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Hiker
Posts: 60

Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras

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I'll throw one more feature request into the abyss.

 

It would be great to grab the GPS time at the start of a recording and embed that into the video as the timecode.  That would help those of us who use multiple GoPros to synchronize the footage in post via timecode.  If the clocks just aren't accurate enough to have continuously running timecode then perhaps a sync point where the GPS time is embedded as several frames in the video as an automatic slate would be perfect.  So the idea is to ideally embed timecode based on a GPS time lookup at the beginning of a recording and then use the internal clock for ongoing timecode..  But if that won't work then simply have each camera grab the GPS time at the beginning of a recording and generate a timecode slate picture (e.g. clapperboard) and embed that as a frame in the video within the first 3 seconds of a clip.  That would allow multiple cameras to be synchronized fairly easily and even more accurately in post.

 

RIght now I clap my hands and synchronize to the claps.  But sometimes I forget to clap.  This feature would easily replace that mechanism and possibly allow video editors to synchronize automatically if you can actually embed the timecode.

GoPro
Posts: 1,104

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras

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Did you not read the list of features? 

All the features are listed here: https://community.gopro.com/t5/en/GoPro-Labs-QR-Control/ta-p/603196

You will want to read this in particular: https://gopro.github.io/labs/control/gpssync/

 

 

Hiker
Posts: 60

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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Thanks.  I did miss that, and that is about 90% of this request.  If only it worked on the Hero8 I would try it out!

Hiker
Posts: 32

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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It works on the GP7 -- Logic tells me it would also work on the GP8. 

 

I experimented with this feature --- Date/Time Sync a couple of weeks ago. Both cam's were sync'd together - Then both were programmed to Speed Trigger at a set speed value. I have a pair of GP7's and use as in-car cams for my sand car. 

 

My objective was to compare both cam's video's and see how many frames difference between. My goal was to create a pic-n-pic video 1st without doing any post editing regarding sync'ing. It worked very well -- Only just a ever so slight difference -- Not so much in the video although if one concentrated on viewing there was a slight difference. Where sync'd really played a part was in audio - As I had each camera's active. Very easy in post to trun off one audio stream and then one doesn't notice any sync issue in the rendered video. With both audio's active I would get an echo effect. 

 

It is also so much easier now to slightly trim one video to sync both together. I've been doing PnP video's for many years -- This Labs Beta Firmware has made my life now so much easier. 

 

If you've 2 cams Ron -- Give it a try. 

GoPro
Posts: 1,104

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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It only works on HERO9, not MAX, HERO7 or 8.  It would have been too much work to back port the GPS improvements in HERO9 to the earlier cameras.

 

For all other cameras it is best to use precision time just before capture starts https://gopro.github.io/labs/control/precisiontime/

Hiker
Posts: 32

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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Just to clarify my post above -- Precision Date/Time is the feature I used to sync both my GP7's. 

 

Hiker
Posts: 60

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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Yeah, I use that too and it's good....but that simply sets the clocks when you do it. Don't get me wrong, I love that feature and I synchronize the clocks that way. That said, the timecode feature this is talking about is something different. You know if you sync the clocks and start and stop two cams frequently the videos themselves still won't line up exactly and you have to shift up or back depending on the difference in time between the remote control starting one record and another. This feature would ensure that regardless of the start time on the cameras the two videos would line up.
Hiker
Posts: 60

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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That's unfortunate 0dan0... we really need this on the Hero8 which hopefully GoPro still has a team working on! Please at least submit this as a "bug/feature" request for the Hero8 for us...it's been sorely needed for quite some time! Also, I hope you guys are thinking about some way to open source this so that those of us who are software engineers could extend the functionality as you internal guys are doing! For example, I would certainly port your GPS changes back to the Hero8 if I had access to the code!
Hiker
Posts: 60

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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yep...that's a different feature...but a good one that I use everyday!
GoPro
Posts: 1,104

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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The precision time is good for about 1/5 of second precision, if you don't power the cameras off between starts. It doesn't matter when the different cameras captures start, as the timecode uses the RTC.  So the timecode is about +/-4 frames (at 24p) using this visual jam sync method. If the cameras are shutdown between starts, the time precision is more like +/-12 frames. Using the GPS on the HERO9, the time precision improves to around +/- 1 frame for most captures, but it is not perfect, and can deviate more as the camera was not designed to do this. The time critical events are focused on stable and quality video capture, attempting to set timecode via GPS with the highest precision, is not a bug, but an architectural decision. 
 
Labs features are only ever intended to model what could be in a future camera, were the new feature can be designed in. If GPS Sync is popular, it might appear with perfect precision in a future camera.
Hiker
Posts: 60

Re: Feature Request: Labs Support for Better Syncing Between Cameras (Hero8)

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Thanks for the details and I understand the prioritization....essentially you're saying if it's a heavy lift you'll never support prior versions of the camera even though they may still be in the support window....got it.  I understand the business decision on that one even though I disagree with it :).  I'm sure the decision may change when competitors finally catch up, but for now it's not a bad decision unless you're like me...a customer holding a perfectly good and recent camera.

 

Unfortunately I have to start and stop video recordings frequently..... I've posted suggestions on this forum many months ago to support looping at 2.7K 24fps with 10 minute intervals.... but essentially I have to emulate looping so as not to have 5+ hours of unwanted footage.  I kayak fish and film it so my gopros are powered and running the whole time.  I start and stop so that I don't have unwanted footage and I manually hilite on the camera I can reach.... that's another feature request I submitted which would be to essentially let me hilite from the remote so that both cameras get the hilite.... the hilite tells me the footage that I need to keep.  Which leads to another feature request I've submitted which would be to allow the camera to put an "h" or "hilite" in the filename of the files with hilites so that I don't have to import all of the files only to filter out and delete the ones that do not have hilites.

 

But essentially, since I have to start and stop the camera, the precision time helps but not enough.  It would be great to both (1) have the GPS timecode feature supported on the Hero9, and (2) the slate feature that I also describe in this feature request.  With both of those it would minimize the amount of time it takes to synchronize multicam footage.

 

To see my multicam GoPro kayak setup and understand what we (yes many other Kayak fishermen with GoPros complain about the same thing) you can see it on my blog - https://www.kayakfishingaddict.com/2020/06/my-gopro-setup-for-kayak-fishing-how-to.html