60 fps vs 30 fps – What’s the Difference?

If you want to dabble in filmmaking or videography but don’t know the difference between 60 fps vs 30 fps, we’re here to give you a helping hand.

Many professional and amateur photographers started to complement their photography with video. And almost every new camera can record different frame rates. Even budget ones like GoPro can do it.

But what’s the difference between these various frame rates, and why is it essential that you know how to tell them apart?

60 fps vs 30 fps - What's the Difference?

What are frame rates?

Let’s start with the basics.

When talking about frame rates, it all comes down to two things: how many frames are recorded per second and how smooth they look when played back on a screen or projectors.

FPS stands for frames per second and measures how many times per second a camera can capture an image. They tell you how fast the image on your screen changes, so a higher frame rate means things will look smoother and more fluid.

In short, 30 fps means that 30 still images will be shown every second, while 60 fps means that 60 still images will be shown every second.

Frame rates are not just limited to video. It also applies to video games, animation, and even computer graphics.

The 3 most common frame rates

24 fps Frame Rate

When using 24fps, each second of the motion picture film contains 24 still images; this frame rate perfectly fits the human sight.

24 fps is known as the “standard rate” for movies and is known to give that “cinematic” or “film look.” The lower frame rate produces mild motion blur between the frames, resulting in a softer look.

60 fps vs 30 fps - What's the Difference? 1
24 fps is a standard for ca inematic “dreamy” look

It was the first frame rate for film and television production, so you’ve undoubtedly seen it in action before.

It’s also the cheapest option on the list because it requires fewer costs for storage and film reels.

30 fps Frame Rate

30 fps is mainly used for TV, live broadcasts, and soap operas.

Recording at 30fps gives a more unrealistic feel to the video, and the shots are more detailed and clean compared to cinematic 24fps.

The difference between them is not immediately noticeable, but it’s there!

Unless you want to reproduce old movies or get that cinematic feel, look no further than 30fps.

30 fps is a standard for television and digital media
30 fps is a standard for television and digital media

60 fps Frame Rate

60 fps is an option that many gamers use when playing fast-paced games to keep up with fast motion. It’s perfect for situations where you need enough frame rates to interact and win the game.

But this frame rate is also becoming increasingly popular among filmmakers who want their films to look more smooth.

They’re often used in sports when you want to catch the details or in slow-motion where you want to emphasize a scene but keep the clarity crisp!

Higher frame rates zoom in on what’s happening in the frame.

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Which one is better – 60 fps vs 30 fps?

It’s a question that’s plagued us since the birth of the motion picture: what’s the best frame rate to shoot at?

What should you choose between 60 FPS vs 30 FPS? Well, depending on what you want to do with your footage, one may be better than the other.

For example, if you want to slow down a clip for dramatic effect or for better action shots where motion blur is not acceptable, then 60 FPS would be a good choice since it will allow you more flexibility in that regard.

 Higher frame rates are usually used in action movies to smooth motion and emphasize the action presented. A higher frame rate is also ideal for shooting concerts.

But remember: smoother is not always better!

If you want something that looks like a movie or TV show, then 30 FPS might be best because that’s what most people are used to seeing, as many films use this frame rate.

But there are exceptions even to this. For example, The Hobbit was filmed at 48 frames per second.

If you want to go for a jittery feeling, you can use even lower frame rates than the ones discussed here – to add a comedic effect, if you’re going to shoot a silent movie type of video, or if you want to make time-lapses.

In a nutshell, it all depends on what you want to create.

FAQ: 30 fps vs 60 fps

What about 120 fps and 240 fps on my GoPro Camera?

240 fps and 120 fps are two options available on GoPro cameras. They’re both slow-motion modes, which means you’re capturing video at a higher frame rate than usual.

High frame-rate footage can be used for:

  • slow-motion effects
  • capturing high-speed scenes or fast-moving objects

What’s the difference between 240 fps and 120 fps on a GoPro? It boils down to how many images you can fit into one second of shooting time.

A video that is filmed at 120 or 240 fps will usually be played at lower fps, giving it that show-motion effect. That means if you shoot with a 120 or 240 fps setting and you play back your footage at 30 fps, it will produce a slow-motion effect.

GoPro can record at 120fps and 240 fps

You might think you don’t need such high frame rates, but the Go Pro is essentially made for sports and action shots emphasizing fast movement. Some examples may include horse racing or filming a car or motorcycle at full speed.

You might find that high frame rates are necessary in this case, and anything lower than 120 fps or 240 fps will fall short.

What Frame Rate Should I Use for Youtube?

If you’re going to upload your videos directly on YouTube, then there’s no need for anything higher than 30fps – unless you’re filming sports or games.

Youtube didn’t use to support anything higher than 30fps, but now it can handle frame rates between 24fps and 60fps up to 8K resolution.

But it is unlikely you will upload videos to YouTube at high frame rates because many mobile devices and even laptop computers will be unable to handle it due to insufficient processing power.

60 fps vs 30 fps - What's the Difference? 3
In most cases, 30fps is the frame rate of choice when shooting videos for YouTube.

When to use vs 60 fps vs 30 fps?

As you probably figured out, the answer to this question is more nuanced. It’s not just about the number of frames per second— how much storage space you have, what kind of mood you are after, and what editing you’ll be doing.

A higher FPS (like 60fps) has the potential to look smoother, but it also requires more processing power from your computer or device – because it requires more extended export and uploading times. It also takes up a lot of space.

30 FPS videos are considered standard for most types of videos, including movies and television shows. But it might not be ideal when trying to emphasize an action or an emotion in your shots.

60 fps vs 30 fps | Final thoughts

The truth is that having a higher frame rate doesn’t mean better quality footage—it depends on how you plan to use it.

So which one wins? Neither! The actual winner is the one that doesn’t leave you with a headache-inducing amount of motion blur. Be sure to think about your shots before you start shooting and what kind of medium you plan on uploading your video to.

And if anyone asks you again which frame rate is better, 30 FPS or 60 FPS, don’t hesitate to let them know that neither is better—the winner is whichever one works best for your project.

If unsure what frame rate to use, test different frame rates and watch the result. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut!

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by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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