Phantom v2511

The world has learned a great deal from slow motion cameras. From the ability to break down an athlete’s movement step by step so that she can learn how to do it better to the capacity to see the movement of butterflies wings in perfect slow motion, high frame rate cameras slow things down so that the intricacies of movement can be analyzed and understood. These ultrahigh-speed cameras allow for forms of visual research in a range of fields, from industrial development to blue sky scientific research and ecological understanding.

In fact, choice of camera can make all the difference to the outcome. For example, Vision Research’s Phantom V1210 was the high frame rate camera of choice for the Department of Physics and Space Sciences at Florida Tech because the camera, which captures images at 12,600 frames per second, met the team’s requirements in terms of resolution, speed and light-sensitivity. The camera was used to images of the lightning flashes from May’s thunderstorms near Melbourne. The study examines the “dynamics and energetics of the upward electrical discharges from thunderstorms”, according to the Florida Institute of Technology.

In such research studies it is vital that the camera offers the correct specs. For example, shutter speeds are important because the longer the shutter remains open, the more light is allowed onto the film. Most cameras have shutter speeds of between a second and 1/100th of a second, but of course slow motion cameras are different. High-speed photography can have shutter speeds of as much as 1/8000th of a second, in comparison to the 1/125th of a second that is used in regular photography in sunlight. Interestingly there are even ultra high speed cameras that can exceed shutter speeds of 100,000 frames per second. These are typical of laboratory research projects; some can even reach more than 1 million frames/sec, depending on the optical system used.

High speed cameras can offer both still photography or video, depending on the type of camera and the uses. Some are able to work in low light conditions. They are used in nature photography to capture animals and processes in motion, in physics and other scientific laboratories, by sports coaches and physicians to examine the movement of athletes, and in a variety of other fields.