All iPhones from iPhone 5s onward can record slow-motion video at 120 frames per second (FPS), but only the latest models powered by the A11 Bionic chip or newer, like iPhone 8 and iPhone X, boost the slo-mo frame rate to 240 FPS in full HD resolution (1,920-by-1,080 pixels).

By default, iOS devices are set to capture slo-mo video in 1080p at 120 FPS. Here’s how to adjust settings appropriately when you’d like to shoot fast-paced scenes in ultra slow motion.

About shooting slo-mo video

Only iOS devices powered by Apple’s A11 Bionic chip or newer (iPhone 8 and iPhone X) can shoot 1080p/240 FPS slo-mo video. Older hardware (iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6) limits 240 FPS slo-mo capture to the 720p resolution (1,280-by-720 pixels).

Supported slo-mo shooting modes

The following slo-mo filming modes are supported on iPhones:

  • 720p at 120 FPS (slow motion)—iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • 720p at 240 FPS (ultra slow motion)—iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • 1080p HD at 120 FPS (slow motion)—iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • 1080p HD at 240 FPS (ultras slow motion)— iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

1080p/240 FPS slo-mo capture also requires hardware support for High Efficiency Video Coding (the H.265 codec) built into Apple’s A11 Bionic chip or newer. The hardware older than iPhone 8 limits slo-mo recording to 1080p/120 FPS.

Playback requirements

1080p/240 FPS video is viewable on any device compatible with iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra 10.13 though newer hardware may be required for stutter-free playback.

TUTORIAL: How to shoot 4K video at 60 FPS on iPhone

iPhone 6 and newer, iPad Air 2 and up and Mac models from mid 2015 or earlier can decode 1080p/240 FPS video. If your Mac has Intel’s sixth-generation Core chip or newer, you’ll enjoy hardware-accelerated video playback.

File size comparison

Thanks to the efficiency of the H.265 codec, a one-minute 1080p/120 FPS slo-mo capture session takes up about 170 megabytes of storage space on the device. Double the frame rate to 240 FPS and you’re looking at 480 megabytes per minute.

TUTORIAL: How to choose between JPEG/H.264 and HEIF/H.265 media formats in iOS 11

As mentioned, the older H.264 codec is more widely used than its contemporary H.265 counterpart, but doubles the file size and limits 1080p slo-mo recording to 120 FPS.

Here’s how to set your iPhone to shoot slo-mo video in 1080p at 240 FPS.

How to shoot 1080p/240 FPS slo-mo video

1) Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2) Tap the Camera section in the list.

3) Tap the sub-section labeled Record Slo-mo.

1080p/240 FPS slo-mo video requires the H.265 codec for efficient compression

4) Toggle on the option labeled 1080p HD at 240fps.

TIP: To reveal the hidden option for capturing 720p/240 FPS slo-mo video on newer devices, change your media format from “High Efficiency” to “Most Compatible” in Settings → Camera → Formats before revisiting this section.

You won’t see the camera formats menu on unsupported devices.

5) Close out the Settings app and launch the stock Camera app.

6) Choose Slo-Mo at the bottom of the interface.

TIP: To make iOS remember the last-used mode like Video or Photo, go to Settings → Camera → Preserve Settings and slide the Camera Mode switch to the ON position.

7) Tap the Record button or press either Volume button to start and stop recording.

The video will be saved as a H.265-encoded .MOV file inside the Photos app.

Watching 1080p/240 FPS slo-mo video

You can watch 1080/240 FPS slo-mo video on your iPhone like you would any other video.

All iPhones since iPhone 4s have a 60 Hz display so high frame rate video looks pretty good on them. Playing back 1080p/720 FPS slo-mo video on desktop yields best results if your Mac or Windows PC is powered by a sixth-generation Intel Core chip or earlier.

TUTORIAL: How to save power by restricting iPad Pro’s ProMotion display refresh rate to 60 Hz

For best results, watch your 1080p/240 FPS footage on an iPad Pro.

All 2017 iPad Pro models feature Apple’s ProMotion display technology which dynamically alternates the LCD panel’s refresh rate between 24 Hz, 48 Hz, 60 Hz and 120 Hz to match content movement. Opening a 1080p/240 FPS video on a ProMotion-enabled iPad Pro automatically boosts the screen refresh rate to 120 Hz for smooth, crisp playback.

Transferring 1080p/240 FPS slo-mo video to a Mac or PC

To choose the format in which your media in the Photos app is transferred to a computer when using the USB transfer method, select either the “Automatic“ or “Keep Originals” option in Settings → Photos, below the Transfer to Mac or PC heading.

Selecting “Keep Originals” ensures your movie files get transferred to the computer as-is.

Choose “Automatic” to transfer media to a computer without transcoding

Changing this to “Automatic” will transcode videos during iOS → Mac/PC transfer using the H.264 codec, which increases compatibility at the expense of file size. Use this setting if your computer doesn’t support H.265 hardware acceleration.

TUTORIAL: How to convert regular video to slo-mo in iMovie for Mac

When sharing your slo-mo video using AirDrop or Share sheet services like Mail or Messages, iOS always sends its converted H.264 version to ensure maximum compatibility.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via help@iDownloadBlog.com and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

  • Avi Alkalay

    Wow, you are making a lot of easier-to-use recommendations without advising users that some of those represent destructive actions (as Automatic Transfers, which takes a lot of time and CPU power to process a lossy/destructive conversion on your videos).

    Also, going “compatible”, instead of high-efficient, uses old and obsolete JPEG instead of HEIC/HEIF. These newer formats are better for the long term.

    • Automatic Transfer is actually not a destructive action. This feature performs transcoding on the fly and leaves your original items in Photos intact. I agree that it may not make much sense to recompress already compresses content, but if your computer doesn’t have hardware support for H.265 it makes sense to have the option of transferring converted, more compatible H.264 videos.

      • Avi Alkalay

        Thats right, it leaves the original on your device. Anyway, I prefer spreading newer and better formats to incentive peers to stay up to date.

  • Helpfull. Great article..Thx for sharing info..

  • If your Mac has Intel’s sixth-generation Core chip or newer, you’ll enjoy hardware-accelerated video playback.

    My MBP’s from Early 2015, does that mean it’s supported?

    • You can watch H.265 videos on any mac with macOS High Sierra, but if it doesn’t support hardware acceleration the video may stutter due to software decoding.

      • Avi Alkalay

        My MacPro Retina 2015 won’t play H.265 videos out of the box. Only VLC will do that in a way that is not watchable.