What is FPS in a Digital Camera?

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Updated July 27, 2022

Understanding the different terminology in photography can help you choose the best digital camera for your needs or protect it from damage. If you are new to the world of digital cameras, or even if you are a seasoned shutterbug, you may be confused about some of the terms regarding photography. One such term is known as FPS. What is FPS in a digital camera and when is it useful? Keep reading to find out.


  • FPS stands for frames per second and refers to the number of images a camera can take in a second.
  • This is a term primarily used when shooting video, when a dynamic range of frames is especially useful.
  • If you are shooting in slow motion, a lower frame rate may be useful. The same can be said of vintage silent films.

What is FPS in a Digital Camera?

FPS stands for frames per second and is a metric used to describe a camera’s frame rate. This represents the number of photos, or frames, that your camera can capture per second. Low FPS doesn’t make a digital camera bad, but it’s not useful for great recordings. And while you are at it, do you know what is HDR for a digital camera and what is a self-time on a digital camera?

Insider Tip

There are high-speed cameras out there that can shoot video at an astounding 250 frames per second, though they are only used in special circumstances.

When is FPS Useful?

As you can surmise, a camera’s frame rate is not a particularly relevant term in the world of still photography. More likely, the quality and photo size of a digital camera is what’s relevant. However, if you are shooting a video of any kind, even a short video, a camera’s FPS is extremely important. The higher a camera’s FPS, the smoother motion will appear to the viewer. Television, for instance, typically operates via a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Of course, the type of camera or lens you use is also a factor, and it is possible to combine lenses. You can compare a camera vs a camcorder to see which one has the best quality. To find out more, check out our guide to what is a four-thirds digital camera.

What is the Difference Between Frame Rates?

Generally speaking, a higher frame rate will result in a smoother motion while a lower frame rate will result in broken or choppy motion. 30 FPS is typically the standard when it comes to smooth-looking video, though 60 FPS is the gold standard. However, bigger isn’t always better. A higher frame rate necessitates a larger file size. It is for this reason that many security cams and smartphone cameras shoot video in 15 FPS, as it helps keep the files small. Some webcams also operate at 15 FPS so they can send a steady stream of content to the Internet without clogging up the bandwidth.

Can You Adjust the Frame Rate?

In most cases, yes. Dive into your camera’s settings menu to adjust the frame rate. Of course, every camera has a maximum frame rate, so the model you own may not be able to access 60 FPS, for instance.


Keep an eye on your memory card when you shoot video with a high frame rate, as the file sizes will be larger and the memory card will fill up faster.


What content requires high frame rates?

High frame rates will be a necessity when shooting a 4K video unless you are shooting in slow motion or trying to ape the visual style of old silent films. Motion picture film also necessitates a high frame rate, as the individual frames will need to be as detailed as possible.

Do high frames mean better quality?

Not necessarily. Many aspects go into high-quality video, including dynamic range, shutter speed (via electronic shutter or mechanical shutter), the base frame rate (FPS rate), the interlaced field rate, the continuous shooting rate, and the recording mode.

What is the standard frame rate of film?

Most films are present in 60 FPS.

STAT: The introduction of color television technology made it necessary to lower that 60 FPS frequency by 0.1% to avoid ” dot crawl “, a display artifact appearing on legacy black-and-white displays, showing up on highly-color-saturated surfaces. (source)

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