Winter Is Coming – How to do slow motion with the Canon 7d

I hadn’t taken the time yet to try shooting 60fps with my Canon 7d. But it started to snow heavily in Whistler village this morning and as I watched out of the window it looked like the perfect chance to try it out  I put the Canon 85mm 1.8 lens on the 7d and opened my front door to get a few shots.

I had mistakenly thought that creating nice slow motion shots with the footage would just be as simple as dropping the 60fps clips into a 30fps timeline in Final Cut Pro. Actually that’s not the case though. Doing that just drops every other frame and you end up with regular looking footage and simply setting the clip speed to 50% does not take advantage of all those 60 frames you just shot. I did a quick search on the net and found a good tutorial by Philip Bloom. I can only speak for Mac users here I’m afraid but the solution is pretty easy so long as you have Final Cut Studio.

If you have FC Studio you will also have a program called Cinema Tools. Fire it up and hit command+O to open a clip. The clip will open in a video viewer and on the right hand side will be a button that says “Conform”. Clicking on this will bring up a drop down box with various frame rates in it. Select the one you want (29.97 for example) and then hit “Conform”. The transformation is instant and requires no rendering, all that is being modified is an internal part of the file that denotes how the video is played.

WARNING:  This process is not reversible. Once you hit the “Conform” button there is no going back so I highly recommend that you do this process to a copy of the original file. I created a sub folder called SlowMo inside the folder containing my original files. Then whenever I found a file that I needed to conform, I copied the original to that folder, Conformed it and then imported it into Final Cut Pro. Don’t forget that you will also need to transcode the 7d files from H.264 before you do anything. Make sure you transcode the files before you conform them in Cinema Tools!

I shot about 10 quick shots from my door to have some footage to test this with and the result is below. Winter is nearly back!! Click though to the vimeo page to watch it in HD.

Photo of author

Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

Featured Posts

The Best All-In-One Tripod Head for Landscapes and Wildlife