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Hiker
Posts: 8

First Time Go Pro Owner - Newbie Questions

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So far, I'm having a love / hate relationship with my GoPro, more on the love side.

 

Can someone help me clarify some things?

 

1. Especially in darker environments, during the day (e.g. in a bus station), I'm getting a lot of jittery movement when walking, with hypersmooth on. This makes it impossible to get quality footage. However, through trial and error I've seen that I can get quite smooth footage at 60 FPS. Would this be the best config for walking and holding the camera on the shorty? 60 FPS?

 

2. 50hz vs 60hz. I've got the flickering ONCE and never again. I have no idea when and how it works. I'm in a 50 HZ country but I've disabled it so I can get 60 FPS as an option. The flickering applies to all forms of lighting or how? I was once in a restaurant and I got the flickering even if it was set at 50 FPS. It's confusing.

 

3. Hypersmooth and low light. During low light, it is better to disable hypersmooth at all? My only real option for low light is on a tripod? What frustrates me is that sometimes I get perfectly usable material (albeit with a high ISO, over 800) while other times it is not smooth at all. I know the shutter speed - aperture - ISO triad, I just can't seem to fully understand it on a GoPro. I feel like Hypersmooth needs to be added to this triad.

 

4. I sometimes get SD card errors. I am using one of the cards from the GoPro list, on their website. Should I format my card again? How does the quality of the card impact the footage? Can I get artifacts and low frame rates because of the card itself?

 

So far I'm loving the camera. Although I have an iPhone 10S Max which is quite competent in taking good video, I'm taking the GoPro with me in most places. I'm just annoyed by the jittery nature of footage sometimes and I don't understand why. It feels like sometimes it decreases the FPS way under 24, even in bright daylight. 

 

Right now, my compromise settings are:

- 2.7K.

- 60 FPS even if I'll finally export to 24 FPS.

- bitrate high ofc.

- Auto shutter.

- ISO max 800. 

- sharpness high

- linear (I swear, wide at a high FPS makes me sick when viewed on a computer).

 

I'll give an example of unusable footage due to motion blur during walking:

https://youtu.be/0zZoKJKeuI8

 

This is 50 FPS at 2.7K. Iso set to 400 max. I think I had boost activated. Shutter speed set to auto.

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Nomad
Posts: 6,358

Re: First Time Go Pro Owner - Newbie Questions

[ New ]

1. Especially in darker environments, during the day (e.g. in a bus station), I'm getting a lot of jittery movement when walking, with hypersmooth on. This makes it impossible to get quality footage. However, through trial and error I've seen that I can get quite smooth footage at 60 FPS. Would this be the best config for walking and holding the camera on the shorty? 60 FPS?
Well, if you've tested this and it works, then yes, that would be a better setting, you've kinda just answered your own question. Fact is that Hypersmooth is great in bright well lit environments as it relies heavily on frame analysis (in other words, looking at a sequence of frames and trying to line the images up). However in low light at low frame rates this doesn't work as well and can result in blurry, jittery footage. It's actually best to turn off all image stabilization at night and just use a gimbal. Also make sure you do NOT have low light enabled as this will automatically drop your frame rate.

 

2. 50hz vs 60hz. I've got the flickering ONCE and never again. I have no idea when and how it works. I'm in a 50 HZ country but I've disabled it so I can get 60 FPS as an option. The flickering applies to all forms of lighting or how? I was once in a restaurant and I got the flickering even if it was set at 50 FPS. It's confusing.
This is because of the way the lights work. You turn on a light and you think "wow, a nice steady light", but it's not really. The light is actually flashing. It's just flashing way too fast for the human eye to notice. So in your country, the lights are flashing on and off at about 50 times a second. If your GoPro is filming in 50 FPS it is matching the flashing of the lights and this will result in the flickering that you're seeing. (there's a heck of a lot more to it than that but this is just a quick and simple explination).

 

3. Hypersmooth and low light. During low light, it is better to disable hypersmooth at all? My only real option for low light is on a tripod? What frustrates me is that sometimes I get perfectly usable material (albeit with a high ISO, over 800) while other times it is not smooth at all. I know the shutter speed - aperture - ISO triad, I just can't seem to fully understand it on a GoPro. I feel like Hypersmooth needs to be added to this triad.
See the answer given in your first question.

 

4. I sometimes get SD card errors. I am using one of the cards from the GoPro list, on their website. Should I format my card again? How does the quality of the card impact the footage? Can I get artifacts and low frame rates because of the card itself?
This is cheating, this is two questions in one point.... my god you're getting value for money here....
If you're getting SD card errors the best thing to do is put the SD card in your PC and run a scan disk on it to check (and repair) any errors. Then remove the card from the pc, put it in your camera and format it. A format may not repair any errors on the card (hence the need for a scan disk first) and before using the card, it needs to be formatted in the camera so it's using the optimal file storage format.
Remember, SD cards only have a finite life. So you can only use them so many times before they eventually can become to corrupt to use.
Bad SD cards can result in the following issues.
Camera Crashes or not starting up
Camera overheating
Glitches in footage
Camera shutting down or not recording without notice

 

 

Hiker
Posts: 323

Re: First Time Go Pro Owner - Newbie Questions

[ New ]

Some  of the jitter is down to motion blur.  When the shutter opens to expose the frame and movement of the camera/subject is drawn onto the frame - lights will often stand out as a kind of electric spaghetti trail whereas other objects may appear fuzzy.  A faster shutter / frame rate means that there is less motion blur per frame so the resulting video looks better.

 

Alot of this motion blur is introduced as we walk - we don't realist how jittery our natural walk is as we've evolved out own natural stabilisation to counter it but every time you put your foot onto the ground as you walk shockwaves are sent up your leg, body, into your arms and then through your hand into the camera.  THere are ways to reduce this by altering the way we walk so that instead of impacting on the heels of the new foot we roll from heel to toe and then onto the other foot - google ninja walk for more info.

 

Another source for jitters is the micro-jitters out arms/wrists/hands give when we are holding something.  These are tiny movements of the muscles which jiggle the camera - Hypersmooth is usually really good at eliminating these.  Another way to counter these if they are still showing is to add more weight to the camera - yes we buy a Gopro because it's small and light then add things on to bulk it up and make it heavier - this seems wrong but the extra weight gives some resistance to the muscles and cancels them out.  THe heavier an object is the more inertia it has and the harder it is to start it moving so if the camera is heavier enough some of the microjitters might not be strong enough to move the camera.

 

As you are in a 50hz country you might be better off setting your camera to 50fps so that it ties up with the mains voltage.  Any light source powered by the mains and at 50hz should match up.  Unfortunately I've noticed that some display screens don't use the mains frequency but seem to rectify the input to DC then generate their own frequency often at 60Hz which can mean that at 50fps some devices flicket but at 60fps they're steady and others flicker.

Nomad
Posts: 1,106

Re: First Time Go Pro Owner - Newbie Questions

[ New ]
1 and 3. Hypersmooth needs fast shutter speeds or else you will get motion blur. Increase the max iso to 1600 to make sure you get those fast shutters. Sensor sensitivity has improved a lot, you'll be fine.

2. Use 50Hz when using artificial lighting to minimize the chance of getting flickers. Use 60Hz outdoors to enable 60 and 120 fps (if you really need them)