High-speed camera for where bright and dark areas exist within a single image

Jon Lawson

PCO’s dimax cs is the seventh product series released within the German camera manufacturer's high-speed family of cameras.

Previously small high-speed cameras had compromised resolution, speed, sensitivity or image quality. All of these characteristics are now combined in the new pco.dimax cs series – packaged in a compact and ruggedised housing able to endure acceleration forces up to 150G while providing exposure times down to 1.5µs.

Three pco.dimax cs camera models cs1, cs3 and cs4 vary in their maximum resolutions with frame rates from 1102 fps @ 2016 x 2016 pixels to 1603 fps @ 1920 x 1440 pixels (Full HD+) up to 3086 fps @ 1296 x 1024 pixels. When operated with reduced image resolution, even higher frame rates can be achieved.

Due to the pco.dimax cs camera’s true 12 bit dynamic range and outstanding light sensitivity, it images perfectly in demanding settings such as compromised lighting situations where very bright and dark areas exist within a single image. The camera’s serial internal RAM memory enables the storage of 9 GB data.

High quality imaging performance is only one upside to PCO’s latest high-speed series. The company also focused its attention on the automotive testing sector and specifically customised the camera for onboard, sled and off-board applications meeting demanding in-car and component crash test requirements. Highly flexible mounting options allow for easy changes between off-board and onboard positions. 

Simple to change lens adapters enable the use of solid C-mounts for high-G applications and F- or EF-mount lenses for off-board applications. An electronic Canon lens adapter is a user-friendly feature for simplifying installation when placing the camera in a hard to access position (e. g. film pits, hall ceilings or crash blocks).

A broad variety of optional accessories such as the proprietary lens cage is helpful for stabilisation of the camera’s lens mount and lens while protecting the optical axis from strong side acceleration during impact.

Crash and component testing are critical processes requiring high investments, therefore a reliable camera system tailored to the application’s requirement can greatly reduce future expenditures by optimising workflow and keeping downtimes low.