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Cheap High Speed Video Recording for Analysis in Physics Experiments

Picture of Cheap High Speed Video Recording for Analysis in Physics Experiments
Video analysis has become a great tool for physics experiments from the classroom to space exploration.

Last year I was making a research experiment and the big problem was to figure out how to record high speed video for cheap.

The solution came from the video game industry: the PS3 eye camera. A device capable to record up to 125 frames per second and still available for less than 50 bucks. Bingo!

Lets get started! this is what you need:

* PS3 eye Camera.
* A really fast computer with a big had drive (high speed recording generates huge files)
* Open source video analysis software
* Drivers downloaded from Code Laboratories (free download)
 
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Step 1: Camera set-up

Download and install the drivers from Code Laboratories.

To enable the "Advanced Mode" just download the attached file called "cleye.config" and simply place this file in the same directory where your executable file resides. (CL-Eye Test.exe)

The path usually is c:\program files\Code Laboratories\

This will allow you to record in different formats like:

Resolution.  FPS (frames per second)
320x240       15, 30, 60, 75, 100, 125
640x480       15, 30, 40, 60, 75


cleye.config108 bytes

Step 2: Make better videos

Picture of Make better videos
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The PS3 camera has a lot of  advantages like great light sensitivity, a two position optical zoom, USB bus, free drivers for PC and low cost.

A very important piece of advice is to place the camera on a tripod, in order to do that you have to cut the camera base or stand to fit your own tripod.

Remove the camera holder from the tripod and cut the PS3 camera base to match that holder, a simple and effective solution!
ChrisT231 month ago

As mentioned, CL Eye Test requires v.fast processor and disk as it captures the images and tries to write them in a single thread. In addition, Code Laboratories driver is no longer free.

I have written a PC app for the PS Eye camera that is fully multi-threaded and so can capture from the PS Eye without dropping frames even on a standard spec PC. Try it at http://www.heath-studios.com/slowmotion

ancienthart3 years ago
Whoo hoo. Tracker for the win.
For other readers, just a bit about this software - can analyze moving points, rotation, and can even read spectra from still images.