The passion project of a single engineer has resulted in an affordable high speed camera.
High speed cameras make capturing beautiful super slow motion images a possibility, but for most, cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K are rental-only options given their $140K price tag. But engineer David Kronstein has built a high speed camera from scratch in an attempt at giving slow-mo filmmakers a camera they can afford.
It's called Chronos 1.4 and, once ready, the 8GB base model will cost $2500. It's able to shoot 1050fps at its highest resolution (1280x1024), and even higher speeds at lower resolutions. It features a touchscreen display, 8GB, 16GB, or (potentially) 32GB of RAM, HDMI connection, SD card/USB drive/SATA hard drive storage, the ability to save RAW video files, and doesn't a require a PC for operation (though you can use one).
In the video below, Kronstein provides an overview of Chronos 1.4, as well as a teardown to show you how it all works.
- 1.4 Gigapixel per second throughput
- 1280x1024 at 1050fps
- Lower resolutions at higher speeds
- Touchscreen display
- 8, 16, or possibly 32GB RAM
- Storage on SD card, USB drive, SATA hard drive
- RAW video saving
- No PC needed for operation
- AC Adapter or battery (1.75 hour per charge)
As of right now, Chronos 1.4 a production-ready prototype and isn't fully completed. The software is still in development (though it's fully functional) and the hardware is still in the prototype phase. Kronstein says that the final version will come with audio,
And before anyone gets all huffy puffy about the camera's non-4K resolution, let's keep a couple of things in mind: 1.) these cameras were designed and manufactured by a single person, and 2.) adding 4K would drastically increase the price. I'm not an expert on resolution, but 1280x1024 is in between 1080 and 720. Not too shabby—it's not full HD, but it's still HD and more than sufficient for most applications.
Kronstein will be creating a Kickstarter campaign for Chronos 1.4 in the next few months, which is pretty exciting considering the fact that he has been working on it for the last several years and is now finally that much closer to bringing it to users. He also says that if the campaign generates only 10-20 units, he plans to make them himself, but if there's a higher demand, he'll contract the manufacturing out and possibly include different finishes to the camera body.
Be on the lookout for more from Kronstein and his Chronos 1.4 high speed camera in the future!