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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