The Magic of Super Slow-Mo

Videographer Reinhardt Vermeulen with Sony Camera

We have all seen the magical super slow-mo shots during sporting shows on TV, but not too many of us understand the technology that permits such smooth and seamless results in video productions. In South Africa, we have subscribed to the PAL TV standard, which means, amongst other things, that the standard frame rate in video is 25 frames per second. To achieve slow motion video, we have to increase the frame rate of the camera in a linear manner to achieve the required degree of slow motion movement required.

Logically, because our standard frame rate is 25 frames per second, if we have a camera capable of 50 frames per second, that will allow us to achieve a slow motion rate of 50% of the real-time speed, which is great and fairly common on modern video cameras, but to achieve a ten times super slow-mo effect, your camera would need to be capable of shooting at 250 frames per second!

Only lately has this technology become available to smaller production companies with limited budgets. We recently shot a TV ad for a major international brand requiring super slow-mo footage and we were able to hire a Sony FS700 video camera at a reasonable rate – a fraction of what it would have cost only five years ago. Above is a photo of one of our talented cameramen, Reinhardt, with the camera. The results are superb and our client is delighted to be able to showcase their product detail in super slow-mo for their target market, with the value add of these shots included in the video.

Super slow-mo cameras are developing as we speak, and it is not uncommon to hear of high-end cameras now capable of shooting 10,000 frames per second for extreme situations like bullets leaving the muzzle of a firearm, for example. These cameras are extremely expensive, but we are sure that as technology evolves and becomes more affordable, we may even have a use for them in the near future.

You’re welcome to contact us to discuss your requirements for professional video productions, including super slow-mo effects. We’d be happy to assist.

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