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Best Frame Rate for 1920×1080

Everyone loves a good slow-motion scene or a shot that speed ramps into an interesting moment. The key to these types of videos begins with understanding and controlling frame rate. What is frame rate and why is it important? We’ve done the legwork, and put together the best information to explain frame rate, frames per second (fps) and the ideal video frame rate. Once you’ve finished this complete guide, you will have the knowledge to properly control frame rates, and create your own slow-motion, fast-motion, and speed ramped videos. Let’s jump in!

Video is a form of entertainment that consists of visual media. This consists of a sequence of photos that are displayed at a certain rate to show motion. These photographs are still images that are referred to as frames. The frame rate is thus the number of frames displayed per unit of time, and is measured in frames per second (fps) also measured in Hertz (Hz).

1080p is a high definition video quality that you’ll likely see a lot on websites, due to the fact that web browsers can handle the bandwidth needed for streaming 1080p content very well. The majority of new smartphone and tablet devices have screens with this resolution, so we’re more likely to experience browsing on those devices in the near future. For anyone wondering what best frame rate for 1920×1080 is, read this article.

Frame rates are also used in digital cameras used on DSLR, mirrorless and smartphone devices. They are indicators of the type of quality the camera has when capturing video. The fps is also used for improving quality in animation and games, vector images that require a high frame rate for smoother-looking transitions from one frame to the next. Smoother transitions in games and animations make them more realistic looking and cause less flicker and inconsistency to the eyes. In film and TV, fps is actually standardized somewhat so that there is a common format for production.

Typical Frame Rates In Cinema and Film

Here are the typical fps used in making movies and TV shows.

24 fps — This is a universally accepted frame rate in the industry. You can expect to see this in movies. You may be wondering why did the industry choose 24 fps and not something higher like 25 or 35. It came about through a trial and error process that goes back to the early days of film. Early developers who worked or experimented with film, including Thomas Edison, began testing different ways to create motion. They started seeing results at 16 to 18 fps. Creating motion from still images on film required creating a reel for continuous filming. Now in order for the eyes to see motion, no noticeable flicker or delays must be present when it is displayed on screen. They finally came upon a standard to use 24 fps. Over the years there have been improvements in camera technology and digital electronic sensors instead of film, but the frame rate remains the same. It is now possible to use higher frame rates, but the industry still plays movies in cinemas at standard 24 fps.

60 fps — Shooting or filming at this frame rate is higher than the standard. This is for high definition or HD video starting from 720p all the way up to 8K resolution. For NTSC playback compatibility though, the frame rate is actually reduced to 59.94 fps which is often times referred to as 60 fps anyway. The reason for compatibility with NTSC formats is because this is the standard for television broadcasting in North America and Japan.

Typical Frame Rates In Gaming

Most gamers today play from any device thanks to the Internet. However, more serious gamers want fast realistic animations and graphics rendering that don’t lag or freeze the action (not due to network problems). A frozen frame in the middle of a game is a horrible experience since it can affect gameplay, leading to lower scores or defeat at the hands of an opponent in multi-player mode. Console gamers rely on the brilliance of their display to show the graphics being rendered by the GPU. The GPU is an important element because hardware specs do determine the frame rate for games. You will need a fast GPU and a display capable of high frame rates for the best user experience.

Just a little side note here. Your display also has its own frame rate also called refresh rate measured in Hz. When you buy a display (e.g. monitor) it will have its own frame rate. To get the best quality, make sure you have a high frame rate display that is greater than or equal to 30 Hz.

30 fps — This is the basic frame rate used in games. Low end PC games and consoles support this fps. When the hardware is able to keep frame rates consistently above 20 fps, stutter, artifacts, chopping and pixel jitter will not appear. It is when the frame rate goes down that gamers experience those.

60 fps — This is more superior, but also requires more costs for hardware. This is the maximum frame rate that most monitors and TV’s can display. Achieving this frame rate depends on the capabilities of your hardware. Additional tweaks in game and hardware settings maybe necessary too.

120 fps — This requires a high end gaming PC with a fast GPU and display. The display should be capable of 144 Hz refresh rates. This territory is for serious gamers and enthusiasts.

240 fps — This is the maximum you can hope to achieve (as of this writing). The question is do gamers really need 240 fps and high refresh rate displays? It is a matter of preference, but as game developers start releasing more hardware intensive games that use mixed reality and 3D graphics with AI rendering, then it is necessary. This usually leads to better user experiences and the best performance. However frame rates will continue to increase along with improvements in technology. Often than not, what is high end today will be low end tomorrow.

The difference between refresh rates is clear (Source GamingScan.com)

More Frames, Better Slow Motion

As a video editor or filmmaker, you will want the best for your content. Whether it is just for YouTube or a short film, considering high frame rates is also good for slow motion video. This is because you are capturing the image with more stills. Let’s say your camera can shoot 4K video at 30 fps. So that means in 1 second (time) you have captured 30 still images. When it comes to a frame by frame analysis, that is a lot of detail. This is because since you are capturing more of the action, you don’t miss out on what is happening. That is why when content creators feature either slow motion video or time lapse footage, higher frame rate cameras often have the best results. Certain smartphone vendors use this in their marketing to sell their camera’s video feature.

Make sure that you do have a fast SD card. The speed of the SD card is important when shooting high frame rates. When shopping for an SD card that supports higher fps, talk to a knowledgable store clerk about the SD card speed and ratings. There are different speed classes for SD cards you can read more about here. The speed determines how fast you can write data to your storage device while filming per unit of time (seconds). When it comes to the fastest speed for SD cards, a UHS 3 rating (299 MB/sec) is ideal but the more expensive. Another consideration are the V ratings (e.g. V60, V90) for video which is suitable for 4K and higher.

More Frames, More Storage

Let’s say you have a high frame rate camera capable of 30 fps. You are now able to capture better videos, without missing the action. Then you realize you run out of space more often. That is expected because the more details you capture, or the more frames, the more storage space required to save that information. It is not surprising that video requires not just Gigabytes, but now Terabytes of data. SD card capacities of 32 GB and higher are ideal if you are going to shoot a lot of video. Having a backup SD card is also recommended in case what you are filming fills up faster than you expected. Make sure the SD card has enough storage for what you want to shoot. At high frame rates for shooting continuously, there are various estimates. Just keep in mind that higher frame rates requires more storage space.

Frame Rate and Resolution

Does frame rate affect resolution and vice versa? Let’s find out.

Resolution has to do with the image size or number of pixels. At 4928 x 3264 pixels, you have a 16 MP (MegaPixel) resolution total. Now if you have a 30 fps refresh rate on your display, you need to update 16 million pixels in each frame (30 frames) per second. So that is 1/30 of second (0.033 sec) or 33.3 milliseconds to render a frame. The rendering time must not exceed the frame rate.

Frame rate is driven by the GPU while the resolution is controlled by the CPU. If your GPU requires more work to render an image, then it can affect the resolution. Often times the scene complexity in a game for example can overwhelm the rendering and thus the resolution suffers. This is because in order to properly display the rendered image, resolution has to be lowered. This is like having to drop resolution from 16 MP to 8 MP or half of the maximum resolution in order to appease the frame rate. The quality will suffer in this case.

Most developers it seems value resolution more than frame rate. This is because 30 fps is ideally the most available in displays (30 Hz). Anything above that is really high-end and that could be a more niche market of gamers and graphics fanatics. The average consumer may actually not notice the difference in resolution anyway e.g. 720p vs. 1080p. Many experts agree that at higher resolutions (e.g. 4K , 8K) do people actually notice a real difference.

What is the verdict then on frame rate and resolution? They can affect each other inversely. Higher frame rates can lead to lower resolution because of the amount of rendering required. Lower frame rates have better resolution, but then the game’s playability can suffer when it comes to performance. Thus having a high frame rate display to match high resolution game is required. This is true for games, but for video it doesn’t require as much math. Video at any frame rate still preserves its resolution. Like games and animations though, lower frame rates are still inferior to quality compared to higher frame rates.

What content requires high frame rates?

It really depends, since you don’t need high frame rates all the time. That is if you just want to shoot a simple video to upload to a social media channel. However, for the cinematically inclined creators, directors and producers, who want to impress more than just show … you could use higher frame rates in your content creation. This is an example of what we call a creative frame rate. Here are some reasons for it.

  1. Better slow motion video playback. Incorporating better slow-mo on the reel always makes good visual content especially when you are capturing something that is too fast for regular viewing. This is where slow motion effects work best. An example is filming a hummingbird at 30 fps and then playing it back in slow motion. You can surely see the wings movement in details and all the action taking place while the hummingbird is in flight.
  2. Smoother video playback, less blurring. For 4K and higher resolutions that is what quality is about. You can shoot at lower frame rates at lower resolution, but it won’t look the same when you try it with higher resolutions.
  3. Less stuttering and other problems when it comes to image motion. When shooting hand-held or flying a drone camera, higher frame rates reduce or lessen stutter and choppiness when filming. You miss less of the action when shooting high frame rate.
  4. Eliminates shake and blur due to hand movement. This allows the user to capture sharp images despite plenty of handshake or an unsteady camera (e.g. no tripod or stable camera hold).

Ideal fps for fast motion video

Fast motion video takes you to a world of instant gratification.

Invisible trends appear in mere seconds, entire forests grow and die, and the sun rises and sets before our eyes.

To speed up video, you will still prefer to capture regular footage at an increased movie frame rate. You might think that you would need fewer frames to allow a fast motion video, but the general rule is that you never want fewer frames than your medium requires.

The video below shows you step-by-step instructions on speeding up your footage with Adobe Premiere:

Low Frame Rate Video  •  How to speed up your video with Premiere

Most filmmakers don’t get video purely to be sped-up but prefer to “speed ramp” or “time ramp” their footage from slow motion to fast motion. The more information you have to work with, the better, even when blazing through your shots.

Similar to creating slow-motion video, you would then place your footage into your NLE and “time remap” the footage to the desired rate.

FPS Difference: SPEED RAMPS

Go from slo-mo to high speed

Frame rate ramping or “speed ramping” refers to a method where footage is played at a specific speed at one point in the clip, but then “ramps” to another speed while the the viewer observes the speed transformation.

Here is a great example of speed ramping in 300:

Changing frames per second for speed ramps in 300

This can be normal to fast, fast to slow, slow to normal…whatever.

Low Frame Rate Video: Timelapse

Show time with time-lapses

A great way to understand frame rates is to look at a time-lapse video. This is one of the best time-lapse videos you will find, and it took tens of thousands of photos to put together this three and a half minute video.

What is Frame Rate in Video?  •  Time lapse example by Luke Shepard

A time-lapse video is not a recording sped up, but rather a massive collection of still photos that are taken over a large amount of time, which are then strung together to create a hyper-motion video.

Let’s say you want to capture a time-lapse of a 120-minute event (like a sunrise) so that the final play duration can be 20 seconds.

If you want the video to perform like a recording at 24fps, then you need to capture a single frame every 15 seconds for a total of…480 photos. For more, here are some essential tips on how to shoot time lapse video.

FPS Plus Camera Movement

Super hyper time-lapses

Now, if a time-lapse is when you speed up a scene, a hyperlapse is when you speed up a scene, but you add heavy camera movement.

For example, you might use a dolly shot (or slider) if you’re doing a time-lapse, but hyperlapses show you the action over considerable distances and are often much more complex setups.

But the end effect can be really cool.

Here’s a video of how Matt Komo plans a shoot showcasing many elements that we discussed earlier. Slow-motion, speed ramps, timelapses, and finally, hyperlapses:

Matt Komo experiments with time  

To plan out your hyperlapses, much like Matt, it’s important to create a shot list (or storyboard) showcases the details of your scene. That way you’ll have a clear gameplan of actually shooting it.

What’s Frame Rate and Why It Matters?

Frame rates, generally known as Frame Per Second(FPS), refer to the number of images that appear on a screen/display. The more frames per second a display, the better the video quality will be in simpler terms.

Remember those flipbooks that had moving animation as you flipped through them. Each leaf of the booklet represented a different frame. Flipping quickly through it created a moving picture. The simpler versions of which could be done at home with a pen and a blank flipbook.

Conclusion

Using frame rates depends on what you are filming or what application you are using. For video 24 fps is ideal for a cinematic look and feel. Capturing more motion for great slow motion and smoother video requires higher frame rates. For games, higher frame rates at higher resolution is the best performance but requires higher costs.Now you understand how frames per second works and have the knowledge to record slow-motion video, fast-motion video, speed ramps, and time lapses.

The best frame rate for video is 24p. In the past, film media was shot at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. Therefore 1080p videos should be shot at 24p to achieve true cinema quality. However, 1080p video can also be shot with 60p or 30p because it’s not necessary to shoot them at 24p. Some filmmakers prefer to shoot in 30 fps because they think the extra shutter speed gives the footage a more cinematic look. Others prefer 60 fps which refers to the amount of frames per second and produces smoother slow-motion action.

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