Why Shooting in 30FPS is my Favorite Trick for B-Roll

General Topics
Tips & Advice

Gear Focus

Oct 8, 2021

blog image
I've been so averse to shooting in 30FPS that I hadn't even thought to use it. I was always shooting in either 24FPS or 60FPS. But recently I decided to give 30fps a try for my B-Roll shooting and now its my new favorite way to shoot!
The first thing a lot of people do when shooting B-Roll is immediately switch to a slow motion frame rate like 60 or 120fps. Stop it. Please. Slow motion and cinematic are not synonymous and constant slow motion can be really boring. There are other frame rates!
Like I mentioned before, I used to have an aversion to 30fps shutter speed, and for things like talking heads or really anything with real time motion, I still prefer 24fps. That's what I export everything in and its the "Cinematic Standard". To me, 30fps playback looks more like video and less like film, if that makes sense.

So How Does It Work?

In order to make this work properly, we have to do a little math. This 24fps vs 30fps ratio is easy to remember though! If we take a 30fps clip and interpret it to 24fps, we get an 80% playback, since 24 is 80% of 30. This is going to slow the footage down, ever so slightly, and that gives us a more dreamy type look, but things still look real time. It also allows for a bit of a faster shutter speed. Assuming we are following that 180 degree shutter rule, we will inherently have a faster shutter speed with 30fps. This allows us to see action and motion much more clearly. I've been shooting drone footage, both normal and FPV in 30 fps for a while now. It really helps with the smaller details when moving at a fast speed. You wouldn't think that it would make a difference, but it change is actually quite noticeable.
Also, it helps cut down the light entering the lens ever so slightly so if you're just a touch to bright on your exposure, 30fps can help bring that down.

Watch Out!

Just as a heads up though, don't try to put a 30fps clip on a 24fps timeline without interpretting. It will randomly drop 6 frames per second, which makes for a bad look. Most software will allow you to set the editor to automatically do that, but if it doesn't all you have to do is right click the clip and change the clip speed (Resolve and Premiere clips here)
Now this obviously isn't going to work for everything and there are certains times where high frame rates are the right tool. but it doesn't have to be all or nothing, incorporating 30fps into your real-time b roll can really make a difference. Try it out and let me know what you think and make sure to tag us with #GearFocus30 on any videos you make trying this new technique out. I'm really curious what you all can come up with.

Own one like this?

Make room for new gear in minutes.