The best cameras for shooting video in slow motion

Catch all the action—not just what you can see with your naked eye.

Slow and steady.
Slow and steady. Prasanna Kumar via Unsplash

Video running at the speed of molasses reveals hidden movements our feeble peepers can’t typically see. While most footage is filmed at 30 or so frames per second (fps), the ultrafast cameras below can capture hundreds or thousands. When played back at a normal rate, the movies stretch out time, creating cinematic magic.


GoPro Hero5 Black Jonathon Kambouris

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GoPro Hero5 Black

Like many smartphones, this action camera can record footage at 240 fps, or eight times slower than real life. Unlike your smartphone, however, it can plunge up to 33 feet underwater and survive sky-high drops, so it can go where the action is. Try filming the mesmerizing-but-gross undulations of a dog’s tongue as it drinks from a bowl of water. $399


Sony RX100 Mark V Jonathon Kambouris

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Sony RX100 Mark V

Moments shot at this camera’s 1,000 fps top speed produce hypnotizing films. That requires plentiful light, so the Sony’s lens has an extra-wide aperture to let in oodles of photons. One second of film time becomes 33 seconds of playback. $1,000


Phantom VEO 710

Phantom VEO 710

This pro camera can take a second and stretch it into five minutes of high-def footage that can be crucial in research scenarios, like analyzing the results of a crash-safety test. With the resolution cut to the lowest setting, the sensor can grab an extraordinary million frames per second, making one second last more than nine hours. from $40,000

This article was originally published in the September/October 2017 Mysteries of Time and Space issue of Popular Science.

Stan Horaczek

Stan Horaczekis the senior gear editor at Popular Science and Popular Photography. His past bylines include Rolling Stone, Engadget, Men's Journal, GQ, and just about any other publication that has ever written about gadgets. For a short time, he even wrote the gadget page for Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine. He collects vintage cameras, eats pizza, and hopes you won't go looking at his Tweets even though the link is down there.