What are the best GoPro Settings? Settings explained: Best settings for Action, Travel, sports and More

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So what are the best GoPro Settings?
This Blog will dive into your GoPro Settings to show you the best settings for Action, Travel, sports and More

 

Do you have trouble understanding all of your GoPro settings and features?

In this article, we'll go through how to set up any GoPro model correctly for the best photos and videos.

The ideal settings for your action, travel, sport and other situations that you find yourself using a GoPro Camera will be discussed. We will also cover the video, photo, time-lapse, and Protune options.

This article will cover the following aspects:

  • GoPro Video Settings
  • Resolutions
  • NTSC/PAL
  • Frame Rates
  • Field of View
  • Stabilization
  • Auto Low Light
  • Manual Audio Control
  • GoPro Resolutions

What are resolutions?

  • Resolutions describe how many pixels an image has. More information is seen at higher resolutions (height x width). While low resolution (480p) video may appear to be of poor quality, high resolution (HD) video can be played back on large televisions without displaying any visible flaws.


The frame size of each resolution is compared in the graph below.

what are resolutions
New Column New Column
720p or less
  • Low resolution.
  • Small / compact file size.
  • Can be used for gifs, smartphones and web.
1080p
  • Full HD - Produces decent quality, sharp and clean image.
  • It's the most common option
  • Most devices can edit it.
  • Does not use a lot of batterry
1440p
  • Sharp and clean Full HD image.
  • But aspect ratio is 4:3 (almost a squared image, like in the old school movies)
2.7K
  • Excellent quality.
  • Can be used for digital zoom in editing.
  • Requires a good device to edit.
4K
  • 4x the frame size of Full HD.
  • Can be used for digital zoom in editing or for large 4k screens.
  • Big file size and shorter battery life in shooting.
5K
  • Ultra high-resolution video that captures more of the screen with the taller 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Great for point-of-view footage and screen grabbing up to 19.6MP stills from your video frames.
5.3K
  • The Highest resolution currently available for GoPro cameras.
  • Captures breathtaking ultra HD video in the wide 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Can be used to grab 15.8MP stills from your video frames.



What are frame rates for GoPro and how do frame rates work?

  • In order to create the illusion of motion, a camera takes a certain number of photos (per second) that are referred to as frames. You can learn to make better videos by using greater frame rates to produce cinematic slow motion scenes.


frame rates to use:

New Column New Column
24 (PAL & NTSC)
  • Cinematic frame rate.
  • Not good for slow motion.
25fps (PAL)30fps (NTSC)
  • Standard TV style. 
  • Not good for slow motion.
50fps (PAL)60fps (NTSC)
  • For action shots.
  • Maximum suggested slow Motion 2x
100fps (PAL)120fps (NTSC)
  • For faster action shots.
  • Slow motion 4x.
  • Not good in low light conditions.
200fps (PAL)240fps (NTSC)
  • For super fast action shots.
  • Slow motion 8x.
  • Bad quality in low light conditions.



Field of View for GoPro (FOV) Explained 

What does field of view mean?

  • A camera's field of vision is the space that is visible to the sensor (170°, 120°, and 90°). The resolution will stay the same, but your field of view will change (so you don't lose quality if you choose a narrower FOV). It's similar to changing the lens on your GoPro.


Field of view use guidelines:

170 degree superview is ideal for action shots.

  • Captures your image from the widest angle possible to give you the GoPro appearance. This broad of an angle distorts the frame. When photographing action or unsteady situations, it's an excellent alternative (the wider your frame, the more stable the footage looks).


120-degree angle; slightly fish-eye; wide

  • Although it still has a slight wide-angle feel, it helps to lessen the fish-eye appearance.


Linear: 90° angle; DSLR wide-angle feeling

  • DSLR footage is more comparable to linear FOV. For non-action footage like interviews, b-roll, Vlogs, etc., this is the perfect choice.


How to use Stabilisation for GoPro

GoPro's internal stabilizing system is called Hypersmooth.

  • Instead of using the actual image, HyperSmooth is based on the camera's accelerometer and gyro. 
  • The problem is that you can't be totally stable when filming with a powerful ND or in low light, thus you introduce motion blur into your footage.
  • Hypersmooth eliminates shakes / movement to make your video appear steady.
  • Because of this, your video is stable yet incredibly jerky or glitchy when you play it back. This is particularly true if you are engaged in an activity that involves unpredictable movement, like hiking or running; nevertheless, anything that involves regular, smooth motion typically poses no issues (because motion blur is going in the same direction as the main movement)
  • The answer?
  • To fix these issues, either use auto shutter or a faster shutter speed (4*FPS works nicely). In mixed lighting, you won't get as much motion blur or inconsistent exposure, but you will fix the issue.
  • Highly advised if you're cycling on a bumpy road, strolling or running, or if you're not sure you can keep your GoPro steady.

Electronic Image Stabilisation EIS – what is it?

  • In order to reduce unsteady photos, a function called electronic image stabilisation (EIS) is implemented. This is accomplished in-camera and is effective in bright light, but it is advised to avoid doing so in dim light because the software performs modifications that could slightly distort the image.


HyperSmooth is the name given to the EIS function in all current GoPro models. By adjusting for camera shake, HyperSmooth produces ultra-smooth video. Your movies are cropped as they are being recorded, allowing the footage to be buffered. This makes it ideal for activities like riding, ice skating, skiing, handheld photography, and more.

When to use EIS?

  • I personally think almost always when your GoPro is hand held or on a GoPro stick, during sport, etc
  • You should not us EIS when using a tripod or in poor light.


What is Auto Low Light for GoPro?

  • By automatically adjusting crucial low light parameters, such as frame rates, more light can reach the camera's image sensor, improving low light shooting performance.


Using auto low light:

  • Turning on Auto Low Light would cause the camera to automatically change its frame rate to account for light. However, if you are aiming for a clear slow motion shot, you will have a fluctuating frame rate clip, which is not ideal.
  • We suggest that when it is bright, turn off the auto low light as you don't want your footage to be blown out.


GoPro Audio Control 
How does manual audio control work?

  • By manually tweaking the audio settings, Manual Audio Control (available on the HERO5/HERO6/HERO7/HERO8/HERO9/HERO10) this allows you to enhance the audio quality of your GoPro. Auto is the default setting for Manual Audio Control (OFF).


Manual audio control techniques:

  • AUTO: To get the greatest audio quality possible, GoPro will automatically switch between recording in stereo and using the wind noise reduction.
  • ON: Your camera will give you the option to select between stereo and wind alone.
  • Only for wind: Your GoPro automatically applies a wind reduction filter. Therefore, while having less background noise, the filter would result in lower audio quality.
  • Your GoPro will only capture audio in stereo without any additional filters. As a result, although practically every sound, including background noise, will be recorded, the audio quality will be superior in the raw.


NTSC and PAL GoPro
What are PAL and NTSC?

  • The two primary video formats used globally are NTSC and PAL (different electrical frequencies). The flickering that happens when recording lights running on a different frequency can be avoided by choosing the appropriate option (NTSC or PAL) for your location.


How to utilise PAL and NTSC:

  • Shoot and watch video in Central and North America using NTSC (60Hz).
  • Shoot and watch video in PAL (50Hz) outside of Central and North America.

GoPro Photo Options
Settings for the GoPro camera's main photo menu's

  • Night
  • Burst
  • High Dynamic Range mode

GoPro's Photo Mode
How does photo mode work?

  • You can take single images using photo mode, just like you would with a conventional DSLR or point-and-shoot camera.
  • You may access this menu option on all current GoPro models, including the GoPro HERO8, 9 & 10, by clicking on the video symbol in the lower left corner of the home page menu.


Using the photo mode:

  • When capturing common images with your phone or point-and-shoot camera, photo mode works best.


Night Mode for GoPro
How does night mode work?

  • Long exposure images, which are often taken in low light, are ideal for night mode.
  • You can choose from 2 seconds to 30 seconds or Auto for the exposure, depending on the amount of ambient light.


Using the night mode:

  • Greater darkness = longer exposure (more seconds)
  • Shorter exposure for a brighter subject (less seconds)


Burst Mode for GoPro
Burst mode: what is it?

  • You can take numerous pictures in burst mode in a brief amount of time (eg. a jump, moving car, etc).
  • The number of images that are taken per second is determined by the burst rate. If we use the number 5/1 as an example, 5 images are captured each second.


Using the burst mode:

  • People or objects moving quickly: 10 photographs per second or less (e.g., 30/3, 30/6, etc.)
  • Dome shots 30/3


High Dynamic Range GoPro (HDR)

High dynamic range: what is it?

  • A feature called high dynamic range combines several photos shot at various light levels (more or less exposure).
  • When capturing sunsets or other scenes with similar lighting circumstances, this enables the camera to be adjusted for both high and low levels of light intensity.


High dynamic range usage tips

  • When there is a noticeable change between light levels, high dynamic range is best used. An example would be while trying to catch both the sun and the scene's shadows.


GoPro time-lapse settings for video and photos taken at night

  • Newer Time lapse settings are displayed on the GoPro touch screen.


Video from a GoPro timer
Time-lapse video: What is it?

  • A function called time lapse video generates ready-to-use time lapse videos without the need for editing.


Using time-lapse video:

  • Hit record after choosing this option in your menu options. It's that easy.
  • Your camera will automatically merge the images into a finished time lapse sequence once you press the stop button.


GoPro time-lapse Photo Mode
Time-lapse photography is what?

  • A time-lapse photo is a function that automatically takes pictures at predetermined intervals.
  • These pictures can then be edited together to make a time-lapse video.
  • The advantage of time lapse photography over time lapse video is that you can choose the interval and have access to every photo, giving you greater creative control over the editing process.


Using time-lapse photography:

  • Choose this option from the menu options, choose the interval (for recommendations, see how to make time lapse videos here), mount the camera on a tripod, and press record.
  • Return in a half-hour or more and press stop.
  • The photographs should then be combined after being imported into your preferred video editor.


Nightlapse GoPro Video

  • The same functionality as a time lapse photo is offered by a night lapse photo, but with the addition of long exposure settings that improve performance in dim light.


How to use a nighttime photography:

  • Choose this option from your menu options
  • Choose the interval 
  • Choose the exposure settings
  • Mount the camera on a tripod, and press record.
  • Return in a half-hour or more and press stop.
  • The photographs should then be combined after being imported into your preferred video editor.

Settings for the GoPro Pro.

  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Sharpness
  • Color Profile
  • Raw
  • Audio
  • Track
  • Shutter Speed

NOTE: Protune must be turned on in order to access these settings.

Shutter Speed for GoPro
How fast is the shutter?

  • The shutter mechanism that regulates how much light enters your GoPro's image sensor (by "opening" and "closing") is referred to as the shutter.
  • The longer the exposure (amount of time the image sensor or film is exposed to light), the slower the shutter speed, and the brighter the image (vice-versa).


Shutter speed usage guidelines:

Auto: Adapts exposure automatically, good for a sharp change in lighting.

Manual: Gives you complete exposure control, excellent when shooting under artificial lights.

ISO

  • The sensitivity of an image sensor is measured by ISO (higher ISO equals brighter footage).
  • This sensitivity, however, has a price: picture noise.
  • Therefore, unless absolutely required, it's always ideal to keep your ISO as low as possible.


Recommended GoPro ISO Settings

    • For daytime, we suggest using ISO of around 100. 
    • For mild low light situations such as shadows or indoors, we suggest using ISO of around 400.
    • For low light situations we suggest a ISO of >400, just be aware that this might add noise to your GoPro footage / images.


White Balance for GoPro

White Balance: What is it?

  • The color temperature of your video is measured via white balance.
  • Warm temperatures (2300k) will appear more yellow than cold temperatures (6500k), which will have a bluish tinge.
  • In general, you want your color temperature to reflect what the eye normally sees by making the necessary adjustments.


White balance usage guidelines:

  • Auto: In the majority of cases we suggest that you use the auto WB on GoPro.
  • Image temperature can be adjusted completely manually (2300k-6500k, Auto & native).


GoPro Clarity
Sharpness – what is it?

  • The quantity of digital detail added to your photographs and videos depends on their sharpness.
  • Some individuals select this approach because, in theory, low-sharpness footage may be edited in post-production to produce images of higher quality (this is however not recommended for beginners).


Uses for sharpness

  • Low - excellent for editing
  • Medium - Mid detailed picture less ideal for editing.
  • High - incredibly crisp image minimal or no editing

Color Profile for a GoPro
How do color profiles work?

  • Your photos and movies' color values are set using a setting called "color profile."
  • GoPro offers the flat and GoPro choices. Similar to sharpness, flat works best for color grading veterans.


Using color profiles:

  • For advanced users we suggest shooting Flat, because there are no filters added to the raw image, the colors are neutral, making it perfect for color grading in post-production.
  • Begginers should stick to Protune as it will automatically applly a camera rich GoPro color style.


Raw audio from a GoPro
Raw audio track: what is it?

  • You can produce a distinct audio file (.wav) with better quality using raw audio track.
  • You can choose from 3 audio options with various processing since Raw audio is by default turned OFF.


Using raw audio track:

  • Default setting is OFF - This means that there is no audio processing. Video has integrated audio.
  • Low/Medium/High in order to edit audio more effectively. The GoPro will  process. the audio and generates a unique.wav audio file.


Optimal GoPro settings for various popular activities and sports


The most popular GoPro activities have been grouped together, and we have listed our favourite GoPro settings below:

For TRAVEL & ADVENTURE footage, we recommend using the ideal every day settings:

  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

For CYCLING based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

For HIKING footage, we recommend using the ideal every day settings:

  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

For DRONE based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

For MOTORCYCLE based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600


For SPORT based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600
For SKIbased footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:
  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600
For SURF based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:
  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600
For Water based footage (like snorkeling and diving), we recommend using the ideal every day settings:
  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600


For WAVE based footage, we recommend using the high speed GoPro settings:

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600


For VLOG footage, we recommend using the ideal every day settings:

  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600
For CAR based footage, we recommend using the settings:
  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

Ideal Resolution & Frame Rate of the activity (FPS)

HERE ARE THE IDEAL EVERYDAY GOPRO SETTINGS FOR MOST ACTIVITIES

  • 4k
  • 4:3
  • 60 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

Here is why:

  • 4:3 in order to get 16:9 with vertical room to crop. 
  • 60fps if you want to slow motion your footage.
  • Shutter auto with iso 100 - 1600 so nothing. is too dark. 
  • EV -0.5 to ensure that there is no overexposed footage.

HERE ARE THE IDEAL HIGH SPEED GOPRO SETTINGS FOR MOST ACTIVITIES

  • 2.7k
  • 4:3
  • 120 fps
  • Hypersmooth
  • Auto Shutter
  • EV -0.5
  • Iso min 100
  • Iso max 1600

Here is why:

  • 4:3 in order to get 16:9 with vertical room to crop. 
  • 60fps if you want to slow motion your footage.
  • Shutter auto with iso 100 - 1600 so nothing. is too dark. 
  • EV -0.5 to ensure that there is no overexposed footage.

GoPro settings frequently asked questions

What frame rate works best for GoPro?

What you're filming will determine the ideal frame rate. For action shots, choose a higher frame rate (such as 60 or 120 frames per second) or a lower frame rate (such is 30 frames per second)

Recommendations for popular activities are provided in the Settings by Activity table above.

What does PT on GoPro mean?

PT stands for "Protune," a collection of sophisticated functions offered on GoPro cameras. Users have the option to manually alter the following parameters when enabled: Shutter Speed, ISO, EV Comp, White Balance, Sharpness, Color Profile, & Raw Audio Track.

What is the GoPro's ISO limit?

  • GoPros change the ISO between two values: ISO min and ISO max, depending on the lighting.
  • While a higher ISO max will generate a brighter image with more noise, a lower ISO max will produce a darker image with less noise.


What does Protune do?

  • On a GoPro, Protune provides automatic adjustment to settings.
  • Shutter Speed, ISO, EV Comp, White Balance, Sharpness, Color Profile, & Raw Audio Track are automatically adjusted when this feature is turned on.


What does a GoPro loop mean?

  • You can save space on your SD card by using GoPro Video Looping, which enables continuous video recording and overwrites the beginning of your video to make room for new footage to be recorded.
  • When you're uncertain of the exact timing of a significant event, such as using your GoPro as a Dash Cam, this feature can help.
  • You'll be able to shoot endlessly (keeping in mind battery life) by continuing to record (while overwriting old footage), confident that you'll have the space available when the ideal moment occurs.


What does a GoPro's spot meter do?

  • A component known as a spot meter is utilized to examine and determine automated exposure in the middle of the frame as opposed to the entire frame.
  • When there is uneven lighting throughout the frame but you require a certain section of the frame to be properly illuminated, the spot meter is helpful. 


Which is better, NTSC or PAL?

  • Countries employ different video display standards: PAL is used in Europe and some regions of Asia, whereas NTSC is used in the US and Canada.
  • When photographing close to tungsten lights, you could see a video flickering effect if you don't choose PAL or NTSC depending on the country in where you are shooting.

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