Smashing car windows at 800,000 frames per second on the new Phantom TMX7510 camera
Gav at The Slow Mo Guys seems to have a problem breaking car windows. It’s not that he has anything against doing it, he just doesn’t seem to always be able to pull it off. But he’s decided to give it a go again for this video, where he puts Phantom’s new TMX7510 camera to the test, shooting it at 800,000 frames per second.
This is by far the fastest camera they’ve shot with on the channel – if you don’t count that insane 10 trillion frames per second thing – and at 800,000fps (1/32,000th real-time), it’s actually fast enough to capture the speed of the crack travelling through the glass – which on the piece of glass covered by the frame, happens in approximately 0.000181 seconds.
0.000181 seconds sounds incredibly fast. And, well, that’s because it is. Out of the 4,000,000 or so frames (5 seconds) that the camera was shooting while Gavin was recording this particular clip, the travel of the crack appears in only 145 of them. At the camera’s highest resolution of 76,000 frames per second, that event would’ve lasted for 13 frames. That’s about half a second to play back. At a still quite impressive 7,000 frames per second, it would all be over in one or two frames.
And that’s not even as fast as the Phantom TMX7510 camera can shoot. It will go all the way up to 1.75 million fps in “fast” mode, although it’s doing so at a drastically reduced resolution. Announced in March, along with the Phantom TMX6410, these are the first cameras in Phantom’s lineup to use backside-illuminated (BSI) sensors.
The TMX7510 is not a super high-resolution camera, though. At maximum resolution, they’re capable of shooting 76,000 frames per second, but at only 1280×800 resolution. Sure, that’s a little better than 720p HD and quite respectable considering how fast it is, but it’s not quite 4K. And to get 800,000fps they had to drop it down to 1280×192 resolution. Still, even at this low resolution, it’s stunning to watch such an immensely fast event happen so slowly.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.