Photo Finish: Slit Cameras Feb 14, 2010

Photo Finish is the term given to Slit Cameras’ use in athletic competitions. Essentially, they’re special cameras used to photograph the finish lines at sporting events where athletes will finish within milliseconds of each other.

The way a Slit camera works is it takes a slice of a moment in time and then stretches it to the proper proportions post-development. Because of the shear speed of the athletes and the fact that the wheels of the cyclists are moving at a higher RPM than the cyclists themselves, the wheels are often distorted in this process.

Thanks to the NYC boards for discussing this and Ethan for bringing it up. I’ve often wondered how photo finishes are produced.

Images above are from Velocity Results.

  • Here in Seattle we have GC Racing, who will use their “FinishLynx” camera to get the photo finish. They also explain “THE FUNKY SPOKE PHENOMENA” at their website.
    The HED.3 shots are crazy.