We describe and characterize an experimental system to perform shape measurements on deformable objects using high-speed close-range photogrammetry. The eventual application is to extract the kinematics of several marked points on an insect wing during tethered and hovering flight. We investigate the performance of the system with a small number of views and determine an empirical relation between the mean pixel error of the optimization routine and the position error. Velocity and acceleration are calculated by numerical differencing, and their relation to the position errors is verified. For a field of view of ~40 mm × 40 mm, a rms accuracy of 30 µm in position, 150 mm/s in velocity, and 760 m/s2 in acceleration at 5000 frames/s is achieved. This accuracy is sufficient to measure the kinematics of hoverfly flight. © 2006 Optical Society of America.