How to use iPhone 5s Slo-Mo videos on the Mac

Back on your Mac, things get a little more interesting with Slo-Mo videos

The iPhone 5s introduces a new Slo-Mo camera mode, in which you can create videos that seamlessly slide from normal video to super-smooth slow-motion action and back again. That smooth motion happens because in Slo-Mo mode, the iPhone 5s is shooting video at 120 frames per second (instead of the usual 30), so when it's running at a quarter-speed, it's still running at the same frame rate as regular video. There's no stutter of repeated video frames that you'd see in a fake slow-motion effect.

On the iPhone 5s itself, the Camera app can let you quickly make and share (albeit with some complications) slow-motion videos. But back on your Mac, things get a little more interesting.

Copy a Slo-Mo video back to your Mac and you get a normal QuickTime movie file. Open it up in QuickTime Player and you'll see a regular old video playing back at regular speed--no slow-motion at all, even if you set in and out points on your iPhone 5s.

If you look closely, though, you'll notice that everything seems a little smoother than a normal video does. That's because you're watching that video play back at 120 frames per second. All the information necessary to make a slow-motion video is there--it's just all playing back at normal speed rather than one-quarter speed.

The good news is, you can import this video into iMovie (or Final Cut Pro, or any other video editor you can name) and create your own slow-motion effect. The Camera and Photos apps on the iPhone 5s will only let you create a single slow-motion region; in a video editor you can flip into and out of slow-motion mode as many times as you want.

In iMovie, just import the movie file as you would any other iPhone video. you'll see that the thumbnails are tagged with a small icon in the bottom-left corner that reads "120," because it's a 120 frames-per-second video.

To emulate the iPhone's video effect in iMovie, add the clip to your iMovie project and then split it into three parts--the beginning, the middle part (which you'll switch into slow motion), and the ending. Then select the middle part and choose Clip > Slow Motion > 25%. You'll have to give iMovie a few seconds to optimize the clip, and that's it.

Using this approach, you can shoot a long high frame-rate sequence using the Slo-Mo mode and then create a video that switches into and out of slow motion as often as you like. Imagine a diver slowly jumping off the diving board, then moving at full speed until just before hitting the water. Or a skateboarder who slows down every time she's airborne.

Here is a video we shot on the iPhone 5s but edited in iMovie on the Mac.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applesoftwareapplicationsquicktimevideo softwarePhoto / videoiphone 5s

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jason Snell

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?