MacMost Now 933: iPhone 5s Slo-Mo Video

With the fast processor in the iPhone 5s, you can take 120 FPS video and slow down a portion of that video for an interesting effect. Learn how to use this feature, and how it really works.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 933: iPhone 5s Slo-Mo Video.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at the slow motion video mode on the iPhone 5S.

So using Slo-Mo mode is pretty straight forward. You into your camera and from there you just slide over, you can see at the bottom it says Slo-Mo, video, photo. You can slide left or right like to the photo mode, video mode, and you can go all the way over to Slo-Mo mode. Then you can see at the bottom it also says 120 FPS, 120 frames per second.

You start recording by just hitting the red button. Then on the record video you can see the time at the top and a blinking red light. When you are done hit stop again and it saves it out. That's all that you do at this stage of the recording.

The next step you tap the thumbnail at the bottom left there and it will take you into the photos app.

So here is what you get when you look at in the photos app. You get the video editing mode. Kind of like before. You can trim at the top or bottom by dragging the left or the right side of the film strip. You can also move the white line there to see any part of it.

But you can see below it is the slo-mo interface where you have a series of blue lines and then two black lines. So, to the left of the first black line it is regular speed. To the right of the last black line is regular speed. Everything in the middle is slo-mo.

Now you can adjust the area for slo-mo by just dragging those black lines. Everything in the middle there is going to be slow motion.

Then you can play using the play button at the bottom and sort of preview what it looks like there and it is a pretty neat affect.

Now here is the deal with slow motion. The way it works is this. You're basically recording instead of at 30 frames per second you are recording at 120 frames per second. So four times as many frames. You are doing it at 720p not 1080p so a little lower high definition that's in order to make it possible to capture all this data so quickly.

Then what happens in slo-mo mode it is slowing everything down four times which it has the ability to do because it has four times as many frames in there. So it is still displays video at 30 frames per second using the 120 frames it has per second just slowed down four times.

Now the thing to realize is the video is really just a plain and normal ordinary video at 120 frames per second. When you import it into your Mac say into iPhoto or use image capture to bring it in as a video, you are not actually going to get the slow motion affect at all. You are going to get what looks like a normal video but you've got a 120 frames per second captured which makes it very useful to edit say in Final Cut Pro because you have all those frames to play with. You can slow it down using affects in there.

But what you won't see is if you play it back say in QuickTime player or in iPhoto you are not going to see the slow motion affect. You are just going to see what looks like a normal video because it is just going to play the thing at normal speed even though there is four times as much data there.

Now in the photos app you've got a share button. The share button allows you to share it with certain services, say YouTube and Facebook and things like that, you can send an email. What happens is when you do that it is going to export the video and change it so it includes the slow motion in there. It basically renders the video out taking out the 120 frames per second and showing everything at regular 30 frames per second but slowing down the portion that you set in slow motion.

So the person is not going to get 120 frames per second video. They are basically going to get the end result of what you want them to see.

That is one way to actually create a video that has slow motion imbedded into it. You can, of course, email this to yourself if you really want to. The best thing to do is to probably just import it to yourself so you have the full unedited version, the version that is 120 frames per second in your video library.

It definitely does get confusing because you expect when you create the slow motion affect on your iPhone to see it then when you sync it to your Mac. But that is not what happens.

In fact for video people you are probably just going to want to take the video in slow motion, know that you've got a 120 frames per second video. Not even play around with the affect on your iPhone. Then sync it to your Mac and then use it there. Use that 120 frames to slow it down in your software.

Keep in mind, of course, that these slow motion videos are going to take up a lot more space on your device and in your archive of videos, and things like that. So you want to use it sparingly. Use it only maybe just for kind of interesting gimmicks like maybe when you see a hummingbird feeding at a feeder or when you are filming your kid playing some sports, and things like that. Every once in a while it is a interesting little trick to add to your video collection.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 933: iPhone 5s Slo-Mo Video”

    5 years ago

    HI Gary, thank you for all the hard work on the videos you create for this site. Question on the slo mo effect. I have imported my ios7 movie into imovie. I want to apply the slo mo effect to just a portion of the movie. right now when I reduce speed to 25%, it applies slo mo to the entire movie. Can you explain how to apply slo mo to just a short portion of the video when using imovie?

      5 years ago

      You can split any clip in a project. Go to where you want the slo-mo to start. Split. Go to where you want the slo-mo to end. Split. Select the middle part and change it’s speed.

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