Choosing the BEST Frame Rates for Storytelling – When to Use 24, 60, & 120 Frames per Second
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Choosing the BEST Frame Rates for Storytelling – When to Use 24, 60, & 120 Frames per Second

October 9, 2019


Let’s skip right to it. If you want your
videos to look good, you should always, only be shooting at 24 frames per second… Except when you shouldn’t. Hey everyone, Camber here back with you,
and today we’re talking about using frame rates to better tell your story;
and if you’re new here this channel is all about teaching you how to use your
camera to make good videos, so if that’s you, consider subscribing. So last time we
learned about the history of frame rates, and how 24 frames per second became the
standard frame rate for movies. And using 24 frames per second gives it that
natural look that people are used to seeing, but if you like a higher frame
rate then go with that and make it work for you. I’m just going to give you some
insight into what I use and the reasons behind that. And as we get into this, keep
in mind that there are no rules as to which frame rates you should use. It’s
really all just personal preference. So my baseline is 24 frames per second
because that’s the style that I like, and I shoot at 24 frames per second for
anything talking because I don’t plan on slowing any of that down. If I were to
slow down a clip that had talking in it, it would also slow down the audio of
that clip making it sound very slow. And then I switch to 60 or 120 frames per
second for most of my B-roll footage that doesn’t involve talking so that I
can slow it down in post because just about everything looks pretty cool when
you slow it down. If you take a 60 frame per second clip and slow it down to 24
frames per second, it’ll turn your one-second clip into two and a half
seconds. And if you take a 120 frame per second clip, slow it down to 24 frames
per second, it’ll make your 1 second clip turn into a 5 second clip. So I like to
use 120 frames per second for slow motion whenever I have good lighting, but
as soon as I start getting into lower light situations, then I switch to 60
frames per second because of the higher shutter speed requirements at higher
frame rates. Now, we’re gonna cover shutter speed more in a future video, but
as a rule of thumb you typically double your frame rate to get your shutter
speed. So at 24 frames per second you’ll be shooting at 50 on your shutter speed, at
60 frames per second you’ll be at 125 on the shutter, and then at 120 frames per
second you’ll be at 250 on your shutter speed. So with those higher
shutters you’ll have less light coming into your camera, which is gonna require
you to push up your ISO; and that can make your foot start to look grainy if
you have a sensor that doesn’t perform well in low light. Unfortunately I can’t
show you what 24 frames per second versus 60 frames per second looks like
in one video because I’m in a 24 frames per second timeline. So if you do take a
60 frame per second clip and put it into a 24 frames per second timeline without
slowing it down, it’s gonna start cutting frames out in order to match it to that
24 frames per second and play it out in real time. However, your motion is gonna
start to look more jittery because the higher shutter speed you had to use at
that higher frame rate. Which may not be a big deal depending on what you’re
filming and I actually prefer the way it looks for high-speed action shots or
dancing where there’s a lot of movement. And those movements look a lot more
crisp, and you have the option of slowing it down.
However, in shots where there’s not as much going on, that jittery look can
actually make it feel pretty unnatural. And once again, I’m not opposed to using
higher frame rates as your base frame rate in your video. Right now I like the
look of 24 frames per second, but that may change in the future. However, I am
starting to use 4K a lot more in my videos, and one of the issues is with
most consumer level cameras only shoot 24 to 30 frames per second at 4K. So then
if you want to shoot at 60 frames per second as your base frame rate, you’re
gonna have to buy a more expensive camera in order to do that; and then if
you want to get an even higher frame rate at 120 or 180 in order to slow that
down to your base rate of 60, then you’re gonna be spending even more money. So
aside from just liking the look of 24 frames per second better, it’ll also save
me money by shooting at lower frame rates because more cameras are able to
do that. So there really are no rules when it comes to frame rates, just common
practices that will make your videos look more like what people are used to
seeing. So experiment with different frame rates, see how it makes your videos
look, see what works for your style, and go with it. So if you made it this far go
ahead and hit that thumbs up. Let me know down below about what your favorite
frame rate to use is or if you have any more questions. Go ahead and subscribe if
you haven’t, and remember that the only way to get better at something is practice
So get out there and film something. See you soon!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I like 30p (29.97) because it's smoother than 24 but still not too far off the cinema framerate we've been conditioned on. Also, the most common screen refresh rates are multiples of 60hz, which results in smooth playback of 30p footage without judder.

  2. Good stuff dude, I can change frame rate on a go pro but I don’t know if you can on an iPhone. I guess an iPhone is automatically 30 FPS?

  3. Man… Actually, a nicely done video. You got a new sub. But there are two things that I really dislike:
    1. Consistent powerline noise in the audio stream. This problem it seems still is not fixed by you, so let me suggest to move your microphone cables far away of your powerlines. It should help. Also, check your ground in your power socket. But, it's just a tiny technical flaw which can be corrected pretty well in post by applying just aa EQ filter to cutout all the stuff below 60 Hz.
    2. I really dislike that beginning with your "friendly advice" to "always be shooting only at 24 fps" if I want my "videos to look good". You are seems a guy who have a brain and are able to think for himself, right? You definitely know the stuff that you are talking about and can do the math (2:32 not so many filmmakers can do this math, Peter McKinnon can't for example). So… I just want to broad your knowledge a bit with proving you the info about a reverse math that takes place in the monitor that displays 24 fps videos. Let's have a look at this pretty unique stuff for YouTube (just 3 minutes to watch, so please watch till the end to get the point): https://youtu.be/pjMtux_zFU4 It's just impossible to eliminate that disadvantage of 24 fps in case of typical monitor / phone display no matter what shutter speed will be used. But surprise surprise, you won't see this in a movie theatre, more over, if you have good trained eyes, you will be able to notice how smooth actually 24 fps is in case of movie theatre and how stuttery and jittery it lokks on a typical pc monitor. But, keep it up. Really good channel with a good content. And.. Fix your sound.

  4. It's kind of amazing how just under 5 months after you published this video, a camera company released a mirrorless camera that can do 4K/60 at less than $1.5k! … 10-bit internal at that. I think I'll be going against the grain when it comes to choosing a frame rate for my base timeline, though. Thanks for the informative video.

  5. Another consideration is the delivery media and target audience equipment. Not everything can play back all possible frame rates. In the US there's a wider choice of what I'll call 'natural' frame rates due to NTSC standards. In the UK and many other places the safe bets are 25 and 50 fps for delivery. Quite a lot of cameras are Region specific – either 60 or 50 Hz based, it's the expensive pro 'World' models that open up a decent range of shooting frame rates. BobUK.

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