How to choose a high speed camera for trouble-shooting

How to choose a high speed camera for trouble-shooting ?

Are you getting ready to purchase a high speed camera but don’t quite know how to choose the correct model? No problem. Lets us try to help you and explain to you what are some of the most important things to consider before you make that purchase.

Frame Rate

Frames per second or fps, is the simple term used when describing how many video frames the high speed camera captures per each second of video. 1000 fps means the camera captured 1000 individual frames each and every single second of the recorded video. The higher the frame rate, the smoother and more detailed the video will be.
High Speed Video Recorded at 2000 FPS

High Speed Video Recorded at 850 FPS


Higher resolutions are important when the field of view of the camera is large, or when a very small spatial resolution is required because there are a lot of fine details in the high-speed event that need to be studied. It is important to understand that the higher the resolution of the camera, the lower the maximum frame rate will be. With a 4 megapixel camera you have 4x more pixels to process than with a 1 megapixel camera. Therefore, you will not be able to achieve the same frame rates with a higher resolution camera as with a lower resolution camera. Every high speed camera has a limit on the amount of picture data it can process and store each second.

Low resolution photo

High resolution photo

Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity impacts your ability to use a short exposure time so that you can effectively eliminate motion blur when capturing a very high-speed event. Light sensitivity impacts the quality of your video because without sufficient light sensitivity your images will be dark and you will not be able to analyze the event in clear detail.

Analysis Software

Analysis software allows the high-speed camera to be controlled by the control computer to analyze images using distance, angle and speed measurements and output the data as reports. No one can take care or analyze high speed image data without professional analysis software. The Analysis software also allows you to precisely set the control parameters of the camera to successfully capture the high speed event. Frame rates, exposure times, trigger modes, data transfer paths and lens control all need to be controlled by the Analysis software.


Flexibility to choose the correct camera platform for your application.
Hand held portable cameras offer the flexibility and freedom to roam around from production line to production line problem solving as you go or they can offer the convenience of recording high speed image data at remote locations out in the field. Hand held portable cameras have removable solid state drives (SSD) and built in LED work lights for the most convenient workflow available. Hand held portable cameras also have the ability to stream longer record lengths to their SSD but at a reduce capture rate based on the capacity and write speed of the SSD.
PC connected cameras offer the flexibility to have the fastest frame rates and largest memory capacities available. They are perfectly suited for stationary applications where a PC is available to control the camera. They have the ability to quickly download the high speed image data to the control PC for review and analysis. PC connected cameras are also great for the use with high speed digital video recorders ( DVR’s). DVR’s are used for saving high speed video files for hours or days where as PC connected cameras usually have a limit of only a few seconds to a few minutes of high speed video storage. PC connected cameras typically can save at higher rates compared to a high speed DVR.

Hand Held Portables

PC Connected

Support and customer service

Technical support and customer service is very important. Having world wide technical support available to you when you need it provides you with peace of mind for your high speed camera purchase.

Contact us for more information and help
Contact Us Now
Read More

High Speed Video Explained

High Speed Video Explained

Standard Speed Video Compared To High Speed Video

In today’s fast paced testing & manufacturing environment with increasingly faster and faster design cycles, diagnostics becomes increasingly difficult to do resulting in material waste and higher labour costs. The unaided human eye does not stand much of a chance visualizing what part of the process is causing all the problems. The use of a high speed camera during set up, maintenance or research design will reduce downtime and greatly improve efficiency, product quality and profitability in any process that involves drop tests, design verification, prototype testing, vibration analysis or quality control.

Why use high speed video?

Standard 30 fps (frames per second) video can only provide a few images of a rapidly occurring event. The images are too few and always blurry due to the fact that the camera’s shutter speed can not be precisely controlled to eliminate high speed blur. We can all relate to how fast an air bag inflates. Most of the event is missed with a normal camera or the unaided human eye.

Air Bag Sequence Recorded With Standard Video

Frame 1 taken at a 30 fps equivalent frame rate
Frame 2 taken at a 30 fps equivalent frame rate

Air Bag Sequence Recorded With High Speed Video

Frame 1 at High Speed Camera
Frame 5 at High Speed Camera
Frame 10 at High Speed Camera
Frame 15 at High Speed Camera
Frame 20 at High Speed Camera
Frame 30 at High Speed Camera
The above high speed video will provide you with 50 to 100 times more images of the same event so that you can clearly see what the problem is during your research and development.

High Speed cameras can generally be manufactured in one of the following two ways:

  1. Capture high frame rates, usually between 250 – 5000 fps for shorter durations of time from 10 to 120 seconds. These types of cameras have internal SDRAM and the user downloads the video after the event is recorded.

  2. Capture lower frame rates, usually between 120 and 1000 fps for longer durations lasting several hours. These types of cameras have no Internal SDRAM. They stream the live video to the DVR PC’s hard drive.
With most high speed cameras, there will always be a trade off between frames per second, resolution and record time.

High Speed Camera Options

PC Connected

PC Connected cameras have internal SDRAM for fast file saving. They send back a live preview to the PC at 30 fps while the high speed video is saved in the camera’s internal SDRAM in a circular buffer to be downloaded later. These cameras require a Gigabit Ethernet connection to a PC for control and download. They can be a bit lower cost than an equivalent “Hand Held” camera but are not as portable and must be connected to a PC with a Gigabit Ethernet connection.

Hand Held Portables

Hand Held Portable Cameras are completely portable and do not require a Gigabit Ethernet connection to a PC to be operated. They have internal SDRAM for fast saving, built in Solid State Drives for file storage and offer a live preview screen. They also have a large touch screen display and also have built in high power work lights to prevent image blur during low exposure setting. As an added feature hand held cameras can also be connected to and controlled by a PC with a Gigabit Ethernet connection in the same way as the above PC connected cameras.

PC Connected DVRs

DVR Cameras have no SDRAM inside. These cameras stream video data back to a DVR PC in real time. These cameras are similar in function to our other high speed cameras except that they are designed to record high speed video for hours or days at a time. These types of cameras / DVR’s are used on your production line or at your testing station to record problems when you are not there. They will record and save every minute detail, allowing you to quickly look back in time to diagnose the problem. You may also tie this system into your control logic to automatically record and save files of special interest. These types of cameras are used to record infrequent production problems or to archive your entire process over an extended period of time.

High Speed Applications

To Explore More High Speed Camera Applications
Click to Explore
Read More