The Benefits of a High Speed Camera in Research

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A high speed camera can be an invaluable tool to use within research. Cameras with speeds so fast, they are actually considered slow motion cameras because they slow a motion down be separating each action into frames so they can be studied.

The speed of a camera is judged by the shutter speed. The longer the shutter is open, the more light exposure there is. High speed cameras have incredible fast shutter speeds, which allow them to capture more and there is less time between pictures.

A regular photographer may take pictures outside with a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, and those pictures will appear high quality and clear. However, high speed cameras used in research can have shutter speeds up to 1 million frames per second.

As early as 1950, a United States Army engineer named Morton Sultanoff invented a high speed camera capable of recording the shock wave from a small explosion. Sultanoff was actually able to see the shock wave, how it moved, and the impact it had on the things it came in contact with.

One of the first times a high speed camera was used for a practical application was in 1878. A man named Edward Muybridge used a high speed camera to photograph a horse galloping. For some time, people debated whether all four legs of the horse came off the ground at the same time when they galloped. The problem was their legs moved so fast, it was nearly impossible to tell.

Muybridge was able to record the horse and slow the galloping down with frame by frame images of how it was moving. This made it possible to see the position of each leg at every point in the horse?s movement.

While understanding if a horse’s legs leave the ground may not sound groundbreaking, it was significant at the time. This was one of the first examples of photography being used to gain a better understanding of a process.

Now, researchers can use high speed photographing in all sorts of situations to gain a better understanding of a process of the cause and effect relationship of two processes. The applications for this are nearly endless, which is why all research labs and facilities should be outfitted with the best available ultrahigh-speed camera equipment.

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