Super speedy video camera

February 7, 2018 | 13:52
Super speedy video camera
Super speedy video camera
Vision Research has added the Phantom v2640 model to its range of products. This is probably the world's fastest video camera, able to record up to 11,750 fps in color and HD or 25,030 fps in monochrome with a maximum resolution of 2,048 x 1,952 pixels.
 

At maximum resolution, it can ‘only’ achieve 6,600 images per second but this is enough to provide smooth x100 slow motion replay. HD (1080p) mode offers reduced resolution but achieves an impressive 11,750 fps. Things get really serious in monochrome ‘binning’ mode where up to 25,030 fps are possible. Compared to the standard 24 fps that works out at more than a thousand times slow motion!

Apart from some obvious novelty applications (check out the video) what could use could you put this camera to? Apart from scientific applications and materials research, the capabilities of the camera would make it useful for recording low frequency sound events in high resolution. It could be a useful tool to study movement of a bass speaker or sub woofer cone to determine membrane stability and surface resonances. It would not be quite fast enough to do the same job for tweeters operating at the upper limits of audibility.
A special ‘strip mode’ however, switches the camera to 303,460 fps, providing images with a 1792 x 8 pixel format and this would be enough to record tweeter membrane movement but only along a thin slice of the action.
 

A water-filled  balloon bursts. Video: Vision Research.
 
Technically the camera is quite impressive; a pixel rate of up to 26 Gpx/s suggest some fairly extreme high-speed electronics, resulting in a data rate extending way in the GB/s range. As a consequence, the camera requires a massive internal frame buffer to record footage of more than just a few milliseconds. For this purpose alone, there is up to 288 GB of RAM installed, enough to capture at least 7.8 s. There is also a 10 Gb/s fast Ethernet interface and other alternative data transmission connections. Battery operation is convenient but not necessarily too practical because the camera draws 280 W. Before you ask… they haven’t released pricing information yet.
 
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