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A simple explanation and demonstration of frame rates for videographers

Why it matters to you

Professional and amateur videographers alike will benefit from this primer on the use of frame rates in making videos.

One of the most confusing things for people just getting started in videography has to do with frame rates. First off, what are frame rates, what do they do, and what should your default be?

These are a few of the questions that videographer Brandon Li gets asked all the time, so he took to his YouTube channel to answer some common queries about frame rates, their difference with shutter speeds, and what frame rates he recommends for different situations. It is a really informative video for anyone who is getting started or who just wants to learn more about frame rates in general.

One of the biggest things that we found helpful with Li’s video was his demonstrations, showing what sort of situation he would use each frame rate in and what the result looked like. Creatives, including videographers, are generally visual learners, so having some solid examples and visuals really helps to drive home Li’s points about each of the frame rate examples that he covers.

More: Does faster RAM really make a difference in your frame rates?

It is also important to note that if you are planning on slowing fast footage down, for example, 120fps down to 24fps, then you need to make sure you can divide the faster number by the slower number evenly or your video will look choppy. So, 60fps can be slowed down to 30fps for a slight slow motion effect, but 30fps shouldn’t be slowed down to 24fps or there will be some unsightly stutter or jitter in the video.

In the end, your frame rate choice is completely a creative decision. It is just important to know what you are doing and the impression you will ultimately be able to offer to viewers. If your choice produces the desired effect from the audience, then it is a choice well made.