We believe that the outside world is what we see. It is actually a construct that our brain creates, which can be exposed by optical illusions. This applies not only to color, but also to movement. Other animals see things faster than us and have a completely different experience. This other world was first seen 150 years ago when slow motion cameras were invented. They opened up a new world, often stunning and beautiful, that we are not normally able to see. These cameras were originally based on high speed optical photography with optical 35mm film. They could be pulled through the camera at incredible speed just like the amazing models used by NASA. However, today’s digital cameras can do the same.
High-speed cameras face many technical challenges, not the least because they are limited in time to capture sufficient light to take a good picture. What are the best slow-motion cameras? The NAC, Arri and other high-end digital slow motion cameras are among the best available. These cameras can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and they are not affordable for most people. There are many slow-motion cameras that can be purchased at a price that is affordable for consumers. We examined seven slow-motion cameras with stunning results at an affordable price.
- Best Slow Motion Cameras
- 1. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5S 4K Digital Camera
- 2. Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Camera
- 3. Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera
- 4. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
- 5. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III Digital 4K Vlogging Camera
- 6. Blackmagic Design Pocket 4k Cinema Camera
- 7. Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV
- What Is a Slow-Motion Camera?
- How does slow motion work?
- How Do You Shoot the Best Slow-Motion Video?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Slow Motion Cameras
1. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5S 4K Digital Camera
PANASONIC’s LUMIX 4K digital camera is among the best mirrorless models from Panasonic. Lumix is a great choice for professional filmmakers looking to elevate slow-motion movies.
Lumix GH5 owners will not notice any changes in the design of Lumix GH5S, except a flashing red around the mode dial. The camera has a chunky, sturdy body and a large grip that makes it easy to hold. The magnesium alloy construction gives the camera enough strength to last through your entire photography journey. While the weather sealing protects it from any unpredictable weather conditions,
The 225-area autofocusing system in Lumix GH5 was a favorite of ours, and it was a delight to see it on the GH5S. Although the camera uses a single contrast-detect rather than a mixed system, it doesn’t pose any problems. The AF system is fast and precise, in fact. It can also work under low light levels, such as -5EV. This makes it ideal for night photography.
The 1,728-zone metering method is well worth mentioning. The performance of the post-production exposure compensate was excellent and we didn’t feel the need to make any adjustments. The auto white balance system produces natural-looking results. However, you can choose to apply a preset filter for more warmth.
The viewfinder is a must-have feature. It’s everything you would expect from an exceptional viewfinder: bright, large, with great contrast and smooth feeding.
For intense day shoots, we recommend that you have spare batteries. Lumix can last for just 440 shots when fully charged.
The 10.2MP sensor might seem a little underwhelming and ordinary to some photographers, but that’s not a problem. Even at higher sensitivities, the images look amazing and hold up well. The dynamic range was also impressive. Lumix isn’t shy about quality when it comes to video. There are excellent color grading options with the right amount contrast, saturation and highlights. The staggering 240fps speed is ideal for slow-motion video shooting.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S is one of our favorites cameras to record” professional-looking” videos. The camera is affordable and features a powerful sensor with an outstanding viewfinder.
- High-resolution viewfinder
- Weather sealed body
- Multi-aspect sensor structure
- Amazing video specs
- Battery life is very poor
- No image stabilization
2. Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Camera
After working with the EOS M6 Mark II predecessor, we were eagerly awaiting the launch of Canon EOS M6 Mark II. It was well worth the wait.
A compact and lightweight body is the first requirement for a travel-friendly camera. Mark does just that, and packs some impressive specs. The sturdy grip allows for easy handling, but it does not require a viewfinder. The tilting LCD screen is 1.04 million dots. It pivots forward for selfies, and tilts to 45 degrees for high-angle shots. You will find buttons on the right side that can be used single-handedly and dials on top plates for easy access.
Mark has a much better autofocusing system with 5481 AF points than its predecessor. To lock onto your subject, all you have to do is tap anywhere on the screen. It’s fast, precise and has 143 auto-AF areas. This allows you to relax while the camera focuses. Mark’s 14fps speed makes it ideal for action photography. You can record slow-motion videos at 120fps using 1080p.
Professional photographers often assess the performance of a camera by looking at its dimensions. Mark amazes us all with his power-packed performance. This is perfect for wildlife photography. Raw burst mode can take up to 30 shots at 18MP and allows you to capture approximately 54 JPEGs before your buffer runs out.
Marks’ battery life is also impressive: it can last for 305 shots. This is great for intense sessions. We recommend that photographers always have spare batteries in case they need them to capture any shots.
The Canon APS-C sensor, as we will see, is a first of its kind. Mark delivers beyond our expectations. We compensated for the absence of image stabilization with faster shutter speeds and higher ISOs. However, the images we produced were vibrant and detailed.
Canon EOS M6 II is a true treat. The compact, portable device makes it an ideal travel companion. It also boasts incredible features such as an APS-C sensor and 4K resolution video. Mark is our favorite camera because it has a viewfinder, a wider lens selection, and an easier way to take photos.
- Travel friendly
- High-resolution sensor
- Staggering fast burst rate
- Limited lens range
- No viewfinder
3. Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera
The Sony Alpha A7R IIii mirrorless camera is the most recent in the Alpha A7R range. This high-resolution camera is a great investment for photographers who want to experiment with mirrorless cameras.
The design was not modified to make it easier for the older users to adapt to A7R III. There were minor changes, such as the addition of a multi-selector joystick to replace the drive mode dial. This gives you more control over the AF points selection. Sony’s magnesium alloy body and increased lens mount screws ensure a longer life span while protecting it from moisture and dust. The menu system is more extensive and the control layout does not add to the complexity.
Sony was able to improve its autofocusing system. It still has 399 focal-plane phase detection points but the contrast-detection points have increased to 400. These AF points work in harmony to provide effortless AF performance, regardless of lighting conditions. Sony never gave up, even in dim areas like -3EV. There are many modes available, including flexible spot mode and zone modes, which allow for more flexibility in AF area selection.
The upgraded processing power allows for a burst speed of 10fps and continuous tracking. Photographers can snap up to 76 JPEG images or raw images in one go. It is a great companion for visitors who wish to take silent images.
Sony’s 5-axis image stabilization system, which has a 5.5-stop shutter speed, is a delight for the public. To prevent image blurring and vibration, there is a low vibration shutter mechanism. We were impressed by the electronic viewfinder. It is large and bright, with a rapid refresh rate and 686k dots resolution.
The battery life was good for a full-day session. It can hold approximately 650 shots, without the need for a viewfinder. The powerful sensor produces stunningly detailed images. Sony A7R III’s final images were identical to those of Canon EOS 5DS’s densely populated 50MP sensor. We found no signs of chromatic interference at higher sensitivities. The dynamic range is remarkable.
The frame rate can be extended to 120fps if you wish to experiment with slow-motion video recording. Or, you could use the 4K resolution to create premium quality videos.
The Sony Alpha A7R III camera is undoubtedly one of our most versatile. It has a powerful sensor and an excellent image stabilization system.
- System for fast AF
- The advanced image stabilization system
- Fantastic viewfinder
- Battery life is very poor
- Limited touchscreen functionality
4. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
Sony Alpha a6400 mirrorless camera is among the best APS-C mirrorless cameras. It offers many advanced features including a superior autofocus system.
We didn’t notice any significant differences despite Sony’s claim of an upgraded design. The magnesium alloy body is protected against extreme photography conditions by moisture and dust seals. This upgraded shutter has a life expectancy of 200000, compared to the A6300’s 100000. The shutter has a secure grip that makes it easier to use and an easy control layout. To make adjustments, photographers will need to use the moving control wheel. Sony may improve touchscreen functionality beyond a simple tap focus and shutter in future versions.
It is well worth the praise. It’s not enough to call it “sophisticated”. The lighting speed of 0.02-seconds is only one part of a complex hybrid system. With an 84% coverage, there are 425 phase-detect and 425 contrast detect AF points. Real-time EyeAF and Real-time Tracking technology are available to help photographers recognize patterns, distances, and spatial brightness. The system will automatically find the best AF point for you. The AF system is great for action photography due to its speed, ease of use, eye detection and remarkable precision.
Sony also offers a good 11fps speed, with an increased buffer capacity of 116 JPEGS as well as 46 RAW images.
The metering system is accurate and produces perfect exposure almost every single time. Some images may be underexposed, but this can be corrected with the post-production exposure compensation. The auto white balance system performs well in challenging lighting conditions and is quite impressive. Sony hasn’t upgraded its EVF, but it still works well in terms resolution and magnification. The viewfinder alone can extend the battery’s life to up to 410 shots, but it will reduce your battery life to just 360 shots. It is a smart decision to always have spare batteries.
Sony’s 24.2MP APS -C Exmor C CMOS and BIONZX image processor produce outstanding images with extreme clarity and attention to detail. The A6400 is able to manage image noise well, so it’s not a major issue. Sony’s 120fps speed is quite impressive for slow-motion videography.
There weren’t many differences between the Sony A6400 and its predecessor, Sony A6300. We were disappointed to find that the A6400’s highly-advanced autofocus system was missing from all other cameras. The price is not too high, and there are many features that can be used to create stunning videos.
- Great autofocus system
- Bright viewfinder
- Many video features
- Good burst shooting speed
- Built-in image stabilization is not available
- No headphone jack
5. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III Digital 4K Vlogging Camera
The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III upgrade was much needed. It is a must-have accessory for any enthusiast videographer.
Compact cameras can be difficult to use. There is a fine line between portability and usability. The Powershot is a great choice with its rubber grip, robust build quality, and polycarbonate physical controls. While the large exposure compensation dial can’t be adjusted too smoothly to prevent accidental adjustments, the overall layout makes it easy to use the camera.
Power shot uses a decent AF system. It performs well in good lighting conditions with attention to speed and accuracy. The tracking system is very efficient. All you have to do to get the system to recognize your subject is tap it. It recognizes faces easily and follows them around the frame.
We had high expectations regarding the image quality considering the old sensors from the older versions. Powershot met our expectations and produced sharp images. The images were very detailed, especially when we stopped down the aperture to a mid range. It has a good focal range, and a moderate maximum aperture.
The metering system is able to provide a reasonable level of performance, but can also cause issues with overexposure. These issues are not too serious and can be easily fixed with post-production exposure compensation. The video results are generally excellent, except for some wind noise and rolling shutter. It’s great for slow-motion video shooting with a maximum frame rate of 120fps, and very low shutter speeds.
Although the PowerShot G7 X Mark III may seem fragile, its super-long lens and wide range of features have made it one our favorite cameras. Although we could have done without the built-in viewfinder and an upgraded AF system, there isn’t much to complain about.
- Excellent build quality
- Effective image stabilization
- Responsible touchscreen
- There is no built-in viewfinder
- Overexposure is a problem
6. Blackmagic Design Pocket 4k Cinema Camera
The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema camera 4K received a lot attention shortly after its release. This camera was able to compete with other renowned manufacturers of cameras by offering a wide variety of features at a reasonable price.
Although Blackmagic may not be the most “stylish” camera we have worked with, we love the classic bulbous design. It features a weighted polycarbonate/fiberglass body that feels strong to the touch. The camera’s bulbous shape makes it easy to handle, while the simple button layout gives you greater control over it. You don’t have to worry about missing a microphone jack and the appropriate cable because you are equipped with multiple connectivity options.
Professionals don’t vote for continuous focus. Blackmagic is not the best option for enthusiasts photographers who depend on continuous focus. The AF system is a joy to use. You can quickly select the subject you want by tapping on the screen. We weren’t impressed with the performance of AF systems in low light.
Blackmagic uses the dual native ISO. The native range is between ISO400 to ISO3200. Low light images will look better at ISO3200 rather than ISO2400. To make the most of this feature, however, you need to learn how to use it. Noise handling was flawless. Blackmagic handled noise at higher sensitivities quite well, surprising. The camera’s 4K video quality is what makes it so popular. These results are sharper than other 4K cameras in the range. The RAW files show great detail.
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is nearly perfect, and we don’t think so. It is not easy to find a camera with a 4K resolution and a wide range of connectivity options.
- Sharp and large screen
- Incredible 4K video resolution
- Many connections
- Battery life is very poor
- The screen does not articulate
7. Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10IV IV is the latest attempt by the manufacturer to create a high-end bridge camera for photographers.
Cybershot bridge cameras are not the lightest cameras, but they are still very useful. The bulky body weighs in at 1095g and features a 24-600mm lens and large handgrip. Its finishing is stunning, and the structure’s strength comes from the magnesium alloy body and polycarbonate body. Cybershot is also dust- and moisture-resistant, making it safer to handle.
The upgraded autofocus system surprised us. We were not disappointed by the AF system of Sony RX10 III, but this latest version features on-sensor phase detection autofocus and staggering 315 phases-detection point with 65% coverage. It also makes use of the Sony Alpha 9’s autofocus algorithm by using the powerful BIONZX X image processor. High-density, AF tracking mode allows AF points to cluster around the subject for better tracking and precision. The 0.03-sec speed might be enough to convince you.
Cybershot’s incredible 24-fps burst speed allows for a phenomenal 112 raw and 249 JPEG file storage. The electronic viewfinder is also impressive, offering a bright and large view. The large dynamic range allows for many scenes. While the rear display has a high resolution and attention to detail, it is compatible with multiple scenes.
We cannot forget to mention the 24-600mm F/2.4-4 lens. It performs exceptionally across the zoom range with sharp results and very little vignetting. Cybershot’s built-in SteadyShot image stabilizer system works well at low shutter speeds, making it ideal for slow-motion footage. It effectively reduces camera shake.
Slow-motion videos are well supported by the 1080/120p mode. The metering system and dynamic range are flawless, with stunning results.
Although the Sony Cybershot RX10IV isn’t cheap it’s well worth every penny. This all-in-one solution is great for those who don’t mind spending a few bucks to get a powerful device.
- An incredible 24-600mm lens
- Superb video quality
- Bright and large EVF
- Advanced autofocusing system
- It’s not affordable
- Touchscreen control is limited
What Is a Slow-Motion Camera?
Slow motion, which is a cinematographic effect that makes movement appear slower than normal, is a technique used in cinematography. To create striking effects, the camera captures frames at a higher frame rate.
Videos that show new details and convey the material with drama and impact are the result. While high-action sports are great for slow-motion, any video that has enough movement can be great.
Slow motion cameras will be able to capture slow motion at high enough fps, and with sufficient light sensitivity.
How does slow motion work?
Frame rate is the number of frames you record per second. You will have more data if you capture more frames in a given frame. This allows you to slow down the footage later and get smooth, natural movements instead of a choppy, shaky scene.
What is the best frame rate to shoot slow-motion videos? First, you need to determine your minimum frame rate. 60 frames per second is the most common frame rate to use to avoid choppy footage.
Slow motion cameras can capture 60 to 120 frames per second at 4k resolution. Filmmakers have a lot of options when it comes to slow motion footage with such high resolution and quality. Let’s not forget how stunning and exciting slow motion can make us feel before we get into the camera.
If you are interested in slow-motion cameras, it is worth looking at cameras with higher frame rates. This is what the list below takes into account.
It’s important to know what you will be filming and where your work will be shared. If you are more concerned about image quality and want to share your videos only on Instagram, it is a good idea to be aware that Instagram does not support 4k videos.
It won’t make sense to buy a slower-speed camera in order to capture more frames per second. You will likely spend more on slower motion cameras with advanced features if your videos are going to be used in other ways, such as sharing them elsewhere or being used by professional videographers.
Know your budget. There are many options, and you don’t need the most expensive equipment to capture amazing slow-motion footage. It takes just a few seconds to see what is out there and compare them.
Below is a list of 10 cameras. If the overview doesn’t suffice, take some time to read each one. It can be daunting to buy a new camera. But, I hope you will find the right camera for you.
How Do You Shoot the Best Slow-Motion Video?
You can shoot slow motion video as a hobbyist or professional. Here are some things you should know.
Frames per Second
Fps (frames per second) is the number of still frames that your camera captures per second while filming a video. Slow motion requires slower frames. The higher the fps, the slower your subject will appear.
An average rule of thumb is 60fps results in a video that’s two times slower than normal. 120fps is 4X slower than normal.
Simply put, shutter speed determines the exposure time of the camera to light. It can affect the sharpness of your composition as well as its lighting. In slow-motion photography, shutter speed is closely related to frames per second (fps).
For the best results, set your shutter speed at twice your frame rate. If you are shooting at 500fps and your shutter speed is 1/1000th of an second, this would be the best setting.
Slow-motion video, like all photography, is dependent on light. The golden rule of photography is that you need more light the faster your shutter speed.
If you are shooting at 1000 fps, or higher, you will need to have a lot of bright light in order to see what you want. At this speed, image noise can be a problem. Low-light environments should be avoided whenever possible.
Remember that slow-motion video can be affected by flickering caused by many incandescent bulbs. This can be avoided by choosing bulbs that flicker at a frequency higher than your camera’s refresh rate.
It may take some trial and error before you figure it out.
Consider a Tripod
While it is not necessary to use a tripod when filming this type of footage, it can make all the difference. This is especially important for longer videos, where camera shake can ruin your footage.
A tripod will ensure that you get the best quality images, including blurred edges, image shake, focus and noise. This accessory was once prohibitively expensive. However, you can get one for as low as $20-$40.
After you have mastered the basics of shooting video with your camera, it might be worth trying a tracking shot with your tripod. Although it will take some practice, you can improve your shots by using this technique. This skill can help you improve your photography skills.
High-resolution video takes up much space quickly. You should double-check the storage options for any camera that you are considering. Make sure it is compatible with SDHC, SDXC, or both.
Another important factor to consider is the read speed; aim for at least 150 mb/s.
Editing should enhance, not fix
This applies to all photography but is especially true for slow-motion footage. Heavy-handed editing can be distracting when working with dramatic shots.
You should make sure your shot is as sharp as possible before you open up Lightroom.
Audio can get weird!
Slow-motion videos that use separate audio tracks are a result. Slow motion captures sound great.
If you don’t want to create a unique effect, replace the audio in your video. Many online resources offer royalty-free tracks.
Use tracks only legally and responsibly
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a DSLR or a mirrorless camera to make slo-mo videos?
A mirrorless camera is the best choice. Mirrorless cameras are better suited for video recording because of their sleek design. A DSLR camera is faster and more durable than a mirrorless system, especially when you are shooting sports. Your use case will determine which camera platform you choose.
Which frame rate should I use?
This is a debate that has raged since the inception of the cine camera. For smooth motion, 24fps is the best speed. YouTube allows for 30fps. 24fps or, more precisely, 23.976fps might be the best option if you are shooting for TV.
What is the 180deg shutter rate?
To best replicate the motion of our eyes, the 180deg shutter rule says that the shutter speed should be exactly twice the target frame rate. Failure to follow the rule could result in shaky or jarring footage, which might not be immersive. It doesn’t matter if you follow the rules. Your creative choices can dictate how you shoot.