5 Slow Motion Cameras Within Your Budget

Filming quality slow-motion footage has never been more accessible. Here’s a list of 5 inexpensive slow-mo cameras that yield amazing results.

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Ever since The Matrix introduced its famous bullet time sequence back in 99’, interest in high-speed filming spiked, resulting in more and more technological advances in slow-motion cameras over the years.

Achieving this characteristic visual effect boils down to a simple concept: the more frames per second the camera captures, the more still images you have of a scene that would normally go by fast in real time.

Say you shoot a scene at the standard 24 frames per second for film, and play it back at 24 FPS; you’re going to see normal motion. But if you take pictures at a thousand times per second, and play it back at 24 FPS, you’ll get a slowed-down sequence in those numbers’ ratio.

While you usually have to sacrifice image quality for the ability to shoot more images in less time (unless you have a $30k ~ plus Phantom Cam), the cameras in this list have the optimal balance of value/quality.

 

LUMIX GH5

 

A video powerhouse disguised as a stills shooter, the LUMIX GH5 takes stunning and detailed video footage while staying in the point-and-shoot camera category. Based on both price and functionality, this thing films powerfully gorgeous 4K/60fps video, and can shoot at an impressive 180 FPS in Full HD, making it a great bang for the buck deal.

 

 

  • Video shooting
    • 4096 x 2160p at 23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps
    • 3840 x 2160p at 23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps, 29.97 fps, 50 fps, 59.94 fps
    • 3328 x 2496p at 23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps, 29.97 fps, 50 fps, 59.94 fps
    • 1920 x 1080p at 23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps, 29.97 fps, 50 fps, 59.94 fps
  • 3 Mega pixel four thirds sensor
  • 5-Axis Photo/Video Dual I.S. 2.0
  • Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2
  • $1999 

SONY RX10 III

This point-and-shooter is an established tool for stills in the photography community, but the SONY RX10 III offers some surprising features for the video creators. Boasting ultra high-definition 4K, high-definition video at up to 120 fps and HFR (High Frame Rate) at 960 fps capture rates, this camera is certainly a competitive choice for high-speed filming. 

 

  • Video shooting
    • 3840 x 2160p at 24 fps, 30 fps
    • 1920 x 1080p at 24 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps, 120 fps, 240 fps, 480 fps, 960 fps
  • 1 Mega pixels
  • Zeiss 24-220mm f/8.8 lens
  • 0″-type (0.52″ x 0.35″) Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • $1399

 

FPS1000HD-64

 

 

The FPS1000HD-64 may not look like a powerful camera capable of slow-motion, but this tiny piece of gear has the most FPS filming you can get without having a Hollywood production budget. The story behind it is quite interesting too; the camera was conceived as a kickstarter campaign, created by Graham Rowan.

He is an inventor and hardware design engineer who, being interested in high frame rate cameras (which are usually bulky and very expensive), took up the challenge of developing a low-cost, small handheld device version. After two very successful funding campaigns, this slow-motion beast was born.

 

  • Video shooting:
    • 1280 x 720p at 750 fps
    • 640 x 480p at 3500 fps (wow!)
  • 2/3” Global shutter sensor
  • 35mm f1.7 lens
  • Pixel size 6.6 microns
  • Pixel color depth 12 bits
  • £1599 – roughly $2080 USD

 

GOPRO HERO6 BLACK

 

 

This conveniently portable camera has been the go-to for filming dynamic action videos since the release of the first GoPro, and with good reason; the interface is very easy to use and given the size and price, the GOPRO HERO6 BLACK is the cheapest contender in this list, capable of up to 240 fps in Full HD.

 

  • Video shooting
    • 3840 x 2160p at 24, 25, 30, 60 fps
    • 2704 x 1524p at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 100, 120 fps
    • 2560 x 1440p at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 80 fps
    • 1920 x 1080p at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 80, 90, 120, 200, 240 fps
    • 1280 x 960p at 50, 60, 120 fps
    • 1280 x 720p at 25, 30, 50, 60, 120, 240 fps
  • Impressive low light performance
  • GP1 chip is 2x more powerful than HERO5
  • $499

 

 

OM-D E-M1 MARK II

Last but not least, we have the E-M1 MARK II. While this camera’s main focus is not slow-motion shooting (up to 60 fps in 1080p), the image quality you can achieve with 4K Ultra HD and Cinema 4K at 30 fps is unbeatable for the price. Overall, the MARK II is an all-around quality piece of gear for photography and filmmaking alike, so if you’re looking for versatility and just enough high-speed video shooting, this is the ideal choice.

 

  • Video shooting
    • 4096 x 2160p at 24 fps
    • 3840 x 2160p at 24, 25, 30 fps
    • 1920 x 1080p 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 fps
    • 1280 x 720p at 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 fps
  • 4 Mega pixels
  • 4K UHD and Cinema 4K video
  • Great dynamic range
  • Micro four thirds image sensor
  • High ISO and C-AF performance
  • $1999

 

 

 

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