Digital cinema cameras have come a long way since the days of recording to tape. Our reliable Sony FS5 is capable of shooting 240 frames per second at 2K resolution, something that 10 years ago would be unimaginable in anything but a high-end cinema camera. This can open up a whole range of possibilities when it comes to shooting beautiful product shots, or capturing important events in dramatic slow motion. Here are a few tips and uses for shooting slow motion.
The More Light the Better
When it comes to shooting slow motion, the slower your motion, the more light you will need. Let’s say your standard is the 24 frames per second used by film cameras as standard. At 240 frames per second, of which the FS5 is capable, you will need 10 times the amount of light to get the same exposure as real time. So if you plan on shooting indoors, you will need a controlled environment with plenty of lights just to get a correct exposure.
Choose a Fast Lens
Another tip that will make it easier to get enough light onto your sensor is by using a fast prime lens. Our .95 50mm lens is perfect for low light applications as it is a versatile focal length as well as being extremely fast. It does come with some drawbacks as shooting with such a wide aperture will mean that is can be very difficult to keep things in focus, so if you’re shooting something like sports, the best option is to sacrifice some light and shoot at f4, and up the ISO to compensate.
Keep it Stable
Because every moment will be stretched out by up to 10 times, movement in real time can might not be obvious when the shot is slowed down. For shorter clips it’s not always necessary to use a tripod, but for longer slow motion shots we recommend it for the best final product. If you are shooting at says, 60fps, or 100fps, shooting handheld can provide a dreamy, natural feel, especially when paired with some movement and tracking.
Choose Your Frame to Match the Motion
When it comes to shooting slow motion, you have to ask yourself, “how slow do we need it?” If you’re looking to capture something like a starters pistol going off, the slower the better. Capturing things that are moving fast already will benefit from the slower movement. However, you should take into consideration the end result of the shot. Is it just a small part of a finished product? If so then you don’t want to shoot 240fps for some B-roll of someone walking. You will fill up your storage media quickly and the extra slow speed won’t add anything apart from time.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.