Bullet Time BTS: Using Nearly Half a Million Dollars of Canon Gear to Freeze Time

Bullet time isn’t anything new, but where most of the recent examples show how you can use relatively inexpensive phones or GoPros to create the effect, this BTS video shows how Canon helped put together a crazy bullet time photo shoots that went radically in the other direction.

By linking together 50 Canon 1D X cameras and 24-70mm F/2.8L II Lenses, Swiss Radio and TV broadcaster SRF put nearly half a million dollars of gear to work freezing time in the highest quality possible.

The BTS video above was released in November of last year and shows the kind of work it took to orchestrate a shoot of this magnitude on the banks of the Aare river in Bern.


All the cameras had to be unpacked (it took six people all morning just to do that) set up on the 65-foot long rig, aligned properly, have all settings properly adjusted, linked together, and then actually used with the remote trigger to capture the final shots.

You can read more about the process and see the photos here. And once you do, let us know what you think of the final product in the comments down below. Was it worth using nearly $500K in gear, or could they have gotten essentially the same results with more affordable options?

(via The Digital Picture and PopPhoto)

  • Radarek01 .

    0,5 million $ gear and still I can see bad interpolated frames in a river scene. :(

  • brad

    Much talk; little action.

  • Gvido Mūrnieks

    Looks, like a huge camera gear di©k waving to me.

    What’s the point of using 1dx, if the end result will be only/maybe 4k video?

    In my opinion, for the same money – you could get at least 150 6d cameras. And it would make the bullet time, at least three times longer and less choppy.

  • srood

    canon :we did this just because we can
    i think a phantom flex would give a better results with a motorized rig

  • HopeReedaga

    bf’s dad just got yellow Mitsubishi i-MiEV only from working part time off a
    pc at home… linked here

    try this site

  • Zuhair A. Al-Traifi

    What I really liked about this is seeing a lot of 1Dx in one place ! anything else was just boring, not to mention the horrible result

  • nikonian

    Somebody did this with a bunch of d700’s a few years ago. It isn’t even anew idea to use a DSLR for this…

  • Gvido Mūrnieks

    First one, I know about, was used to shoot bullet time in Matrix. And that was back in 1999. :D

  • Arian van der Pijl

    Yeah, unpack the camera’s on the concrete floor …. (ouch)

  • Lorenzo

    All this trouble and humbug for some lousy photos of a surfer in a river. Shame.

  • Grumpyrocker

    Lost in space did it a year earlier. And the effect had been in a few British natural history documentaries before that.

  • CameraBoy

    Nothing new here, Nikon have been doing this for years with TimeSlice. Produce a far higher quality shot too as TimeSlice were the guys that invented this type of shot!

  • Swissman

    Why 1dx? Canon Switzerland that’s why. Enough money on our bank accounts. To the swiss: The Billag paid for these cameras that’s where your “service public” money goes

  • Sarpent

    This is just a Cannon commercial.

  • StronglyNeutral

    Yeah that end result wasn’t even worth the 4 and a half minutes of explanation. Most expensive ‘Neato gang’ moment I’ve seen in some time.