Everyone knows that everything looks better in slow motion. Ever since digital cameras were able to reach high definition resolutions there has been a meteoric rise in their use in broadcast and movies.
Recent digital slow motion in movies include Inception, Robin Hood and 127 Hours. These are very specialist products that need specialist care in shooting, lots of light and a certain ‘black art’ to get the footage in to post. [See our Issues 46 and 47 for more on that - www.definitionmagazine.com/digital-issues].
Because of the specialist nature of these high speed cameras it is rare that there are any new additions. The appearance of Olympus at a local UK show was all the more interesting.
The UK show aspect was easily explained when we realised that Olympus’ Worldwide centre for high speed video cameras was based in Southend-On-Sea in Essex, UK. Jonathan Hatton from Olympus also explained that Olympus had never marketed themselves to the broadcast industry before as they have been too busy in firing bullets and smashing cars up.
“We have our own research and development facility and so its from there we run worldwide . We have been producing our own high speed video cameras for the last ten years, concentrating really in the scientific markets in the traditional industries of ballistics and automotive crash testing. We launched this camera two years ago and the reason you haven’t heard of it is that we have not targeted the broadcast industry before. It’s not where our experience has been but the feedback and requests that we have been getting from broadcasters for this camera mean we are here for the first time this year and having a stunning show.”
The camera in question is the i-SPEED 3 which is their latest model and shoots, at it’s highest resolution, 1280 x 1024 pixels and will run at full resolution at 2,000 frames a second. It will obviously go a lot faster at lower resolutions. (It can shoot at 1,000,000 fps!)
They claim that the camera is very light sensitive with a huge sensor with a 21 micron pixel size. It’s about 800 ASA out the box. Recording is to internal RAM then Compact Flash cards in the back of the cameras and you use a remote with screen to control everything.