How fast can you take a picture? Not as fast as you can illuminate a subject. James Hartnett wanted to capture events with fast movements, like the pop of a balloon, that a shutter camera simply can’t accomplish. Since a shutter doesn't move that quickly, he put the camera into a state where the shutter is left open. Then, in a darkened room, to avoid exposing the image, he illuminates the subject with a flash.
To trigger the flash at the right moment, he built a small circuit that sets off the flash upon the detection of an event. If a sound is detected or a moving object activates a trip wire, it will activate the circuit to trigger the flash with minimal delay.
James Hartnett's high-speed circuit can trigger a flash when movement or sound is detected.
The circuit consists of a few primary components: a silicon
controlled rectifier (SCR), a trigger transistor (in this case, a MOSFET), and a sensor for the trigger.
Looks like a pretty interesting solution and likely a lot cheaper (and much more fun) than buying some sort of expensive high-speed lens. I'd love to see the fruits of Hartnett's labors in terms of how his gadget actually performs vis a vie picture quality.
This is intersting. Because the shutter has to stay open, the applications are limited. But, could this be used for deep-sea underwater photography? Imagine what we haven't seen because sea creatures are avoiding the bright lights used now.
That's a really good question, Nadine. With some modifications, I would imagine it could be used for deep sea. You already have the dark, so it's just a matter of a quick flash for illumination. So you can shoot the fish (so to speak) before it scares.
Thanks for submitting a cool gadget, Jimmy. I thought the comment about underwater photography was interesting. Since the flash only occurs at the moment of the shot, there is no light to scare away deep-sea creatures.
I agree, Naperlou. The article doesn't say how much he spent, but the bill of materials indicates that the most expensive component was the breadboard at $20.19. There's no price listed for the camera, but it's probably no more than that. Amazing.
James, normally digital cameras have a shutter speed for 1/500 to 1/5000 of a second. Moreover in a second we can capture maximum of 15 shots. What I understood is that, the mechanical parts/components required a minimum time to complete the process; irrespective of the shutter speed. I mean the system introduce a minimum delay between the frames for completing the capturing process.
I appreciate your effort, can you justify the need for such a fast response system.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.