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The best slow motion cameras in 2021

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Best slow motion camera
(Image credit: N-Photo Magazine)

Using the best slow motion camera is great for capturing all the intricate details of moving subjects, or you want to add a bit of variety to your movie clips. 

In order to shoot slow motion, you’ll need a camera which is capable of recording very fast frame rates. Most modern cameras and smartphones have at least some slow motion options, so it’s something most can try out with relative ease.  

You should be careful not to overuse the technique, but instead use it for the most appropriate subjects - such as sports / action, animals and very fine movements - and sparingly within an overall video if you’re editing together several sequences. By using it only when it will have the most impact, you’ll create a dynamic and interesting video.

Slow motion frame rates vary, and it will also depend on exactly how slow you want your footage to be. The starting point is 60fps, which when played back at the usual 30fps will give a 2x slow motion effect. A commonly used slow mo setting is 240fps, or 8x (when played back at 30fps). Some devices, particularly smartphones also include “super” slow motion options, such as 960fps (32x). 

With most cameras you have to sacrifice the video resolution when you choose a faster frame rate. Furthermore, the faster frame rate will limit the amount of light reaching the sensor, so the fastest frame rates may only be available in bright light. For these reasons, you need to plan which bits will be used in slow motion in the final edit before you shoot the sequence.

There are some other things you should also take into consideration when choosing the best a slow motion camera. That includes whether the camera has a flip-out screen for framing from awkward angles (and self-shooting), lens focal length (or lens selection available), maximum video resolution, good stabilization and the amount of space available on the device - slow motion files can be very data heavy.

To help you figure out the right options for you, we’ve selected our ten favorite slow motion camera options in the list below.

Best slow motion camera in 2021

(Image credit: GoPro)

Best GoPro for slow motion

Camera type: Action camera
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Megapixels:: 23MP
Max video resolution: 5.3K 60, 30, 24fps
Frame rate at 4K: 120, 60, 30, 24fps
Frame rate at 2.7K: 240, 120, 60
Frame rate at 1080p: 240, 120, 60, 30, 24fps
Lens: Wide, Narrow & Linear Lens Modes
Screen: 2.27-inch fixed touchscreen
Autofocus: Fixed focus level
User level: Beginner - intermediate
Reasons to buy
+Excellent stabilization+Useful front display for self recording+Lots of slow mo options
Reasons to avoid
-Touchscreen is laggy-Shorter battery life than Hero9 Black

As moving/action subjects are the most common usage for slow-motion footage, it makes sense to invest in an action camera to do the job. 

GoPro remains king of the action cameras, and there’s some versatile options here for creating a variety of effects. 4K tops out at 120fps, but you can record a stunning 240fps slow-mo at 2.7K, giving you a boost in quality when compared to Full HD. 

This is a great option for creating interesting slow-mo POV (point of view) clips of your adventures, such as mountain biking, surfing and so on. With a variety of attachments and mounts, it’s one you can take with you everywhere, too. 

GoPro Hero 9 vs 10 Black  Best GoPro accessories

(Image credit: Canon)

Best DSLR camera for slow motion

Camera type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 32.5
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 30, 25fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25fps
Frame rate at 720p: 60, 50fps
Lens mount: EF/EF-S
Screen: 3-inch 1040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen
Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF
User level: Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+Good slow-mo options at Full HD+Fully articulating screen+Very flexible
Reasons to avoid
-Comparatively bulky 

This flexible and powerful all-rounder is a good option for anyone who likes to shoot a bit of everything, including slow-motion. 

You’ll be able to capture up to 120fps (in Full HD) with excellent face and eye tracking working well to produce sharp and clear results. Indeed, several of the other cameras in Canon’s line up are limited to 720p for 120fps shooting, so the 90D is the one to look towards if it’s something you’re particularly interested in, especially if you’re keen to take advantage of the more extensive range of Canon lenses that are available for EF mount DSLRs.

With other features such as 4K recording, a headphone and mic jack, this is a versatile tool for creating lots of different types of shot, using slow-mo when appropriate. 

(Image credit: Canon)

Best compact camera for slow motion

Camera type: Compact
Sensor: One-inch
Megapixels: 20
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 30, 25fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25fps
Frame rate at 720p: 50fps
Lens: 24-100mm (equiv), f/1.8-2.8
Screen: 3.0-inch 1040k-dot tilting touchscreen
Autofocus: TTL 31-point
User level: Entry level
Reasons to buy
+Pocket-friendly +Tilting screen+Good Full HD slo-mo options 
Reasons to avoid
-Slow-mo doesn’t included sound or autofocus 

If you want a pocket-friendly, video-friendly compact camera that can tackle a little bit of everything, then the G7X Mark III is a fantastic option - especially if you want to record movies on the go.

As well 4K recording, you can also take advantage of Full HD slow-mo at up to 120fps. The tilting touchscreen can face forward to make creating point of view shots easy, while of course you can also point it at whatever action is happening in front of you. 

This is a camera which has been designed with vloggers in mind, so if you’re looking for something which allows you to insert some unusual clips into your vlogs, it makes a lot of sense.

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Best slow motion camera for serious filmmakers

Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Four Thirds
Megapixels: 12
Max video resolution: C4K
Frame rate at 4K: 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 240, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24fps
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
Screen: 3.2-inch 1620k-dot free-angle touchscreen
Autofocus: Contrast Detect AF
User level: Expert
Reasons to buy
+Advanced filming options +Relatively compact+Free-angle screen
Reasons to avoid
-Complicated for beginners 

If you’re serious about video, then the Panasonic GH5S is very worthy of your consideration. 

With several advanced features for videography, including variable frame rates for creating slow motion footage, it’s the ideal choice for creating professional-looking results. Variable frame rates give you the scope to create 2.5x slow motion in 4K, and a 10x effect in Full HD.

Although bulkier than a compact or action camera, compared to full-frame and DSLR options, the GH5S and its associated lenses and accessories are relatively compact.

If you're new to video, you might find the setup a little overwhelming, but with excellent results it’s worth investing the time to really get to know it. 

(Image credit: DJI)

Best slow motion camera for travel

Camera type: Action camera
Sensor: 1/1.7-inch
Megapixels: : 64
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps
Frame rate at 2.7K: 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 240, 120, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24fps
Lens: 20mm (equiv), f/1.8
Screen: Touchscreen
User level: Entry level - intermediate
Reasons to buy
+Excellent stabilization +Very pocket friendly +Lots of video options 
Reasons to avoid
-Needs good light for best results 

This cute little camera is a YouTuber and blogger’s dream, especially those with a penchant for traveling and capturing moments on the go.

A versatile and highly creative option, you’ve got a wide variety of different video options, including Pro modes, Time-lapse, Hyper-lapse and so on. In terms of slow-mo, you can go all the way up to 240fps when recording at Full HD.

For creating slick videos with a number of different effects all from something that can easily slip into your pocket, there’s not much to dislike about the Pocket 2.

Sony ZV-1

(Image credit: Sony)

Best vlogging camera for slow motion

Camera type: Compact
Sensor: One-inch
Megapixels: 20.1
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 30, 24fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 960, 120, 60, 30, 24fps
Lens: 24-70mm (equiv), f/1.8-2.8
Screen: 3.0-inch, 921k-dot free-angle touchscreen
Autofocus: Fast Hybrid AF
User level: Entry-level - intermediate
Reasons to buy
+Pocket-friendly +Vari-angle screen+Super slow motion options 
Reasons to avoid
-Fixed lens with limited zoom range

This is another versatile and pocket-friendly option which comes with a range of features that video- and content- creators are sure to make good use of.

As well as relatively standard slow-mo options, such as 120fps, you also get a super-slow motion setting which records at an incredible 960fps. With this, you can really slow down the action for the most dramatic results possible, examining every detail of what’s going on. 

Designed with vloggers in mind, having the slow-mo options available can help you to inject some interesting extra shots into your footage, while also being great for the rest of your regular recordings. 

(Image credit: Sony)

Best full frame camera for slow camera

Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame Megapixels: 12.1
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 120, 100, 60, 50, 24 fps
Frame rate at 1080p: 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
Frame rate at 720p: 240, 200
Lens mount: Sony E
Screen: 3-inch, 1440k-dot, free-angle touchscreen
Autofocus: Fast Hybrid AF
User level: Expert
Reasons to buy
+Excellent variety of video options+4K at 120fps+Good for low light 
Reasons to avoid

This is another option for those who are serious about videography. 

Designed with both video and low-light shooting in mind, the A7S III is capable of producing superb results across a variety of different subjects. It offers uncropped 4K recording, while you can also capture slow-mo at up to 120fps at 4K too.

If you want to go even slower, you’ll need to step down to 720p, but for creating subtle slo-mo effects at high resolutions it’s ideal. 

Of course you pay a price for having such flexibility, with the A7S III having a high price - but if you’re a professional / advanced enthusiast you may consider it worth the outlay.

(Image credit: Samsung )

Best smartphone for slow motion

Camera type: Smartphone
Sensors: 4x
Megapixels: 108MP, 12MP, 10MP & 10MP
Max video resolution: 8K
Frame rate at 4K: Max 60fps
Frame rate at 1080p: Max 240fps
Frame rate at 720p: 960fps Lenses: 13mm f/2.2, 26mm f/1.8, 70mm f/2.4 & 240mm f/4.9 (equivalent)
Screen: 6.8-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+Specific slow-mo modes +Versatile
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive -Slow-Mo in low light not great 

Many content creators simply use their phones to capture excellent video. And with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on the market, it’s easy to see why. 

Here you’ve got lots of versatility for video, with a maximum resolution of 8K for standard shooting. When it comes to Slow-Mo, you’ve got 240fps at 1080p and a dedicated super-slow motion mode that offers 960fps. The latter isn’t so fantastic when the light is low, but for sports and outdoor action, it’s a great way to add interest to your video content.

With a well-featured native camera app, it’s also flexible for other types of content too so you’re getting a great all-rounder.

(Image credit: Sony )

Best advanced smartphone for slow mo

Camera type: Smartphone
Sensors: 3x cameras
Megapixels: 12MP, 12MP, & 12MP
Max video resolution: 4K
Frame rate at 4K: 120, 60, 30, 25, 24fps
Lens: 24mm f/1.7, 70mm f/2.4, 16mm f/2.2
Screen: 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED
User level: Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+4K 120fps+High quality display +Advanced movie modes
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive 

Sony has taken a lot of its video expertise and placed it inside its most recent smartphones. 

The Xperia 5 II offers a lot to various types of content creators, which includes 4K recording at up to 120fps (only available with the 24mm lens). There’s also an advanced video recording app (Cinema Pro) which more advanced video users will be keen to use, giving you the flexibility to create slick montages and clips within the phone itself. 

On top of that, you also get a nicely designed device with a well-performing screen, making it another good all-round option for smartphone vloggers.

Best Slow Motion Camera: Kandao QooCam 8K

(Image credit: Kandao)

Best 360 degree camera for slow motion

Camera type: 360-degree action camera
Sensor: 1/1.7-inch CMOS
Megapixels: 20
Max video resolution: 8K
Frame rate at 4K: Max 120fps
Lens: 200-degree field of view, f/2.0
Screen: 2.4-inch touchscreen
User level: Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+4K 120fps video+Manual exposure settings+Great for creativity
Reasons to avoid
-Short battery life -Expensive

Admittedly a bit of a niche option, the Kandao QooCam 8K is something you’ll want to use to create supplementary footage. 

The camera is packed with two fisheye lenses that work together to create a wraparound panoramic image which gives you an interesting and unique perspective on the world.

Capable of recording at 8K, you also get slow-mo in 4K at up to 120fps, which is fantastic for keeping resolution as high as possible. You can also use AI Slow Motion to boost capabilities to 960fps. 

Although not a camera that will have widespread appeal to a huge number of uses, if you’re looking to inject some special shots in your footage, it’s worth looking into.

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