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What Is Video Frame Rate? 1080p/4K 30fps vs 60fps vs 120fps vs 240fps

What is fps?

Video Frame Rate, also known as fps (frames per second), denotes the number of the individual frames playing in each second, which is used for measuring the frame rate in a moving image. To put it more precise, any video-based animation, video games or even movies are consist of a coherent picture played sequentially. If 30 images are played continuously per second, it is called 30fps; if 60 frames are played per second, it is 60fps; 120 images per second is 120fps; 240 images per second is 240fps and so on.

FPS will decide the quality of the presentation of the videos and viewers' watching experience. Theoretically, the more frames are played per second, smoother the image displays. However, it is worth noting that when the frame rate is below 30, we may feel the flickers of the screen which is a bad consequence of the discontinuity of the image display. Yet, it doesn't mean the high video frame rate is our ultimate goal.

30fps vs 60fps vs 120fps vs 240 fps

Theoretically, a higher frame rate means a smoother display. As 30fps refers to 30 images per second, 60fps=60 frames/s, 120fps=120 frames/s and 240fps=240 frames/s, the smoothness of their image performance is 30fps<60fps<120fps<240fps. The chart below will illustrate the usual application of each frame rate:

Frame rate

The field of use


30fps is one of the most common frame rates used by video in news, TV, and on the web, etc.


The 60fps provides smoother motion and is now widely used in some high-end HDTVs and especially in some games.


It is used in super slow motion for photography, that is, when shooting things at super speed.


It works better in super slow motion for photography.

According to scientific research, the impact of the video frame rate is based on humans' competence of action recognition. There's a limit to the capacity of human action recognition. It is said that 55 fps will give viewers the best watching experience, which means the viewers will have a better watching experience when the frame rate of the image is approaching that limit. It is noteworthy that you can hardly tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps only by your eyesight, but the interaction can make the difference more obvious, especially in third-person shooting games like CS, where the eyes can feel the fluency gap caused by the high and low frame count.

What Kind of Cameras Supports 120fps and 240fps?

Most of the advanced motion camera and some smartphone with a good lens on the marketplace will support 120fps and 240fps such as GoPro Hero 5, YI 4K, iPhone 5s, and most DSLR/SLR cameras. Among them, some will even support high-resolution 4K/1080P 120fps and 240fps such as GoPro Hero7, Yi 4K+Action Camera, and GoPro Hero5, etc.

Does the High Frame Rate Affect Video Editing?

Our watching experience is also determined by other factors other than the frame rate, such as the graphics card, CPU, the disks' storage space and the resolution of the display screen. In other words, higher frame rate requires better configuration of your PC, a better graphics card, higher processing speed, and suitable screen resolution, etc.

Videos with various frame rate must be played on a suitable device. On the one hand, if a high frame rate video is played on a lower frame rate displayer/electronic devices, the playing fluency will be disrupted because the redundant frames are deleted automatically. On the other hand, if a low frame rate video is played on a high frame rate device, there is no improvement in its fluency.


Alisa Cassiel

Alisa Cassiel, an English Copywriter of Digiarty, has 4 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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