November 30, 2016

Chronos—the $2750 High-Speed, 21,500fps Camera—is Now on Kickstarter

Chronos is finally going to be making its way into the hands of some very eager low-budget filmmakers.

Back in September, engineer David Kronstein unveiled his low-budget high-speed camera, Chronos 1.4, which boasted features like 1050fps at 1280x1024, touchscreen display, and most importantly, a $2750 price tag.

At the time, the production-ready prototype wasn't fully completed, the software was still in development, and the hardware was in the prototype phase, but now Chronos 1.4 is fully operational and ready to go on Kickstarter, having already raised $250,000 from its $48,000 goal.

In addition to the price, Chronos 1.4 has some impressive features. It can shoot at up to 21,649fps, though it does so in a non standard resolution, 640x96, which will be more useful to scientists than filmmakers. The more cinematography friendly resolution of 640x480 shoots up to 4,436, which is still mighty impressive. Conveniently, it can also record audio, and it's small and compact, so you can take it anywhere. Its touchscreen has an intuitive interface with a jogwheel that allows you to control playback more accurately at 24 frames per turn or 960 when clicked in for fast seeking. You don't need a PC to use this camera, either, so really it's like having a true high-speed camera in your pocket.

You can check out a full list of specs here, but here are the some notable features:

Technical specs

  • 1280x1024 1057fps CMOS image sensor with 1.4Gpx/s throughout
  • Higher frame rates at lower resolution
  • Sensor dimensions 8.45 x 6.76mm, 6.6um pixel pitch
  • Global shutter - no “jello” effect during high-motion scenes
  • Electronic shutter from 1/fps down to 2us (1/500,000 s)
  • CS and C mount lens support
  • Focus peaking (focus assist) and zebra exposure indicator
  • ISO 320-5120 (Color), 740-11840 (Monochrome) sensitivity
  • 5" 800x480 touchscreen (multitouch, capacitive)
  • Machined aluminum case
  • Record time 4s (8GB) or 8s (16GB)
  • Continuous operation on AC adapter (17-22V 40W)
  • 1.75h runtime on user-replaceable EN-EL4a battery
  • Gigabit ethernet remote control and video download*
  • Audio IO and internal microphone*
  • HDMI video output*
  • Two channel 1Msa/s waveform capture*
  • Storage: SD card, two USB host ports (flash drives/hard drives), eSATA 3G
  • Trigger: TTL, switch closure, image change*, sound*, accelerometer*
  • Low-noise variable-speed fan - camera can run indefinitely without overheating

Here are a couple of demos that show you what Chronos 1.4 can do:

Chronos 1.4 has two models to choose from, a 8GB body ($2750) and a 16GB body ($3000). (32GB could possibly come in the future.)

To learn more, head on over to the Chronos Kickstarter campaign    

Your Comment

9 Comments

Really a shame that 1920x1080 resolution is not available, even at the cost of a lower frame rate. I would have bought without second thinking. Not so much without that.

Still, the fact one man made this camera from scratch is pretty impressive though. Thumbs up!

November 30, 2016 at 11:37AM, Edited November 30, 11:38AM

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ron fya
274

I agree with other comments here, 1000fps with 1080p would have been great and even 500fps in 4K even if it were only capable of 30 sec bursts. Or even a fader system that alowed you to do 1080p 1500fps but for shorter bursts say 10secs. The record time governs the frame rates available or something like that.

November 30, 2016 at 2:44PM

4
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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
296

Yes it's a shame this 2750$ kickstarter camera can't be a little better than a mid-level Phantom...

November 30, 2016 at 3:15PM

0
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Ha, true.

December 2, 2016 at 2:21PM

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Clayton Arnall
Camera Pointer
214

I mentioned it before: this is just an upgrade from highspeed cameras that have been around for over 10 years. Those had high frame rates below SD resolution.
Now we have a high speed camera with a resolution below HD.
Great for science, crashtests and monitoring fast moving machines/processes.

Image looks pretty videoish so mixing it with other cameras could be hard.

November 30, 2016 at 6:37PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8963

10 years. I was offered one of the hi-speed cameras from the matrix films secondhand more than 10 years ago. Micron and Fillfactory had these resolution sebsirs fur a long time.

If you designed it to in the first place, a 4k lower frame rate version shouldn't cost much more than the extra sensor cost.

December 1, 2016 at 9:14PM

17
You voted '-1'.
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Wayne M
Director of a Life
253

This camera on Kickstarter was build by an engineer. Engineers have been working with the hi-speed cameras I mention for years, so obviously they don't care as much about resolution as filmmakers do.
This was designed the way it is: an upgrade from the old hi-speed cameras engineers have been using for ages.

December 5, 2016 at 6:25AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8963

I think this camera is a terrific achievement! Others are dismayed at the lower-than-HD resolution, and I get that. BUT. This camera is under $3k! And it's the first Chronos camera to market too - I imagine there will be more models brought to market with higher specs for certain. I shot with a Troubleshooter highspeed camera about 10 years ago and it has a very similar form factor, and similar spec too, albeit in black and white. The results were incredible. This is their most up-to-date model: http://www.lakeimage.co.uk/product_ts3100s.html For some perspective, this camera would likely be at least 5 times the price of the Chronos.

December 1, 2016 at 8:22AM

3
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When is a 4k sensor option coming and live feed recording and control.

December 1, 2016 at 9:07PM

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Wayne M
Director of a Life
253