Frame rate(frame frequency) is the frequency rate at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames. The term applies to computer graphics, video cameras, film cameras, and motion capture systems. Frame rate is most often expressed in frames per second (FPS), and is also expressed in progressive scan monitors as hertz (Hz).

The term applies to film video and digital video. Each frame is a still image; displaying many frames in a second it allows the images to look like a motion. The more frames per second (fps), the smoother the motion appears. In general, the minimum fps needed to avoid jerky motion is about 30. Somevideo formats, such as AVI, provide only 15 frames per second.

What is the difference between frame rates ?

Lower frame rates can result in choppy or broken movement, but is less intensive for the camera and your network, ideal for locations without fast moving objects. If you are recording something fast like traffic, however, 30 fps would be necessary to smoothly record movement.

Frame rate also has an impact on the size of your video files. A higher frame rate of 60 fps results in more frames, so the video file will be larger. If your system has a large storage capacity and bandwidth, and you need to record extremely clear video with fast motion, increasing your frame rate may be an option.

If your storage or bandwidth is limited, a lower bandwidth of 15 fps will create smaller videos and prevent undue stress on your network. In many circumstances, a lower frame rate will still record video that is smooth while saving you space and bandwidth.

frame rates

Is it more important than image resolution ?

In addition to the frame rate, the image quality is also a hugely important aspect of surveillance footage. After all, if your footage is showing a lot of pixelation, you won’t be able to see the difference between different objects and people. So you really need a solid image resolution in a security camera.

Fortunately, most security cameras, even budget-friendly ones, have a resolution of 720 or even 1080 pixels. However, if you’ve watched any recent YouTube videos, you probably know that the resolution range has recently expanded. It seems like just a few years ago, the top image quality was 1080p. And only a few years before that, we only had 144, 240, 360, and 480 pixels. Nowadays, there are higher image resolutions as well, with 1440 pixels and 2160 pixels for 4K screens.

Suddenly, the 720p security cameras don’t seem as impressive. However, if they get the job done, I don’t see the problem. Now, there’s also a question of how the frame rate affects the image quality.

How many frames per second is good enough for a security camera ?

As long as the frame rate of the footage a camera collects is above 24 FPS, we will perceive the recording as smooth motion. At 30 frames per second, the footage might appear even more fluid, but we wouldn’t really feel that much of a difference.  24 FPS is also the standard frame rate for movie cameras to be shot at. So why would anyone buy a 60 FPS security camera? Well, it all comes down to what you’d need to use it for.

Businesses that have a high risk of theft might opt for a higher frame rate simply because it would allow them to see more in the playback. Let’s say a skilled thief stole someone’s wallet using a sleight of hand. If they’re any good at their job, they’d be in and out of their victim’s pocket in the blink of an eye. But if they were caught on a high frame rate camera, investigators could look through the individual frames until they found the evidence of the theft.

So you see, when we’re talking about how many frames per second is good for a security camera, there are other factors we ought to consider. Think about the image quality. That usually makes it easier to zoom in and still retain the details and faces in the footage. You’ll also want to consider your budget, as low frame rate cameras are typically less expensive than higher quality ones. In my opinion, though, there are great cameras that are 25 fps and above, which is all you need.


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