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What are Frames Per Second (FPS)?

June 1, 2024
security camera

Frames Per Second (FPS) is a critical factor to consider when it comes to security cameras. FPS refers to the number of individual frames or images captured by a camera in one second. It is the standard unit to measure frame rate. FPS plays a crucial role in determining the quality and smoothness of video footage, making it an essential consideration for effective surveillance systems. In this article, we will delve into the importance of FPS in security cameras and its impact on video quality.

Illustration of five consecutive frames of a video
Illustration of six consecutive frames of a video

Why is FPS important in security cameras?

FPS is crucial for security cameras because it directly affects the ability to capture and record movements accurately. Higher FPS rates result in smoother and more detailed video footage, enabling security personnel to better analyze and identify objects, individuals, or events within the camera's field of view. It helps in capturing crucial details, such as facial features, license plates, or other identifying characteristics, which can be invaluable for investigations and evidence gathering.

Typical frame rates of security cameras are 30 or 60 FPS. Higher FPS are required to capture fast moving objects. Traffic flow monitoring cameras on highways often demand 60 FPS, to capture fast moving cars.

Factors to consider when choosing the right FPS

  1. Monitoring requirements: The appropriate FPS largely depends on the specific monitoring requirements of the area under surveillance. Higher FPS rates are recommended for critical areas where capturing every detail is crucial, such as entry points, high-security zones, or places with high traffic. For less critical areas, a lower FPS may suffice to save storage space without compromising significant details.
  2. Camera location and field of view: The camera's location and the field of view also influence the ideal FPS. Wide-angle views or larger areas may benefit from a higher FPS to ensure no critical event goes unnoticed, while narrow fields of view might require a lower FPS to optimize storage usage.
  3. Camera capabilities: Consider the capabilities of the security camera itself. Some cameras have limitations on the maximum FPS and streams they can handle, and exceeding their capabilities may result in compromised video quality.
  4. Bandwidth requirements: A higher frame rate results in an increased bitrate of the stream. Higher bitrates demand more network bandwidth which can be problematic in mobile connections or older networks without gigabit ethernet. Therefore, the available network bandwidth for transmitting the footage should be taken into account to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted recording process. Compression techniques like H.265 or H.264 can be employed to reduce bitrate without significant loss in quality.
  5. Storage requirements: Higher FPS rates generate more frames per second, resulting in larger video files and increased storage demands. It's important to assess the available storage capacity and choose an FPS rate that strikes a balance between video quality and storage requirements. Compression techniques like H.265 or H.264 can also be employed to reduce file size without significant loss in quality.

Balancing FPS with other camera specifications:

While FPS is an important aspect of security camera performance, it should be balanced with other specifications such as resolution, light sensitivity (wide dynamic range) and bitrate. A high-resolution camera combined with a high FPS can provide incredibly detailed footage, but it might require more processing power and storage capacity due to high bitrate. It's crucial to find the right combination of resolution, FPS, and other features that align with the surveillance requirements and available resources. Last but not least camera positioning effects the speed of objects in the camera image. When a camera is placed close to the moving object, the object appears to be faster in the image. Increasing the distance to the target object reduces its relative speed. Professional camera planing tools such as JVSG can help to account for all factors and find the right camera for the right location.


Frames Per Second (FPS) is a vital factor to consider when deploying security cameras. Higher FPS rates result in smoother and more detailed video footage, providing valuable information for security personnel. However, the ideal FPS should be determined based on specific monitoring requirements, camera capabilities, storage capacity, and other relevant factors. By finding the right balance between FPS and other camera specifications, surveillance systems can deliver optimal video quality, ensuring effective security monitoring and investigation capabilities.

Further References
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