How To Film Footage In Slow Motion With A DSLR. Cars and scooter on a highway.



In this post we will highlight the process of How To Film Footage In Slow Motion With A DSLR. First we’ll cover the first part of filming your footage with a DSLR and then the second part, post production. In our steps for post production we will use Adobe’s editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro.


Without further ado:

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First you must set your DSLR camera to the highest frames per second (fps), some cameras may say frame rate. Many DSLR’s allow you to select from various frames per second and they can be selected from the your camera menu section. Some of the most common frames per second on DSLR’s are: 50fps, 60fps, 24fps, 25fps and 30fps. Therefore, it these were the frame per seconds that your camera displayed, the highest fame per second would be 60fps.


Now, what you need to do is double your shutter speed. In this case of 60fps you would need to double your shutter speed to 1/120. If you camera does not permit the exact shutter speed, go with the nearest one, for example, 1/125 would be fine.


Shutter speed is the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera’s sensor. Shutter speeds are generally measured in fractions when they are under a second. For example, 1/125 is a fast shutter speed. It helps to freeze/slow motion.


Now, set your aperture. Based on your aperture settings, controlled by F-Stops (F), this will determine how much light goes into your camera. The aperture you set is usually dependent on the depth of field you want. The depth of field is the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects giving a focused image.


You must also set your ISO so that your footage will be properly exposed. ISO is pretty much light exposure from you camera. Beware, if you lower your ISO to much your footage will be under exposed, raise it too much and your footage will come out grainy.


Now, go and shoot your footage.



Now that you shot your footage you must now bring it to your editing software for the second part. When you play the footage on your editing software you will notice that it’s playing at the same rate as all of the rest of your footage. Don’t worry, that’s what it’s suppose to do…for now.


As stated, the particular editing software we will be referencing is Adobe Premiere.


Go ahead and drag your footage onto your editing software timeline and select it. Now click “Sequence” and then select “Sequence Settings.” Change the “Timebase” to “23.976 frames/second.” That is approximately 24fps.


You may now want to either mute the audio on the time line of the clip or unlink the audio from the clip and delete it. Or you can leave it there, if it doesn’t effect your workflow.


Expand the view of your video clip on the timeline by hovering your curser above the eye symbol. Your cursor will change into a double arrow symbol, now drag up.


Now right click on your video clip and hover to “Show Clip Frames, hover to “Time Remaping” and select “Speed.” Now, go ahead and place keyframes on where you want your footage to slow down.


You can now drag the line between the key frames down to slow down your footage. You will see a number displaying in percentage right on your video clip. This is the percentage in play back speed reduction. If you shot your video as 60fps you can only reduce the speed to 40%.


Below is a chart that shows you at what percentage you can slow your video down to depending on the fps rate you shot it at. If you cross the detailed percentage limit then you will not get the smooth slow motion result.

Shooting slow motion with DSLR percentages

Once you’ve adjust the speed with keyframes, go ahead and render your clip and your clip will playback with the slow motion effect.


Also, adjust your keyframes slightly at the beginning and end of your slow motion so that the transition from real time to slow motion can be smooth. You can now add music, color grade, etc., to give your footage the exact feel you’d like.



The DSLR Filmmaker’s Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques (2nd Edition) is an expert guide book to getting professional movie-making results with your DSLR camera.




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