Beginner’s Guide to GoPro Video Settings - 3D Insider (2022)

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Are you having as much fun as the people in GoPro commercials but your videos don’t look as inviting? There’s no need to pick a more exotic vacation spot – you just have to select the right video settings.

This guide goes over all of the GoPro’s video & Protune settings and offers suggestions on when to use which. It assumes you’ve got the GoPro HERO7 Black, but most mentioned settings apply to older or less advanced models too. By the time you’re done, you’ll be well on your way to creating videos that are both heart-pounding and artistically pleasing.

General settings

These are your GoPro’s core video settings. Changing them has an impact on the quality and feel of your videos.

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Resolution

Beginner’s Guide to GoPro Video Settings - 3D Insider (1)

A video’s resolution stands for the number of pixels displayed on a screen. The higher it is, the less pixelated the image is, and the more detail you can make out. GoPro HERO Black series cameras can shoot in resolutions ranging from 720p to 4k.

You’ll want to use 4K to capture your adventures in the best quality possible. However, make sure to bring spare batteries and a high-capacity SD card with fast writing speeds. Both 4K and 2.7K are excellent choices when you want to zoom in without compromising picture quality and make for spectacular travel, action, or sports scenes. 1080p is a reliable space-saving alternative for any situation and the current standard for online videos. 1440p is the FullHD alternative to go for when shooting point of view videos since it only supports an aspect ratio of 4:3.

Video Format

Your GoPro is compatible with both NTSC and PAL. The two formats came about due to differences in the electrical systems in America and Europe. You won’t be able to play GoPro footage burned to a DVD in NTSC in Europe and vice versa. This setting is irrelevant if you’re streaming or uploading to social media.

Framerate

Framerate is the number of pictures per second that are shot and stitched together to create the illusion of movement. The higher it is, the smoother the video looks. The lowest framerates your GoPro uses are 24 and 25fps for NTSC and PAL respectively. 30fps is the lowest universal resolution and has a cinematic feel, so you should use It when vlogging, filming vistas, or whenever you want the video to take up less space.

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60fps is the default framerate and the maximum at 4K. It captures fast-paced action without motion blur and is the best option for clips that feature driving, cycling, skiing, & snowboarding from the rider’s perspective, and underwater activities. You should use 120 and 240fps when you don’t want to miss any details while surfing, skiing, or playing a sport. Framerates higher than 30fps can also be used to capture slow-motion footage. The output video has a framerate of 30fps but is two to eight times slower than normal.

Field of View

Field of View or FOV determines how much of what’s in front of it the GoPro will capture. SuperView is the broadest available angle at 170 degrees and used for panorama shots, skiing, or cycling. It’s the view with the most noticeable barrel distortion. Wide is the default 127-degree view suitable for most situations. Linear is the narrowest FOV and best for travel videos or vlogging since it crops out the barrel distortion, leaving you with a view similar to a DSLRs.

Stabilization

Superb video stabilization has been a staple of GoPro ever since the HERO5 came out and is improved with each new release. The HERO7 Black offers three stabilization options. HyperSmooth is the newest one and combines internal hardware with electronic image stabilization for the smoothest results. You can also use EIS without HyperSmooth or turn image stabilization off altogether. Note that image stabilization isn’t available when filming at 240fps, at 120fps in 2.7K, or 30fps in 4k. You’ll need a tripod for these to avoid shakiness.

Auto Low Light

High framerates lead to worse low-light performance. Turning Auto Low light on lets the GoPro determine the framerate based on the amount of ambient light. The result are brighter, more detailed videos that have variable framerates. Auto Low Light supports all resolutions as long as you’re recording at 50 or 60fps.

Time-lapse settings

If you want to learn more about GoPro time-lapse settings, see our dedicated guide. For now, it’s enough to say that there are four you can choose from. TimeWarp is exclusive to the HERO7 Black and uses HyperSmooth to produce stabilized slow-motion footage. Time Laps Photo and Video produce equally stunning if non-stabilized results. Time Lapse Video puts out an already complete video file while Photo gives you a sequence of images that make up the video you can process individually. Night Lapse Photo is a specialty time-lapse setting used for long exposures in low-light conditions.

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Protune settings

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of GoPro users. One group wants to create beautiful videos with as little hassle as possible. The other has the need to take matters into their own hands and tinker with more advanced video settings. Protune opens up an array of options and lets you tailor the video to your liking. Using Protune means more work in post but also gives you more creative freedom. You can use Protune in all photo & video modes except for TimeWarp, Time Lapse Video, and looping videos.

Color

Your GoPro has a default color profile of the same name that brings out colors vividly and is a solid choice whatever you’re recording. However, more advanced users may want to do their own color grading in post and should select the Flat profile instead. Using Flat makes the colors appear duller but allows you to sync the way they look across all your devices and bring out more detail in darker areas.

White Balance

Beginner’s Guide to GoPro Video Settings - 3D Insider (2)

Depending on the lighting condition, your videos might have a blue tint or appear overly yellow. Light balance lets you set the scene’s color temperature and correct this. Lower color temperatures balance out yellow and orange light produced by incandescent bulbs or a sunset. Higher values counteract the bluishness you get when recording in poor light. Usable temperatures range from 2,300 to 6,500 Kelvin. You can leave White balance on Auto for reliable results in most settings or choose Native to set the white balance manually later.

ISO

ISO refers to brightness correction that’s not dependent on shutter speed or aperture size. Videos shot with lower ISO will be darker while upping the ISO results in lighter yet noisier footage. 100 is the minimum ISO value and best for outdoor shoots on sunny days. An ISO of 200 is suitable for partially cloudy days or bright interiors while ISO 400 and 800 are suitable for cloudy days and interior shoots with the lights on. The maximum video ISO setting available on a GoPro is 1,600, but it isn’t recommended because grain drastically impacts video quality.

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Shutter speed

The shutter is used to control how long your GoPro’s lens is exposed to light. More prolonged exposure means more light is gathered and the video will be brighter, but it also causes a blurring effect. It’s best to leave this setting on Auto, especially if you’re filming in dynamic surroundings where light changes are constant and unpredictable. It’s best to follow the 180-degree rule if you’re controlling shutter speed manually. It states that shutter speed should be double that of the framerate, so videos at 30fps need to have a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second, 60fps calls for 1/120 of a second, etc.

Exposure Value Compensation

EV Comp is another setting that affects your video’s brightness. Changing it is especially useful when you’re dealing with a scene with lots of contrasting light, e.g., a mountain bike ride through the woods. You can adjust the setting from -2.0 to +2.0 in half-step increments. Adjusting EV Comp also pays off in situations where the subject has a different exposure level than their surroundings. Let’s say you’re skiing downhill and filming yourself with the help of a swivel mount. Turning EV Comp up is a good idea in that case since the snow surrounding you would get marginally brighter, but your suit and gear would become more detailed.

Sharpness

By default, Sharpness is set to High to capture as much detail as possible. While this looks good on paper, too much sharpness can make a video look unnatural. Set it to Medium or Low if you want to adjust the detail level yourself during post-processing.

Microphone settings & Raw Audio

Your GoPro is prepared for any audio situation since it has three strategically placed microphones. They let it record usable audio even in windy conditions. When the microphones are in Auto mode, the GoPro will determine the best settings on its own and change them dynamically if there’s wind. Stereo provides authentic stereo sound, and you should use it if you’re in a closed space or the weather is fine. Wind mode uses the mic that’s least affected by the sound of rushing air to deliver audio with reduced interference. It’s the setting to use during high-speed rides and on windy days.

Raw Audio adjusts how audio files are processed & saved. It is off by default, which makes the audio part of your video files. High creates a .Wav file separate from the video and applies all processing techniques at the GoPro’s disposal. Medium processes the audio depending on microphone settings while the file created on Low is minimally altered so you can process it on your own.

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Putting it all together

That was a lot of info to take in, so here’s a handy chart with situations you’d likely use a GoPro in and the recommended settings for each.

SituationResolutionFramerateFOVOptional Protune settings
Surfing1080p
2.7K
120fpsWideCustom shutter speed
Snorkeling1080p
4K
30fps
60fps
WideCustom ISO, Flat color profile
Swimming1080p
2.7K
60fpsWideCustom EV Comp,
Skiing1080p
2.7K
60fps
120fps
Wide
SuperView
Custom EV Comp, Wind mic mode,
Custom white balance
Hiking1080p
4K
30fps
60fps
SuperViewFlat color profile
Mountain
biking
1080p
2.7K
120fpsWideCustom EV Comp, Wind mic mode
Sports1080p
4K
120fps
240fps
WideCustom shutter speed
Road trips1080p
2.7K
60fpsWide
SuperView
Custom EV Comp, Wind mic mode
Family
vacations
1080p
2.7K
30fps
60fps
Linear
Wide
Custom white balance, Wind mic mode
Travel1080p
4K
60fpsLinear
Wide
Flat color profile
Vlogs1080p
1440p
30fpsLinearCustom ISO, Stereo mic mode
Sunsets1080p
4K
30fpsLinearCustom white balance

FAQs

What is the best setting on GoPro for video? ›

Start with a standard Protune setup for video:
  • Bit Rate: High.
  • EV Comp: -0.5.
  • White Balance: Auto (or Specific Temp based on Scene)
  • ISO Min: 100.
  • ISO Max: 1600.
  • Sharpness: Low.
  • Color: Natural.
10 Jan 2022

What is EV COMP on GoPro? ›

Exposure Compensation, which is sometimes known as EV Comp, can also be very useful in challenging, uneven lighting conditions.

What is ISO min on GoPro? ›

ISO Limit provides more control in low light conditions. It adjusts the camera's sensitivity in low-light environments, and creates a balance between brightness and resulting image noise. A higher ISO Limit will result in brighter footage, but you may experience more noise.

Does Hero 10 have Protune? ›

The HERO10 Black uses the same method of accessing the Protune settings that was first introduced with the HERO8 Black. With older models, you first had to turn on the Protune switch before any of the Protune options became visible. The new approach handles settings a bit differently.

How many frames per second should I use on my GoPro? ›

60fps: It is the best choice to record sports videos with GoPro. For fast-moving subjects, 60fps can perfectly eliminate motion blur and present all details crisp. GoPro is designed as action camera and 60fps is the perfect fit for capturing snowboarding, surfing, biking etc.

What is sharpness in GoPro? ›

By default, GoPros apply reasonably heavy sharpening in the camera before you even see the image. But in some models, you have the option to choose from among three levels of sharpening: high, medium, and low. Note: This applies specifically to the HERO5 and HERO4 Black and the HERO4 Silver models.

Should I use GoPro color or flat? ›

If you shoot with the default GoPro color mode, the image will be vibrant and contrasty. If you shoot with the Flat color mode, the image will be, well, flat and the colors will look washed out. Here are some more examples shot with the HERO4 Silver and Black cameras.

What is ISO Min and Max? ›

ISO is the setting that affects your camera's sensitivity to light. With your GoPro, you can select a minimum and a maximum ISO, and the camera automatically decides which setting is best within the range of ISO that you set. Increase your ISO to brighten your image, and lower your ISO to darken your image.

How do I improve the quality of my GoPro? ›

Try locking your GoPro's shutter speed at 1/120, 1/240 or higher. To reduce blur, you should set your shutter speed to at least twice the FPS value. For example, if you want to shoot a 120fps slow motion video, your shutter speed should be at least 1/240.

What does Protune mean on GoPro? ›

What is Protune? Protune is a feature offered by all of the above-mentioned GoPro models, which allows the user to set recording parameters such as the White Balance, ISO Limit, Color, Sharpness, and Exposure.

Is GoPro good in low light? ›

If you have tried, you may find that GoPro is absolutely not the best camera for low light photography, although is good for 360 and 4K action shooting. Your shooting is grainy or noisy, and even can't really see a lot on the video, except for the obvious lights.

What are the best settings for GoPro 10? ›

When it comes to taking slow motions, 4x and above, 4K-120, 2.7K-240, 2.7K 4:3-120 in wide or linear are your best GoPro Hero 10 settings options. Naturally, you would want to prioritize the 4K-120 since 2.7k has a large difference in terms of quality than 4k.

How long does GoPro 10 battery last? ›

Here's a benchmark of what to expect out of your GoPro battery: GoPro HERO10 (with the new Enduro Battery)—120 minutes (1080p / 30fps) GoPro HERO10—83 minutes (HyperSmooth High)

Why are my GoPro videos blurry on YouTube? ›

YouTube can degrade video quality with its compression. That's even more true for fast pace action camera footage. The prime reason for this comes down to bitrate. That's why your GoPro export settings matter.

Should I film in 30fps or 60fps? ›

If you want to capture quick movement and slow motion, choose 60 frames per second. If not, shoot at 30 frames per second. When generating videos for social media, shooting at 60 frames per second is rarely necessary because everything is displayed at 30 frames per second.

Should I film in 24 FPS or 60fps? ›

Movement in your video

The higher the amount of motion, the higher your frame speed. Shooting in a quiet, steady setting is easy with 24fps. But if you're capturing a travel video or shooting an action sequence for a movie, 24fps wouldn't cut it. You'll need a higher fps like 60 or 120.

Which is better 1080p/60fps or 4K 30fps? ›

Well, it depends. In filming I'd recommend 4k because at 30fps because even if you upload 8k 120fps to YouTube it compresses it to make it load faster. So, 4k would look more like 1080, 1080p will look like 720p, etc. But, in gaming, I'd recommend 1080p 60fps because fps speed is generally more important in gaming.

Should I shoot in 4K or 1080p? ›

It goes without saying, 4K video technology is extremely detailed and high-quality when it comes to the final result. 4K means more resolution, more clarity and more editing options when it comes to post-production.

Why does my GoPro footage look choppy? ›

Often, videos are choppy because the computer they're being played on doesn't meet the minimum requirements needed for playback. For lower resolution videos (1080p 30fps and below), a computer with at least 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processors and 4 GB RAM should do the trick.

What is the best resolution for action camera? ›

At present, 4K resolution is the highest video quality available on most high-end action cameras, followed by 1080p and 720p.

How do you sharpen GoPro footage? ›

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What is White Balance GoPro? ›

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Does GoPro have shutter speed? ›

Using the Protune options (more on those below), you can manually set the ISO and shutter speed. The one you can't control is the aperture; GoPros have a fixed-aperture lens that's rated at ƒ/2.8. There's also another option that gives you some control over the exposure that's kind of semi-manual.

How do you make a GoPro cinematic? ›

How To Make GoPro Footage Look More Cinematic - YouTube

How do you color grade GoPro videos? ›

A Professional Guide on how to Color Grade GoPro Footage - YouTube

What is GoPro video format? ›

Describes the GoPro camera video format

Where does it apply? All video files are recorded using the MP4 file type. Depending on your camera and your recording settings, your recording may be in the H. 264 or H.

Is lower ISO always better? ›

When you use low ISO values such as 300 and lower, generally the result is a higher quality photo. Bright conditions — like shooting outdoors on a sunny day — benefit from lower values. Landscape photography, for example, is very well-suited to low ISO values. They keep photos from looking overly-exposed or washed out.

Which ISO should I use? ›

What ISO setting should you use? As a general rule you want to stick to the lowest ISO possible, as this will give you the cleanest images. This is easy in good lighting conditions as your camera doesn't need a very high ISO setting in order to capture the image.

What ISO is too high? ›

ISO 800 is half as sensitive to light as ISO 1600. A low ISO value (e.g. 100 or 200) means low sensitivity to light. This is exactly what's needed in bright conditions in order to avoid overly-exposed photos. A high ISO value (e.g. 800, 1600 or higher) means a high sensitivity to light.

What is the cinematic setting on a GoPro? ›

The cinematic preset by GoPro is a guide to make your GoPro clips look and feel more cinematic. The default settings for this preset is 5.3K Resolution video at 30 frames per second. It also uses an amazing lens feature called the Linear+ Horizon Leveling for a smooth fish-eye effect in your GoPro footage.

What is the best setting for GoPro Hero 9? ›

If you want better stabilization, you can shoot in Linear; however L+HL will crop in on the 16:9 modes, so I recommend staying at Wide or Linear. I'm really impressed with the quality on 1440-120, which is one of the cleaner slow-motion modes in the HERO9.

What is the best resolution for GoPro Hero 9? ›

While 5K recording tops out at 30fps, 4K at 60fps is available in all view modes bar SuperView, and up to 120fps is supported at 2.7K using the wide view mode. For higher frame rates still, up to 240fps is possible at 1080p in linear view and narrower, enabling 8x slow motion playback at 30fps.

What is the best video setting for GoPro Hero 5? ›

2.7k will maintain the most quality and is therefore the best resolution setting if you have stabilization in mind. Set your FPS (Frames per second) to 60 FPS. Most footage will be viewed and edited at 30 FPS, so shooting at 60 FPS will allow you to smoothly slow down your video on your editing timeline.

How do I make my GoPro footage more cinematic? ›

How To Make GoPro Footage Look More Cinematic - YouTube

Why does my GoPro footage look grainy? ›

GoPro grainy video issue often happens when shooting in low light condition, for example, indoor and at night. 2. Those GoPro recording settings would raise the possibility of video grain and noise: high ISO, fast shutter speed, and high frame rate.

How do you use cinematic videos on GoPro? ›

BEST SETTINGS for CINEMATIC Video (GoPro Hero 10, 9, 8)

What is boost mode in Hero 9? ›

The camera itself crops into the footage and does it's best to 'smooth out' the footage. Boost Mode is the most amount of hypersmooth available, while High Mode is the step down from Boost. There is also ON mode, which is the lowest amount of hypersmooth available.

How do I set my GoPro 9 to 4K? ›

GoPro Hero 9: How to Change Video Resolution & FPS (5K, 4K, 2k ...

What is boost mode on GoPro? ›

Boost – Tight cropping with ultimate stabilization. High – Minimal cropping with stronger stabilization. On – Minimal cropping with stabilized video. Off – No cropping and stabilization to your video.

Should I shoot in 4K or 1080p? ›

It goes without saying, 4K video technology is extremely detailed and high-quality when it comes to the final result. 4K means more resolution, more clarity and more editing options when it comes to post-production.

Is 4K better than 1080p 60fps? ›

1080p 60 fps vs 4K 60 fps

For daily usage 1080p 60fps should be the best. But while shooting in 1080p 60fps gives you a smoother video, you would feel an unrealistic feeling because it's too "smooth".

Does GoPro Hero 9 have image stabilization? ›

Not only do we have HyperSmooth stabilization, there is also in camera horizon leveling that is a great thing to have while filming handheld. This larger sensor enables GoPro Hero 9 to make 20 megapixel pictures, including HDR and raw image.

What is ISO Min and Max? ›

ISO is the setting that affects your camera's sensitivity to light. With your GoPro, you can select a minimum and a maximum ISO, and the camera automatically decides which setting is best within the range of ISO that you set. Increase your ISO to brighten your image, and lower your ISO to darken your image.

Does the GoPro Hero 5 shoot in 4K? ›

GoPro Hero5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos.

Does Hero 5 session have stabilization? ›

A headline feature on the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session cameras is in-camera video stabilization. It's designed to smooth out the vibrations and jerkiness you get when you're filming on the move without a gimbal.

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