Take a look at that stock camera app on your iPhone. Does a fair job, doesn’t it? Then SnappyCam Pro 3.0 lands on it and makes you realize how truly slow the stock app takes photos. For your reference, it’s about 3-to-6 images per second at full resolution (assuming you’re using an iPhone 5).
SnappyCam, on the other hand, is able to take 20 full-resolution images per second on the iPhone 5. You read that right, a whopping 20 frames per second. It’s all thanks to John Papandriopoulos (who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering) and his frustration with what he thought to be “inadequate” camera applications (we’re looking at you, stock camera app). Read more…
It seems like developers are always finding goodies hidden in Apple’s iOS 7 beta software. Late last month it was discovered that iOS 7 may eventually be capable of detecting blinking and smiling in photos, and now? Well, let’s just say Apple may be developing a slow-motion camera for the next iteration of the iPhone, which is expected to be announced later this year. Read more…
Canon’s DSLRs come with a variety of continuous shooting speeds, ranging from 2.5 frames per second on the 300D (AKA Digital Rebel/Kiss Digital) to a whopping 14 frames per second on the high-end 1D-X. If you want to get a taste of what these shutter speeds sound like on the actual cameras, check out the comparison video above by YouTube user dochero2005. Read more…
They didn’t up the FPS that high, though (the resulting videos would take an eternity to watch). Instead, they chose to record at a much-more-reasonable 18,000fps (at 720p), and used a macro lens in order to capture the beautiful details of the bubbles as they disintegrate. This is the slowest footage the Slow Mo Guys have ever captured, and the results are quite beautiful.
If you think 14fps on a high end DSLR is fast, check out this video by Mike’s Electric Stuff. In it, he does an extreme teardown of a cheap Panasonic Lumix compact camera and spends 30 minutes exploring and explaining the various components. At about 18 minutes in, he hooks up a signal generator to the shutter mechanism to see how fast the shutter can flap. He’s able to take it up to around 70 flaps per second before the shutter begins to stutter. The limiting factor in FPS isn’t the mechanical components of a camera, but how fast the sensor and memory card can capture and store data.
When recording video, a camera’s frame rate can produce some pretty strange effects. If matched up with a helicopter’s blades, a helicopter looks like it’s hovering in midair with motionless blades. YouTube user mrbibio found that the same thing can be done with falling water. His technique is brilliant: by pressing a water tube against a speaker, mrbibio was able to control the vibration frequency of the water flowing through the tube. He then adjusted the pulses of the water to match up with the frame rate of his Canon 5D Mark II. The result is a video of the water looking as though it’s frozen in time.
German scientists have been awarded a Guinness World Record for “fastest movie” after successfully capturing two images of an X-ray laser beam 50 femtoseconds apart. One femtosecond is equal to one quadrillionth (or one millionth of one billionth) of a second. Here’s some science talk explaining it:
[...] the scientists split the X-ray laser beam into two flashes and sent one of them via a detour of only 0.015 millimetres, making it arrive 50 femtoseconds later than the first one. Since no detector can be read out so fast, the scientists stored both images as superimposed holograms, allowing the subsequent reconstruction of the single images.
With these experiments, the scientists showed that this record slow motion is achievable. However, they did not only take the world’s fastest but probably also the shortest film – with just two images. Thus, additional development work is necessary for the use of this method in practice. [#]
Here’s an interesting look at the amazing camera being developed at MIT that shoots a staggering one trillion frames per second — fast enough to create footage of light traveling:
[...] the researchers were able to create slow-motion movies, showing what appears to be a bullet of light that moves from one end of the bottle to the other [...] Each horizontal line is exposed for just 1.71 picoseconds, or trillionths of a second, Dr. Raskar said — enough time for the laser beam to travel less than half a millimeter through the fluid inside the bottle.
To create a movie of the event, the researchers record about 500 frames in just under a nanosecond, or a billionth of a second. Because each individual movie has a very narrow field of view, they repeat the process a number of times, scanning it vertically to build a complete scene that shows the beam moving from one end of the bottle, bouncing off the cap and then scattering back through the fluid. If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years. [#]
They believe that the technology may one day be useful for medicine, industry, science, or even consumer photography.
Fast Burst Camera is a best-selling Android app that upgrades your phone camera’s FPS to 5 to 10 frames per second, allowing you to capture action shots by spraying, praying, and selecting the best image afterward. On high end phones, the FPS can even go up to a crazy 30FPS. Like with the burst mode on DSLRs, holding down the shutter will fill up your buffer, and you’ll need to wait for it to clear before continuing. The app can be purchased from the Android Market for $3.63.
Warco — short for War Correspondent — is an upcoming video game in which the player takes on the role of a journalist named Jesse DeMarco. Despite being classified as a first person shooter, the objective is to shoot people with a camera rather than a gun. After venturing into dangerous conflicts and risking your life to snag some footage, you’re given the task of editing the video into a compelling news story. It almost seems like a Pokemon Snap game for adults. If they went a step further and made an online multiplayer mode, that’d certainly be… interesting.