How to shoot and edit slow motion videos on iPhone

Slow motion clips are an awesome way to add a bit of flair to your action videos, and your iPhone’s camera can accomplish this with ease. Whether you're shooting slo-mo from the start or looking for ways to slow down a video you have already shot, your iPhone makes it easy. Follow these tips to capture that perfect slow motion clip with your iPhone.


What is slow motion, or Slo-mo, on iPhone camera? 

Shooting a slow motion video with your iPhone simply means slowing down the frame rate so that time appears to be moving at a slower rate within the video. It is a common effect used by filmmakers to create unique video clips of athletic footage, nature scenes, or scenes containing a lot of intense action. All iPhones, starting with the 5S model, support slow motion videos, and the feature just keeps getting better and more robust with each new model.

Slow motion videos take up tons of space on your iPhone. Make room for them by using Gemini Photos before you start shooting. Gemini Photos allows you to keep your best clips and delete the rest quickly and easily.

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How slow is iPhone slow motion?

The normal viewing speed on an iPhone is 60 frames per second (FPS). All iPhone models have the ability to shoot slow motion videos at 120 FPS, which is one-half normal speed. iPhone models powered by an A11 Bionic chip or newer (iPhone 8 and up) have the ability to shoot at 240 FPS, which is one-quarter normal speed. 


Shooting slow motion with an iPhone 

You will find that shooting slow motion videos with your iPhone is addictive and fun, adding drama to a variety of scenes. You are only limited by your creativity! Here is a step-by-step guide for shooting slow motion with an iPhone, no matter what model you currently own.

How to adjust Slo-mo settings on iPhone

The first step to shooting awesome slo-mo videos with your iPhone is making sure you have the correct settings adjusted. As mentioned earlier, the FPS and HD quality of your video will depend on the model of your phone. Here is how to adjust your camera’s settings to shoot slo-mo video on iPhone.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Camera.
  3. Tap Record Slo-mo.
  4. Choose the appropriate FPS, based on your camera’s model, and the HD and FPS desired for your clip.
  5. Close the Settings app and open your Camera app to start shooting.
Screenshots: Slow motion settings on iPhone

How to shoot a slow motion video on iPhone

Ready to have some fun with your iPhone’s slow motion feature? Here’s how to shoot a slo-mo video with your iPhone.

  1. Open your Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Slo-mo to turn on the slow motion feature. (Slow motion only works with your iPhone’s rear camera, unless you have an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max.)
  3. Tap the red Record button or either of the side volume buttons to start recording. 
  4. Tap one more time to stop recording.
  5. Head to the Photos app to play back your slow motion video.

Editing slow motion videos 

Using your iPhone to shoot unique scenes in slow motion is only the beginning, of course. Once you have played around with the slow motion feature, you will undoubtedly want to start editing your clips to meet the needs of your video. We have a few tips for changing the speed of your slow motion video so you can use it anywhere.

How to turn an iPhone slow motion clip into a regular video

Whether you accidentally recorded your video in slow motion or decided after-the-fact that you would rather have your video in real time, it is easy to adjust by using the Photos app on your iPhone.

  1. Open your Photos app and navigate to the slow motion video that you want to speed up.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a slider showing where your video changes from regular speed to slow motion. Drag the small white line on the left across the slider until all of the slow motion areas have been changed to regular speed. 
  3. You can get rid of all of your slow motion effects or just a portion by moving the sliders in either direction.
  4. When you're happy with the results, tap Done.
Screenshots: Editing slow motion videos on iPhone

How to change a normal video to slow motion

Now let’s go the other way. If you want to change your normal video to slow motion, you can do it in iMovie. Here’s how.

  1. Open iMovie and tap the + icon to start a new project using your video.
  2. Tap Edit to open the edit screen.
  3. On the editing timeline, hold down on the part of the video that you want to slow down. If you want to slow down the entire video, drag your finger across the whole timeline until it is highlighted in yellow.
  4. On the bottom of the screen, tap the speed adjustment icon. (It looks like the speedometer on a car.)
  5. Drag your finger across the slider to choose the speed of your clip, ranging from one-eighth to double the current speed. 
  6. Tap Play to view your video, and when you're satisfied with the results, tap Done.

Can you speed up or slow down a slow motion video on iPhone?

You can speed up or slow down your video with iMovie by following the steps outlined above. However, you can’t make the slow motion portion of your clip slower than the frame rate capabilities of your iPhone.

When you open your slo-mo video in iMovie, you will see where your clip starts to slow down at the bottom of the timeline. If you hold your finger on the portion that you want to change, the speed slider will show you how fast or slow your video is playing. If your slow motion video is already playing at one-eighth speed, you won’t be able to slow it down further. You can, however, speed it up by moving your finger to the right on the speed slider.


Using a third-party app to make your video even slower or faster 

While you can certainly speed up and slow down your videos in iMovie, there are some limitations. For more control over the speed of your slow motion video, try a third-party app like Slow Fast Motion Video Editor, which is available on the App Store.

With the Slow & Fast app, you can choose to slow down parts of your video and speed up other parts. Start by trimming your video into clips. Then, for each clip, choose from −8x to +8x speeds. This is a simple and effective way to make your slo-mo videos slower or faster than what is available in your Camera app.

Screenshots of Slow & Fast, an app to speed up and slow down videos on iPhone

Slow motion videos are great for showing action and telling stories, and they are fun and easy to shoot. You are only limited by your time and creativity. But your iPhone's camera has even more tricks than that: Live photos, time lapse, Portrait mode and Panoramas give you plenty of room for creativity.

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