Frame Rate: Video Speed and Quality Explained

Frame rate is a relatively basic term to understand, as it covers the speed of the video. It’s imperative to have a document camera capable to keep up with the speed of teaching, the greater the frame rate you have, the clearer your on-camera lesson will be. This is a key feature to understand when purchasing a document camera as the frame rate will determine the visual quality of your lessons.

First, frame rate – or frames per second (fps), refers to the frequency in which frames (or individual images) are displayed on-screen. Frame rate is also referred to as frame frequency and may be defined in hertz (Hz).

The higher the frame rate, the smoother the movement on screen will appear to be. A 30fps camera is standard as the recorded speed eliminates noticeable jumps within the video, but there will be noticeable image skips if the recording is slowed down. With 60fps, the motion is fluid due to displaying double the images per second, any movement in one second is captured within 60 frames as opposed to 30 frames. Here are two examples of frame rate comparison:

Traffic Example – traffic taken at 30fps @ 1080p versus 60fps @ 1080p

Rolling Marbles – taken at 24fps, 30fps and 60fps

The human eye can process up to 5 individual images per second, while processing at a rate of approximately 40fps. Thus, the greater the frame rate, the more realistic and smooth a video will appear. However, when slowing down film, shooting slow-motion, or filming rapid movements, the higher frame rates become truly noteworthy in that you can see far more detail with minimal skips or motion jerk.

The HoverCam line of document cameras including the Solo 8, Solo 8Plus, Ultra 8, and Nillo 100, all have a baseline of 30fps:

Solo 8:             30fps in both 1080p and 2448p
Solo 8Plus:   30fps in 4K, 60fps in 1080p, and 120fps in 720p (WarpSpeed Video)
Ultra 8:          60fps in 8MP, 60fps in 1080p
Nillo 100:      30fps in 4K, 60fps in 720p, 1080p, and VGA

Now you know the importance of a higher frame rate and how to properly differentiate between the numbers when researching your next document camera!