This is the first installment of simple video settings in plain English. Hi, my name is Scott Duvall and I run a video production company based out of Athens, Georgia where I film, edit and produce short, specialized videos for clients. Recently, I lead a workshop where I gave out some tips and tricks to taking better iPhone video. It occurred to me that there are a lot of people out there, my wife included (she’s the star in this short explanation video) who would like to know more about how to use the powerful little video camera tucked away in their iPhone.
Today, I wanted to explain as simply as I can the difference in frames per second and why it is important to understand.
Frames Per Second Defined: the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device displays consecutive images called frames. The term applies equally to film and video cameras, computer graphics, and motion capture systems. Frame rate is expressed in frames per second (FPS).
Think about an “old school” flip book. If you were to take a stack of paper and draw a cartoon with subtle differences on each consecutive page and then began flipping through it, each page would represent one frame. The determination on frame rate would be directly related to how fast you flipped through it. Does that make sense?
If you have an iPhone 5s or either an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, your device can take videos with a variety of frame rates. When you launch your native camera app and set it on video, your camera will capture video at 30fps. What does this mean? Basically, around 30fps is what our eyes see in real life. It is as close to real time as we can get.
Therefore, should you record your kids running, jumping or someone sitting still and then hit play, it’s going to look just like it did in real time when you initially shot your footage.
If you have an iPhone 5s, your camera is capable of capturing slow motion at 120fps. The iPhone 6 series of phones can capture slow motion at 120fps and 240fps. Don’t let these numbers confuse you, because in plain English, unless you plan on slowing down your video in post production or an editing app, there really is no reason for you to use these settings. All it will end up doing is taking up more valuable space on your phone’s memory.
Tip: For iPhone 6 users, should you want to change the standard record setting from 30fps to 60fps, you can do so. Here’s how you do that. Go to Settings -> Photos & Camera -> Scroll down to where it says 60fps and hit that radio button to change your standard video capture setting.
When you switch to Slow Motion mode, you will either see 120fps or 240fps in the bottom right corner. The way you change between the two is by tapping on that number.
So whereas the iPhone 5s will capture at either 30fps or 120fps, with the advent of the settings menu option, your iPhone 6 series phone will allow you to select between 30, 60, 120 & 240fps.
That’s great, but what on Earth does that mean?
Absolutely nothing, unless you desire to slow your video down in post production. If you’re not wanting to take an attempt at video editing, you should keep it simple and just take regular video and not confuse yourself with adding slow motion. Sure you can take slow motion any time you like, it will look great as you watch back and get to see your dog running or kids jumping slowed down.
However, be wary of the fact that the higher the frame rate, the more memory or space it will take up on our already over crowded iPhones.
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For those of you interested in dabbling in slow motion, take a look at this video. The first clip is taken in regular video settings (30fps). It looks fine as Jennifer jumps around and waves her pompoms.
But then take a look at the next clip. It is that very 30fps slowed down. Needless to say, it is not anything that anyone would want to watch. The video clip is way to pixelated and smooth would be the last word you would use to describe how it looks.
So that is 30fps, but take a look at how 240fps looks when it is slowed down. Sure, it takes up much more disk space, but if you’re looking for professional grade video rendering, it is well worth the time.
So next time you’re out taking movies of a sporting event, your kids or your family pet, think to yourself before you hit record and try to decide which setting in fps you would like to capture your subject in.
It just might make the difference in whether or not you have awesome useable video footage.
For more videos to watch you can find me on Vimeo or YouTube. Also, I do offer services for businesses (or an individual) who doesn’t want to have to deal with the filming, editing and uploading themselves. Check out my prices page.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]