In this article, I’ll analyze several cameras that shoot great slow motion in addition to taking crisp videos and photos.
I’ve spent most of my life working with both photography and videography equipment. That experience helped me conduct extensive research on the below options by comparing their traits and talking to people who used them first hand.
My pick for the best slow motion camera is the Sony RX10 IV because of how it combines so many high-end specs together in one package.
The model shoots some of the best slow motion on the market. However, it also serves as a great bridge camera due to its image stabilization, autofocus, and spectacular detail. It’s also versatile thanks to a multitude of shooting modes.
There are several other excellent slow motion models out there as well. The below sections will take a deep look at each one by explaining their traits as well as where they excel.
- Best Overall: Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV
- Best Compact: Powershot G7X Mark III
- Best Action Camera: GoPro Hero 9
- Most Versatile: Sony RX100 IV
- Best Low Light: Sony a7 iii
- Best Point and Shoot: Sony ZV-1
- Best Budget: Dragon Touch 4k Action Camera
Top Slow Motion Cameras
The following areas break down what I consider to be the best slow motion cameras and explain the traits that push them ahead of similar models.
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: Extremely fast autofocus. Anti-distortion shutter. Strong image stabilization and great anti-shake capabilities. 24 fps continuous shooting.
- Optical Zoom: 25x
- Screen Size: 7.5 inches
- Dimensions: 5.22 x 3.7 x 5.02 inches
An excellent bridge model made with premium, professional-ready features, the RX10 IV is a complete camera from Sony. Not only does it deliver slow motion in stunning 960fps, but it has excellent shutter speed and some of the best image quality around.
The powerful specs give you beautiful video, while the exceptional auto focus system keeps you locked in no matter what you want to capture There are also multiple shooting modes for users who like options, as well as three different recording times and an anti-distortion shutter.
This camera also gets high marks for its stable, anti-shake features. The only downside is that it doesn’t do the best in low light environments or when things get dark. However, if you need to record slow motion during the day it will bring a new element to any situation.
- Best for: Compact
- Key Features: Lightweight and compact. 20.1MP CMOS sensor. 4.2x optical zoom. 4k recording. 3-inch tilt touch screen. Can be turned into a
- Optical Zoom: 4.2x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
- Dimensions: 1.6 x 4.1 x 2.4 inches
Outfitted with a 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 8 image processor and 4.2x optical zoom lens, the G7X Mark III is a powerful, well-rounded device that shoots excellently in slow motion. That range of specs enables it to capture everything in stunning detail, regular speed or not.
On top of that, the camera is reasonably durable and comes with the utility to turn it into a webcam with Canon’s innovative technology. The resolution (4k 30P/FHD 120P video) is also extremely impressive, providing you excellent shots every time you use it.
The only real drawback to this model is the autofocus, which can’t quite compete with other more premium cameras. I would have liked the battery to last a bit longer too. However, for short slow motion shooting, this model is the cream of the crop.
3. GoPro Hero 9
- Best for: Action cameras
- Key Features: Hypersmooth 3.0 and TimeWarp 3.0. 8x slow motion. Extremely compact. Durable. 20MP SuperPhoto and 5k video. Live streaming capabilities.
- Video Capture Resolution: 5k
- Screen Size: 2.27 inches
- Dimensions: 9.08 x 5.42 x 3.25 inches
If you want a strong action camera that you can use to capture extreme slow motion footage, the latest entry into the GoPro line is perfect. This model has an excellent touchscreen, great video quality, and durability the company is known for. You can livestream as well.
When it comes to slo-mo, the Hero 9 utilizes 8x with an ultra high frame rate. That’s just one feature. The compact camera also comes filled with many versatile and fun shooting modes, including HyperSmooth 3.0 and TimeWarm 3.0. Perfect if you want a tough, advanced device.
Do know that the plethora of features, while useful, can also be a bit overwhelming for those not used to cameras. The Hero 9 also isn’t quite as strong in low light environments. It’s still serviceable, but if that’s your main goal you might want to get another model on this list.
- Best for: Versatility
- Key Features: Anti-distortion shutter. 3-inch multi-angle LCD screen. Wi-Fi for full smartphone compatibility. Super slow motion. Bright lens.
- Optical Zoom: 2.9x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
- Dimensions: 4 x 1.6 x 2.8 inches
Most slow motion cameras also do a wonderful job as stand-alone devices, and that’s where the RX100 IV sits. This model is incredibly versatile, working as a strong niche video option as well as a more robust everyday shooting device.
Not only do you get exceptional picture quality and various shooting modes, but there’s also a super speed anti distortion shutter and incredibly fast intelligent auto focus. Wi-Fi connectivity even gives you a way to connect and run your footage through your mobile device.
The only issue with this model is, for all of its amazing specs, it isn’t the most durable. You do need to be careful when operating it, especially if you like to shoot out in nature. It can overheat under heavy use too, but that usually won’t be a big problem for most people.
5. Sony a7 iii
- Best for: Low Light
- Key Features: Great low light sensor and 4k resolution. Top of the line autofocus. Two different slow motion modes as well. 15 stop dynamic range.
- Optical Zoom: 1x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
- Dimensions: 5 x 3.88 x 3
The a7 iii is a well-rounded, advanced camera that does exceptionally well in low light. It comes with a strong battery and the 4k video resolution works wonderfully for people who want a more versatile device. This will provide you with crisp, enhanced footage at all times of day.
When it comes to slow motion, the Sony a7 iii can film normally in 60 or 120 fps or it can use the S&Q mode. Both work well, especially when backed by the camera’s other specs. If that’s not enough, the model comes with a long list of accessories like a shoulder strap and USB cable.
It’s important to note that the a7 iii is an expensive camera. This isn’t the best for more casual users, but for people who want a strong slow motion option that can do a little bit of everything. If you fall into that category, it’s one of the strongest models on the market.
6. Sony ZV-1
- Best for: Point and shoot
- Key Features: Fast hybrid autofocus. Streamlined menu system. Rechargeable battery and micro USB cable. High frame rate mode. Exceptional resolution.
- Optical Zoom: 3x
- Screen Size: 3 inches
- Dimensions: 4.15 x 2.36 x 1.7 inches
The Sony ZV-1 is a great point-and-shoot model that comes with powerful slow motion capabilities. You can record rates like 240fps, 480fps, and 960fps in 1080p. The object tracking is also impressive, but what puts this onto my list is the streamlined menus and functionality.
This model doesn’t command a high price tag. Even so,it still comes with real-time autofocus tracking and face priority AE to ensure everything looks great in dim situations. For accessories, you get a windscreen, adaptor, and handy carrying strap. That further increases your options.
Just know, as this model is a point-and-shoot option, you can’t change the lens. It also suffers in low light and the rechargeable battery could last a bit longer. However, you still get a strong, affordable device that can hold its own in both regular and slow motion shooting.
- Best for: Affordability
- Key Features: Waterproof up to 100 feet. Wireless wrist control. Stellar 4k resolution and 4x zoom. Compact and easy to operate. Excellent Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Optical Zoom: 4x
- Screen Size: 2 inches
- Dimensions: 2.36 x 1.18 x 1.97 inches
Another action option, the Dragon Touch 4k camera is a tough-but-compact camera that delivers stellar slow motion at an incredibly affordable price. It has a zoom range from 1x to 4x, a 2-inch screen, and is waterproof down to 100 feet. The remote control is handy as well.
This camera also comes with plenty of available accessories. Those give you more choices on how you best want to use it. Add on the fact that you can slip it into a pocket without adding any extra weight or bulk and you get something that you can take with you anywhere.
Though this does have plenty of amazing specs, you do lose a little bit when going with a more budget-friendly model. The action camera lacks a wide angle lens and doesn’t have the best field of view. However, those are small drawbacks compared to everything else it offers.
Best Slow Motion Camera: What to Look For
Understanding these characteristics will help you pick the best slow motion camera for your specific needs.
Knowing what you want to shoot is always important, but it’s critical when picking out a slow motion camera. There are many models out there, and they all do something slightly different. That will alter the different specs you want and need around the slow motion.
Some people want to share their footage, while others want to make more professional videos. Some users simply want to share with family and friends. If you only want casual videos, simple specs are fine. However, if you need a professional look go with high or more advanced models.
Whenever you get a camera, slow motion based or not, pay attention to how long it can stay on at one time. There are quite a few great models on the market that simply might not give you the reliability you need to take long videos or multiple shots.
Certain cameras naturally last longer than others, but you also need to remember that battery life drains more quickly depending on what mode you’re using. Even if your camera lasts for hours at a time, it may drain much more quickly when shooting video.
Slow motion is directly tied to frame rate, which is something to keep in mind when figuring out what model you want. You should never dip below 60 frames per second, as anything less will likely cause your footage to come out uneven or choppy.
Rather, your aim should be to get something that shoots 60 or more frames per second in 4k (or similar) quality. That extreme resolution mixes with the effect to bring you crisp, impressive footage no matter what you’re shooting or where.
The last aspect you want to keep in mind is your budget. As mentioned, there are many different slow motion cameras on the market. That goes from simple action and point-and-click cameras to DSLR and mirrorless options. With so many choices, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
You can quickly spend a ton of money to get a high-end model, but you don’t necessarily need to shell out a lot of cash when searching for quality. First figure out how much you’re willing to spend, then get something with your preferred specs that sits in that range.
In my opinion, the Sony RX10 IV is the best slow motion camera on the market. It’s a versatile device that gets high marks because both its slow motion and regular video are high quality, clear, and stunning to look at.
The camera is also incredibly versatile, an aspect enabled by the different shooting modes, and you get excellent anti-shake features for better stability. The autofocus system and anti distortion are both top of the line as well.