Move over Phantom Flex. There's experimental tech out there that explodes our current conception of slow motion video.
As a regular reader of RedShark, I'm sure you're familiar with the Phantom Flex camera, which is the reigning king of slow-motion video, capable of shooting 4K resolution video at 1000 fps and HD at 2000 fps. While these specs are definitely impressive by today's standards, there is a highly experimental camera system at MIT that may change the way you think of slow motion.
A team led by Ramesh Raskar, head of the MIT Media Lab's Camera Culture research group, developed a camera prototype that images at a whopping 1 trillion frames per second. This burgeoning field of imaging research, called femto-photography, works by shooting individual packets of photons and measuring light information as it scatters.
During Rakar's TED talk, he showed video of a packet of photons "slowed down by a factor of ten-billion," hitting and spreading over a Coke bottle. While that may not sound like a big deal, he relayed that if a bullet was slowed down at the same factor, it would take an entire week to watch the video.
According to Rakar, femto-photography is "a new imaging technique so fast that you can create slow-motion videos of light in motion, and with that, you can create cameras that can look around corners, beyond line of sight, or see inside our bodies without an X-ray, and really challenge what we mean by a camera."
Considering the Future
Granted, Rakar's TED talk (and the video below) first surfaced in 2012, but as our Industry presently undergoes a wide-scale transition to 4K and higher resolution standards, it's fun to look to the technological horizon. Maybe the future isn't about higher resolution or wider aspect ratios, but a radical definition of video imaging. As Rakar says, we should "stop obsessing about the mega pixels in cameras, and start focusing on the next dimension in imaging. It's about time."