Pro-cam vs. Toy-cam. Slo-mo vs. No-slo-mo. Same Principles Apply.
Nowadays, with the accessibility of high-speed, large-sensor cameras, at any price point, it is easy to think that the technology - the lower cost of high-speed camera gear - is what makes the imagery cool and compelling.
Well, technique, not necessarily technology, is what makes the difference.
Here is an example from a 2013 Seahawks game. Rain killed the prosumer Sony FS700, high-speed camera before halftime. Had to resort to a $500 pocket cam - NEX5N - with a lens adapter. Used the same, lovely 100mm/2.8 macro prime lens on a consumer camera that fits in your pocket. Same basic sensor on both cameras. Although it does shoot 60fps, it's so compressed at 28mbps, it looks crappy. So, stuck with 1080/24p at 24mbps. Same approach to light, composition, fastidiousness of frames and camera movement, focusing, calmness, and seeing/creating images that have graphic integrity and that communicate something worthwhile - hopefully.
Sure - slo-mo is cool, and it allows you to see things the naked eye just can't, but it's not what makes for interesting footage. Otherwise, it's a gimmick that really doesn't add much value, and can distract or detract from what really does. We are vulnerable to this all the time. And this is why we make selects and do our initial edits in real time. Only then do we start to apply the speed ramps to punctuate various details.
Thanks for reading.