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All video is really just a series of still images taken with very short intervals played back in succession.
The frame rate determines how many frames are taken each second and is usually measured in fps or frames per second.
The higher the frame rate, the more smooth the video footage will be and conversely the lower the frame rate the more jerky the footage will be. Obviously, watching the latest blockbuster film you want to have a high frame rate to give a great viewing performance. 30 fps is normally used for movies. Security cameras on the other hand won’t be used to film the next Oscar winning production and the Orange Security recommendation is to record at no more than 6 frames per second.
Whilst nice smooth footage is lovely, the problem it creates is that the video files take up much more space on a hard drive meaning you either get a fraction of the length of footage stored or you end up having to buy many more hard drives…as well as the hardware to manage them.
A common misconception about frame rates is that when you compare the recommended 6 frames per second with 30 it sounds like a tiny number and there is a worry that something will be missed by the recorder. This is not the case. 6 frames per second is still a lot of images that are recorded onto your hard drive – every second 6 images are recorded, or one every 170 milliseconds. This doesn’t mean a lot to most people so to put this into context, the average person takes between 300 and 400 milliseconds (1/3rd of a second) to blink their eyes. In the case of footage stored at 6 frames per second, during the time you take to blink your eyes, the recorder has stored 2 or even 3 individual frames. Almost impossible to miss something important.