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Posts: 2

Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings

I'm totally new to Gopro as Santa got me a Hero 7 Black. I'm into mounting biking so this will be most common use.

I have a MacBook Pro 2017 but only have iMovie for editing.

What settings do you recommend for recording which will be editable with current (or free additional) software for simple uploads (don't need massive editing/graphics features).
Not bothered about 4k.
Like using slomo.

Also what card size should I get based on recommended settings - I'd like to changeover roughly when the battery needs changing if possible but not essential (saves keep stopping on days out in the saddle!). I don't want excessively huge cards - would rather have more with smaller capacity.

I have found a table of file sizes for Hero 4:

Thanks for your help!
Posts: 12,755

Re: Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings


Congrats on your new camera!


First, the best advice I can give you is to shoot everything and in different situations and settings until you find out what works best for you.  You want to make very short clips (use the quick clip feature to limit to 15 seconds) and announce your settings out load so you can hear them when viewing the clips latter.  In general, 2.7K/60fps in Linear mode is a great mode to use and is super versatile and will give you great results.  If you edit the footage in a 1080p sequence, you can either shrink the image to fit or use the extra resolution to reframe your image.  Learn about keyframing and you will up your edits considerably. For the most part, you don't really need to make many changes; however, I'll go through the settings for what is generally considered the "Best" in most situations.  These "Best" settings do require some color grading and sharpening in an editor, so they might not be what you want to use just yet.


For great information about your camera and getting the best results, head over to a GoPro media creator's site to learn more from a true GoPro professional


Always film with Protune on if you want the highest quality. Even if you don't make any changes, this will increase the recording bitrate and improve your overall video quality. Bitrates determine how much information each pixel can receive, so the higher the bitrate, the higher the quality, but also the larger the file size.

To really get the most from your video edits, then you need to understand color grading and utilizing curves. DaVinci Resolve is the premiere program for this, so I highly recommend it. Even though I use Adobe Premiere Pro, I'll still use DaVinci Resolve sometimes for clips that need a little more fine tuning. There are plenty of YouTube videos to assist you learn and maximize your editing skills.

Deciding on whether or not to use Protune really depends upon your needs.

Protune OFF:

With Protune off, you are using a slightly lower bitrate and settings most likely like this: Shutter Auto, EV 0, ISO MIN 100 (might be 400), ISO MAX 1600, WB Auto, Sharpness High, and Color GoPro (higher saturation, vibrancy, and contrast). Protune OFF works great for mobile editing and for editing on slower computers. It also will use less space on your cameras SD card. Videos usually look very good without needing any editing.

Protune ON (Defaults):

With Protune On (Defaults), the camera uses a higher bit rate (more stored information in each pixel), and the settings are Shutter Auto, EV 0, ISO MIN 100, ISO MAX 1600, WB Auto, Sharpness High, and Color GoPro. This works well for getting similar results as Protune OFF but with a little higher quality. On a mobile device or small screen, you really can't see much difference between OFF and ON. In most cases, if you don't have much experience with cameras, editing, or have very basic to no understanding of the Protune settings, it's best to just keep Protune OFF. Most of the review videos that you see on YouTube are with Protune OFF.

Now, there are times when changing Protune settings is absolutely necessary for getting the best shot. If you are good at color grading, have a good video editor, and a specific idea for how you want to use/edit the video, you will want to make changes to your Protune settings as needed. Even if you are just using the Quik Mobile app, you can improve the look of your videos if you know what you are doing.

I'll try to give a basic explanation of the setting below, but in general, the "Best" settings are:

Shutter Auto

EV -1 (Lowering the ev preserves more of the highlights and forces a faster shutter. In good lighting use -1 and use -0.5 for overcast sky and 0 for lower light).



WB Auto (I prefer to select this manually, but in general, Auto is fine)

Sharpness Medium

Color Flat (It's not going to look great straight out of the camera, but once you start color grading it will look great. Flat color profile gives the most detail in shadows).

Shutter: In most cases, having this set to Auto works best. Shutter speed is represented as a fraction of a second. It's reliant on the fps for how fast/slow it can be set. The faster the shutter, the more detail there will be in each frame, but also less light. The slower the shutter, the more motion blur you will get, but also more light. For action/speed, the rule is to double the fps for a natural motion blur (30fps = 1/60 shutter, 60fps = 1/120 shutter). This does not always look best and if you are going to slow down your footage, you might want a faster shutter so each frame is more crisp. I've found that in lower light/overcast sky, having the shutter at 3X the fps works best with Hypersmooth (avoids blur).

EV (Exposure Value): This kinda works like a filter. Higher numbers will result in a brighter picture, lower in a darker picture. The ev mostly effects your highlights. A lower number (-0.5 & -1) will result in more detail in your highlights and less blow out from the sun. Some people like to use a higher ev in snow to make whites look whiter.
BEST SETTING: -1 will result in the most detail in highlights (can be too dark in shadow and low light)

ISO: The lower the number the cleaner the image, but also the darker the image will be. Always strive to have the lowest ISO possible unless you want it to have an old gritty feel. Higher ISO is for low light, but you also get more noise/grain in your video/photo. Using a high ISO in bright light will result in a very fast shutter and usually a blown out image).
BEST SETTING: ISO MIN and Max 100 (Max 400 with varied light and Max 800 in overcast/low light). If you are using Hypersmooth stabilization in low light/overcast sky, set the MIN to ISO 400.

WB (White Balance): The camera does a pretty good job figuring this out, but to have the most consistent look during a shoot, set this manually. As lighting changes, you must keep changing your WB. Don't use NATIVE unless you are using several different cameras all set to log and you need them all to match perfectly (this is very labor intensive and not really worth it unless you are a professional).
BEST SETTING: Manual based on lighting (Auto works fine usually)

Sharpness: The processing that the camera does when applying sharpness can be a little strong, but also makes GoPro videos look like they do. High sharpness is great when you are just throwing the video up on social media or creating your video with a mobile app like Quik, but if you want the best look, always choose medium or Low. If you are doing desktop editing with a good editor, low is best for the most control when editing. Always use Low sharpness if your ISO is 800 or higher.
BEST SETTING: Low (Medium is the safest setting, and usually looks very good)

Color Profile: GoPro Color looks great and if you don't want to spend more time color grading than it took you to shoot the video, this color profile will save you that time. However, for the most detail in shadows and more control over the overall look of your photos/videos, use a Flat color profile. Using a Flat profile in low light and/or with a high ISO will reduce some of the noise and give you more control when correcting/reducing noise when editing.


For mountain biking in mixed lighting (in and out of shadows), I would set the WB manually (probably around 5000K), put the EV at -0.5 (-1 if there is a lot of bright light or riding toward the sun), MIN and MAX ISO at 400 (keeps the shutter from going too slow which causes unwanted blur), and use Superview in 2.7K/60fps or either 1440/60fps or 2.7K (4:3)/60fps (all of these will capture more of the vertical scene from the horizon to the trail).  A very slight zoom when possible helps to improve the Hypersmooth EIS. Helmet mounted on a chinbar looks best, followed by side helmet mounted and then Chesty mounted.

I usually use the following for low light/night video.
Shutter: Auto (sometimes I set this manually)
EV: 0
ISO MIN: 400
ISO MAX: 800 (If it's particularly dark I'll go as high as 1600)
WB: manually selected (usually around the 3000k range)
Sharpness: Low (smooths it out some)
Color: Flat
Auto low light: Off
Fps: 30 or 24 (I'll sometimes use 60fps in low light, but not night)
I keep stabilization off. If I need to use it, I set the shutter to 3x or 4x the frame rate (24fps = 1/96 or 1/192, 30fps = 1/120 or 1/240, 60fps = 1/240 or 1/480). With these shutter speed is hard to get good exposure so I'll bump the ISO to MIN 800 and MAX 1600.


Your best option is to use a proper non-linear video editor. Some free options are:
VSDC on Windows-
DaVinci Resolve


You'll want to select a playback speed of somewhere in the 20fps-30fps range. If you need by percentage, these are safe slow motion settings.
240fps slowed by 25% - 12.5%
120fps slowed by 50% - 25%
60fps slowed by 50% - 40%
48fps slowed by 62.5% - 50%

Posts: 12,755

Re: Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings

Oh, and card size - Get a SanDisk Extreme v30 (v30 is important) 64GB and you will be fine. Offload your media after every use and format in the camera before each use and you will be fine.
Posts: 12,755

Re: Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings

One other thing I forgot to mention, turn Auto Low Light off.

Auto Low Light works by reducing the fps in darker situations. Since you want to be able to have video you can slow down, Auto Low light needs to be off so the camera doesn't record in 30fps (even if you are in 60fps).
Posts: 2

Re: Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings

Hey Daniel,
Thanks for the incredible response.
Posts: 12,755

Re: Gopro Hero 7 Black Recommended Settings

No problem. These are the questions that motivate me to come to this forum. Gets kinda boring telling people to use a recommended SD card and manually update 😉