Achieving awesome slo-mo relies on cranking the frames per second. If humans see between 30-60 FPS, then what on earth does 1 million FPS look like?
If you’ve ever looked into how to shoot slow motion video, you’ll have probably learnt it’s not just about slowing regular footage down. Shooting regular video in 30 fps and slowing it down loads would result in jagged footage, and would be a bit crap to watch.
This is because videos are made up of lots of still images, called frames. The more frames per second, the smoother and more fluid the video. Rather than just slowing down a 30 fps video by half, you should double the fps to balance it out. Doing this will result in slowed down but silky smooth footage.
The latest iPhone, the 13 Pr, has slow motion video capabilities of up to 240 fps. Here’s an example of 500fps slo-mo captured on the iPhone 13 pro, by Luke Edwin.
An app was used to digitally boost the frame rate, enabling the 500 fps. As you can see, the video is fluid, detailed, and smooth.
So, what would 1 million fps look like? Thankfully, The Slow Mo Guys are here to answer that question.
1 Million FPS & Exploding Eggs
In this video, The Slow Mo Guys reminisce about a video they released 11 years ago. The video in question is one in which they shot up to 10,000 frames per second. Over the last decade, technology has advanced rapidly. Camera and filming capabilities have come on significantly.
Now that it is actually possible to capture 1 million fps, this channel is demonstrating exactly what that looks like!
This time, the slow motion duo are starting by firing 9mm bullets at eggs in 10,000 fps. They manage to do this with the help of the Phantom TMX 7510, a high speed camera. In fact, this one is the current fastest high speed camera in the world.
As the video progresses, the frame rate doubles, and you can witness the sorry fate of a clutch of unlucky eggs. With the increased fps, more detail becomes visible. For example, at even just 50,000 fps, you can see the rifling on the bullet, which travels at around 75 miles p/h.
Progressing with the frame rate, at 800,000 fps focus has to be sacrificed in order to get enough light to film at this frame rate. Whilst this means some finer detail is lost, you still get to witness every moment of egg shattering and bullet spinning in all its glory.
Getting past “useful” speeds, the 1 million fps is shot in black and white. This is because shooting at this frame rate in colour gives a frame height of 32 pixels. In other words, you’re left with an incredibly narrow strip to try and perfectly shoot a bullet through into the final egg. Although colour is lost, there is increased sensitivity on the sensor. Because of this, less light is needed for shooting at such short duration exposures.
The final video at 1 million fps results in an almost too long wait for the bullet to meet the egg. At this speed, 1 second of footage would take 11 hours to play back. For a final bonus, The Slow Mo Guys see what happens if you shoot a bullet through 5 eggs at 1 million fps.