Videographer located in Southampton, Easthampton Massachusetts explains frame rates for DSLR and traditional video cameras

As most of you know, moving images are just an illusion, you are just seeing a series of pictures. In fact, a single second of video contains 30 frames per second (fps) if your are watching broadcast TV. Most movies which you might see in the movie theaters are being shot in 24 frames per second. What’s the difference between 24 and 30 frames per second you might ask. Why should you care? Well, let me explain:-)

DSLR, Professional Video Cameras, and Frame Rates

There are two common frame rates for video shooting in the US: 24 frames per second and 30 frames per second (fps). If you are doing a video shoot in Europe then you would actually encounter 25 fps. The reason frame rates play an important role in video production is because that fps tends to effect the artistic and emotional feel of your film or video production. There is a difference in how the completed video production looks and feels, if you watch two scenes side by side shot with different frame rates.

Specifically, 30 frames per second looks more like a traditional TV broadcast. Whereas 24 fps looks more cinematic. DSLR and Professional Video Cameras that have the ability to shoot at 24 fps have become extremely popular in the last few years because they most resemble the cinematic appeal of motion pictures.

What about 50 and 60 frames per second? Shooting at 50 or 60 fps is typically used to create slow motion effects, slow motion effects can be seen in many music videos and special effects sequences. For the most part, I recommend sticking with 30 or 24 fps.  For those of you who work with digital video editing, you probably know that 30 fps is actually 29.97 fps and 24 fps is actually 23.976 fps when editing the video footage with professional editing systems. This difference is simply a mathematical correction that is necessary in digital non-linear editing.

“Just One More Thing”, as Detective Columbo used to say …..has anyone seen the movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”? Well, it was not that long ago when I was telling a classroom full of multimedia students that “The Hobbit” was actually shot at 48 fps. Shooting at that frame rate in motion pictures is somewhat unusual but director Peter Jackson chose this groundbreaking new frame rate based on the theory that the higher frame rate would produce much more clarity and better 3-D images. Apparently, brain researcher found that the human brain takes in reality at about 24-48 fps. Some say we perceive our world at over 60 fps. However, neuroscientists and filmmakers are debating if the higher frame rates translate to a better movie experience – the viewer will be the judge.

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