Things You Should Consider While Buying a High-speed Camera

Things You Should Consider While Buying a High-speed Camera 1

You have always shared a fondness for good high-speed cameras and now, when you can really afford buying one, you have started exploring the Internet and found a number of ventures that profess to be among the world’s top-end providers of high-speed cameras. Now, the question remains, which one to opt for? How would you know, you are investing your money for the right model? This post is going to discuss few important factors you should consider while purchasing a high-speed camera.

Light sensitivity

Well, when it comes to buying a good high-speed camera, light sensitivity is one of the most important considerations.  When it sways your ability to use a short coverage time so that you can efficiently remove motion blur while capturing a very high-speed event, it impacts the quality of your video too.  The fact that sufficient light sensitivity is critical for your images to be perfect and precise increases its importance yet more.  Also, when you are using telescope or microscope lenses, light sensitivity would impact your ability to focus in more than one way.

Bit depth

Now, when it is about the ability to apply image processing to the images to heighten their usability, bit depth has a significant role to play. Also, the quality of the image is directly reliant on this particular feature. The higher the bit depth, the greater the amount of information that is captured by the camera. Most of the high-speed cameras take image data that is either 8-bit, 10-bit or 12-bit.  Images that contain larger bit depths happen to have more information which, in turn, allows the viewer to perceive greater details within the images.  They also provide suppleness and tractability for image processing functions that can be utilized to perk up the poorly illumined areas, making them get brightened for easier exploration.

However, there is a little snag to images with greater bit depths that anyone buying high-speed cameras should be aware of.  12-bit images are larger than 10-bit or 8-bit images, and thus, need more space within the camera.  And, that’s how the camera’s record time get minimized to a significant extent. Then, quite naturally, they take longer time to get transferred from the camera memory to the PC.

Internal memory

Internal memory is again one of the most important things to consider while purchasing a high-speed camera. The size of the internal memory is a vital facet for consideration as a good quality, high-speed camera can generate a huge amount of data within a short span of time.  As for example, a top-end camera can create 128GB of 12-bit image data just within 5 seconds when run at 20,000fps at 1-megapixel resolution.  The pictures captured in high-speed cameras are initially stored in the internal memory and once the recording is done, the data can be offloaded to a more permanent storage.

And to figure out, how much internal memory is required by a camera to record a high-speed event, you need to have an exact idea about the frame rate that the camera will be running at, the resolution that the camera will make a record at, the time duration the event will last and the bit depth of the pictures that are brought to pass. Once you know every bit of the information, determining the amount of internal memory that is needed for the event won’t be a herculean task.

Minimum exposure time

A camera’s minimum exposure time is often a critical factor in choosing a high-speed camera.  Some very fast high-speed events require extremely short exposure times – sometimes even less than 1 microsecond – to stop the motion of those high-speed events.  A camera’s ability to achieve a sub-microsecond exposure is dependent on two things.  First, the camera’s sensor must be capable of performing such a short exposure.  Second, the camera’s sensor must be sensitive enough that when it does utilize a sub-microsecond exposure it can capture enough photons of light during the exposure to be able to generate video that is of sufficient quality for analysis.  A short exposure does no good if the end result is a sequence of images that are so dark that you cannot see what happened within the high-speed event.

Camera size

High-speed cameras tend to come with different sizes and shapes.  And, size of a high-speed camera is an important consideration indeed! The device should always be handy enough to be carried along everywhere.  But, at the same time, you should also understand there are certain drawbacks in buying a smaller size camera.  Small cameras tend to be less sensitive than bigger cameras, small sensors with small pixels are instigated in the applications.  Usually, they also have less memory because they comprise less internal space which, in turn, impacts the overall performance of the camera.

There are some manufacturers who happen to implement a tethered head methodology to camera design where a considerable amount of the chips that are usually found within the camera itself are placed within a separate processor that can back up multiple camera heads, each attached to the processor through a tow.  This advanced approach makes way for extremely small and lightweight camera heads. An additional benefit of this design is that the memory components are perfectly placed in the processor and are safely kept hold of even if a camera head is damaged during an event.

Data offload speed

Well, capturing exclusive videos doesn’t end it all.  Once you are done with it, you need to transfer the same from the internal memory on the camera to a permanent storage.  But then, it’s really important that there is an expedient mechanism to aid this.

The fact that almost all PCs are already configured with Gigabit Ethernet has made most of the camera suppliers choose the same interface for transfer of image data from high-speed cameras.  Here, you need to be aware of the fact that not all Gigabit Ethernet enactments are the same.  As for example, Gigabit Ethernet with TCP/IP protocol are quite incompetent for downloading large video arrangements. This is due to the abundant overhead involved with that protocol.  On the other hand, Gigabit Ethernet with UDP protocol, is pretty effective and can bring about image data transfer speeds of up to 4-5 GB per minute. But, not every camera manufacturer use UDP protocol.  Further, some camera manufacturers come up with two Gigabit Ethernet connectors so that data transfer speeds can be multiplied to a considerable extent.

As a replacement to downloading pictures over a standard network, some cameras have the potential to download images to detachable nonvolatile memory.  Such download approaches can be very beneficial, but when you gauge the overall transfer time needed to get your image data from the internal camera memory to your laptop, you have to consider both the time required to pass on pictures from the camera to the nonvolatile memory and the time needed to transmit images from the nonvolatile memory to your PC.

According to Allied market research, the global market of high-speed camera registered a considerable CAGR from 2018 to 2025. Increasing usage of high-speed camera in sports, growing adoption of high-speed cameras in automotive as well as transportation, and rising demand for thermal imaging applications have fueled the growth. On the other hand, high cost associated with the device has happened to curb the growth to some extent. However, soaring application of high-speed cameras in intelligent transportation system has almost nulled the cause and created multiple opportunities in the segment.

Written by Pratik Gundawar

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