video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqI5H8d4r7M).

As you can see from the video, the slow motion video is very blurry.  the frame rate is okay (they are only traveling at 2-4 meters per second, which means about 8-12cm per frame, perfect for the save we are using)., but the initial position and final position is just an estimate due to the blurry car.

Maybe I am not using the right terms, I do not know a lot about film/photography, but i need the individual shots to be clearer.

I currently use a Flip video camera, which is good because it is super easy to download the videos for student anaysis.

What kind of camera will suit my purposes, without spending more than $400?

Thanks,
Covo



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Re-design5 years ago
Covo (author)  Re-design5 years ago
That looks perfect...will try it. I searched for an 'ible about this, but that did not come up. thanks!
rickharris5 years ago
Cheep no Cheap yes.

You don't indicate what you consider is Cheap.

For low cost you would be better off building a light gate and timing the runs.

In fact most science labs in the UK would have light gates and associated timers as part of their standard equipment.
frollard5 years ago
+1 to all the other answers;

Even a low fidelity camera can take great photos/video given:
-proper focus
-enough light to take FAST exposure videography. Add a few halogens and a medeocre film will become a great film


Pick up a camera capable of 480p+/60hz...nice even number for doing math...or find the computer drivers to run the PS3 eye camera (about 20-40 dollars) at 120 hz. At 4.0m/s that gives 3.3 centimeter divisions, and with enough light the blur will be almost nil.
A higher definition camera would help but so would better lighting. Another thing that may help would be setting the camera parallel with the track and at a lightly further distance from the track. If its in too close the image will be blurry.
Covo (author)  mpilchfamily5 years ago
Thanks, I will try these things.
Re-design5 years ago
You need a higher frame rate. That would cut the blur,

You could try making a black line down the side of the cars.  This would serve as a target and will be easier to see.  Kind of a target.