Faking high-speed video photography of repetitive events

[Destin] has been doing some high-speed and high-resolution video photography using a standard DSLR. He accomplishes this using a bit of ingenuity to capture images of repetitive events at slightly different points in time.

The banner image above shows a bullet travelling through a set of matchsticks. [Destin] uses the sound of the gun firing to trigger the flash that captures the image. A piezeo transducer picks up the sound, triggering a precision pulse generator. That pulse generator then triggers the flash, adding a delay based on the settings. In this way, [Destin] can capture video by firing a bullet for each frame, but adjusting the delay period of the pulse generator to capture the image when the bullet is in a slightly different place from the previous frame. It’s an old technique, but after some post-processing it produces a high-quality output without sinking thousands of dollars into an actual high-speed camera. Check out the video we’ve embedded after the break.

We like this guy’s style. We saw him strapping a camera onto a chicken back in December and we hope to see a lot more from him in the future.


  1. moo says:

    pretty neat

  2. zuul says:

    hey no bible verse, cool

  3. Zee says:

    I don’t know why but this guy gives me a wierd vibe sort of like the Jehova witnesses that come by to preach the name of the Lord.

  4. Techartisan says:

    “It’s an old technique, but after some post-processing it produces a high-quality output without sinking thousands of dollars into an actual high-speed camera.”
    Two words……
    Casio Exilim


    Im pretty sure the ex-f1 is the only one going over $1k

  5. Destin says:

    Sorry Zee… I just like to do science experiments. It’s the haircut, isn’t it?

  6. zing says:


  7. Reggie says:

    the resulting video just looks wrong, having his face pulling random shapes in the background really doesn’t add to the illusion.

  8. TomF says:

    “Faking” sounds so negative. Wouldn’t that be called subsampling in information theory?…

  9. Eric says:

    I’ve done the same thing with a high speed water droplet setup. I just uploaded the ‘raw’ results. If I remove some of the sloppy frames and re-arrange some of the frames near the end I think I can get it to look really nice.

  10. Eric says:

    Note: Each of the above photos was shot on a Canon 5d mkII at 21MP. Lets see your high speed camera do that ;)

  11. Munden says:

    Techartisan, Look at what you linked… All of those cameras that can record in “high-speed” trade off resolution for speed.

    Take a look at their product manuals…

    210 fps 480 X 360
    420 fps 224 x 168
    1000 fps 224 x 64

  12. MyYz400 says:

    We’ve been doing the same thing for years. Our company uses a single frame PiMax camera (~$40k/ea) at roughly 50nS shutter lengths @1024×1024. We do 250nS delay increases between frames allowing us to do 80+ frame events at ~10FPS lasting the 20uS time span of our experiment. Not new, but nice to see it done with a “low” cost solution.

  13. clide says:

    The Casio Exilim line is great, but there is no way you are catching a decent shot of a bullet with one.

    Here are a few examples

  14. andar_b says:

    I think the reason you get that odd vibe is that he rehearsed his presentation (or has cue cards) but he’s not good at making it sound natural. It sounds like he’s giving a speech.

    And at least you open the door. ;)

  15. Keith says:

    Nice use of a cool toy!

    For those curious, that is a $3500 toy. The cheap version (2 channel) is $2500. Wish they would “give” one to me too.

  16. Zee says:

    @Destin: Yes it might be the haircut. Your experiments are awesome nonetheless.

  17. Andrew says:

    Same technique I used to capture this video of a water droplet.

  18. Wolf says:

    Very cool.

    I feel like guns are underused by the hacker community.

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