Monday, April 6, 2009

Do you feel the need for speed?

FireWire(A) holding you back? USB 2.0 lacking bite? CameraLink just not man enough for your data rates? Then you’re going to be interested in, “New Standards to Speed Data Transfer,” (Advanced Imaging, March 2009) where Kristin Lewotsky discusses the impending arrival of USB 3.0 and FireWire S3200. (Honestly, you wait ages for a new standard and then along come two at once.)

The bottom line is that by 2010 you should be able to transfer data from camera to PC at more than 3Gb/second. That’s great, but it does sound a little like Ferrari boasting of how their new model has 550 horsepower – it’s terrific, but I have no real use for it.

Indeed, if you’re operating at standard resolutions, (which I define as 1600 x 1200 pixels,) and ‘normal’ frame rates, (15 – 30 fps,) then the existing formats are sufficient. But what the new standards will do is facilitate the move to ever higher resolutions and frame rates. Once you can move gigabytes per second, the camera makers will come out with hardware to take advantage of the new capacity.

And who doesn’t want more resolution? As with horsepower, is it possible to have too much?

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