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.

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to make a modest $10 donation through PayPal to support my work it would be most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *