Help & Tutorials

System Setup and Software Instructions

This page is useful for first-time camera system operators to obtain the training necessary to operate the camera control software and troubleshoot encountered issues.  If you are operating a camera system and require immediate assistance, please call 724-877-5472.

If you feel that a particular topic covered was difficult to understand or leaves the operator with further questions, please leave a message through the Contact page or email us to help further develop the training modules to provide maximum value and service to all customers.  Thank you.

The video links below will redirect you to YouTube where the videos are hosted.

FREE Motion Analysis Software
Tracker - Video Analysis and Modeling Tool

Vision Research Phantom Camera Instructions
Phantom PCC Camera Control Video Tutorials

Troubleshooting Your Camera Setup
Image Brightness: Exposure Vs. Lens Aperture
Image Brightness: Exposure Vs. Image Tools

Photron BC2 Camera Instructions
PFV Software Quick Interface Overview
PFV Software Basic Setup Procedure
PFV Software Basic Save Procedure

PFV Software White Balance Color Adjustment

Fastec TS3Cine Camera Instructions
TS3Cine - External Features
TS3Cine - Menus (Link Coming Soon)
TS3Cine - Reviewing And Saving Videos
TS3Cine - Manual (PDF)
TS3Cine - Software (ZIP-EXE) 26.6MB
TS3Cine - Software (ZIP-DMG) 13.6MB

Manfrotto Tripod Setup Instructions
Tripod Mounting
Manfrotto 501HDV Video Head Instructions(PDF)
Manfrotto 400 Deluxe Geared Video Head

PalliteVIII Lamp Instructions
PalliteVIII Operation Instructions
PalliteVIII Bulb Replacement

High-Speed Camera Definitions

Aperture - A set of gated blades or similar mechanism inside of a camera lens incrementally adjustable to control the entry and angle of incoming light rays.

ASA Rating - American Standards Association exposure index numbers.

Back Focus
- A type of focus concerning the distance of the rear lens element to the image sensor similar to the focal flange length. See Depth of Focus.

Bit Depth (Sensor)
- A value used to calculate the number of shades a pixel can register.  8-Bit is 0 to 28= 0 to 256 shades; 12-Bit is 0 to 212=0 to 4,096 shades. Some manufacturers multiply this value by 3 for a Red-Green-Blue color model to seem better than a competitor (12-Bit as 36-Bit Color).

- An aesthetically pleasing, mainly subjective, out-of-focus quality of a lens.

C-Mount (Lens)
- A small, relatively inexpensive lens type with a 1 inch diameter - 32 threads per inch mount (1-32 UN A2). The flange focal length is 17.526mm (0.69in).

CCD (Sensor)
 - Charge-Coupled Device

CMOS (Sensor)
- A Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Active Pixel Sensor

Circle of Confusion - The measured diameter on the focal plane (image sensor or film) of a single point source of light including diffraction rings.  The circle of confusion is minimal when the object is in focus.

Depth of Field
- The range of objects in front of the lens that are acceptably sharp or in-focus (farthest object minus nearest). More specifically defined by a Circle of Confusion measurement.

Depth of Focus - The range of image distances (image sensor or film position) behind the lens that result in an acceptably sharp or in-focus captured image. See Back Focus.

Exposure Time - The amount of time that light is being recorded on an imaging plane. It is displayed as either a fraction of a second which is common for photography (1/8,000 for example), a decimal number which is common for scientific applications (0.000125), or indirectly as a shutter-angle in relation to a frame period or interval which is common for cinematography.  Many professional high-speed video cameras specify exposure time in microseconds (125µs). See Shutter Speed.

EF-Mount (Lens)
- A lens type developed by Canon with a three-lug bayonet mount. The mounting diameter is 54mm with a flange focal length of 44mm. More commonly associated with Canon EOS lenses.

F-Mount (Lens)
- A lens type developed by Nikon with a three-lug bayonet mount. The mounting diameter is 44mm with a flange focal length of 46.5mm.

F-Number - The ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter.

F-Stop - See F-Number.

 - Frame Synchronization when operating multiple cameras.

Frame Rate
- The rate per second that image frames are displayed. More commonly, it refers to the Sample Rate that frames are captured by a camera.

High-Speed Framing Camera - A high-speed camera that captures images on multiple image planes or multiple locations on the same image plane allowing increased sample rate over conventional high-speed cameras.

High-Speed Streak Camera - A high-speed camera recording a series of thin, line-sized images sequentially recorded across an imaging plane for three-dimensional acquisition (spatial data, intensity, and time).

High-Speed Video Camera - A camera capable of recording images at a rate over 250 frames per second with exposures faster than 0.001 sec (1/1,000).

ISO Rating

Macro (Lens)

 - Pixel count equaling 1,024,000 bytes per megapixel.

Micro (Lens)


PL-Mount (Lens)
- A large, relatively expensive Positive Lock lens type developed by Arri with four notched flanges with a locking ring. It has a 54mm diameter and a 52mm flange focal length.

 - With most CMOS high-speed cameras this term refers to the horizontal and vertical dimension of an image frame in pixels (1024x1024, 1280x800, 1920x1080, etc.).

Sample Rate - The rate at which an electronic device captures data. See
Frame Rate.

Schlieren Imaging

Shadowgraph Imaging

Shutter Speed - The Exposure Time in reference to cameras with physical shutters. See Exposure Time.

Slow Motion Camera - A camera that is capable of capturing images at a faster rate than which they will be replayed. A slow motion camera is not necessarily a high-speed camera.

Sub-Microsecond Photography - A type of photography technology utilizing common DSLR cameras operating in a dark environment with flash or strobe units capable of exposures less than 1 microsecond (<0.000001 sec.).

Ultra High-Speed Camera - A camera capable of recording images at a rate over 10,000 frames per second.

(CSR) Current Session Reference
- A black reference image calibration feature on Vision Research high-speed cameras to correct image quality including color.

(EDR) Extreme Dynamic Range
- A secondary exposure setting on Vision Research high-speed cameras used to prevent saturation of bright areas.

(GB) Gigabyte - Data storage capacity of 10243 bytes or 1,024MB (1,073,741,824 bytes).

(KB) Kilobyte - Data storage capacity of 1024
1 bytes or 1,024B (1,024 bytes).

(MB) Megabyte - Data storage capacity of 10242 bytes or 1,024KB (1,048,576 bytes).

(TB) Terabyte - Data storage capacity of 1024bytes or 1,024GB (1,099,511,627,776 bytes).
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