What is a Video Frame Rate?
Video frame rate—also known as frame frequency—is expressed as frames per second (fps) in Hertz and is the rate at which frames are shot or displayed one after the other.
Video footage isn't a non-stop recording; it's images consecutively displayed on screen in quick succession to create a moving picture—an illusion of movement. Frame rate shows the frequency at which these individual images are flashed in a given second.
The term frame rate is used with camcorders, video cameras, films, motion picture systems, and computer graphics. Most electronic devices have default specifications representing the maximum possible frame rate and can be reduced manually or by altering other settings like exposure time.
Different Video Frame Rates and Applications
24fps: A video shot at 24fps has 24 images displayed every second.
- Older films you watched in movie theaters—e.g., classics like Casablanca or Indiana Jones—used to be shot at 24fps.
- 24fps is a cinematic standard; every wide movie release must support 24fps.
30fps: A video shot at 30fps has 30 individual, or still images displayed every second.
- Regular TV shows were shot at 30fps, giving a smoother, more stable visual appearance.
- However, 30fps isn't as realistic as 24fps.
60fps: A video shot at 60fps has 60 still images displayed every second.
- Fast-action movies and fast-moving sports are typically shot at 60fps, giving the videos a smoother, high-quality appearance.
- However, 60fps takes up roughly double the space of 30fps and isn't always practical to use.