6 Slow Motion Cameras You Can Afford

Bring your slow motion game up to speed with this roundup of high frame rate cameras that won’t deplete your life savings.

Are you looking for a digital video camera to shoot slow motion cinematography? Well, you’re in luck! There are tons of great options available on the market right now. And, while we may all want the best the industry has to offer — with some high performance cinema cameras like the Phantom VEO 1310, which can shoot an insane 10,860 fps at 1280 x 960 — the majority of us will have to do with some options that are a bit more budget friendly.

Once again, you’re in luck! If you’re looking to shoot some beautiful, cinematic slow-mo of wildlife, sporting events, or an action movie where your hero is walking away slowly as an explosion goes off behind him, we have you covered. Let’s take a look at six budget-friendly slow motion, high frame rate digital video cameras that won’t break your bank.

1. GoPro HERO8 Black

When looking for a slow motion camera, the first place you want to look is at the frames per second (fps). Going by the raw specs, one highly affordable option would be a much less expensive action camera instead of a full digital or cinema camera.

The GoPro HERO8 Black is the brand’s latest iteration. They certainly chase the high fps numbers with the HERO8, offering 240 fps at 1080p. And, while the image obviously might not be as crisp as some other cameras listed here, if you need some slow-mo on-the-run this is a good place to start.

  • Full HD up to 240 fps
  • 12 MP 1-Chip CMOS
  • UHD 4K video resolutions
  • 4K time-lapses at night
  • HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization

Price: $349.00

2. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III

Next up in price point is a highly capable point-and-shoot option, the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III. Like previous iterations, the G7X Mark III is great for high frame rate videography. It offers full HD up to 120 fps, which combines well with a strong 20.1MP sensor and standard UHD 4K video recording. If you’re traveling or looking to avoid buying or renting lenses, this is a good option.

  • Full HD up to 120p
  • 20.1MP 1″ CMOS sensor
  • UHD 4K up to 30 fps
  • 24-100mm equivalent focal length range
  • 4.2x zoom lens
  • f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture range

Price: $749.00

3. Sony RX10 IV

Another point-and-shoot to consider, the Sony RX10 IV is a solid step up to consider. Also boasting Full HD 1080p at up to 120 fps, the RX10 IV’s Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom lens (24-600mm) is both sleek and powerful. This is probably one of the highest-end options of the point-and-shoots.

  • Full HD up to 120 fps
  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K up to 30 fps
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.4-4 Zoom Lens
  • 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent)

Price: $1,699.00

4. Panasonic LUMIX GH5s

You really can’t go wrong choosing between the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s and the slightly cheaper GH5. But, focusing on the GH5s, you get some even higher quality 1080p Full HD also at 240 fps. Along with the high frame rate, the internal 4:2:2 10-bit and V-Log and Hybrid Log Gamma recording options create some beautiful picture profiles for aspiring cinematographers.

  • Full HD up to 240 fps
  • DCI 4K up to 60 fps
  • 10.28MP Multi Aspect Ratio MOS Sensor
  • V-Log L Gamma and HDR Hybrid Log Gamma

Price: $2,499.00

5. Blackmagic Pocket 6K

An ambitious upgrade from the brand’s highly popular Pocket 4K, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K takes things up another notch, with some of the highest (and largest) image quality that you can get at this price point. Along with being able to record 6K raw, the Pocket 6K can also push ProRes 422 120 fps for some seriously stunning results.

  • 4K ProRes up to 120 fps
  • 6K Raw (6144 x 3456) up to 50 fps
  • Super 35-Sized HDR Sensor
  • Dual Native 400 and 3200 ISO to 25,600
  • 13-stops of dynamic range

Price: $2,499.00

6. Sony α7R IV

The highly anticipated follow up to the a7R III, the Sony a7R IV is a very popular — and highly capable — option as well. While a bit higher priced than the rest on our list, its quality makes it comparable to much higher-end cinema cameras. With its 61MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the a7R IV is capable of Full HD at up to 120 fps (119.88p). Add in some spectacular UHD 4K with HLG and S-Log3 Gammas and a state-of-the-art AF system, and it’s a top option for sure.

  • Full HD up to 119.88 fps
  • UHD 4K up to 30 fps
  • 61MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • HLG and S-Log3 Gammas
  • 567-Point Phase-Detection AF System
  • BIONZ X Image Processor and Front-End LSI
  • 5-stops of dynamic range

Price: $3,499.00

This was originally published in May, 2019. It has been updated to reflect changes in the industry.

Cover image via welcomia.

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