Have you ever noticed flickering lights on your phone’s video recordings? This is a common problem, especially when recording under artificial light. The reason is that most cell phones do not support recording at 25 fps or 50 fps.
This is because artificial light flickers at a frequency of 50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on the country. If the refresh rate of your cell phone does not match the frequency of artificial lighting, the camera will record different amounts of light for each frame of the video. This results in a flickering effect.
In most parts of Europe and Asia, our lighting flickers at 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz. Most smartphones video recording only supports 30 Hz or 60 Hz recording. This results in the flickering scene when there are lightings around.
It would be ideal if smartphone manufactuers consider adding the option of 25 fps and 50 fps into their camera app so that we can produce better quality footage.
Below is a footage recorded in 4K / 60 fps using Google Pixel 8 Pro. You will be able to see the flickering of the lights (stabilisation is set to STANDARD).
If your phone supports maual settings for video recording, there are a few things you can do to reduce or eliminate flickering in your phone’s video footage:
Change the shutter speed. The shutter speed is the amount of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. By setting the shutter speed to a multiple of the frequency of the artificial light, you can reduce or eliminate flicker. For example, if you are shooting with 50 Hz lighting, you should set the shutter speed to 1/50, 1/100, 1/150, and so on.
Change the frame rate. The frame rate is the number of frames per second that the camera takes. By setting the frame rate to a multiple of the artificial light frequency, you can reduce or eliminate flicker. For example, if you are shooting at 50 Hz light, you should set the frame rate to 25 fps, 50 fps, 75 fps, and so on.
Move away from the artificial light source. The closer you are to the artificial light source, the more pronounced the flicker. If you move away from the light source, the flicker can be reduced or eliminated.
Use a different light source. If possible, use another light source that does not flicker. For example, you could use natural light or a continuous light source.
If you can’t get rid of the flicker in your phone’s video footage, you can use video editing software to reduce or remove the flicker. However, this is not always possible and it can be difficult to get good results.
If you are serious about videography, consider buying a camera with a higher frame rate and a wider range of shutter speeds and frame rates. This will give you more control over your video footage and help you avoid flicker.