Basic GoPro Lessons: MUST read before using GoPro

THIS IS A USEFUL ARTICLE. WHY?

I am also a fan of GoPro. I know that you are also like me. We both love GoPro as well as action camera. From the beginning of looking for GoPro information, I got heaps of questions that I have no ideas where I should look for the answers. Forums, google, GoPro site… I nearly get lost. This article was created to collect all the basic GoPro lessons that you must read before using GoPro, otherwise, you will look for it later. Trust me, I am that guy.

So, let’s start from the very first GoPro lesson

GOPRO LESSON 1: RESOLUTION

Resolution is the capability of a sensor to observe or measure the smallest object clearly with distinct boundaries.

 

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Hero HD: Doesn’t have 1080p. It upscales from 720 meaning the cameras processor takes the data captured by the image sensor and blows it up digitally to meet the dimensions of 1920×1080.

Hero 2: Captures true 1080p footage.

Bit Rate: Video Cameras transform moving images in front of the lens into digital data. This video data, called bits, is saved to a storage media like a flash memory card, DVD or hard disk drive. The amount of data recorded at any given second is called a bit rate, and for video cameras it’s measured in megabits (one million bits) per second, or Mbps. The more data you’re recording, the better the quality of your video.

Protune: allows the camera to capture a higher bit rate which results in better overall image quality. Hence the attraction!

1080p@24fps: 24 refers to the amount of frames per second or images per second recorded. The higher the fps – the more images captured and the greater the flexibility in post production.

300%: Most editing software(even free ones) include feature(s) enabling users to ‘zoom’ into footage. This refers to digitally scaling an area of the footage to meet the screen resolution specified.

2.7K: 2704 by 1440s screen resolution. 1.87x times larger than 1080p. Filming in 2.7k provides a lot of flexibility when scaling down footage to a more widely utilized screen resolution like 1920×1080. This large original resolution size allows for  ‘zooming’ without noticeable quality loss.

4k: 4k as a resolution isn’t the problem. It’s great. Almost 4 times the size of 1080p. This provides countless opportunities(like 2.7k but more of it). What’s useless is 12fps. This results in footage appearing more like ‘Gif images’ than HD video. It’s best to avoid until higher fps modes are available.

DOWNLOAD LESSON 1 NOTES

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GOPRO LESSON 2: FRAME RATES

Frame rate, also known as frames per second (FPS), is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames.

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Resolution: Resolution is the capability of a sensor to observe or measure the smallest object clearly with distinct boundaries.

Frame Rate: Frame rate, also known as frames per second (FPS), is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames.

Hero 3 Black Edition Resolutions/Frame Rates:

4k Cinema | 12, 12.5, 15 fps

2.7k Cinema | 30, 25, 24 fps

1440p | 48, 30, 25, 24 fps

1080p | 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps

960p | 100, 48 fps

720p | 120, 100, 60, 50 fps

WVGA | 240 fps

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24p time line: The footage captured at 30 fps is played back at 24 fps resulting in 80% (24/30=.8) times slower footage than originally recorded.

60fps@24: Footage captured at 60 fps is played back at 24 fps resulting in 40% (24/60=.4)slower footage than originally recorded.

1440p: 1920×1440

“Higher Image”: Refers to the aspect ratio: 4:3, as opposed to 1920×1080’s aspect ratio of 16:9.

Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of an image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height.

Slowed to 50%: 48 fps played at 24 fps.

Cropped to fit 1080p: Refers to removing the top and bottom portion of the footage so it’s overall height is equal to 1080.

Zoom 140% = 1080: Same as before, digitally zooming in to fit the screen resolution to 1920/1080.

4k: 3840×2160 – 12 fps is too slow for normal use.

720×1280: Enlarged to meet the screen resolution of 1920/1080. Loss in image quality not noticeable on smaller screens.

720@120 fps: 120 fps footage played back at 24 fps. Results in 5x slower than originally captured footage or 20% the original speed.

WVGA: Wide Video Graphics Array

WVGA@240 fps: Resolution of 848/480 is too small for quality video use. Zooming(200%) to meet screen resolution of 1920/1080(1080p) results in pixelation/noticeable loss in image quality.

240 fps: Played back at 24fps is 10x slower than originally captured or 10% the originally speed.

“Timeline”: Term used to describe the area of a video editor where clips are arranged and playback(fps) is determined.

DOWNLOAD LESSON 2 NOTES

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GOPRO LESSON 3: FIELD OF VIEW

The field of view is that part of the world that is visible through the camera at a particular position and orientation in space.

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GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition FOV option:

(ultra) Wide – Utilizes full image sensor before scaling to fit resolution specifications.

Medium – Uses smaller centered portion of image sensor which reduces image distortion caused by aspherical lens.

Narrow – Uses center of image sensor, no distortion present.

DOWNLOAD LESSON 3 NOTES


GoPro pairing process: Never be easier with following steps

GoPro Tutorials: How to pair your GoPro camera?

GOPRO LESSON 4: SPOT METER

In photography, spot metering refers to the way in which a camera determines the exposure.

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GoPro’s advice regarding the use of the spot meter: “Ideal for filming within a dark space with the camera pointed towards a brighter setting (such as filming outdoors from within a car).”

– In photography, exposure is the quantity of light reaching a photographic film, as determined by shutter speed and lens aperture.

– GoPro’s determine the exposure by surveying the amount of light that reaches the camera image sensor.

When using the spot meter, the portion of the image sensor used to adjust the exposure is reduced to a focused point. DSLR’s have an image overlaid in the viewfinder to represent this. To use the spot meter effectively, you simply need to point that centered focal point toward the area you wish to adjust the exposure to. As GoPro states, this is most effectively demonstrated when filming from areas that are dark to lighter areas. Such as inside a car, like in the example video.

DOWNLOAD LESSON 4 NOTES


Controlling your GoPro camera never gets easier with the Apple watch

How to control GoPro by using the Apple Watch?

GOPRO LESSON 5: WHITE BALANCE

In photography, color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of colors. An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors correctly; hence, the general method is sometimes called white balance.

Video Duration: 1:20

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The video on the left is filmed using a Hero 2 in full auto mode. No Protune. WB off meaning the camera adjust the white balance automatically.

– The video on the right, is filmed using a Hero 3 Black Edition. The purpose of this video is to show the various white balance modes available on the Hero 3 Black Edition and other models using the Hero 2 in auto as a control. Although it may seem like the Hero 2 captures better footage, that’s not true. It appears that way because the Hero 3 footage was captured using the manual white balance mode not optimal to the filming situation. In other words, the Hero 2 was in ‘auto’ which captured better footage than the Hero 3 in manual mode (predefined white balance modes). You may be asking yourself what the benefit of using the manual white balance is, that answer is simple: To provide the optimal white balance, when auto is not sufficient. In certain filming situations, when an abundance of light casting a certain color is present (like during a sunsets) cameras can have difficultly adjusting white balance automatically. This provides the opportunity for the user to step in and set the white balance manually. You can read GoPro’s advice on getting the best results below.

You may have noticed the last setting is auto but is still less appealing than the Hero 2 footage. This is because Protune is still enabled. Without post production(editing), ‘Raw’ Protune footage appears washed out or faded. The benefit of Protune are listed below.

– In photography, color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of colors. An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors correctly; hence, the general method is sometimes called white balance.

GoPro Advice:

Adjusts video and photo color tones to match different lighting conditions.

  • Auto
  • 3000 K: use in warm light (incandescent, sunrise/sunset)
  • 5500 K: use in slightly cool light (cool fluorescent, average daylight)
  • 6500 K: use in cool light (overcast conditions)

Protune: 

Advanced video mode that yields stunning image quality and cinema-caliber video optimized for professional productions, giving content creators more flexibility and workflow efficiency.

  • Captures images with less compression, giving content creators higher quality for professional productions.
  • Neutral color profile offers more flexibility during post-production color correction. Protune’s log curve captures more detail in shadows and highlights.
  • Records video in cinema-quality 24 fps, allowing you to easily intercut GoPro content with other source media without the need to perform fps conversion.

DOWNLOAD LESSON 5 NOTES

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Here step by step 

How to Live-Stream Video with GoPro

GOPRO LESSON 6: PROTUNE

Protune is a suite of features designed to enhance image capture from your GoPro, while still being accessible to every GoPro user.

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Protune: Advanced video mode that yields stunning image quality and cinema-caliber video optimized for professional productions, giving content creators more flexibility and workflow efficiency.

– Captures images with less compression, giving content creators higher quality for professional productions.

– Neutral color profile offers more flexibility during post-production color correction. Protune’s log curve captures more detail in shadows and highlights.

– Records video in cinema-quality 24 fps, allowing you to easily intercut GoPro content with other source media without the need to perform fps conversion.

Firmware is software that is embedded in a piece of hardware.

Bit Rate: GoPro’s (video cameras) transform moving images in front of the lens into digital data. This video data, called bits, is saved to a storage media like a flash memory card, DVD or hard disk drive.

– The amount of data recorded at any given second is called a bit rate, and for video cameras it’s measured in megabits (one million bits) per second, or Mbps. The more data you’re recording, the better the quality of your video.

Protune: allows the camera to capture a higher bit rate which results in better overall image quality. Hence the attraction!

– Class 2 Video Cards are suitable for standard-definition video recording, while Class 4 and Class 6 can record high-definition video. Class 10 is the card for HD video and “HD still consecutive recording”

DOWNLOAD LESSON 6 NOTES

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GOPRO LESSON 7: FILMING TECHNIQUES

Creating amazing videos

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– Plan out your shots before filming.

– Hold on subjects for at least 5 seconds.

– Always keep your back to the primary light source. Or make sure your subject are facing the light!

– The pizza box is acting as a ‘Reflector’, a tool commonly used in photography and video production for directing light effectively. For amateur video, the above rule should keep you from needing a reflector. Although, I guess you could always use a pizza box.

Camera stabilization: With regards to GoPro’s, their tiny, make a lot of noise when handled directly during filming(internal microphone) and otherwise should not be used with a tripod or camera stabilizer. Even resting the camera against the ground or a nearby object is often better than handheld footage. It’s best to always use a tripod or camera stabilizer.

Panning: In photography, panning refers to the rotation in a horizontal plane of a still camera or video camera. Conversely, a tilting shot refers to the rotation in a vertical place of a still camera or video camera. Put simply: side to side movements are called “panning shots” and up and down movements are called “tilting shots”.

Composition: is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art.

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To be continued. In the next article, you will learn about:

  • Composition
  • Time Lapse Photography
  • Slow Motion
  • DIY Camera Stabilizer
  • GoPro App
  • GoPro Studio 2.0
  • Editing Workflow