Calling all aspiring videographers and photographers looking to up their game. We’ve compiled a list of the best slow motion cameras on the market, so you can find one that suits your needs. Whether you’re shooting weddings, creating advertising videos, or just want to have some creative fun with friends, we can help you find the perfect camera for any occasion!
Each day, we are surrounded by more and more images and videos. As a result, it is hard to make your photo or video stand out. One way to do this is by using black and white photography or slow-motion footage in your work.
With the advancements of today’s technology, a camera’s slow-motion capabilities have greatly improved. In fact, even budget cameras nowadays have the capacity to shoot high-quality slo-mo videos at 120 frames per second!
A few years ago, this setting was only available in professional filmmaking cameras, which cost thousands of dollars. Now, we can even find some of these settings on our very own handheld mobile phones.
If you’re looking for a slow-motion camera to shoot your new project, allow us to help you find the best slow motion camera suited for you.
Things to Consider When Buying a Slow Motion Camera
Before taking the plunge and spending your hard earned money understanding the characteristics of a good slow motion camera can really help you make an informed decision. Some of the most important thinsg to consider include:
Bit Rate and Depth
In a nutshell, a camera’s bit rate refers to the amount of data encoded given within a second as you shoot the video. The higher the bit rate, the higher your video’s quality will be. On a camcorder, the bit rate is commonly shown as megabits per second (or Mb/s).
To shoot a decent slow-motion video, we recommend you to have a camera that has a bit rate of at least 12Mb/s.
The bit depth, on the other hand, dictates how much your camera can store in each color channel per pixel. An 8-bit bit depth gives you 256 possible shades of red, blue, and green, while a 10-bit camera allows for 1,024 shades of red, blue, and green.
The higher the bit depth, the easier it is to color high contrast videos.
For slow-motion cameras, it’s a must to have a high capturing speed. If it doesn’t have a high frame rate capacity, it shouldn’t be considered to be a slow-mo camera.
The basic slow-mo frame rates in cameras start from 60 frames/second (FPS), and 120 FPS.
Most cameras shot frame rates in 1080p resolution. Yet, shooting slow-motion videos in 4K resolution is better. At a consumer-level camera, you’ll typically find a frame rate of 30-120 FPS in 4K resolution.
For professional cameras, you’ll find a high frame rate (HFR) modes of 480 FPS, and 960 FPS.
These two features are essential when shooting a slow-motion video, as it enables you to take better videos with minimal effort. With these features, the camera will automatically adjust and focus on the subject for a smoother, clearer overall video.
Cherry-picked from the best camera manufacturers, here are four of the best slo-mo cameras available for purchase today!
GoPro HERO 8 Action Camera – Best for Vloggers and Adventurers
The GoPro Hero 8 is the latest action camera from GoPro and has some features that every video aficionado will love. The Hero 8 is primarily made for those who love vlogging or capturing high-speed, “action” videos; that is, for adventurers!
Due to this, the Hero 8’s slow-motion features are pretty incredible. They’ve also added a new HyperSmooth 2.0 technology, which improved its predecessor’s already impeccable stabilization functionality.
The Hero 8 shoots slo-mo at 60 FPS at 4K, 120 FPS at 2.7k, and an HFR mode of up to 240 FPS at 1080p. That’s pretty impressive!
Best of all, it’s waterproof. You can take this camera with you under the ocean of up to 33 feet below!
Overall, this slow-motion camera is spectacular and can capture amazing slow-motion footage.
- Hyper-smooth 2.0 delivers incredible stabilization
- Supports 4K resolution
- Timewarp feature auto-adjusts to your speed without having to change any of your settings
- Doesn’t have a high sensor size so it doesn’t capture the best footage under dark/low-light
- Doesn’t allow a lot of flexibility
Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera – Best Value
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is easily one of the most advanced cameras available to date, especially at the price range it offers.
This camera excels in design, performance, and picture quality.
It’s jam-packed with advanced features such as Automatic AF settings, control dials, interchangeable lenses, and a no low pass filter. That ensures that you’ll always get the best possible results every time.
As for its slow-motion aspect, it can record 60 FPS in 4K and 180 FPS at 1080p in 8-bit. You can also change the bit rate to 10-bit capacity and shoot at 60 FPS if you prefer to get as much color depth as possible in your video.
- Video quality is quite impressive
- High-quality 10-bit 4:2:2 allows users more flexibility in post-production
- Has a flip touch screen that’ll grant users the capacity to shoot in all directions without moving the camera
- Body image stabilization is one of the best available
- Comes at a great value
- Doesn’t have the option to autofocus in its Variable Frame Rate (VFR) mode, meaning there isn’t an autofocus option at 120 or 180 FPS.
Sony α7R IV – Best Professional Slow Motion Camera
The Sony α7R IV is a camera best suited for professional and aspiring filmmakers, primarily because of its superior image processing unit.
We all know how great the Sony brand is, but with the α7R IV, they took the features to a whole new level.
It features the world’s first high-resolution 61MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor, with the latest-generation BIONZ X processor. This means that users will have the capacity to shoot continuously at up to 10 FPS with full autofocus in outstanding detail.
Being a slow-motion camera, the α7R IV has advanced options that allow it to capture objects moving at extremely high speeds without losing its overall quality.
The α7R IV can record Full HD video with frame rates of up to 120 FPS, which allows for up to 5x slow-motion video and 60x quick motion video.
- Shooting is efficient and easy with the α7R IV Fast Intelligent Autofocus features
- In-Body stabilization is exceptionally accurate
- One of the sharpest 4k video camera Sony has to offer
- Has one of the best low light performance and captures top-quality videos in dark conditions
- Rather expensive
- Only captures 30 FPS in 4K resolution
Sony RX100 VII – Highest Slow Motion Frame Per Second
The Sony RX100 VII has some incredible video recording modes and has fantastic slow-motion video capabilities.
Granted, this camera doesn’t have interchangeable lenses like the α7R IV we’ve reviewed earlier. But what it does have is a built-in zoom lens of up to 200mm! With this, you’ll be able to shoot videos stunning quality even if you’re zoomed in to the maximum.
Let’s talk about the RX100 VII’s frame rate capacity, which is the highest in this list. You can shoot at 60, 100, and 120 FPS in 1080p in slow motion, but that’s not anything we haven’t seen before.
What we haven’t seen is its HFR mode that allows you to shoot – get this – up to 960 FPS in 1080p!
Sony has improved a lot of features in this camera, including enhanced image stabilization, better autofocus capabilities, and super fast real-time tracking.
- Has the same autofocus, real-time tracking and real-time eye AFas the Sony a9 camera, which is three times its price
- Shoots at 240, 280, and 960 FPS at 1080p
- Incredible zooming capacities
- Battery life isn’t the best
- Isn’t the best option for capturing videos at night
When it comes to selecting the perfect camera for slow-motion video, there are only a handful of really good options. There is no one single best choice as each camera has its own set of pros and cons that make them better suited for some situations than others. We’ve gone over what we believe to be the top four cameras on the market today. Now you just need to decide which one fits your needs the best!
If you’re looking to shoot slow-motion videos just for fun, you won’t particularly need the latest and most expensive professional camera. As such, we recommend the GoPro HERO 8 Action Camera.
But suppose you’re a professional or aspiring filmmaker. In that case, it’s better to look for a camera that has customization options, flat picture profiles, a higher recording bit, and frame rate for better video quality.
The Sony α7R IV ticks all those boxes and will guarantee beautifully rendered slow-motion videos every time.