Some of you own mobile phones that have the ability to shoot slo motion (or slow motion) and probably wondered, “How does this work and why do I need it?” In fact, many people have told me that they’re unsure of how to use slo motion and when to use it. Wonder no more! What follows are a few thoughts on when to use slo motion and how to use it.

  • WHY? The first thing you need to know about shooting slo motion is that you should have a reason to use it. Please don’t use it just because you think it’s a cool feature to the camera. There should be a reason why you need to shot in slo motion. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it, right? A good example of why to use slo motion is in sports where you want to see the mechanics of the actions. For example, how did the basketball player make a shot or how a golfer swings his/her club. This makes sense. You probably wouldn’t need to see someone talking on the phone in slo motion though, would you? It just wouldn’t make sense unless you were trying to add some drama.
  • FRAME RATE. Next, it’s important to understand frame rate. Typical video is shot with a frame rate of 30 frames per second or 24 frames per second and it is just as it sounds. There are 30 still images strung together in each second¬† flashing by your eyes at 30 FPS. To see an example of 30 FPS, watch the video below around 2:10. I show you what 30 frames per second looks like. I also discuss how slowing down a regularly shot video doesn’t give it that slo motion look because at 30 frames per second, you’re not going to get the frame by frame movement that you might expect. When shooting in slo motion, the setting I show you in the video below you have two options: 120 FPS (4 times 30 FPS = 120) or 240 FPS (or 8 time 30 FPS). By shooting in either 120 or 240, what’s happening is you’re increasing the number of frames per second being shot, allowing for a much smoother shot than the example I share with you at around 2:25. To see the shot at 120 FPS, watch the video at around 3:44, and to see the same shot at 240 FPS, watch at 4:13. It’s amazing how much slower and smoother it is at the higher frame rate.

Remember, when shooting any video on your phone, keep in mind that the higher the resolution (720, low; 1080, true HD; 4K, high) the more space it will take on your phone. Don’t be surprised when your memory is filled after you shot all your video in 4K. If file size is a concern for you, you’ll want to avoid shooting too much in slo motion, or at least avoid saving too much to your phone due to space constraints.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to reach out directly by emailing Fan @ If you have something you’d like me to talk about, review, or answer questions, let me know at the same address. Until next time…