What Frame Rate To Shoot In?

When you go to shoot video for a project, you will have to decide what frame rate to shoot in. Meaning how many frames should be recorded every second. Depending on your camera, you could have many different options to choose from. They may include 24fps, 30fps, 60fps, or even 120fps.

So if you have all of these options, which one do you choose?! Glad you asked. I hope to cover my take on frame rates in this post, and hopefully by the end, you’ll be able to put together an educated decision based on your needs.

How to Decide

The first thing I look at is where the final video is going. Is it going on a website? Is it going in a theatre? Is it going on a TV at Walmart? You have to first find out what the end destination will be for the video. The frame rate will differ for the final deliverable.

Secondly, you have to consider the needs for post production. Will there be a lot of special effects being added to the footage. Is it being incorporated with other video footage outside of the footage you are recording?

If the final video is going to need a lot of post production work, I recommend shooting in a higher frame rate. This will give the crew more options when it comes to compositing and editing the footage. On the other hand, if the video is going to be more simple and not a lot of editing is needed, you can shoot in a frame rate that matches your deliverable. So in example you can shoot in 24fps if it is going in a theatre, or 30fps if it is going on a website.

Benefits of High Frame Rates

Regardless of where the video is going in the end, there are some benefits I want to mention for shooting in higher frame rates. The first one is obvious, but I still want to point it out. The video editor will have more frames to choose from.

It’s a simple no-brainer, but this is very underrated. Having more frames to choose from in post production can make a world of difference on how the final video will look. Having more frames, the editor can make more precise cuts. The editor will have more ability to polish and refine the final video as well.

Another advantage is that the video editor can use high frame rates to create a slow motion effect. By basically putting a 60fps video into a 30fps timeline, the video editor can slow down the footage up to 50% speed, giving the final video a unique effect.

Disadvantages

There are a few disadvantages I want to touch on as well. Shooting in high frame rates can take up a lot of storage room. So you’ll have to be prepared when you shoot the footage to have a card/drive that can capture all of the footage.

When shooting in high frame rates, you’ll need to crank your shutter speed to match the frame rates. So you’ll have to compensate for the loss of exposure by adding more light to the scene. It can be tricky to shoot in high frame rates in dark scenes. So you’ll want to make sure you are prepared for that.

Conclusion

So there you have it! That is my take on frame rates. I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you have a different view on frame rates, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment below.

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Published by johnthevideoguy

I am a Cleveland based video editor and videographer. My mission is to push and share the innovation of video technology through my experiences and the ideas of others.

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