How To Force The iPhone 5S To Export Your Slow-Motion Videos In Slo-Mo

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Just like the filters in the iOS 7 camera app, the super slo-mo mode in the iPhone 5S is somewhat confusing when it comes to exporting your work. In fact, it’s almost impossible to get your slowed down masterpieces out of the iPhone and onto sharing services without some rather janky workarounds. But thanks to Macworld’s Serenity Caldwell, we now at least know about these tricks.



To shoot slo-mo video, you overclock the camera’s shutter, shooting way more frames per second than usual (in the case of the 5S, this is 120fps). Then you play the clip back at regular speed (30fps) and anything that previous took one second to play out now takes four.

The trouble seems to be that the 5S keeps all these frames intact, so you can re-edit in the future. In this regard it’s just like the photo filters which are only “baked in” when the files are exported.

This means that if you use an app like Instagram to open a video from your camera roll, it’s still in it’s “raw” state, and will be opened as a 120fps video, not a slow-moving 30fps clip.

Doubtless this will be fixed in future, either at the OS-level or by developers making some changes to their apps (Instagram can open filter iOS photos just fine now, whereas in earlier betas it got the naked, unfiltered original).

The workaround, then, is to export your pictures from the Camera or Photos apps. This can be done using any method in the standard sharing sheet, although if you’re sending it to yourself, e-mail seems to be the best way currently. Serenity says that you can share with other people using Messages, but if you message the video to yourself you get the original file, not the 30fps one.

Whatever the problems, writing this post has done nothing to quell my desire for the 5S and its new camera. I wonder if we’ll get anything similar in the new iPad?




  • OnTheSuperFly

    I’ve had similar issues with Flipagram and other apps where filters are added… even exporting to the camera roll, has on occasion, caused constant crashing when importing to Instagram or uploading to YouTube.
    Simple workaround that I settled on was opening camera-roll vids in iMovie (for iPhone/iPad) and exporting from there. A bit clunky but handy while waiting for updates to kick-in…

  • rwmurdoch

    As a filmmaker, I’ve waited for quality 120fps slow motion capabilities for years. Glad to see that there’s an easy option finally on the market — here’s a video I made using my 5s featuring a man dancing in slowmo with a disco ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE8kcJcpF18&hd=1

  • will_wu

    You should check out the free TruSloMo app. Lets you post slo-mo videos to Instagram without resorting to any AirDrop / email tricks.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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