Speed, Power & Portability

Digital HD imaging has spoiled us, frankly. When shooting HD using solid-state media, it seems as if a lot of shooting modes that used to take highly specialized, hyper-expensive gear now have become commonplace. Interval recording for time-lapse photography? Check. Variable-frame-rate shooting up to 60 fps? Piece of cake. However, there’s still a technological and cost barrier when shooting high-speed photography. To shoot HD-resolution, high-frame-rate images costs a lot of money, time and hassle.

If you want to shoot at frame rates in the hundreds or even thousands of frames per second in order to slow down high-speed action, it still means hiring a support technician or technical team, and renting a specialized high-speed camera like a Vision Research Phantom HD Gold or a Weisscam HS-2 to capture your subject in all of its high-speed glory. These cameras sell for well over $100,000 and require a decent amount of technical knowledge to use.

Enter the Fastec TS3Cine. Introduced at NAB 2011, the Fastec TS3Cine high-speed camera system has become the new disruptive force in high-speed photography. The camera has some unique features that set it apart from the higher-end competition, but it really all boils down to a few main points.

Under $30,000 Retail Cost. This alone is an attention-grabber. In an era when other true high-speed cameras cost more than anyone but the most wealthy filmmakers and users can afford to buy, renting becomes the only practical option. It’s not a problem for many, but having to rent the camera and support gear each time you want to shoot high-speed footage relegates it to a specialty item, which is expensive and inconvenient. With a list price of under $30,000, while not inexpensive, the TS3Cine becomes a system that will be affordable to a much larger cross section of users.

Up To 720 fps And 720p Resolution. There are other high-speed camera solutions on the market that offer high frame rates, but often at resolutions that are less than SD raster size. The TS3Cine offers up to 720 frames per second at 720p HD resolution; it also can shoot 1280×1024 at 500 fps and up to 20,000 fps at reduced resolution. This is quite a significant achievement at this size and cost point.

Interchangeable Lenses. Lens options range from high-end cine to consumer Nikon lenses. The TS3Cine presently can mount C-mount, PL-mount and Nikon F-mount lenses, but Fastec promises more options in the near future.