Understanding Frame Rates

So you just purchased a fancy new camera and you’re ready to start shooting some videos. In the midst of sifting though the menu of the camera you come across a section titled “frame rate” and think “eh, I probably shouldn’t change that, it’ll mess something up”. Wrong! You need to change this based on what you’re trying to film!

When you record video what your camera is actually doing is taking a crazy amount of photos every second in order to produce what you see as the end result. Frame rate is the number of photos that your camera takes every second. 

Uses of Different Frame Rates

Changing this can yield some pretty crazy results. For the most cinematic/movie like look always record at 24fps. This will give you the right amount of motion blur. 24fps is the standard for movies and feature films in Hollywood as well as many other parts of the world. 24fps is also what you will want to edit your project in. This will give the desired effect explained in the course of this article. 

Let’s look at 30fps. Most videographers dread 30fps. I find that it works really well with music tutorials as it’s basically what your eyes see. 60fps is much more common though. If your looking for a slight slow motion effect (and I do mean slight) shoot in 60fps. This is good for BROLL footage and other odds and ends. 

My favorite frame rate to shoot in is 120fps. This provides a nice slow motion effect for drone and GoPro footage. The only downside is that some cameras don’t allow this high of a frame rate at their max resolution.

Shutter Speeds and Frame Rate

Most of us understand that the exposure triangle in photography allows us to crank our shutter speed up when we’re a little over exposed but this isn’t the case in videography. Doing so will create a weird jittery image that isn’t really usable. With shutter speed the best rule of thumb is to double your frame rate and that’s the correct shutter speed for you. If your camera doesn’t allow that exact speed, come as close as you can to it. In most cases, you’ll need some ND filters to make this possible, as the low shutter speeds can quickly over expose your shot.

ShutterSpeedsInVideo.png

Ok, Now Time to Convert to 24FPS

When you watch 120fps footage back you’ll notice that it’s super fast despite the fact that I told you it was considered slow motion. You’ll want to select your footage in Premiere Pro, right click, and the select interpret footage in order to use it when editing in 24fps. This will create the smooth slow motion that I mentioned earlier.

Hope this helps spread some light on an otherwise confusing subject for people just getting started. Leave questions in the comment section! 

Zakk MillerComment