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
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 60p, but you can record 120fps slow-mo at 2.7K, giving you a boost in quality when compared to Full HD. To get the slowest action, Full HD is necessary though.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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