Why 24fps video? Does it matter any more?

Started Apr 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
tigrebleu
Senior MemberPosts: 2,020
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A few things about 24 fps, 30 fps, etc.
In reply to steve ohlhaber, May 2, 2011

First, if you're shooting documentary, shoot 30 fps. If you're shooting fiction, shoot 24 fps.

We're used to see films shot at 24 fps at the movies, because for almost a century, film camera recorded moving pictures at a rate of 24 fps. Most cinematographers and directors will shoot nothing else but 24 fps for fiction, as they've been used to this for years.

But beyond the purist's ideals of the 24 fps, there's a good reason not to shoot at a faster frame rate for fiction: realism vs. dreamy look.

Pictures shot at 30 fps have a realistic look to them, partially because we're used to see them in TV broadcasts and in home video. It's great for documentaries, sports and news content, but for fiction, people usually want a more "dreamy" look to take the viewer a bit further away from the reality of home movies. And then, 24 fps does help (although it's not the only thing that matters).

At 24 fps, the moving pictures seem to have a less realistic look to them, which usually helps the viewer get away from reality and enter the world of fiction.

So in the end, 24 fps vs. 30 fps is a very subjective thing. I prefer to shoot 24 fps most times, unless I'm doing a documentary-style fiction or a genuine documentary, in which case I turn to 30 fps. But some fiction movie makers shoot only 30 fps for added realism, while some documnetary makers use 24 fps for its aethetics alone.

(By the way, 25 fps is almost 24 fps in this case, so I don't mind using 25 fps instead of 24 fps either.)

So in the end, the choice depends only on what you want your film to look like. Run some tests at 24 and 30 fps and choose base on what you see.

And one last thing: the human eye cannot make the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps on most TVs, because most TVs don't support 60 fps. And even with TVs that support 60 fps, the difference is negligible unless you use slow motion playback.

So 60 fps is useless unless you want to film at high speed for smoother slow motion playback (like in sports, for instance), so don't shoot at 720p @ 60 fps when you can shoot at 1080p @ 30 fps unless you plan to do slow motion or if your slow motion sequences are very important in your film.

Just my two cents.

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If photography can be considered like painting, then I'm still at the preschool "paint with your fingers" level.

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