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Slow-mo iOS videos, no iPhone 5s needed

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The capture screen on SlowCam lets you choose separate focal and exposure points.

You don't have to shell out big bucks for a new iPhone 5s if you want to take slow motion videos on an iOS device. If you have an iPhone 4, 4S or 5, you can download the the SlowCam app for $1.99. From the makers of Top Camera, SlowCam features a simple capture interface that allows for digital zooming, flash and the option to pick separate focal and exposure points.

This screenshot shows what the capture screen looks like when you are pressing the slow-mo snail icon. A blue outline replaces the normal red framing of the screen.

To start your recording, tap the red dot. Once you have started recording, a snail icon will appear. Hold down the snail to record slow motion video. Your recorded clips will save in your iPhone's Photos application.

One downside of SlowCam is that, unlike on the iPhone 5s, all slow motion video capture is done live. So if you want to add a slow motion effect after capture, you can't. Likewise, you are stuck with your slow motion choices after the clip is saved.

I took SlowCam for a test drive while making my morning coffee. It's not the most exciting example of slow motion videography, but I couldn't convince anyone to do backflips at 8 a.m.

The short video below shows the slow motion feature in action. At about 3 seconds in, you will hear the background noise warp as SlowCam brings my stirring to a snail's pace.

While SlowCam is a great choice for users of older iPhone models who want slow motion video, it's also an improvement on the iPhone 5s slow motion feature. Not only does SlowCam allow for separate focal and exposure points, it lets you quickly upload slow motion videos to Instagram without having to email the videos to yourself first. (But, unfortunately, it doesn't come in gold.)

Comments

Total comments: 18
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (11 months ago)

They need to make Twixtor for mobile devices.

0 upvotes
zevobh
By zevobh (11 months ago)

um, it takes about 2 years to render on my 8 core 2.8ghz, I don't think it would really be feasible on a phone.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

I'm just writing a generic article on this app (and also the just-released and heavily discounted ProCamera 7).

I've also tested SlowCam on one of my iPad 3's, also running 7.0.2. (Didn't test on my iPad 4 - sorry, don't want to sacrifice jailbreak.) As was easy to predict, no 60 fps sensor output. That is, you'll only get true 60 fps input on the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s but nothing else (iPads / iPod touch models are a no-go).

Note that the app just doubles the frames when you depress the icon when shooting a non-high speed-capable device - unlike on the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Speaking of ProCamera 7,

- it also records true 60 / 120 fps on compatible hardware (tested this on the iPhone 5).

- it, unlike SlowCam, exports truly 60 fps video to the Camera Roll; that is, it doesn't convert it into a 30 fps video.

Given that it's only $0.99 (intro price), I heavily recommend ProCamera 7. After all, it's not only a high speed video shooter, but also has a lot of other functionalities settable via the API like ISO boosting, disabling continuous video autofocus or extending the shutter speed to 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1s (the given shutter speed is selectable).

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Uploaded an unmodded ProCamera 7 60 fps video I've shot on the iPhone 5 to

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/102013/01-60fpsarticle/Procamera%207%2060fps.mov

so that you can also evaluate it.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

... and, finally, posted the full review to http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52262200

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Answers to questions asked here in the Comments section:

1, as I've proved below with true, native video samples, this app does record at true 60 fps on the iPhone 5, without framedrops. It should also record at 720p60 on the 4S, albeit I haven't tested this. On the iPhone 5s, it should record at 120p (haven't tested this either).

2, please note that all kind of 30+ fps video recording, independent of the app doing the recording, will use pixel binning at least on the iPhone 5. It seems, based on the videos I've examined so far, the situation is the same on the iPhone 5s. (And I don't think it'd be better on the iPhone 4S either.) This means the effective resolution will only be 360p and not 720p - halved in both directions. Apple, of course, won't tell their customers their high-speed mode is pretty much handicapped so this may be the first time you've heard of this.

0 upvotes
ChrisWal
By ChrisWal (11 months ago)

I haven't bought the app, but from what I've read, it does claim to shoot at 60fps (iPhone 5) or 120 (5S). The normal fps (for iP5) is up to 30fps, so it is apparently a little more than just slowing it down. I'm not sure if it's worth the money/effort???

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

It DOES record at 60 fps on the iPhone 5 - it's just that it outputs a 30 fps file (slowed down by a factor of two), unlike most other hi-speed apps, which do output MOV files with native 60 fps framerate.

As an author of several iOS video-related roundups and tutorials, I've always tested these apps and I know how they need to be tested (see for example http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/will-ios7-indeed-support-60fps-video-recording-yes-it-will ) - you may trust me. SlowMo seems to be pretty decent. Just remember to keep the icon over the shutter icon depressed all the time you want to record true 60 fps footage; otherwise, it'll only record 30 fps - as is also explained in the article above.

0 upvotes
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
By Kendall Helmstetter Gelner (11 months ago)

If you compare actual 5s slow motion video against this the difference is night and day. Your video is horribly choppy, as Joe mentioned it seems like it's not adding more frames, just slowing down the video... it's nice to be able to do this at all but it's nothing like the real deal. If you really want slow motion video for some reason the 5s video is far better quality.

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Yes, it isn't the best example. I'll very soon post some examples proving this app indeed records at 60 fps.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

"Yes, it isn't the best example. I'll very soon post some examples proving this app indeed records at 60 fps."

Here it is: native, unmodified output of the app:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/102013/01-60fpsarticle/SlowCam-60fps.MOV

(in the first about one second, I didn't keep the turbo icon depressed; this is why every other frame is shown. After that, the entire duration was recorded at 60 fps)

For comparison, here's SloPro's native 60 fps (again,unlike that of SlowPro, which outputs a half-speed 30 fps video) output:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/102013/01-60fpsarticle/SloPro-60fps.mov

Finally, here's that of BetterCam:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/102013/01-60fpsarticle/BetterCam-60fps.mov

which is (as with my earlier articles) still not recommended: it still can't record over 30 fps.

I've shot my standard 60 fps counter video played back at true 60 fps. On a 60 fps recording, every number should be shown.

0 upvotes
madmaxmedia
By madmaxmedia (11 months ago)

So wait, how many apps are there that record true 60 FPS? SlowCam and SloPro? And I guess SlowPro and BetterCam are different apps?

Slowing down 60FPS footage to 24FPS gives pretty good slow motion (I messed around with it on my NEX-5N), if not quite the surrealistic feel of 120 FPS slowed down.

Thanks for all the detailed info in the other link, very interesting!

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

"So wait, how many apps are there that record true 60 FPS? SlowCam and SloPro?"

Yes, these are the two that I've tested and found recording true 60 fps on the iPhone 5.

"And I guess SloPro and BetterCam are different apps?"

From SlowCam, yes. BetterCam is to be avoided as it hasn't been updated for the new, iOS7+ high-framerate API, though.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

"Thanks for all the detailed info in the other link, very interesting!"

Thanks for the kind words - I'll go on publishing some really kick-*ss material in the future too :)

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (11 months ago)

Looks like it is just slowing down the video instead of taking more frames. i.e. as good as slow motion on VCR. Lame.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (11 months ago)

Nope, it does record at true 60 fps on the iPhone 5. (It's on the 5 that I've tested it. I assume it works the same way on the 4S too.) See my above links for some true, native footage.

0 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (11 months ago)

Hi Menneisyys, what's the easiest way to preview/save slow-mo video on older iPhones - 5 and under? Is it possible?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 18
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