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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Casio's High-Speed Camera - NYTimes.com

NYTimes.com - David Pogue discusses Casio's new high-speed camera, which takes as many as 60 images per second.

ED: Off the LG15 track, this item falls in the more general 'tools of the trade' category for producing online content.

As anyone who has used a digital camera knows, it's hard to get the shot you want because there is usually a noticable delay between when you press the button, and when the camera takes the picture. Even in older non-digital cameras which trigger faster, it has always been hard to capture an exact moment in a moving scene because of the limited reaction speed of the photographer. The solution to this for high speed sports photography or super slow motion stop-action photography (i.e. like the bullet through the apple in the video) has been very expensive cameras or arrays of cameras with precisely timed triggers and fast shutter speeds, that take multiple shots per second.

In the 1870's, Eadweard Muybridge used multiple cameras to create stop-action images of a galloping horse, proving that all four hooves leave the ground simultaneously. The cameras were triggered by the horse running through strings across it's path. The shutter speed of Muybridge's cameras was about 1/2000 of a second which matches top end of the automatic shutter speed on the Casio EX-F1 (but the manual shutter speed for the Casio is as fast as 1/40000 of a second).

The $1000 Casio EX-F1 consumer high speed digital camera not only shoots 60 frames of 6 megapixel still images as quickly as 60 frames per second (fps), it also can capture high definition or high speed video (from 1920 × 1080 pixel HD video at 60 fps down to 336 × 96 pixel super-slow motion video at 1200 fps), has a mode where it captures what happened shortly *before* you press the shutter trigger (i.e. it is constantly sampling the scene, so by pressing the button, you are just telling it to save what was recently sampled), and can trigger "burst shooting" on its own automatically when it detects motion.

Notably, the memory size, recording capacity, and battery life are listed as "to be advised" on the EXILIM Pro EX-F1 Specifications page. But it stores 60 still images in "burst shooting" mode (1 fps up to 60 fps). Also interesting, it has a recording mode called "YouTube™ Capture Mode" and a jack for an external microphone, so clearly the designers of this camera have the internet and video in mind.

Cool toy. It will be interesting to see what kinds of content appears online as cameras with these kinds of features become more common and affordable.


  1. Nice find Q... if I had the money, I'd buy it, it looks very nice :)

  2. Looks nice. I am sure Jonas can afford one:)

  3. I wonder why B&H cannot sell it online. Kinda weird.

  4. I'm just guessing ... it may have some embedded technology that has distribution restrictions requiring an in-person buyer or limiting shipping? (encryption algorithms or processors perhaps).

  5. Ah, this may give a hint as to the reason...

    On the B&H site, the "Fujifilm IS-1 Digital Camera with Infra-Red Capability " cannot be sold online and has a link to a "EULA" (End User License Agreement) that must be signed at the time at purchase... it's a statement that the camera with infra-red or ultraviolet capability will be used for "legitimate purposes."

    Maybe the Casio has a similar mode, or it's trigger on motion detection requires an EULA.

    It's a spy camera! ;)


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