Vela One – a very fast flash for high speed photography

The Vela One is an LED flash capable of freezing a speeding bullet. It is seeking support on Kickstarter.

High speed photography is the act of freezing motion by using flash, more specifically fast flash. Unloading the energy accumulated inside a capacitor is not instantaneous. Although the duration can be as short as 1/20,000 second with good modern speedlites, it still can cause motion blur when your subject is moving very quickly. The shorter your flash duration is, the better you can freeze motion in high-speed photography.

vela-front-1600

A new company from Great Britain wants to improve your high speed photography with a fast flash named the Vela One. This LED flash is capable of shooting firing with a flash duration of only 1/2,000,000 of a second. Fast enough to freeze bullets! To achieve the brightness needed for flash photography, Vela Labs lights up 9 high-powered LEDs at intensity 20 times more than they were initially rated for. The LEDs are not damaged due to the short duration of the flash.

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The resulting product looks more like a plastic box in which you would bring your lunch with, but the exterior shouldn’t fool you. Also the fact that it only runs on 4 AA batteries shouldn’t fool you. This is a seriously impressive flash that will make high speed flash photographers drool.

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For £550 (about $860) you can go to their Kickstarter page and order one for yourself. There are 7 days left to claim your reward as backer of the project. Estimated delivery is Jan 2015.

Specifications:

Material Powder-coated aluminium, steel plate, ABS, polycarbonate
Dimensions 26 x 26 x 10 cm
Lighting elements 9 x COB LEDs with individual polycarbonate reflectors
Power supply 4 x AA batteries (Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable)
Pulse length (t.1 = t.5) 500ns, 1μs, 2μs, 3μs, 4μs, 5μs
Strobe count 1 – 6 flashes
Strobe interval 10μs – 250μs (4-100kHz)
Luminous flux Up to 1,000,000 lumens
Guide number Approx 5 feet at ISO 100.
Flash latency ~5μs from trigger to flash
Trigger input 3.5mm audio jack
Trigger/slave output 2.5mm audio jack
Supported triggers Triggertrap Ada, TTv1, Camera Axe, DIY triggers and more
Firmware licence Open source: GPL v3.0
Firmware platform Atmel AVR