Meet the World’s Fastest Camera

Well, guess which is the world’s fastest camera? If you have no idea, then, here’s the answer for you – it is the new STAMP (Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography) system developed by 2 Japanese universities. This camera takes pictures at a resolution of 450 x 459 pixels and it can capture images so fast that it can be used to photograph the conduction of heat which travels at a speed which is equal to one-sixth the velocity of light.

World's fastest camera

The camera is developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo and Keio University. It uses a method called femto-photography to capture images in a single burst. And, this eliminates the need for repetitive measurements as used in other types of ultra high speed cameras. The team reported that this was possible by using an ultra short laser pulse split into a series of discrete separate pulses, each in different spectral bands, which illuminate he target object as successive flashes so that that entire scene can be captured using stroboscopic acquisition.

In other words, the object that is being photographed is illuminated by various beams obtained from a femtosecond laser. Through an arrangement of mirrors, the camera is tilted towards different parts of the object and captures a view of each and then, each of the flashes from the laser will be captured as a small part of the image and when combined, these parts form a composite whole.

As a part of the demonstration, the team captured lattice vibrational waves (the periodic oscillation of atoms in a crystal) and plasma dynamic, which were difficult to observe with standard high speed photography.

At a mind-boggling 4.4 trillion frames per second (FPS), this photographic system beats the past one with 1 trillion FPS which was introduced by MIT in the year 2011. And, it is 10,000 times faster than any commercially available system.

However, there is one downside to it. It is quite too large (more than one meter (3 ft) square). So, some miniaturization work has to be done on it to make easily portable.

The research has been published in the journal Nature Photonics.