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Sightseer
Posts: 2
Accepted Solution

Shooting in nightclubs - (Hero 7 Black & an early Hero 5 Black as well)

I work in nightclubs with a DJ and would like to know the best settings to have for this type of shooting.
Obviously it’s low light / dark but there’s also often moments of bright lights and lasers etc.

Has anyone tried different setting combos and what would you recommend.
I use the footage for promo and often slow the footage down etc in post,

Accepted Solutions
Adventurer
Posts: 10,340

Re: Shooting in nightclubs - (Hero 7 Black & an early Hero 5 Black as well)

4K (4:3)/24fps is generally good for low light; however, you mention slow motion which will require higher frame rates.  Hypersmooth stabilization is not great n low light, so I'd just trun this off.  Since you need at least 60fps for slow motion, 4K/60fps or 2.7K/60fps is going to be your best bet.  Using Protune or not mostly comes down to your editing and what you consider acceptable noise/grain.  The lower your ISO the less noise/grain you will have, but also the darker the image will be.  100-400 ISO will look very good, but will be dark.  100-800 will allow for a slightly brighter image, but there will be more noise.  1600 ISO and greater is pretty noisy.  If you have an editor like NEAT video, then you can remove the noise and use these settings.

 

Having Protune off uses a different curve that doesn't dynamically pull more detail out of shadow.  If the scene is prety dark, sometimes it's better to not use Protune as the blacks will be darker and you wont get as much noise (however you will also lose detail).

 

If you do use Protune,

 

Shutter should be auto to allow the camera to adjust to bright lights.  If you set the ev to -0.5 or -1 it will make the image darker, but will force the camera to use a faster shutter.  This is beneficial to prevent too much motion blur as if it's too dark, the camera will expose for the entire frame causing considerable blur. If you are using 60fps, you want a shutter of 1/120 or faster (1/240, 1/480...).  Since you will be using Auto to compensate for the bright lights, reducing the ev can help keep the shutter from dropping to 1/60.

 

ISO MIN & MAX is difficult as too low and the image will be way too dark.  Too high and the noise/grain will make the image look like crap.  Do a test shot with a MAX of 400 and then 800.  If the 800 looks ok, use that.  For the MIN, 100 is fine.

 

WB is something I like to set manually. In daylight shots Auto is usually fine, but in low light I feel it works best to either set the WB kelvin temp or use Native.  Native is tricky and harder to correct in post editing, so the safest bet is to just set this yourself.  You'll have to figure out what looks best when you get to your location.

 

Sharpness is best kept on Low in low light.  This softens the image, but also helps reduce some of the noise.  You can always add sharpness in post editing.

 

Color is generally best when set to Flat, however this comes down to your editing/Color Grading.  Also, using Flat utilizes a different grading curve (see comments above) and that can make shadows a little noisier.  I would probably use Flat, but you might find GoPro color is better for you.  Honestly, doing some test shots is really the best way to determine all of these settings for yourself.

 

Hope this helps.

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All Replies
Adventurer
Posts: 10,340

Re: Shooting in nightclubs - (Hero 7 Black & an early Hero 5 Black as well)

4K (4:3)/24fps is generally good for low light; however, you mention slow motion which will require higher frame rates.  Hypersmooth stabilization is not great n low light, so I'd just trun this off.  Since you need at least 60fps for slow motion, 4K/60fps or 2.7K/60fps is going to be your best bet.  Using Protune or not mostly comes down to your editing and what you consider acceptable noise/grain.  The lower your ISO the less noise/grain you will have, but also the darker the image will be.  100-400 ISO will look very good, but will be dark.  100-800 will allow for a slightly brighter image, but there will be more noise.  1600 ISO and greater is pretty noisy.  If you have an editor like NEAT video, then you can remove the noise and use these settings.

 

Having Protune off uses a different curve that doesn't dynamically pull more detail out of shadow.  If the scene is prety dark, sometimes it's better to not use Protune as the blacks will be darker and you wont get as much noise (however you will also lose detail).

 

If you do use Protune,

 

Shutter should be auto to allow the camera to adjust to bright lights.  If you set the ev to -0.5 or -1 it will make the image darker, but will force the camera to use a faster shutter.  This is beneficial to prevent too much motion blur as if it's too dark, the camera will expose for the entire frame causing considerable blur. If you are using 60fps, you want a shutter of 1/120 or faster (1/240, 1/480...).  Since you will be using Auto to compensate for the bright lights, reducing the ev can help keep the shutter from dropping to 1/60.

 

ISO MIN & MAX is difficult as too low and the image will be way too dark.  Too high and the noise/grain will make the image look like crap.  Do a test shot with a MAX of 400 and then 800.  If the 800 looks ok, use that.  For the MIN, 100 is fine.

 

WB is something I like to set manually. In daylight shots Auto is usually fine, but in low light I feel it works best to either set the WB kelvin temp or use Native.  Native is tricky and harder to correct in post editing, so the safest bet is to just set this yourself.  You'll have to figure out what looks best when you get to your location.

 

Sharpness is best kept on Low in low light.  This softens the image, but also helps reduce some of the noise.  You can always add sharpness in post editing.

 

Color is generally best when set to Flat, however this comes down to your editing/Color Grading.  Also, using Flat utilizes a different grading curve (see comments above) and that can make shadows a little noisier.  I would probably use Flat, but you might find GoPro color is better for you.  Honestly, doing some test shots is really the best way to determine all of these settings for yourself.

 

Hope this helps.

Sightseer
Posts: 2

Re: Shooting in nightclubs - (Hero 7 Black & an early Hero 5 Black as well)

Many thanks for this super detailed reply !
I really appreciate it - I’ll give this a go tonight.

Cheers,
Dane
GoPro
Posts: 1,491

Re: Shooting in nightclubs - (Hero 7 Black & an early Hero 5 Black as well)

Awesome! @toughvista3226, these are great inputs from @danielr15. Stay stoked, and have fun capturing moments using your GoPro!