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

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