Ho. Li. Crap. - fast camera

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High speed photography has always intrigued me. The price on the cameras has been coming down steadily - decent high-speed video cameras are now about $3-5K. When they hit $1K, I will be placing an order. These will shoot video at around 1000+ frames per second with decent (HD) resolution. Chronos and edgertronic are the two main players in this market. There are the bleeding edge cameras from Phantom and Photron that can do 40K/second up to 120K/second but these puppies start at around $40,000 and quickly go up in price.

And then, there is this announcement from the Swiss mega-university / research facility École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

MegaX, the first camera to capture the smallest particles of light
“It’s something I’d been dreaming of for a long time,” says Edoardo Charbon, an EPFL professor and head of the Advanced Quantum Architecture Laboratory in EPFL’s School of Engineering. “MegaX is the culmination of over 15 years of research on single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs), which are photodetectors used in next-generation image-sensor technology.” And Charbon has good reason to be proud, since he and his research team have developed the world’s first million-pixel camera. Their findings have just been published in Optica.

A shooting star
What makes their camera different is that it can capture and count the very smallest form of light particle: the photon. Photons are invisible to the human eye; we can see only continuous beams of photons, like those used in laser pointers. But MegaX can film the trajectories of individual photons in rays of light. When shown in video form, they look like shooting stars. “We had to slow the film speed by a factor of 300 million to see individual photons move,” says Charbon.

And, they have video:

My inner geek is all a-twitter with the possibilities. When I was going to school in Boston, I started working at the local public aquarium there and Doc Edgerton was one of the trustees and came around to explore frequently. I got to know him and he loaned me some of his strobe lights as I have always been into photography. He developed the modern photoflash and pioneered many techniques for high-speed photography. Always had this wonderful twinkle in his eyes - he loved what he was doing.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on July 31, 2020 7:02 PM.

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