Among optical imaging techniques light sheet fluorescence microscopy is one of the most attractive for capturing high-speed biological dynamics unfolding in three dimensions. The technique is potentially millions of times faster than point-scanning techniques such as two-photon microscopy. However light sheet microscopes are limited by volume scanning rate and/or camera speed. We present speed-optimized Objective Coupled Planar Illumination (OCPI) microscopy, a fast light sheet technique that avoids compromising image quality or photon efficiency. Our fast scan system supports 40 Hz imaging of 700 μm-thick volumes if camera speed is sufficient. We also address the camera speed limitation by introducing Distributed Planar Imaging (DPI), a scaleable technique that parallelizes image acquisition across cameras. Finally, we demonstrate fast calcium imaging of the larval zebrafish brain and find a heartbeat-induced artifact, removable when the imaging rate exceeds 15 Hz. These advances extend the reach of fluorescence microscopy for monitoring fast processes in large volumes.