The Best Frame Rate for YouTube Video

Tuesday July 13, 2021 9:35 PM PDT by Karen Greene

Motion pictures defined the latter part of the 20th century as the entertainment industry witnessed exponential growth. So…

What’s Frame Rate and Why It Matters?

Remember those flipbooks that had moving animation as you flipped through them. Each leaf of the booklet represented a different frame. Flipping quickly through it created a moving picture.

The simpler versions of which could be done at home with a pen and a blank flipbook.

Frame rates, generally known as Frame Per Second(FPS), refer to the number of images that appear on a screen/display. The more frames per second a display, the better the video quality will be in simpler terms.

Frame Rate

Frame Rate

You often see the jargons of “120fps”, “60FPS” being thrown out a lot when talking about TVs and videos. The logic behind it is simple; with more FPS, you will get a clearer picture.

Need for Better Screens

Before moving forward, you should know that viewing higher FPS videos requires capable displays and screens. The capability of screens is measured in refresh rate, which is denoted by hertz(Hz). Refresh rate represents the number of times the image is refreshed on display per second.

For instance, if the screen is 60hz, it can view the 60FPS video in its true glory. Videos with a higher number of FPS would be futile to view on a 60hz display.

Technically you can play a higher frame rate video, say 120FPS on a typical display, but you won’t see any difference in the video. Different frame rates provide different viewing experiences. Choosing the right frame rate has a significant impact on your viewing experience.

The Concurrence of Human Eye and FPS

As we know, the human eye can differentiate between 12 moving images before it starts appearing in conjoined motion. Once the frames per second hit the 18 marks, our brain begins to connect the frames and begins to think that the image is moving.

With a lower frame rate(below 24 FPS), you will experience choppy quality, and the video will seem like it’s lagging in real-time.

As a matter of historical fact, 24FPS for movies was initially agreed upon back in 1926 by projectionists, as motion pictures hit the talkies.

It was the least number of frames before the video became jagged, kept technical faults at bay, and made sense economically to produce at such frame rate.

The Most Commonly Used Frame Rates

Invention pioneer Thomas Edison emphasized 46 FPS being the base frame rate for motion pictures, and anything less will “strain the eyes.” Evidently, the projectionists and talkies at the time were shuffling between 22-26 FPS, owing to audio adaptability with a 35mm video feel.

Coming back to the present, the most commonly used frame rates are varying across different genres, displays, and mediums of entertainment.

1-16FPS

The silent era movies were made in 8-16FPS. In modern times, it is used to exude a silent film era.

Stop-motion movies are generally shot in 16 FPS and sped up to create a motion effect that is good for the eyes.

24FPS

A universally accepted frame rate for the movies, which provides larger than life details in videos. Technically the frame rate is 23.97, based on the NTSC due to color and hue issues corrected using the toned down FPS.

It works for landscapes along with dialogues being played simultaneously.

25FPS

The 25FPS is the European standard known as PAL, also the Internet standard, compatible with TVs across Europe.

30FPS

Here we are talking about the standard frame-rate for TV shows and sports channels. The 30 FPS helps provide a slow-motion like feel for sports broadcast and fast-moving objects in a regular video.

60FPS

We are in the big leagues now. As soon as you touch the 60 FPS more, you are shooting in 720p and go as high as 8K in resolution.

The sweet 60 represents an added layer of smoothness to videos, grace to the subject at hand. Don’t forget the typical slow-motion capabilities.

That’s now all, and the buck does not stop here. The 60FPS reduces motion blur to a great extent as compared to 24-30FPS.

Delving further into lower frame rate, 24-30FPS videos compensate for its choppiness by adding blur on the screen.

When we go beyond 30FPS, we realize a gradual decline in the motion blur, which is replaced by added details in videos. Remember the fight scene involving hands that you saw in a movie at the theatres last week? The same fight scene will become more apparent when you watch it on your TV or phone, capable of 60FPS and more.

[P stands for Progressive Scan, as opposed to the general assumption of pixels]

The Best Frame Rate for YouTube Video

The Best Frame Rate for YouTube Video

120FPS

Talk about grandeur and monumental footage when 120FPS is mentioned. The supreme frame rate is ideal for shooting flabbergasting slow-motion footage, along with shots for establishing a scene or set the undertone for the footage.

Over 120FPS

Now we are in the endgame. Meet the Ultra HFR that is going beyond 120. The next pitstop is 240FPS, which is ideally used for ultra slow-motion videos.

Recording 240FPS is currently only possible on high-speed capture cameras involving fast-moving pictures, objects, movements, and more.

What Frame Rate Should I use for YouTube?

YouTube recommends and supports 24 to 60FPS with a maximum of 8K video support(recently added).  Frame rates will vary according to the nature of the content, target audience, and camera equipment. The most commonly used frame rates by different genres of YouTubers.

Video Podcasts/Talk Shows – 30FPS

Look at the MKBHD or Vlogbrothers, for that matter. The slow, mostly still videos with hand movements often prefer 25-30FPS on all their videos, ranging from 360p to 4K.
The videos look crisp with high resolutions such as 720p and above, depending on the resolution supported on your screen.

Gaming Highlights/Montages – 60FPS

Gaming demands more FPS. Otherwise, they look choppy. In fact, playing any modern graphics game below 30FPS feels laggy, to say the least.

Switch to first-person, and 60FPS feels just right. Console gamers can join in on this one.

Popular gamer YouTubers such as Shroud and Ninja publish their content on 60FPS for 720p and above(as supported by YouTube)

Makeup Tutorials – 60FPS

You want the extra bit of video clarity for the viewers to learn about what you are doing.

Although 30FPS feels just fine, there is a jagged feel to it on most smartphones capable of 60FPS.

Learning and Academic Videos – 24-30FPS

When the video’s sole purpose is to teach a specific topic or subject to the audience, the extra frame rates may go down the drain.

Anything between 24 to 30FPS should do just fine, given a decent amount of animation for explanation can also be accommodated in the given frames.

Look up the famous Khan Academy on YouTube, which not long ago posted on 30FPS alone irrespective of the resolution.

Sports Highlights – 40-60FPS

Sports is best viewed with clarity, peppered with slow-mo moments here and there. The fast-paced movements in any sports game can be ruined with lower FPS, providing a rather choppy experience.

Anything above 30, ranging between 40 to 60FPS, puts you in the sweet sport for including the game’s slow-motion moments.

Fitness and Health Channels – 24-30FPS

Do you want those slow-motion workouts at 60FPS? The good news is that 30FPS works well for that as well.

As a matter of fact, many popular fitness channels publish videos at 24FPS, focusing more on the camera and equipment.

Head to the popular channels such as Athlean-X and Yoga with Adrienne; both stick to 24 FPS for their videos.

How to Edit a “Recommended Rate” Video with FilmForth

Setting the right frame rate for your YouTube is essential. You want the viewers to watch on the devices of their choices without compromising on the experience quotient.

First and foremost, transfer your file in original format to a folder.

Step 1. Download FilmForth

Be sure to update it so that you can take advantage of the latest features. Launch FilmForth and create a New Project for editing.

New Project on FilmForth

New Project on FilmForth

Then you can click on the upload button to manually load a video or drag and drop it into the editor.

Drag and Drop the Video to FilmForth

Drag and Drop the Video to FilmForth

Step 2. Start to Edit the Video

After the video has been loaded, several editing options will appear and be at your disposal.

Step 3. Choose the Best Frame Rate for YouTube Video

Once editing has been done, it’s time to export the video. Now, it’s time to set the Frame Rate. The dropdown menu will have an option of up to 60FPS, which is supported by YouTube. Now you can click on the Save button.

Select the Certain Frame Rate and Click Save

Select the Certain Frame Rate and Click Save

It is essential to understand that setting it any higher than the actual rate will not increase the FPS out of thin air. On the other hand, you can set it to lower, and it shall reduce the frames according to your setting.

You can also set the video resolution, whose original resolution should be kept in mind. Set it higher than the actual video resolution, and you may experience a stretch of pixels, leading to a loss of video quality.

Some Editing at your Whim

  • Speed: Change the speed of the video if it feels slower or faster than usual.
Change Video Speed on Filmforth

Change Video Speed on Filmforth

  • Trim: Need to make the video shorter? Take advantage of the Trim feature to reduce it from the beginning to the end. For editing out moments from between, use the Split feature.
Trim Video on FilmForth

Trim Video on FilmForth

  • Volume: Video involving conversation needs the right amount of volume for the viewers to understand without the subtitles. Set it too high, and you’re hurting the ears. Setting it too low, and you might just lose the attention.
Change Video Volume via FilmForth

Change Video Volume via FilmForth

  • Detach Audio: Replace the audio of the video. Click on the button, and a separate audio feed will appear. Delete it by selecting and then pressing the Delete button.
  • Freeze Frame: Freeze a moment to talk about it in the video before moving forward. Seek the part which you wish to freeze and then click on the button.

And several other options that you can access from the dashboard.

Video Tutorial: How to Edit YouTube Video

You can learn from the video tutorial to edit the video with the certain frame rate you need.

The Bottom Line

Editing and proper recording equipment are amongst the three stepping stones for producing a good video. It is essential to set the right frame rate, coupled with the ideal resolution compatible with most devices. Study your audience to understand the kind of devices they use. Use that information to make informed decisions on deciding the ideal frame rate that works for you.

Most modern phones support 60FPS, while some flagship phones have moved to 90, 120FPS. The gaming audience is moving away from 60FPS with 144hz monitors, but that doesn’t represent the masses just yet.

author
Karen Greene

Karen is a professional writer with a background in column writing who enjoys resolving complex topics and explaining them in interesting ways.

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