If you are looking for the ‘cinematic look’, you should aim for either 24 frames per second (fps) or 25 fps, depending of your location. That isn’t the only factor in getting the look, but it is one big factor.

FYI, many purists consider 30fps (which is standard on many video cameras) as a more ‘soap opera’ or ‘realistic’ look. It does seem a bit more vivid. The debate about which is ‘better’ rages on all over the planet, but most consider 24fps the cinema standard.

30 frames per second is useful in two situations:

  • Your clip must be presented on TV (TV is 30fps).
  • You want to slow down your clip in post-production by 20% without resorting to frame interpolation.

Other than that, most suggest there are very few reasons to shoot at 30 frames per second.

Of course, there are other higher speeds you may want to use – 60fps for example – because you can do more slow motion when you convert those clips to 24fps.

More info

Here’s a great video from Rich Harrington on frame rate and size!

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chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of macrumors.com. He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at planet5D.com was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
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