Compact design and flexible interfacing, perfect for desktop applications
High-speed cameras aren't known for being the most compact piece of equipment, especially when used for industrial applications. They're usually large, heavy, and not the most flexible when it comes to interfacing with multiple operating systems. IDT Vision is aiming to change all that with a new line of compact cameras dubbed the "XS Series."
The most important quality of the XS Series, or Xstream, is probably the continuous frame streaming functionality via the PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface delivering 1,700 fps at full resolution (XS-720p) and 1,440 fps at full resolution (XS-1440p). There is a host of advanced features too, including frame-to-frame auto exposure, motion trigger, and a robust motion monitor application, which operate the cameras using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS environments seamlessly. So what does all this mean for the end user? I rented an XStream from IDT to see for myself.
On IDT's US website it mentions the XS Series high speed cameras are well suited for industrial and packaging inspection, microscopy, medical, traffic control and surveillance. Since I don't have access to anything industrial or medical I decided to set up a photo shoot at a local firing range near IDT's office, just outside Los Angeles, to see whether I could capture a bullet leaving the muzzle of a rifle. Equipped with a few accessories from IDT and my new MacBook Pro, I was ready to dig in.
Since my test was somewhat straightforward, I could get a feel for positive aspects of the camera fairly quickly. First impressions: The quality of the lens was incredible in every way. Having never used a camera of this high quality it was immediately obvious these cameras could handle a lot of rigorous work in less than optimal conditions. This thing is built so tough I wouldn't be surprised if it could survive a drop or two, although I wouldn't be the one to test that durability. Playing back the video footage on Mac OS was an absolute breeze so I can see why this one feature alone would be enough to warrant buying into this camera system. I could capture and play back the video and within minutes have professional-grade content anyone would be proud of.
The only drawback that I found, if you could call it a drawback, would have to be price. Everything IDT carries is costly, which is why they tend to market mostly to industry professionals, larger production companies, and government agencies such as NASA. Yet the rental program puts high quality high-speed camera technology within reach for many other businesses and organizations.