What are high speed cameras?

Have you ever seen a video in which the destruction of an object took place in slow motion? Or maybe the one in which the hummingbird’s flight was shown, in which the movement of its wings was visible, or in which one could observe the projectile fired from a gun. It is impossible for the human eye to observe such rapid changes. Fortunately, we live in a time when technology allows us to break out of the limitations of the human body and perceive reality in a completely new way. This is what Megaspeed speed cameras are all about. They represent the category of high-speed cameras and can record up to 512,000 frames per second (i.e. one frame for less than 2 microseconds!) With a minimum resolution, which allows you to register even the fastest changes. However, in a few cases such a slow image is needed, resolution is definitely more important. For this, Megaspeed cameras offer as standard cameras with lower speeds, but reaching resolutions of 1280 x 1024 and even 1920 x 1080. Mega Speed ​​offers three series of cameras that meet all the needs of the market for high-speed cameras.

But how does it work?

The high speed camera it works almost identically to its slower brothers. They use CMOS technology which, unlike CCD sensors where every single pixel of the matrix sends a signal to the receiver, CMOS sensors contain amplifiers and analog-to-analog converters (DACs) in the sensor chip.

cmos matrice
CMOS matrices are the dominant type in high-speed cameras.

As a result, the speed of image acquisition is significantly increased and the image is easier to process. Most high-speed cameras are equipped with a matrix with quite large pixel sizes, which, with an extremely short exposure time, allows you to capture more light. This also ensures greater sensitivity of the sensor and makes the cameras maintain high image quality even at a huge number of frames per second. So you can wonder, since their matrices are similar to those of slower cameras, what distinguishes them from them? The amount of data that must be handled by the camera is proportional to the number of frames and resolution, so high-speed cameras must have much faster systems for data management and transmission. MegaSpeed ​​cameras also need to be much more sensitive at very short exposure times, and so often these cameras need an external illuminator. But the biggest difference is the shutter speed. Frames per second refers to the number of frames captured per second, and shutter speed determines how long each frame is exposed. So without a sufficiently fast shutter speed it is not possible to achieve a large number of discernable frames.

High-speed Hand Held Portables cameras

High-speed cameras find many uses in difficult conditions or in places with difficult access. When observing animals in the Amazon rainforest in slow motion or testing explosives, the last thing you need is bulky and heavy equipment. Megaspeed cameras from the Hand Held Portables series meet such needs. It is a series of portable cameras with a rugged design offering quality up to 1920 x 1080 and even up to 512,000 frames per second with minimum quality. These cameras are equipped with SDRAM for fast writing and SSD disk up to 2TB, so they do not require connection to a computer. Some of the models are also equipped with built-in lighting, which makes it easier to take well-lit shots. They are also equipped with a huge touch screen that allows you to observe the recorded image at a normal pace. It is also possible to control the camera from a computer via the GigE interface. All this makes these cameras perfect both in the field in the production hall and in the laboratory.

PC Connected high-speed cameras

Rapid industrial processes or research often require controls that the human eye cannot provide. The PC Connected series of cameras was created for them. Although they must be constantly connected to the computer via the GigE interface, their capabilities and competitive price make them a great solution for applications requiring slow motion shots in controlled conditions such as a laboratory or an industrial line. They offer a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 (4K!) And up to 380,000 frames per second. Like their portable brothers, they are equipped with SDRAM memories for fast writing and can be extended with external SSDs for image storage. To facilitate control, each camera in the series sends a 30-frame image to the computer. Cameras from this series, thanks to their compact size and convenient shape, will be an excellent choice for integration with existing systems.

PC Connected DVRs

Sometimes, however, in the industry, it is required to observe not only a short moment in the production process that we would like to slow down, and sometimes it is not known when this moment will occur. In such situations, the solution is to continuously read the image from the camera and save it to the server. The PC Connected DVRs series cameras are perfect for such applications. Unlike the previous series, the cameras are not equipped with internal SDRAM memory and are used for continuous real-time image transmission. For fully automated lines it is an excellent way to diagnose potential failures, damage or errors. Thanks to the ability to play every second of the recording in a resolution of up to 1280 x 720 in up to 1110 frames or in a resolution of 640 x 480 to 3000 frames per second, it allows for an excellent analysis of any irregularities.

Typical Applications

The demand for high-speed cameras is constantly increasing. Increasingly faster production processes and more in-depth research of reality require faster and more accurate cameras. In space and biology research, they allow for precise observation on a micro and macro scale. In production and the semiconductor industry, they allow process control and error detection. When testing materials and the automotive industry, it allows to accurately determine the quality of the product and the level of its safety. Of course, these are just examples from the wide field of applications of Mega Speed ​​cameras, but they perfectly show that our world is constantly accelerating and I need cameras that are able to keep up with it.