Butterflies in slow motion with Nikon 1 J4

During a recent visit to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory I decided to spend a couple of hours experimenting with the video recording features of my recently acquired Nikon 1 J4, specifically its ability to capture 720HD video at 120fps. This article describes how video clips were taken of butterflies in slow motion with a Nikon 1 J4.

Unfortunately the camera can only capture video at this frame rate for a maximum of a 3-second burst which significantly limits the use of this shooting option. In order to capture some interesting ‘action’ footage this necessitated trying to time my clips just before a butterfly took wing, or just as it was approaching a flower to land. This took some patience and a bit of practice. I shot the video clips in Manual mode with an Auto-ISO setting. Single point AF was used.

I reconfigured my mePhoto Travel Tripod into a monopod and attached a small Manfrotto 391RC2 combo head. This gave me a lightweight support with which to try to capture some video footage. This worked well enough to capture a sufficient number of clips for this article. If I was going to make it a steady habit of shooting video in this manner I would likely invest in a proper video monopod.

The YouTube video link below will take you to the final product of my little experiment. Overall I was pleased with how the J4 performed, although I did miss having more readily accessible external video controls on the body of the camera.

While I haven’t used slow motion too often in my client productions the J4’s capability, while far from ideal, will come in handy. I’m hoping that a future V4 will allow the capture of this type of slow motion video footage for extended periods of time as I could definitely use this capability with some of my client projects. 1080HD at 120fps or slower would be ideal.

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Article, YouTube video, and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.

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