The moments that make our weekend adventures and sports amazing happen so fast, you've no hope of catching them at 30fps. Which is why I wish someone made a high-speed, rugged point and shoot.
Slow motion sports videography, like that clip above by the BBC, is at an all time high. The gear, some of which is made by Vision Research and their Phantom rigs, or Science Media and their Typhoon cams, cost around $US100k. They've been used to everything from surfing to the Mythbusters as Adam and Jamie try to see if magnets can alter the paths of bullets. And this Parkour video!
Sure, there's a new 60fps mode in the capable Canon 5D Mark II and my favourite rugged sports cam has a 60fps mode too, which helps a bit when you're slowing down things in an editor. But there's one company dominating slow motion cameras for the rest of us: Casio. I deeply love these cameras, and they're getting smaller and better by leaps with every generation: The latest models use a sensor that is light sensitive enough to finally allow for indoor slow motion at 120 fps.
But I am of the opinion that the best stuff to capture in slow motion happens to be also the kind of situation that cameras can get hurt in. Water, explosions, etc. And although the pros have watertight housings, in my experience, you want a rugged camera you're actually carrying to be light and slim as possible as to minimise the hauling weight and the risk of smashing up your ribs when you fall. I don't want a housing. I remember recording jumps while snowboarding with the original slow motion camera. I never stopped worrying about the rig getting water damaged, and I never stopped worrying about me falling on the camera and getting damaged, too.
Then, Casio came out with the EX-G1, one of the slimmest rugged cameras I've seen, and my heart jumped. It made sense. Casio already makes rugged mobile phones and G shock watches. It's a late entry, behind Pentax, Fuji, Olympus, Canon and even Sony. When I saw the news, I thought it also did slow motion, but it did not!
I'd guess that in a generation or two, you'll find a rugged waterproof slow motion camera from Casio. They're really perfectly set up to dominate this untapped category. But in case they're not already putting the puzzle pieces that fit, together, Casio, consider this a request: The world's weekend warriors need you to make their lame little jumps and spins and wipe outs as epic on Youtube as they seem in our own minds, without risking our gear or safety to use.