fps1000 Development Status Update – February 2nd!


Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

Graham Rowan the mind and muscle behind the fps1000 slow motion camera has given an update on the development of all the versions of the fps1000 cameras. You can see the update below or at the kickstarter page here!

fps1000:  “Just a quick update to break the silence between successful backing and production!

This and all subsequent updates will be open to all (not just backers) to include pre-order customers. Pre-orders will be included in the first production run up until the cut-off time for this (which will be announced).

I have been very busy since the close of the campaign to ensure that the fps1000 gets to market with the promised stretch goals and in a mass-producible format.

The major goals achieved so far:

  • The stretch goals have been added to the design. These include the integral batteries (and charger), the USB3 interface and the trigger inputs.
  • The new case has been designed and will be prototyped shortly when physical boards are available. We have gone for an all metal case initially with the option of converting to a low cost plastic design if future volumes allow this. The metal case will initially give us better radiation protection and ease of modification in the early stages. Mike and Marcus continue to be the creative input here and I am very grateful for their help.

HSC: We estimate the case will be close to the initial design revealed earlier; however expect some more changes to the design as development is perfected. The radiation protection is needed to avoid RF frequencies and other radiation sources to contaminate the image capture.  Any radiation source can have an unwanted effect on the image like banding or unexpected noise patterns.

  • The new design is split into 2 boards. The motherboard contains the processor logic, I/O connectors, the Li-ion batteries with the associated charging and protection logic and the LCD connector to the new 5″ colour LCD display with capacitive touch screen. The second board is a sensor board which will be different for each model. The sensor board contains the sensor, memory and control logic and is very close in concept and design to the original fps1000 board. The design has been kept almost the same to save time getting this working as all of the existing code in the fpga can be used. I did experiment with alternative designs with the the idea of splitting the memory and sensors for a more modular design. However, this idea was dropped as it introduced extra mechanical problems with too many connectors and an increased cost. I realized that the sensors, memory and control logic were very tightly coupled and this board has to be carefully routed to achieve the required performance. The downside to this was that I had to route multiple boards, one for each version. This turned out to be not too bad as the Silver and Platinum sensors are pin-compatible and the mods required for the Platinum sensor were very minor.

HSC: By reducing the number of boards the costs and time of fabrication/assembly/testing are reduced. While having the memory on the sensor board is better for speed it will make it necessary to exchange the sensor and memory together if an upgradeable sensor is introduced. For owners who may not upgrade this is a positive as it makes the latency and speed of the camera better.

  • The main board and sensor board are in manufacture now. I should have boards back within 2 weeks at which time I will post some pictures in a further update.
  • I have sourced all of the major long lead-time components and have them in storage now ready for use. These include all memories and sensors for Silver and Gold models. Platinum sensors will be ordered as soon as the user upgrade options have been finalized.

HSC: We take by this that the Platinum upgrade options are still being explored and tested and that is why a finalized board and memory have not been taped out.  It is better to have more sensors and memory tested before committing to the final design.  We would favor a better low light performer for the 4k upgrade than the CMOSIS sensor initially proposed. However we still have no info about any sensor options besides this part.

  • I have a very close relationship with the sensor manufacturer thanks to this campaign. This has enabled me to get very early samples of the new Platinum sensors which are being built into boards now. I hope to be able to show you some images from these very soon.

HSC: This is great news for Platinum backers as the new sensors have even better performance than the earlier prototypes. These are not the 4k sensors but the 2.5k in the Platinum regular design. 

  • Finally, a brief mention about the upgrades. It is very simple to configure the sensor boards to accommodate new sensors and there have been some exciting developments in the sensor market. I am also building sensor boards with 2 new sensors offering higher performance and resolution options for the Platinum. I will leave the details for a future update when I hope to be able to demonstrate them with sample images. Those of you who have have kept the option for an upgrade before delivery will be given the option to upgrade. This includes pre-order backers.

HSC: Again, we still have no info on the sensor options but we are glad other sensors are being explored. In a low light environment like that of high speed; having a good high ISO sensor is ideal.  It is also encouraging that the sensor swapping is so smooth.

I’ll post another update soon with pictures of the new boards.

I remain 100% committed to making the fps1000 a reality and I thank you all for your support and patience.”      Graham Rowan

HSC:  Thanks Graham, we look forward to get some more images out to backers and interested buyers.  

We remind you that you can order and fps1000 camera even if you did not back the project here: Preorder an fps1000 Camera!

 Disclaimer: HSC is not affiliated with the fps1000 camera, we are backers of the Platinum Upgrade Option project and are closely following it’s development. We are only informing the public  and are not responsible for delivery or any other aspect of the project.

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