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What is Frame Rate in Video? How to Change Video Frame Rate After Shooting

How to Change Video Frame Rate

If you have anything to do with video production, you would sooner or later come across video frame rate.

Many do not bother about video frame rates and just use the default frame rate set by the camera or a video editing software program.

If you’re one of them, it pays to learn about frame rates as the knowledge may come useful when you’re shooting with HD cameras or editing HD video, as will be explained below.

What is Frame Rate in Video?

Frame rate is the number of images that move per second in a video clip. It is measured in frames per second or fps.

When there is movement in a video, every image is different from the next one. However, this may not visible to the naked eye.

To get the idea, imagine looking at a movie film strip against the light. You can see a series of images.

video frame rate explained

So, if you have a video that’s 30 fps (frames per second), you have thirty different images moving in a single second.

Just because they move very fast, these images are translated as a smooth motion to the human eye.

Read Also Video Resolution Wiki: How to Change Video Resolution.

Why is Frame Rate Important?

You may have come across videos with different frame rates -24fps, 25fps, 30fps, and 60fps.

They all look the same to your eye. So, why do we have to bother about frame rates?

While to the laymen video frame rates don’t seem to matter, in video production, they do.

Frame rates give a video a different look and feel.

Movies are shot in 24 fps to give them a realistic look.

Fast action videos are shot in higher frame rates because there’s much movement. Examples are sports videos and video games. High frame rates allow videos to be viewed smoothly.

GIFs have lower frame rates and you don’t get the quality that a video with a higher frame rate offers.

Changing frame rates also create video effects like motion blur and slow motion.

What if You Have Too Few Images Per Second?

The eye registers a flickering image. The low number of images shatters the perception of a smooth, continuous picture.

So, an appropriate number of images per second is needed to give the perception of a smooth video motion with correct timing.

Common Video Frame Rates

To get a better understanding of video frame rates, here are the popular video frame rates you’ll encounter.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Editors (SMPTE) has set the frame rate for film and TV.

24 FPS for Film and HD Video

24fps, as set by SMPTE, is the frame rate used by movie projectors. Closer to 24fps is 23.98 fps used in high-definition video.

TV Standard Frame Rate

PAL frame rate is set at 25fps. NTSC is set at 29.97 fps.

50FPS for HD Video

This frame rate applies to countries with the PAL TV standard like the United Kingdom where the 50Hz power standard is used.

Equipment like prosumer DSLR, camcorders, manufactured here are set to 50fps, the highest frame rate possible.

The 50fps is used in the shooting of the slow-motion video. Later when slowed down to it will look smoother.

60FPS for HD Video

This is the 50 fps version of the HD video applicable to video cameras in NTSC TV standard countries like the United States and Japan where the 60Hz power standard is used.

Changing Video Frame Rate

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of frame rates, let’s look at how to change the video frame rates.

As explained earlier, you may want to create a slow-motion effect. For this you would have shot your video in 50fps or 60fps and now want to slow it down to 25 or 30 fps.

Also if you’ve shot your video in 50fps or 60fps, you may want to change it to a lower frame rate to reduce file size, Videos with high frame rates take up more space than one with lower ones.

Also, you may want to change your video frame rate to a lower one because your older computer has a slower processor or lower-end GPU that doesn’t handle faster frame rates well.

Try not to reduce your video frame rate to below 20fps, unless you want to intentionally create a choppy effect on your video.

Also, if you’ve shot a video in 30fps, increasing it to 60fps will not improve its quality.

Video quality doesn’t depend on video frame rate. It depends on the resolution it is set. Frame rate just determines the smoothness of movement of the video.

Video Frame Rate Converter

Video Editors

Should you need to change video frame rate, you can do it through your video editing program.

All good video editing programs have options to change frame rates while exporting your project.

Even free video editing programs like Hitfilm Express and OpenShot have options for editing videos with different frame rates.

Video Frame Rate Converters

There are two main types of frame rate converters – online video frame converters and standalone to change video frame rate.

Online Frame Rate Converters

If you want to occasionally convert the video frame rate of a file, opt for an online video frame rate converter.

For online video frame converters, you would just have to upload your video file to the conversion service, choose your output frame rate setting. The frame rate would be converted for you.

These services are basically online video converters. Apart from changing one video format to another or changing video resolution, they also have an option for frame rate change.

Usually, they have a file size limitation. You could convert up to a few hundred MBs of a file for each upload.

However, a service called FreeConvert supports a file upload of up to 1 GB.

Once you’ve uploaded the file, go to advance settings, and you’ll get the option to change the video frame rate of the output file.

online video frame rate converter 1

You’ll be given the option to change frame rate settings.

online video frame rate converter 2

Check out more free online video converters that allow you to change video frame rates.

Standalone Video Frame Rate Converters

Though convenient, online video converters come with limitations. Firstly, there is a file size limit. Secondly, you would need a fast Internet connection, for uploading your video files.

You can use these converters in a situation where you don’t have access to an Internet connection.

If you regularly convert frame rates, a more stable option would be a video frame rate converter software program. Such programs are more stable than online frame rate converters.

Here are some standalone video frame rate converters worth taking a look at.

VLC Media Player

Apart from playing almost any type of media file thrown at it, the VLC Media Player has also the capability of converting video frame rates.

Step 1 – Select Convert/Save

Under the Media menu choose Convert/Save.

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Step 2 – Add File

Choose Add file and then click on Convert/Save.

Change video frame rate in VLC media player 2

Step 3 – Edit Profile

Click on the spanner icon – Edit selected profile.

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Step 4 – Select Video Codec

Under the video profile window, select video codec. The default is same as source.

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The default frame rate is set to Same as source.

Step 5 – Set Frame Rate

You can set your preferred frame rate by keying in the rate. Then hit the Save button.

Change video frame rate in VLC media player 5

Step 6 – Start Frame Rate Conversion

Click on the Browse button and name your file. Then click on Start. The video processing will start.

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Change video frame rate in VLC media player 6a

Step 7 – Check Frame Rate Conversion

Check to see whether the video has been converted to the desired frame rate. Right-click on the file and click on properties.

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Then select Details to check the video frame rate.

Change video frame rate in VLC media player 7a

Avdshare Video Frame Rate Converter

If you don’t mind forking out a little cash to get your video frame rates converted, then you should consider the Avdshare Video Frame Rate Converter.

This video converter for Windows and Mac software has a useful frame rate converter built-in.

standalone video frame rate converter

It handles the frame rate switching for such video formats as AVCHD, MOV, MKV, AVI, and VOB, among others.

Even less popular formats like MXF and SWF are supported.

Check out Avdshare Video Frame Rate Converter.

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