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High-Speed Cameras

A high-speed camera is a device capable of image exposures in excess of 1/1,000 or frame rates in excess of 250 frames per second. It is used for recording fast-moving objects as a photographic image(s) onto a storage medium. After recording, the images stored on the medium can be played back in slow-motion. Early high-speed cameras used film to record the high-speed events, but today high-speed cameras are entirely electronic using either a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a CMOS active pixel sensor, recording typically over 1,000 frames per second onto SSD drives and later playing images back slowly.


The move from film to digital technology has greatly reduced the difficulty in use of these technologies with unpredictable occurrences, specifically via the use of continuous recording and post-triggering. In modern digital high-speed cameras, the camera can simply record continuously as the investigator attempts to elicit the required occurrence, following which a trigger button will stop the recording and allow the engineer to save a given time interval before and after the trigger (determined by frame rate, image size and memory capacity during continuous recording). Most software allows saving a subset of recorded frames, minimizing file size issues by eliminating useless frames before or after the sequence of interest.

Envisage has relationships with a number of major high speed camera manufacturers, because of this we can off the best system for each customers particular requirements.


We also have demo/rental systems for specific short term customer requirements.


Factors to consider when selecting a high speed camera include:

  • Resolution required , consider here the level of detail and if it is necessary to zoom-in on detail in certain areas of the field of view

  • Length of recording – in general, if over thirty seconds storage required then off camera storage will most likely be the best solution. Shorter times can be more easily managed with on camera storage systems.

  • Shutter speed and Frame rate required

  • Mono(Black and White) or Colour image requirement – for the majority of applications Mono is sufficient and best. Colour image systems in general require much higher lighting of the monitored area.

  • Space restrictions for mounting camera

  • Hand held Camera type or clamp/tripod mounted

  • Light sensitivity of the Camera capture chip


Lens choice is another important item to consider – here factors to consider include

  • Distance from lens/Camera to observed area

  • Field of view – this is the dimensions (X & Y) of the area necessary to monitor

  • Fixed lens or Varifocal(adjustable) lens?

  • Depth of view – the range of difference in distances from lens/camera to the observed area that need’s to be in focus

  • Is adjustable aperture required or not ? (the lens opening to the camera capture chip)


Links to represented Companies

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