There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the frame rate of your video project. The decision will largely be based on personal opinion, but there are many practical considerations to take. Also, it is much easier if your know your desired frame rate before you begin your project. This will make the post production and editing much smoother and faster. This article introduces video frame rates and explains the difference between the most popular rates.
What is Frame Rate?
Frame rate is expressed as a number, like 24, followed by fps (meaning: frames per second). So, the frame rate is basically how many frames (still images) are crammed into 1 second of video. Of course, 24 frames within a single second produces a perfectly clear video and is a popular timecode for cinematic productions. Anything slower might look a little choppy.
Some of the most popular frames rates are 24, 29.97, 30, 48, 59.97, 60, 120, 240. On the other end of the spectrum, high frame rates, like 240, pack a ton of frames without a single second of video. In reality, 240 frames in a second is unnecessary, unless you are going to slow down your footage. This is why 240 fps is often used in action sports.
Setting your Timecode Frame Rate
The ultimate look of your video will also change when you edit it. No matter what fps you shoot your footage at, you can input it into an editing timeline with a different frame rate. In most cases you will want to line up your in-camera setting with your editing settings. For instance, if your video is going to be edited at 30 fps, you will do well to shoot it at 30 fps.
You should never input footage that has a lower frame rate than the editing timeline. For instance, if you shoot at 24fps and input the footage into a timeline set at 30 fps, there will not be enough frames per second. So, the editing software will basically stretch out the footage to fit, causing it to drop frames.
However, you can use this to you advantage if you shoot at a higher frame rate than the editing timeline. If you shoot your footage at 120 fps, you will be able to slow down your footage to 1/4 of the speed (because 30 goes into 120 four times). So, this super slow motion video will still be looking clear and smooth.
Once you familiarize yourself with different frame rates, and edit within them, you will be able to see which work best for different projects. For more information about video production, contact a company like Kaleidoscope Pictures, Inc.