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.

18 thoughts on “Faking high-speed video photography of repetitive events

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. @Zee
    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. ;)

  8. 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.

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