Friday, January 11, 2008

Casio speed

[Thanks to Bert]

I mentioned this camera a few months ago. Now it is available.
Taking sixty pictures per second. Or filming at 300 fps. Kewl.

Also notable it seems like now the time has arrived when you can get both a good still camera and a decent video camera in one body. Not only this camera is of that class, many consumer cameras can. (Copious consumer cams can capture can-can with class.)


Anonymous said...

Damn you, Eolake. I read something like this and I just can't help going a big rubbery one. Phat props to you on that, my homeslice.

Alex said...

300fps -wow, that is really cool, now you can get slow-motion of action shots. That has to be 300 shots compressed right, not raw.

bert said...

Actually, I believe anything above 60fps decreases the resolution of the image, that's how they manage to move the data to the Flash card fast enough.

Still is cool though, to be able to experiment with high-speed capture in ambient light conditions.

And as storage media gets faster, you can expect not having to trade resolution for speed in the near future.

Mind you, I suspect that the camera is still grabbing images at full resolution even at the higher speed settings, but they read only part of the data (say, 1 pel out of 5) at every frame. This lowers the amount of data to store while maintaining the light sensitivity.

If this is correct, it also means that, using appropriate software, you could use the 300 fps data to reconstruct full-resolution frames. Of course, the reconstructed frames would appear slightly blurred, but with the incredible results achieved with photo-stitching software lately, I can't believe that it wouldn't be possible to compensate for most of the time-lag in the data. An interesting avenue to explore!

Alex said...

This is all assuming that the 300fps is sustained, and going to flash immediately, they may have a godawful amount of hi speed RAM close by, buffer the image from the sensor, then off line process to flash. This will limit the burst to buffer size.

bert said...

"they may have a godawful amount of hi speed RAM close by"

But that would only change the maximum length of the sequence...

ttl said...

Single-shot and movie cameras may well eventually converge, at least in the consumer market segment. But I don't think we are there yet.

Meanwhile, for rapid and continuous shooting of high definition frames the upcoming Scarlett may be worth keeping an eye on.

bert said...

You see, I am not interested in movie cameras at all. Capturing a moving sequence with professional image quality is a lot of work, let alone make an entire movie. And home movies tend to make me run away.

But capturing that ever so elusive moment between the time when she gets the joke and her eyes start laughing, but her face isn't quite there yet...

Not to mention the world of other opportunities that this will open. Take for example that bug-eye experimental lens from Adobe that Eolake talked about a while back. While it allows to capture the depth of the image to a certain extent, it is definitely not something I would want to use. Even without considering the size and weight of the contraption, looking at the world through that lens must be an awkward experience (if possible at all), and the sacrifice on resolution is simply unthinkable.

Nevertheless, the new avenues demonstrated by Adobe using the resulting spatial information were awesome, and my bet is that it would be possible to achieve the same results simply by moving slightly around while shooting at a high frame rate.

But you are unfortunately right, we are not there yet. Technically speaking, moving that amount of data to storage is still out of reach (for ex., D3 resolution at 30+ fps).

There also is the matter of acceptance by the pro market, which will be required if we want to see this in quality equipment. Not thirty years ago, getting photographers to accept the idea that the newer cameras needed batteries to operate was quite a hurdle. Now, to try to convince them to remove the mechanical shutter in their toys... won't be easy.

Alex said...

There's an interesting thought. My Kodak P&S will rapid fire, but only keep the last 6. This is to get that laugh, or blowing out the candles, or kicking the ball on a family usage basis.

I forgot, but the Kodak does not use the flash (bright light) for this mode. It doesn't even go to flash (SD Card) until you release the release, you just keep shooting until the event happens, then when you have your sequence of six, it compresses and writes to flash.

I forgot in bulb setting the mirror is up for a while, you can't see what you are shooting anymore (sure you are on a tripod at this point) but for burst shooting, you want to see, surely the mirror cannot move for 300 fps.

300fps is not movie making, unless you are looking for slow motion.

Home movies, they are normally just glorified slide shows. If you are trying to make a movie, properly, that is a whole different issue. You probably aren't looking for a still camera with movie capability, you are more likely looking for what level of camcorder you can get away with, or afford.

I can see however, that technology has allowed the video camera and tape recorder to not only shrink to a size that they became a camcorder, but not a camcorder will fit in the palm of your hand, instead of being shoulder mounted. This means instead of carrying your video camera like a bazooka, you can look at a camera shaped more like a still camera. There is something to be said for a shoulder camera, they are more stable. No matter how careful I am I find simply breathing moves a camera dramatically, especially with a longer lens.

eolake said...

"but for burst shooting, you want to see, surely the mirror cannot move for 300 fps."

I'm sure the casio is not a reflex camera, but rather has an electronic viewfinder.
I hope they have improved the resolution of those, for those I've seen sucked donkey.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"instead of carrying your video camera like a bazooka"

Yo, homie, now you dig why they call it "shooting"!
Now take your pencil and show me how fast you can draw, pilgrim.

"for those I've seen sucked donkey."

I'd rather suck gummi bears. ;-)

Fred & George Weasley said...

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Copious consumer cams can capture can-can with class.
Copious consumer cams can capture can-can with class.
Copious consumer cams can capture can-can with class.
Copious consumer cams can capture can-can with class.
That was easy.