back to article Oxford snaps high-speed movies with consumer cams

Your camera may one day be able to take ultra-high speed movies, allowing you to capture amazing footage of fast-moving objects. That's if a new technique in scientific imaging makes it back onto the off-the-shelf, consumer-oriented kit it was developed from. Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a way to …


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  1. Steve Evans


    Can't believe this hasn't been thought of/patented before.

    Then again they do say that the best ideas are often the simplest.

  2. Victor Ludorum

    I thought of that a long time ago.

    Without full technical knowledge of how CCDs or CMOS sensors actually worked, I came up with that method a long time ago. I assumed someone cleverer than me had already patented it.

    For some reason I thought the LG Viewty camphone used that (or similar) tech to get 120fps video.

    I guess not.


  3. Jelliphiish
    Thumb Up

    obvious now someone's thought of it..

    and quite good marketing covering it in El reg when it's apparently not been invested in yet.

  4. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Arxiv link

    No need to pay!

  5. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    Having read that

    They are not exactly using *only* a standard CMOS image sensor.

    They are also using a micromirror device the same resolution, to control the per-pixel exposure.

    Cost-wise, that's a bit like taking a standard sparkplug and building a Ferrari around it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already done

    The Sanyo Xacti camcorders achieve exactly the same effect (higher frame rates at lower resolutions) and I think Casio do too. Of course they don't have how it is done but surely it's the same thing?

  7. mafoo

    One mistake...

    Photographing UK money is illegal. ^^

  8. Horridbloke
    Paris Hilton


    ... an actual point to stuffing a 10 megapixel sensor behind a compact camera's titchy rubbish lens.

    Paris, because she's been photographed and filmed.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me, whatever happened too ...

    the design that used massively fewer pixels (i.e. cheaper) and moved them very slightly to give a hi-res image - c.f. how spiders see ?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      How spiders see.

      They experimented with that for a while, but it didn't have legs.

      Mine's the one with the Basil Brush guide to humorous quips in the pocket.

    2. gizmo23


      I think you'll find (according to certain police forces) that

      Photographing [anything in the] UK is illegal.

    3. h 6
      Thumb Up


      Photographing money may be illegal, but in the US, I art directed a TV spot where a guy was throwing bundles of money into a campfire. The money bundles were mostly old phonebook pages, but the top few were color laser prints of $100 bill JPEGs downloaded from the US Mint!

      Might be an exception for people in the film/video/theater business

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Skim off the cream

    "The technology has been patented by Isis Innovation, the University of Oxford's technology transfer office, and it's ready to be licensed by camera makers."

    It's hardly a surprise any more that public/charity funding should be used, the "technology transfer" privateers skim off the cream, and it's published in a journal with a note saying "by the way, we own this - thanks for reading" or a message to that effect.

    Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, it's quite likely that various cameras (notably the Casio EX-FC100) already do something very similar, as they offer increasing frame rates with decreasing resolution. Still, another patent for someone's war chest, and another nail in the coffin of the patent system in general.

  11. Lou Gosselin

    Not exactly a new concept.

    This is the same principal as interlaced television, which can be viewed as a "high resolution" still shot, or a "high frame rate" moving video.

    In both cases, the camera simply rearranges the order in which pixels/lines are sequenced.

    I believe some early 3d video games used this technique to compromise between an increased frame rate and resolution (resulting in some motion blur).

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    But there's no video

    Just an empty space in the article

  13. Cliff

    Another use...

    You could use this system (and control the relative exposure times of individual pixel groups) to increase the dynamic range of the camera too (eg group 1 at 20ms, group 2 at 10ms, group 3 at 5 ms, etc) then combine the images into an HDR image.

  14. Alan Firminger

    Can't compress

    It won't work saving to jpeg.

  15. PPW

    Old news day?

    This is old news from a high-speed video point of view.

    High-frame-rate video cameras (1000s of fps) have been doing this for a loooooooong time. Admittedly, that's hardly 'off-the-shelf' kit, but I should think it's a pretty good bet for Prior Art as far as the patent is concerned.

    Obviously, this comes with all the normal IANAPL disclaimers ;)

  16. Bobster

    "temporal pixel multiplexing"

    Sounds like something Seven-of-Nine would invent to get Voyager out of trouble...

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