You don’t need to buy a top mirrorless camera to have fun with stills photography or video – one enterprising fellow has used cheap kids cameras to recreate ‘bullet time’ from The Matrix

There are a lot of videos online of nerds and propeller-head coders experimenting with cheap digital cameras and wrangling circuit boards, but few have the charm of John Gaeta, aka @3D Sage, from the US.

Bullet time recreation cheap cameras
John’s cat. And a bulk delivery of cheap cameras.

Long curious about the groundbreaking ‘bullet time’ sequences in the ultimate nerd movie, The Matrix, John attempted to figure out how to recreate it using a box of cheap (and some would say nasty) kids’ digital cameras he found for a song on Amazon.

cheap camera, how to recreate bullet time in The Matrix
Suziyo cameras can be picked up cheaply. For a reason!

If you’ve not seen The Matrix, or not for a while, bullet time refers to the effect where the camera seems to orbit around a subject as they stay static. For the time, the sequences of Neo avoiding bullets and other kinds of violence were something of a cinematographic revolution.

Bullet time recreation, cat
A still from the YouTube ‘bullet time’ video

Roping in his also charming and ever-patient cat, John worked out how to fire a series of the Suziyo kids cameras simultaneously, all capturing different angles.

Bullet time recreation, recording set up

He found software to ‘interpolate’ the footage so it looks smooth, making his own camera rig and everything (all with the same lo-fi aesthetic).

Bullet time recreation software
John used this software

John explains it very well in the video below. Even if you aren’t that interested in recreating bullet time, it’s worth watching for the perennially puzzled but stoic cat and John’s laconic delivery.

While neither we nor John would recommend Suziyo cameras to adults for anything much more than this, it’s another reminder how useful and versatile digital camera technology can be, even in bargain-basement form.


Further reading
I bought an old digital compact for £5 – am I mad?
The best cameras for beginners in 2024
Camp Snap Camera Review – Simplicity at its finest?