I'm searching for a camera software which would allow me to record video at a speed of 1 FPS or similar. The reason for this is to limit my mobile internet bandwidth.

The system which I use is Windows 8.1. I would prefer free software or at least something cheap. (Same for the camera: best would be one build in laptop or any normal USB camera but if it would be necessary I could buy something bit better.)

I have looked at several "time lapse" programs, but they made time lapse from already recorded video or they recorded video at selected intervals and saved that to the desktop or online. I am looking for software which would enable me to use a camera in internet communication such as Skype etc. with recording speed of 1 FPS, so it would need to record 1 FPS in real time and send it to communicator. Is this possible to achieve in some way?


2 Answers 2


Windows has a build for ffmpeg


ffmpeg has the ability to capture many sources

Change the export settings to your liking (i.e. framerate output: -r)

Capture Windows DirectShow devices, i.e. usb connected camera: https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/DirectShow

  • Thank you but if I’m reading it correctly it doesn’t help me. I can set framerate by using parameter -framerate but It cannot be changed freely, device must support framerate which i want to use and most internet cameras have only speed of 15 fps or 30fps. By using parameter -r i can only save data to file, not set speed for capturing image by camera sended to communicator. Are there any other options or I am miss reading something?
    – Sabriael
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 20:38
  • Post what you're using. Keep in mind that with ffmpeg, the ORDER of the parameters is very important.
    – TomSchober
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 13:39
  • ffmpeg -f dshow -video_size 640x480 -framerate 30 -i video="Integrated Webcam" out.mp4 Saves to a file and I don’t want that, changing framerate to other value returns me error "could not save video options". ffmpeg -f dshow -framerate 30 -i video="Integrated Webcam" -r 10 output.mp4 Should work but It seems like I can only save it to hard drive and not stream it on the internet. ffplay -f dshow -video_size 1280x720 -rtbufsize 702000k -framerate 30 -i video="Integrated Webcam" Framerate cannot be changed and it takes camera I/O so other software can't communicate with camera.
    – Sabriael
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 17:31
  • @TomSchober, did you get your solution meanwhile working? did you try those ffmpeg commandline option? -vf fps=1
    – Harry
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 18:58
  • You’re correct in that only supported framerates of the device will be captured. You can however manipulate the stream twice to get the desired effect with piping. I’ll try to get you an example.
    – TomSchober
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 21:19

The main thing about your question, as I get it - you are going to use that 1fps video live in video messengers like Skype. The software that using your webcam (like Skype) can easily take frames at any FPS from 1 to the maximum available for the webcam. However, most of the programs hasn't that setting and they are just using the highest available FPS. At least, I can't find framerate settings in Skype.

The solution for this may be only one (in my opinion). You can install some virtual webcam software (I've tested this with AlterCam). Such kind of software can broadcast to the virtual webcam almost any content, including the video from your real camera. In AlterCam, when you select your camera as the source, you can change FPS setting for it by clicking on the small "cog" button near the source dropdown list. I just tried to set 1fps there and it seems to work correctly. It takes the frame every second from my webcam and send it to the virtual webcam. Now, if I choose that "AlterCam Camera" in Skype, I am getting 1fps video there.

AlterCam setting to 1FPS

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