HSC768 Camera Creator David Kronstein Q&A!

HSC768_Tesla500Olympusbreak

In our last post we looked at the HSC768 high speed camera project that had great performance and ergonomics including a jog wheel design and machined case. We asked the creator of the camera David Kronstein, who runs the Youtube channel Tesla500 from Vancouver Canada, a few questions regarding the future of the project and he kindly responded with some great insight.  We may have a third competitor in the HD high speed camera market to go head to head with the edgertronic camera and the yet to be released fps1000 project.

While the camera is still in the lab stages, it shows a usable design with professional looking performance and a pretty lengthy buffer. There is a touch screen interface based on a stripped down Linux OS installation and DDR3 high speed DRAM 16GB worth that can do quite a good set of frames.

Current Camera Specs No Final Name Set:

  • LUX1310 image sensor
  • 1280×1024 at 1070fps
  • 4000fps+ at 640×480
  • H.264 Compression
  • 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 8 sec rec time at full speed, working on 32GB a future possibility
  • HDMI, USB, ESATA
  • Touchscreen and Portability

Here is the Q&A session:

HSC: Will there be a color version besides Monochrome for the camera?

DK: Yes, I have a color prototype working as well as the monochrome one shown.

HSC: Any plans for 1080p capable chip?
DK: Everything is in place to support the CMV2000 (2k x 1080 @ 340fps) but that would be after the initial launch. There are other sensors I’m looking at that could do 1080p1000 as well, although that will be a higher price bracket. If things go well enough I’d like to have a custom sensor designed for much higher speed.
HSC: What is the cost bracket you are targeting?
DK: $2500-3000 USD
HSC768_Tesla500Board
HSC: If you decide to go with a Kickstarter will it be mass produced later on or just a small batch for the campaign?
DK: I’ll maintain production after the Kickstarter as long as there’s interest.
HSC: Compared to an edgertronic or fps1000 where will your HSC768 camera be in terms of capabilities?
DK: About twice the speed of edgertronic but half the price, twice the memory, with the addition of not being tied to a laptop. fps1000 has been advertising variants out the wazoo, with pretty much every available sensor. Somehow I don’t think they’ll have all those available at launch. I don’t believe they have h264 encoding capabilities either, so saving uncompressed video to SD card will take a very long time. I also have concerns about flash memory life, a back of the envelope calculation says that 2 weeks of continuous recording will use up all the Flash memory’s rated write cycle life, and it’s soldered to the board and un-replacable. Very ingenious concept writing straight to flash though.
HSC: What made you embark on this project?
DK: I’ve had a passion for high-speed imaging ever since seeing cool shots on Mythbusters show. I wanted to do that myself, but I was a broke college student at the time and couldn’t afford a high-speed camera. In 2006 an Olympus i-speed 2 came up on ebay at $150 and was bid up to $3800, after I couldn’t afford that I said “screw it, I’ll build my own”. Learned a lot more on this project than I ever did in school!
HSC768_Tesla500UI
HSC768 Interface With Jog Wheel on the upper right!
HSC: Your user interface and jog wheel are brilliant, is this your own design?
DK: I’ve always loved physical dials and controls on the test gear I’ve used, it provides better control than any touchscreen. I must have been on to something, look at the Apple watch with the physical dial.
HSC: Tell us about your engineering background and what are your favorite projects to work on?
DK: My background is in Electronics Engineering. I went to BCIT for Electrical and Computer Engineering, then worked at Delta-Q Technologies, Verisante Technologies, and MistyWest. Quite a variety from battery chargers to medical devices to everything under the sun at MistyWest. I’ve always liked building cool projects, things other people haven’t done before. I also really like to do product tear-downs especially of odd gear to see how things are built.
HSC: Do you still need subscribers to your Patreon channel?

DK: Absolutely! I’ve spend probably $20-30k on this project out of my own pocket so far so everything helps.

DK: I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the state of the project.
HSC: We thank David for the answers and hope to see great things relating to this evolving high speed camera project.   It is clear he is a very good engineer and has a good sense of usability interfaces and physical control on gear that is sorely lacking in this touch screen world. We will keep you updated as things progress!

You can support David’s channel and projects by funding it here:

https://www.patreon.com/tesla500?ty=h

Camera running and tear down of the design:

Last sample released Jan 2016- Lawnmower Drop-n-Shred things:

All images and videos of the HSC768 Camera shown in this article are the copyright of David Kronstein and used with his consent!

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