The D7100, D5200 and D5100 have a "miniature effect". Videos recorded in this mode play back at high speed:

"Miniature effect movies play back at high speed, compressing 30 to 45 minutes of footage shot at 1920 × 1080/30p into a movie that plays back in about 3 minutes."

The effect also blurs the edges of the picture to create the illusion of a shallow depth of field.

Question: Is it possible to record a low framerate movie, in the same way as the miniature effect does, but without the blurring or any other processing?

Most websites about shooting time lapse sequences warn about limited shutter life. I was hoping that the low framerate movie recording that the camera does in miniature effect mode could be an alternative that does not stress the mechanical shutter.

  • I think the question is highly relevant, but perhaps for the wrong reason. I would love to find a camcorder which would record at say 2, 5, 12 and 18fps, not unlike the old Super-8. The miniature effect on some camcorders seems to address this, but affects the focussed areas of the frame. Creating this same fps effect in post involves a massive amount of memory (and processing power). Variable fps is important. I use a clock on top of the tripod to create speeded up 'panoramics', a variable frame rate makes an enormous difference to the relative speed of the subject (sea, sky etc) and the spee
    – user4728
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 21:55

2 Answers 2



The miniature effect is the only creative mode that also allows movie creation. It suffers from performance "issues" giving it's unique time lapse like feel.


Based on your description of the miniature effect, this isn't a question of recording at a low framerate, it is a question of playing it back at a specific speed. The Nikon D7100 can record 1080p at 30fps without an issue. That will take care of the recording without blurring or other effects.

The rest of the solution would involve pushing through those 30fps in about 3 minutes via post production techniques.

Further, I think it is important hear to understand the difference between a mechanical shutter as used in capturing still images on a DSLR, and the electronic shutter which is used for the capture of video or images taken while in live view. See this existing question for more information: How does shutter work when shooting videos?

  • In minutre effect mode the camera pulls an electronic shutter frame, pushes it to the fx processor to apply the miniature effect, and then pushed that in the mpeg pipeline, due to the processing overhead of the seconds step is records at about 10fps. When the movie is played back, it plays at 24/25/30 as per the file headers. But the miniature effect is destructive, and the user want a non-destructive slow record option. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 10:22

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