Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 includes the awesome capability of shooting slow-motion video, that can easily be edited and shared from your iPhone. When in Slo-Mo mode, the iPhone will automatically create a segment for your slo-motion capture, which can be edited. When you transfer your video to your Mac, the slow-motion portion appears lost, a common problem that occurs during playback. Thankfully, your video data remains in tact. Here’s how to transfer and watch your slow motion iPhone 5s video on your Mac.

transfer, edit slow motion iPhone 5s video

Okay, so you’ve shot and edited some wonderful slow motion on your iPhone and share it with friends, family. You’ve even streamed it over AirPlay to your Apple TV, so you can view your masterpiece on the big screen. Naturally, you’ll want to transfer your video to your computer.

Slow motion in camera roll

Within camera roll, you can identify videos by the easily recognizable video camera icon. Slow motion videos are a bit less obvious. They are denoted by a circular spinning wheel icon, which might seem familiar, as it is the same icon during the shut down sequence in iOS 7.

Slow motion

When you connect your iPhone to your Mac, iPhoto will automatically launch. It will present a grid of photos and videos that have not yet been imported to your computer. For some reason, iPhoto does not show you which videos have been shot in slow-motion, likely because it refuses to offer any playback options. Don’t worry, we’ve got a plan to correct this travesty. For now, we want to transfer the videos to your Mac. Select the videos (and other photos) you’d like to transfer and select ‘Import Photos’. You’ll have a choice at the end of the import to delete photos and videos from your iPhone. If they are safely imported to your Mac (and you’ve got a suitable back-up plan in place for your computer), you can go ahead and select delete. Of course if you want to show the video to others, you can of course keep them on your iPhone 5s. You can also transfer this using iMovie. Since most folks use iPhoto, we’ll keep that as the focus of this tutorial. If you are familiar with importing to iMovie, skip ahead to the section on editing.

When you import into iPhoto 11′, they import without your edits. When you shoot in slow motion, you are shooting video at 120FPS. Your resulting iPhoto imports keep the original video data in tact. Thus, when you play back a video, the entirety of the video will be in slow motion. To make changes or regain your slow motion effects, you need to do some light editing in iMovie.

Edit iPhone Videos In iMovie

The beauty of slow motion video is how it mixes with standard 30FPS video. iPhoto correctly imports all of your video data. To make video magic, we need to perform one additional step and that’s editing your iPhone 5s slow motion videos in iMovie.

  1. Open iMovie. In the left column, option-click and select ‘New Event‘. In this example, I created ‘My Movie‘.
  2. Select iPhoto Library
  3. Find your video within ‘Events’
  4. Double-click to select your video
  5. Drag the video from your collection to ‘My Movie’
  6. Drag your mouse around the entire clip to select it
  7. Drag it to the timeline at the bottom of your screen

At this point, you are ready to start editing your video. By default, iMovie will show your video at 25FPS and you’ll notice the turtle icon is present in the middle of the timeline.


Click on the turtle to restore your video to 100 percent, effectively making it normal speed.

Change speed

Next, move your mouse along the timeline until the section you’d like to restore your slow motion video capture. Press ‘i’ on your keyboard and you’ll see a segment of your video clip in bold yellow. Grab one end of the slider and create your selection.

From the menu, select modify > slow motion > 25 percent.

Add slow motion effects

Tip: When you shot slow motion on your iPhone 5s, the audio also slows down, resulted in a garbled mess. When you make your selection, you can drag down on the ‘blue’ audio track to reduce it’s level where you video slows down. If you’re feeling particularly creative, try adding a separate audio track to liven things up. Hey, if you’re going through the trouble to edit for slo-mo, why not improve on the end product.

The resulting file can be shared using YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Email or the new Theater option. Theater allows you to showcase your videos. It uploads them to iCloud, allowing playback on all of your iOS devices, including Apple TV. If you are filming and sharing short clips, Theater is a great option. If you start editing longer videos, it could severely impact your iCloud storage, which for now is capped at 5GB. Once you go over, you need to either remove content or pay for a higher storage tier.

Exported video

The slow motion video feature on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 is wonderful. The incredibly powerful iPhone makes it easy to edit and view on your iOS device. When it comes to watching on your Mac, it’s not so easy. It requires importing, editing in iMovie and exporting. If you have taken great videos, at a minimum you’ll want to back them up to your Mac. You might as well go that extra step and recreate those stunning slow motion effects on your computer.