September 23, 2016

Meet Chronos 1.4, a $2500 High Speed Camera That Shoots HD at 1050fps

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.

Technical Specifications

  • 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!     

Your Comment

13 Comments

in a world of 4k it should be full hd... i'd happily pay 1,5 times the price just for that...

September 23, 2016 at 9:14AM

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gandulf charpentier
director of pornography
717

It would have been nice to have higher resolution at a lower frame rate. 500 FPS at 1080p, for example.

October 1, 2016 at 3:12AM

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David Gurney
DP
1876

"I'm not an expert on resolution, but 1280x1024 is in between 1080 and 720." It would be if more than 720 pixels of vertical resolution were used (e.g., if a 2:1 anamorphic lens and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio were used). Otherwise, at a 16:9 aspect ratio, the image would be cropped to 1,280 x 720, the same as 720p.

September 23, 2016 at 9:28AM

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720p is HD

September 23, 2016 at 10:26AM

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Well Hooray for David Kronstein! That's pretty amazing.

If he can do that, what would stop him from building the camera all of us want... 4K super 35 sensor, 16bit raw internal recording and HFR at 60 or 120FPS.
(OK, maybe not everybody but, that's what I want.)

"4K would drastically increase the price."
OK, how much is "drastically"?

If he can make this camera and sell it for $2500, when other manufacturers would probably price this at what?... $10K, $15K? or more, how much would the camera I described above cost for him to build and sell?

This I would like to know.

September 23, 2016 at 9:37AM, Edited September 23, 9:41AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1858

I have absolutely no use for this camera.

...I'll take three.

September 23, 2016 at 12:35PM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, corporate videographer, and indie filmmaker
397

sony rx1000 ıv

September 23, 2016 at 2:26PM, Edited September 23, 2:26PM

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I'm surprise he didn't shoot for 1080P at, say, one half to one third that frame rate. Would still be totally cool.

Damned cat...

September 24, 2016 at 1:08AM, Edited September 24, 1:24AM

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Vidrazor
554

well sure

September 24, 2016 at 2:42AM

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has been done already was on kickstarter in 2014 and is available now.
FPS1000
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1623255426/fps1000-the-low-cost-hig...

September 24, 2016 at 6:48AM

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Matt
194

Hmmm, wonder if it can be hacked to use in a slow motion video booth application for weddings and such.

September 24, 2016 at 11:03AM, Edited September 24, 11:03AM

1
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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
173

Why bother with sound on a high speed camera?

September 25, 2016 at 1:16AM

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chris larsen
1st AC
75

It's an 'HD' upgrade from the SD high speed cameras that have been out there for over a decade. High frame rate, but poor resolution.
For most filmmakers it won't be that interesting, but for engineers it will be a great upgrade.

September 26, 2016 at 3:39PM, Edited September 26, 3:39PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9327