large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What Is Frames Per Second (fps) and Why Should You Care?

If you regularly read about PC gaming, are an avid cinema goer or camera enthusiast you may have stumbled across the term fps, but what does it mean and why is it important?

Frames per second (fps) is an indicator of performance for video games, cameras, and other devices that can capture or display moving images. For example, when playing a game or watching a video, you might see something like “30 fps.

This is a measurement of how many frames the device can capture or display every second. As a general rule, a high frame rate means smoother viewing or playing experience. Low frame rate can make a video game or movie look jumpy and may even make it difficult to understand what is happening.

If you have ever been confused by the frame rate of your camera or video game, this guide will help you understand what it means, why it’s important, and what the ideal frame rate should be for different types of devices.

What is fps?

Frame rate, or frames per second (fps), is the frequency at which a device produces consecutive images to show a motion picture. For example, a television showing 60 frames per second is displaying 60 images for every second that passes. The time between two consecutive frames is called a frame time, which is measured in milliseconds. A shorter frame time results in smoother motion.

However, it is important to note that just because a device has a high fps, it does not mean it will produce a high quality video. There are many more factors to consider, like the resolution of the screen, the motion blur of the camera, or the texture of the images in a game.

Another important thing about frames per second is that the number actually represents how many images are captured every second. So, if a camera shoots 30 frames per second, it means it will capture 30 images in one second. It is important to remember that these numbers refer to the images captured and displayed, not how quickly a device processes the images.

A high-end computer might take one second to process the images while a low-end computer might take two seconds.

Why should you care about fps?

You may be wondering why you should care about how many images are displayed per second. After all, a video is still a video even if it is playing at 30 fps rather than 60 fps. The difference lies in how smooth the video will appear. A video playing at 30 fps will appear choppy and jerky, while a video playing at 60 fps will appear much smoother. This can make a huge difference if you are playing a video game or watching a movie.

A video game that runs at 30 fps may appear jerky and difficult to play, whereas the same game played on a device that runs at 60 fps will appear much smoother and easier to play. The only downside is that many modern games are very demanding and will only run over 60fps if you have powerful hardware, like a current generation PS5, Xbox Series X or top specced gaming PC.

The same can be said for watching a video: a video running at 30 fps will appear jerky, while the same video played at 60 fps will appear much smoother. This is because the human eye is able to process up to 60 images in one second, while a lower frame rate means the images will not be processed as quickly. This can make a big difference in how easy it is to watch a video.

What is the ideal fps on cameras?

There really is no “perfect” fps. It all depends on what you are using the device for. Fps is a very important factor in how good your video or game will look. However, it is not the only factor. There are several other things to consider when deciding on the perfect fps for your device.

For a camera the first thing to consider is the device you are using. There are standard fps for each type of camera, and you need to make sure you are using the correct one for your video.

Anything less than 30 fps will result in a jumpy, jerky video that may not be ideal for social media or YouTube. If you are filming an action scene, you will want to use a high fps so that everything looks smooth and fluid.

Environment is another important factor. The environment you are filming in can also affect the fps you want to use. If you are filming outside in bright sunlight, you may want a lower fps so that the video isn’t overexposed and has a great cinematic look and feel to it. If you are filming inside a dark room, you may want a higher fps so that the room looks well-lit.

The type of characters in your video can also affect the fps you want to use. If you are filming people, you will want a lower fps so that the video isn’t jumping around too much and your viewers can understand what the people in the video are saying. If you are filming cars or other objects moving quickly, you will want a higher fps so that everything looks smooth and fluid.

Even when shooting on the one of the best cameras, settings including Resolution, Shutter Speed are other key factors to consider alongside fps. It’s important to note that fps is not the only thing that affects how good your video is.

Other camera settings like the shutter speed are just as important. However, many cameras also have settings that let you control the fps. If you want to use the correct fps for your video, you will want to make sure the fps is set to the correct mode. For example, if you are filming indoors or in low light, you will want to switch your camera to the slow shutter speed mode. If you are filming outside or in bright light, you will want to switch to the high shutter speed mode.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.