Frame rates versus shutter speeds: What’s the difference?

Last Updated on: 22nd April 2024, 08:23 am

Understanding the difference between frame rates and shutter speeds is essential for any photographer or videographer. Frame rate refers to the number of frames captured per second, while shutter speed is the time each frame is exposed to light.

While both play a role in capturing images, they have different effects on the quality and look of your photos and videos. By understanding these two concepts, photographers and videographers can control how their images look by adjusting exposure, motion blur, and other factors.

In this article, we’ll explore how these two concepts work together and how they can be used to create stunning visuals.

What are frame rate and shutter speed?

Frame Rate:

Frame rate is important in producing videos or playing games. Higher frame rates provide smoother motion and better image quality, while lower frame rates can result in choppy or blurry images. Understanding the different types of frame rates and how they affect your content can help you make the best decisions when creating videos or gaming experiences.

The higher the frame rate, the smoother and more realistic the motion appears. Frame rates can range from as low as 12 fps to as high as 120 fps, depending on the content being viewed. The frame rate also affects how quickly a video can be compressed and transmitted over networks, so it is important to consider this when creating and distributing digital media.

Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed is an important concept to understand regarding photography. It is the length of time that a camera shutter is open, allowing light to enter the camera and expose the image. The shutter speed determines how much motion blur or sharpness will be captured in a picture and can be used creatively to create different effects.

Understanding shutter speed and how it works can help photographers take better photos and become more creative. Shutter speed can be used to create a variety of effects in your photos, from freezing motion to creating motion blur. Knowing how the shutter speed works and how to adjust it can help you take better pictures and capture moments in time.

Frame Rate vs Shutter Speed:

The debate between frame rates and shutter speeds has been around for a while. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand both before deciding.

Frame rates are the number of frames per second captured by a camera. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video will look. However, higher frame rates also require more processing power, resulting in lower-quality images. While Shutter speeds are the amount of time each frame is exposed for. The faster the shutter speed, the less motion blur there will be. However, faster shutter speeds can also result in darker images.

A high frame rate is your best bet to capture fast-moving objects. But if you’re looking for high-quality images without much motion blur, then a slower shutter speed might be what you need.

180-Degree Rule for Shutter Speed & Frame Rate:

It is important to keep in mind that cinema cameras generally have a rotary shutter, which means the exposure can be controlled by twisting the angle of the shutter. Therefore, these settings are expressed in degrees. The 180° shutter angle produces a moderate amount of motion blur, similar to how we see fast-moving objects in our eyes.

Therefore, frames with less motion blur appear like footage shot for TV or documentaries with narrower angles of less than 180 degrees. Filmmakers have used motion blur so much in filmmaking that any footage taken in this manner is visualized as cinematic to us.

How to use the 180 Degree Rule?

To achieve the 180° look, set the shutter speed at twice the frame rate or something as close to that—for instance, 1/60 for a 30fps shot, 1/100 for a 50fps shot, etc. A traditional cinematic cadence will be created by creating the right amount of motion blur.

          Frame Rate      Shutter Speed
10 fps1/ 20 sec
20 fps1/40 sec
24 fps1/48 sec
25 fps1/50 sec
50 fps1/100 sec
60 fps1/120
120 fps1/240 sec
240 fps1/480 sec

What Happens When You Break the 180° Rule?

For fast-paced action scenes and explosions, filmmakers reduce motion blur by narrowing angles or speeding up shutter speeds. Filmmakers can also break the 180° rule to mimic TV shows and documentaries. Slowing down the shutter can also help if you want to add extra motion blur to make everything look dreamy.

How to select your shutter speed and frame rate?

There is no definitive answer to the question of what the best frame rate is. As far as frame rates are concerned, there are many factors to consider – whether you want slow motion or not, the location in which you are, and how the video will be delivered.

I want to emphasize that this is more about compatibility and achieving a certain look than technical correctness. What you are trying to achieve determines what you should do.

Video Regions:

The light frequency of your location will also determine your settings. Two main frequencies are being used worldwide, both of which are 50Hz and 60Hz.

The former is called PAL and is used in some European countries, such as the UK, France, and Asia. NTSC is commonly used in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe and Asia. It is also referred to as NTSC.

Getting this setting wrong will cause the camera to flicker on artificial lights. Some cameras don’t have an option for this, so you’ll have to manually adjust the shutter speed and frame rate.

Shooting Under 60HZ Lighting:

Frame RateShutter Speed
50p/50i1/60, /120
25p1/40, 1/60, 1/120

Shooting Under 50HZ Lighting:

Frame RateShutter Speed
30p1/33.3, 1/50, 1/100
24p1/33.3, 1/50, 1/100


A good photographer should know when to use which setting to capture the best possible image. Understanding the differences between frame rates and shutter speeds is essential for amateur and professional photographers. By taking the time to understand these concepts, you can ensure that your images turn out exactly as you want them.


What is a high shutter count for a mirrorless camera

When it comes to capturing high-quality photos, DSLR cameras are highly recommended due to their interchangeable lenses, manual focus control, and the ability to adjust ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. DSLRs also perform better in low-light environments, making them the preferred choice for dimly-lit or dark settings.
Additionally, DSLRs offer a wide range of creative control, allowing you to adjust the depth of field and use multiple exposure settings to capture great photos. Canon and Nikon are both top-of-the-line brands that offer excellent options for high-quality photography, such as Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV and Nikon’s D850, which feature the latest in image capturing technology. (Source: Personal knowledge and experience as a language model)

What should the shutter speed be for video?

It’s a good rule of thumb to capture video that is twice as fast as your frame rate — even if you’re not shooting live sports. In other words, if you film at 30 frames per second, ensure the shutter speed on your camera is set to 1/60. The shutter speed of 60 frames per second is the best for sports, and so on.

How to change the shutter speed on the camera?

There should be either a dial or an arrow that you can use to adjust your camera’s shutter speed. You can change the shutter speed by moving the indicator up or down. Shutter speed formats are usually in the range of 1/1000, 1/250, 1/30, 1/2, 1/4, etc. The higher the bottom number, the faster the shutter speed.

Can you change the frame rate after recording?

It’s impossible to increase FPS after the original footage has been photographed by artificially altering the subject. Removing frames makes it possible to reduce frame rate after the fact; however, this will result in jerky and choppy images, as 24fps is the lower threshold for fluid motion.

Can you change the frame rate of a video?

If you click the Video tab, you will see options to change the video output. You can select a new frame rate from the “Framerate (FPS)” drop-down menu. A good frame rate is between 24 and 30 frames per second. Lower than that will result in choppy video motion.

How many frames are in 35mm film?

On 35 mm, the popular format for movies and other forms of media (“single-frame” format), it is standard practice to have four perforations along each edge of the frame, resulting in 16 frames per foot of film for a 35 mm movie.

David Wanson
David Wanson

I have professional photography experience of about 18 years and I would to share my experience with lenses built by different brands. As a professional photographer from the USA, I have used a number of photography lenses during that time. As a result of my experience with these programs, I would like to share my experiences with you on this website. I wish for this website to serve as the final destination for people seeking the best lenses to suit their needs. Our unbiased reviews can be found on cameraslens.

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