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.
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