Preparation is key in high-speed imaging. Understanding what you want to image, the environment it will take place in, and whether or not you will have access to basic requirements like electricity before you begin attempting to record will make your shot a success.
For a more in-depth understanding of the factors that go into planning a successful workflow in high-speed imaging download our free whitepaper, “Optimizing Workflow for High-Speed Imaging Applications.”
Why High-Speed Camera Needs Consideration
The first consideration is the quantity of data that you will need to process to get your shot. Higher frame rates or higher resolutions larger file sizes. Will on-camera memory options be used or will a computer be directly connected for download capabilities? Raw image data (CineFiles) are the most efficient and the best format for measurements in scientific applications but again they require large amounts of data.
Moving large amounts of data out of the RAM and onto a secure location between shots is critical. An example of this is, a 2-second video of 1 Mpx imaging at 10,000 fps equals a 30 GB raw file. The data management options are:
- Save to software via Gb Ethernet – 15+ minutes
- Use a 10 Gb Ethernet transfer = 2 minutes
- Use an on-camera CineMag = under 1 minute
- Use the Multi-Cine option on cameras with large RAM instantly = 0 downtime and review before downloading
Each option has advantages and disadvantages that a trained Phantom expert can explain to you in detail if you like.
Physical environments become a factor in determining which type of connections and options will be available during operation. Many indoor laboratories and test environments rely on software and a physical Ethernet connection to operate the camera and transfer data. This is a straight-forward option with simple connections and interface that make using a Phantom camera very easy.
Outdoor and remote environments the camera should be able to operate on its own without a software connection for optimal success. Choosing cameras that have on-camera or remote controls, that run on battery power, and use removable non-volatile media (like CFast or CineMag) for downloading and safely storing video.
Record Time Limitations
How long do you want to record? Consideration must be taken to factor in record time of not just the event itself but the amount of time before and after the event also. The higher the amount of RAM on a Phantom camera the more seconds of top fps speed the camera is capable of capturing.
Some applications may require several minutes of recording at lower frame rates to capture and entire event. Recording direct-to-CineMag is one way to achieve this. If even more record time is required it may be beneficial to consider a streaming camera. These cameras, through CXP protocol, capture to an off-board recorder and are limited only by the memory capacity of the system they are attached to.