5 Best Slow Motion Video Apps: How To Shoot In Slow Motion On Phones

Idle has long been one of the coolest (and overused) effects in video. The technique was once exclusive to sophisticated and expensive cameras, but as portable device technology improves, slow motion has gotten better and better. Whether you want to highlight a cinematic moment or extend the embarrassment of a friend you recorded in a compromising situation, slow motion is a great tool that you should learn to wield.

How it works

To get the most out of slow motion, it helps to understand the basics. Let’s start with the very concept of video itself.

Video is just a series of still images (each is an “image”), displayed in succession fast enough to give the illusion of movement. Most of the videos you see on digital devices play at 30 frames per second. Ultimately, you want your slo-mo clips to play at 30 fps as well so that’s the same frame rate as normal non-slo-mo footage.

However, to slow down a video while making it appear smooth without compromising on quality, you need to record at a higher frame rate and then play it back at the normal speed of 30 fps. For example, to play video at half speed, you need to record at 60 fps or faster.

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Many phones allow you to record HD (1080p) video at even higher frame rates: slow motion at 240 fps has become quite common among high-end devices, like the Pixel 3, OnePlus 7 Pro, and the Galaxy S9. At 240 fps, you can play back video up to eight times slower than it was recorded. At this frame rate, a four-second video can stretch for over 30 seconds and still be as smooth as if it had been shot at normal speed.

There are a few phones, such as the iPhone X and Galaxy S10, which can record up to 960 fps, but only for less than a second and at a lower resolution (720p).

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