07-04-2019 02:47 PM
Appreciate any help, thanks in advance!
07-04-2019 03:59 PM
07-05-2019 12:54 AM
07-05-2019 02:34 AM
I wrote the following to another member who was asking about settings. I'll paste the reply here. It's pretty detailed, but should answer your questions.
The rest of this post is going to be very long and detailed. I suggest you print it out for reference and also so you can use it to ask follow up questions. I also suggest you read the following articles by a GoPro media developer (an actual GoPro employee who makes their videos, not some YouTube wanna be). Read these articles in this order even though they are not all specifically about your camera).
Now, to really go into detail and answer your three questions, a little history about movies and videos is required. Originally, movies were recorded in 16fps. These old black and white movies didn't have live sound recorded to them and instead had subtitle cards displayed and would have music played over the entirety of the film. Latter, an analog sound-on-disc system called Vitaphone was developed to allow for syncing of the actors voices to the movie. To be able to sync properly, the film had to be recorded in 24fps. As technology developed, the cinema standard became recording at 24fps and is still considered more, "Cinematic" looking to many people.
TV and video changed the standard to 30fps. This is because of the US power standard, which uses Alternating Current cycles as 60 sine waves per second. Because of this, TVs were designed for screen updating every 30 frames or two fields of 15 frames each second. To get the best video image, video created for TV traditionally is recorded at 30fps.
Now, with typical computer monitors having a refresh rate of 60Hz, and the latest gaming displays reaching all the way to 240Hz, higher frame rates can be used for even crisper and cleaner looking video. For this reason, many videos that are uploaded to online sources like YouTube use 60fps.
Taking the above into account, the "best" answer to your first question is, "it depends". if you are mainly going to be watching your videos on TV or from a computer or mobile device, the 30 or 60 fps is best. If you want to record for cinema, then 24fps is generally accepted as the "most cinematic".
The decision for choosing a resolution is also dependent on a few factors. higher resolutions take a lot of processing power. This applies to the camera, the video editor/computer, and to the display device. When streaming from a service like YouTube or Vimeo, the amount of bandwidth to transfer the data also comes into play. No matter how high of a resolution and bitrate the video might originally be in when uploaded, YouTube will automatically re-encode the video to a lower and more suitable bitrate and fps for them to display and stream the video efficiently.
For this reason, it's not uncommon to have a beautiful video that plays great directly on your computer, but when you upload it to YouTube suddenly it doesn't look as great or has a lot of artifact. This is one of the reasons why so many "review" videos of cameras are so worthless, because they don't accurately show the capability of the camera. If the reviewer doesn't export and upload the video correctly, it can make even the best cameras look pretty bad.
Your computer and editing software also comes into play when deciding the resolution to record in. You can use Proxies to assist the editing process, but basically if your system cannot handle the higher resolution effectively, it can make editing very laborious and difficult to do.
Higher resolutions do give a better picture when displayed on large screens. however, if the screen is the size of a computer monitor, mobile device, or just an average TV, then the improvement really isn't noticeable. 1080p is High definition so if you aren't watching the video on a screen that supports higher resolution, then there is virtually no benefit to higher resolutions.
Having said all of that, there is a major benefit to recording in higher resolutions. Mostly, this comes when it's time to edit the video. When editing, you decide the sequence settings for your timeline (the place where you put all the video clips together). The sequence's basic settings tell it what type of video you want to create when you export your video. The most important settings are the resolution (size) of the video and how many frames per second to make it (fps).
If you take a 4K video clip and put it into a 1080p sequence, the video clip size will be much bigger than the 1080p sequence borders. If you scale down the video to about 50%, the entire video clip now will fit inside the 1080p boarder. If you leave the video at 100% scale it will basically give you the same effect as if you had zoomed the video, but without losing any resolution or clarity. if you plan on doing a lot of zooming and re-framing, and will use a 1080p sequence, then using a higher resolution to record in can be very beneficial.
For "Best" settings and in different scenarios, the "Best" answer is, It depends. Available light and how you are going to edit really plays more of an impact that a given scenario. For this reason, you want to know and understand all of the camera settings and have a good idea of how they work in different situations, and then make the changes that best suit your artistic needs and desires.
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.
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.
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:
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).
MIN ISO 100
MAX ISO 400
WB Auto (I prefer to select this manually, but in general, Auto is fine)
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).
BEST SETTING: Auto
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.
BEST SETTING: FLAT
For hiking and action with a 1st person POV, and when you might get 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 facing 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. Head strap/Hat clip or Helmet mounted on a chinbar looks best, followed by side helmet mounted and then Chesty or backpack strap mounted. Of course, with the amazing Hypersmooth stabilization of the HERO7 black, a selfie stick or just holding the camera in your hand also looks great.
I usually use the following for low light/night video.
Shutter: Auto (sometimes I set this manually)
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)
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- http://www.videosoftdev.com/free-video-editor/download.
DaVinci Resolve https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve
You'll want to select a playback speed of somewhere in the 24fps-30fps range. If you need by percentage, these are safe slow motion settings.
240fps slowed by 25% - 10%
120fps slowed by 50% - 20%
60fps slowed by 50% - 40%
48fps slowed by 62.5% - 50%
07-05-2019 02:37 PM - edited 07-05-2019 06:31 PM
These are great references, @danielr15. You're awesome!
@connor09 I appreciate you reaching out. Stay stoked, and have fun capturing moments using your GoPro!