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Cheap High-speed Camera

Yes, I know, It's an oxymoron. I've always wanted a high-speed camera, but they are way too expensive. I was wondering if any of you fellow Instructablers have a high-speed camera that you've lost interest in, and are willing to sell for a low price.

Alternatively, if any of you know how to make a cheap, high quality, high-speed camera, could you post an Instructable?



Edit: I bought a Casio EX-F1 a while ago, and even made an iBle about it. I also have a bunch of videos here.

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BenH1613 months ago

Unfortunately, Casio no longer sells their high speed consumer digital cameras in the USA.

GoPro seems to be the best consumer-level camera for this now (and it far outperforms any of those Casio consumer-level digital cameras that have high-speed video recording). The most recent model, GoPro Hero 4 Black, can do 720p (that is 1280x720 pixel dimensions) at 240fps! That's getting close to the capabilities of low-end professional scientific highspeed cameras. And the price is only $499.99. WOW!

If you want to go a bit farther, check out the FPS1000 at kickstarter. The best model is the PlatinumDouble, and it is VERY CLOSE to the capabilities of the cheapest professional scientific highspeed cameras (which at the cheapest cost around $10000), even exceeding them for some combinations of frame-rate versus image-size. But this device only costs $1778.78!

AnsoGroup7 months ago

Eken H9 - 720p at 120fps then use Corel Video Studio or similar software to slow down video. I have tried and results are not so bad.

So I am wondering, WHY high speed cameras are so expensive. Unlike thermal imaging cameras which require special optics and sensors for the longwave-IR wavelengths, high speed cameras are simply ORDINARY VISIBLE LIGHT video cameras, that just have the CCD (or CMOS) sensor's readout-clock speed set very high. As such, it would seem that the difference between a highspeed video camera, and a consumer camcorder is quite trivial, and does NOT DESERVE such an EXORBITANTLY INCREASED PRICE! The price for parts and labor for manufacturing dedicated highspeed cameras is no more or less than the price for parts and labor for manufacturing your average Sony camcorder. In fact it should be cheaper, as there is no need for extra circuits for processing and saving audio, as highspeed cams have no audio capability.

I would even venture to say that it should be a fairly simple mod to turn a camcorder into a highspeed video camera, by simply finding the clock oscillator crystal, and then replacing it with one that's 10x the frequency of the original (replacing for example a 2MHz clock oscillator crystal with a 20MHz clock oscillator crystal), and the result will be a camcorder that films at 300fps instead of 30fps, but since the video file's header would still say 30fps, it would play back 10x slower than real-time.

Why has nobody done this yet? Why aren't there any tutorials out on the net yet for how to hack your camcorder to implement this mod? It's quite simple if you think about it. Why's nobody tried this yet?

It is not just the frame-rate you see. If you have ever used a DSLR to capture a picture at a reasonable speed (>100 fps) You would notice that the pictures appear too dark. This is because a very short exposure on the sensor causes very little light. I have a 16,000 fps camera, and without a xenon flash, all I get is black.

Further storing tens of thousands of frames every second is no easy task, it would take a really fast memory to do that.

104 cameras listed under slow motion @ snapsort.com
Casio make a string of 1000 fps and 480 fps cameras.
Nikon 1 series shoot @ 1200 fps, have a slightly larger sensor and interchangeable lenses.
Canon Powershot SX40 HS shoots @ 240 fps.
Fuji X10 shoots @ 200 fps.
wii5524 years ago
Cheap high speed camera used to be an oxymoron, but ever since Casio came out with those cameras, it's not...
ahightower5 years ago
I think in the film "The Matrix" they used multiple cameras and post-processing to convert stills into moving slow motion. I imagine that type of external trigger setup might actually be less expensive if you want to get lots of slow motion detail of a really fast single event from multiple perspectives.
Don Walker5 years ago
i bought Casio Exilim zr100, it makes 240 fps, 480 fps and 1000. Sure in reduced quality, But its still amazing, focus in 480 fps is fixed by first shot and you can't capture more than aproximatelly 1 minute, because of memory. Anyway its great and cheap solution. Check video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7y2R4WMjX0

here is very good showed what happens when memory start to be full
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BIi-bSFM1Q
bfrancis5 years ago
I bought a Toshiba Camileo H30. It's a basic flash 1080p camcorder, but it can do 120 frames / sec at 320 x 240. It ran about $130 at Tiger Direct. The video looks pretty good and it will capture as much as you have memory. This is a link to video of a model rocket (slow motion starts around :34) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UdzPjJ6BGE While this is off track, it also does time lapse in HD. You can set it to take a picture every 1, 2, 5 seconds. This is a link to three days of a blizzard in about two minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mM-Y748sj4
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