What Frame Rate Should I Use for YouTube Videos?


YouTube is a fantastic launchpad to establish your online presence. Is there a better way than video to gain views and build your online presence? So what frame rate should you use for YouTube? 

The frame rate (FPS) you should use for YouTube Videos should be 24 FPS or as close to the source format as possible. Your content, target audience, and recording equipment will affect frame rates. YouTube suggests 24 to 60 FPS with 8K video support maximum.

In this article, we walk you through the information you need to prepare your video for optimal playback quality. Plus, we look at other aspects to consider when uploading your video content. Read on to discover everything you need to know. 

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What Is Frame Rate? 

Starting with the basics and building up to the more complex aspects of video content delivery, we begin with frame rate or FPS, as you’ll commonly find it written. Frames Per Second derives from how film works. Film cameras record action as a sequence of still images. Played back at speed, those still images create the impression of movement. 

The term ‘frames per second’ refers to the number of frames that land on a screen within one second. 24 FPS is the industry standard. It replicates the way the human eye perceives the world around it. The human eye does not receive a continuous in-flow of visual data. Instead, humans experience a series of snapshots in close succession.

The video you shoot for your YouTube channel will very likely record at 24 FPS. If you’re lucky enough to pack a Canon R EOS, for example, you have a rate of movie speeds from 23.98 FPS up to 59.94 FPS for full HD. Or if you shoot on an iPhone or iPad, even, you have options of 720p HD at 30FPS to 4K at 60 FPS.

Why Does Frames per Second Matter?

As tempting as it can be to dive in and start shooting your video, it pays to understand what FPS means for the content you’re creating. The rate of frames per second matters because it affects a person’s viewing experience. 

Anything below 24 FPS appears juddery (and cheap) to the human eye. Video shot at 24 FPS or above has a smooth appearance. It seems realistic, as it creates the impression of continuous flowing movement. 

Once you increase the FPS, the effect is smoother movement. But does that mean you should shoot above 24 FPS? It comes down to what content you’re shooting. Suppose your video contains fast action, sports, or video game sequences. In that case, you will want to shoot at 60 FPS for additional detail and reduce flicker.

The benefit of increasing the FPS is that your device captures more detail. Increased FPS generates a sharp, smooth video experience. The catch is that if you raise FPS too high, you risk creating the “soap opera” effect. 

Still Doubtful of which FPS to shoot? Then let’s turn to YouTube for unequivocal advice. 

YouTube’s Video Formatting Guidelines

We believe in going to the source of knowledge when it comes to getting our details right. So we visited the YouTube help page for advice on which FPS to use for YouTube videos.

The advice for creators is straightforward and matter of fact. First, don’t even think about uploading a video to YouTube if you are not the content creator. 

Assuming you created the content, are an authorized handler of the content, or hold the rights to the video, here is what you need to understand: upload your video as close to the original, high-quality source. Doing this increases your video’s chance of playing at high quality and creating the right impression with your audience. 

It is that simple. When you analyze the information, you realize that you’re best to shoot your content and upload it ‘as is.’ Uploading your video so that it’s on a par with the source means that you must record it at YouTube’s recommended FPS. 

On FPS For Video

YouTube recommends video creators to shoot video at their recording device’s native frame rate. Therefore, you should film content at 24-25 FPS. If you happen to shoot at 30 FPS, this is also perfectly acceptable. YouTube also supports 60 FPS. What you should not do is resample your video once you’ve got it in the can.

The advice is that resampling can result in images that shudder and lower quality video standards. 

On Formatting Your Video Content

Another aspect you must consider when creating your YouTube video is its format. According to YouTube, the platform prefers 1080p HD broadcast or DVD-compliant MPEG-2 saved with a .MPG extension. 

Still got questions? The content creator help page contains in-depth information on the specifications that produce the best playback of either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 videos.

Lastly, in terms of formatting your video content, you will need to heed aspect ratio and video resolution. Get each of these components right, and you will have a video that plays correctly and looks incredible. 

Check out why we think the Nikon D3200 is great for YouTube videos here!

On Aspect Ratio and Video Resolution

Rest assured that once you’ve uploaded your video, YouTube automatically frames and encodes the content to guarantee it displays correctly. However, for best practice, upload videos in their native aspect ratios. Do not include letterboxing or pillar boxing bars. 

When ready to start filming, ensure you shoot in high-definition if you can, and upload your video at the highest resolution. Let’s say the video is free or ad-supported content. While there is no set minimum resolution, shoot at a resolution at least 1280 x 720 for video of aspect ratio 16:9. Are you shooting a video at aspect ratio 4:3? Then your minimum recommended resolution is 640 x 480.

Check out my picks for the Best Camera for Filmmaking or Video Recording on a Budget!

Which FPS Should You Choose?

Now we have this comprehensive information direct from YouTube, are you still debating which FPS to use? 

The takeaway message from YouTube’s guidelines is that it doesn’t matter what FPS your video has. YouTube will encode the video and apply technical wizardry to bring your video to conform with the platform and display it at the highest quality. 

However, let’s break this down further. When creating your video, here are the key factors that influence the FPS:

  • Subject matter. When you are filming computer games or fast-motion sequences like sport, use a higher rate of 60 FPS to capture more detail and allow for slow-motion. Any other subject matter will look perfectly captured at 24 FPS.
  • Aesthetic quality. If you’re creating a simple GIF, you can use a lower FPS rate, but be aware this will show up. Conversely, say you’re shooting a typical scene at 30 FPS. Doing so risks creating the soap opera effect, which is great if you want a non-naturalistic finish to your video. Again, stick to 24 FPS as your optimal shooting rate.
  • Exporting your video. Once you add more frames per second, you’re immediately increasing the amount of data in your video file. The more data your file contains, the slower it is to export. Export speed and file size may affect your viewer’s experience. If their Internet connection has a low bandwidth, they’ll lose patience downloading or buffering your video. 

Check out which is a better video editing tool between PowerDirector and Adobe Premiere here!

Final Thoughts

For the optimum video upload to YouTube, you can’t go wrong following the platform’s advice. Use the native FPS that your device shoots, prioritize the video resolution and if in doubt, shoot at 24 FPS. 

Check out to see if the Nikon D3200 are good for YouTube videos here!

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Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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