We describe the development of both multilevel two-dimensional and grid-based three-dimensional illumination systems for volumetric particle image velocimetry (PIV) that uses a single camera and an arbitrary number of low powered lasers. This flexible system is robust and capable of capturing results over a range of spatiotemporal scales determined by the choice of camera, the depth of field of the lens, and the laser power. The system is demonstrated on a rotating spin-up experiment where we extract high fidelity velocity fields at up to 62 frames/s at a spatial resolution of 2352�28? pixels. The flexibility and economy offered by this system?approximately one-tenth that of a comparable commercial package?may make it attractive to many laboratory users.