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Anyone Have Experience With High Framerate Cameras?

We have an industrial customer that is trying to debug problems with their machinery. Any advice for the least expensive high speed camera out there? We do not expect it to attach to any VMS.

Hi Bob, what do you consider high frame rate? 60? 120? 1000?

For commercial IP cameras there are quite a few at 60 now but not many over that.

Anything over 300fps.

I am pretty sure you will need machine vision cameras then. I don't have expertise there but hopefully someone has experience to share.

Most stuff over 300fps you start getting into RED Epic which is not cheap in any way. Is there a reason why it has to be over 300fps?

A fast spinning wheel has plastic flanges that are breaking off.

might be cheaper to rent a high FPS camera for a day then it is to buy one. Have you tried anything lower? 200fps/120?

We have used Cognex for some specialized projects, but they're not cheap. Cameras like this are taking lots of pictures but not stringing them together into a video like a CCTV system. They have a piece of software for analyzing each photo with the parameters you define. Much like a camera/VMS with boundries on an area of a camera's view, except one single picture at a time. For the installations we've done, it's not looking at differences from one picture to the next. It is just checking that each picture's content is within the boundries you defined.

Simple Example: The wheel is round. You use the software to draw a round area for where the wheel should be. As soon as the wheel starts failing or becoming less round, this should show in each picture. The system can be setup to alarm when this happens and save/email/display the frames when it is occuring.

The paramaters can get much more complex than that. Keeping in mind, the more stringent the parameters the more false positives that may occur. We've been able to catch very fine details on very fast moving materials, but if something like water, a fly, etc. comes into the frames it will cause quite a lot of errors.

Basler also has many good products. You will need a machine vision camera...if you search on that you will find many more than you can count. Pick a name like Basler that you may have heard of ( like Basler) unless someone else in the discussion ( like Kevin above) has a good reccomendation.

So far all I had found is a 2,000fps, 1280 x 1024, camera from Photron @ $22,500! Records to SD card only. They will rent it for $800/day.

But now I just found out that the imager used for the Mythbuster high speed shots are the fx K3 and fx K4 made by NAC Image Technology (Japan). It does use std nikon f-mount lenses. They use it at the 1280x720 resolution. It has full resolution @1280x1024. They normally shoot at around 500-1000 frames per second.

The starter kit for this camera is $12,000. It includes a laptop controller, lens, tripod, etc. The intereting part is that you get 12 seconds of buffered 250fps recording at VGA quality; the laptop controls whether the start time is measured from the beginning, middle, or end of an event. In our case, someone would hit a button when the flywheel breaks; if it happens within 12 seconds, we'll catch the shot.

So I think this is the answer -- thanks for your help. If you want more info, go to:

nac HotShot e64 Cameras ยป nac High Speed Camera Systems


Only $5,495 for 700fps!

Thanks for sharing. Looks interesting. Here's their promo video:

Btw, this was a Kickstarter project funded in 2013.

How about a non-commercial approach?

Build Your Own High Speed Camera