Understanding Video in the HERO4

HERO4 Series
New Features of the HERO4
Understanding Video in the HERO4
Understanding Photos in the HERO4

The HERO4 Black takes the already high quality modes you’re used to in the HERO3+ and builds upon those with higher quality video and a whole new set of resolutions and frame-rates. If you are new to GoPro, I recommend a quick read through ‘Understanding your GoPro’ to get to know how the GoPro does its processing, fields of views, and other image attributes I mention below. Also, if you haven’t already checked out the post ‘New Features of the HERO3+’, I recommend glancing through that.  Everything introduced in the HERO3+ holds true for the HERO4 including the lens properties, new software additions, color profiles, etc.

4K-30 Colored Frame Grab from DJI Phantom 2 – ProTune, GoPro Color, ISO 400, Sharpening Low, EV Comp 0

ProTune for Video in the HERO4

ProTune is a setting in the HERO4 that, if enabled, will force high bit-rate for all video modes (up to 60 Mbit/s) as well as activates a few adjustable video settings – White Balance, Color Tuning, ISO Limit, Sharpening, and Exposure Compensation. Prior to the HERO3+ v2.0 firmware update, this setting was only recommended for professionals due to the flat color style; however, I now recommend everyone to be using ProTune due to new changes we’ve pushed through. At the most basic level, if you enable ProTune and don’t touch the settings, your video footage will look exactly the same as it did without ProTune, but higher quality (higher bit-rate). We can dive a bit deeper and learn about the effects of the different settings, and how they can be used to increase the quality of your footage.

White Balance
White balance basically determines the color temperature of your footage (cool to warm).  By default this is set to Auto which generally does a good job in all conditions. To lock off the color temperature, you can set this to the different Kelvin values between 3000K & 6500K. 3000K will cast your footage blue relative to neutral, while 6500K is quite warm/yellow compared to neutral. Lastly is a setting called ‘Native’ which won’t apply any WB correction matrix (formerly called ‘Cam-Raw’). If you’re going to change this setting, using the app or a screen helps quite a bit.

Color Tuning
Color tuning is the overall color, contrast, and saturation settings of your video.  There are two options – GoPro Color, and Flat.  GoPro color is the standard color tuning that you’ll get out of the box – higher saturation, contrast, and accurate colors.  Previous versions of GoPro ProTune defaulted to Flat which is a more neutral color profile.  Flat should only be used if you’re an experienced color corrector or are trying to match GoPro footage to other video sources in post. If you’re worried about dynamic range, Flat comes in a stop below GoPro color to give a bit more latitude in the highlights. Flat will appear to have more grain in low light because it pulls up the shadows; however if you apply either a ProTune LUT or basic curve over the footage, it will drop the grain into the blacks.

ISO Limit
ISO Limit tells the camera how bright it should get in darker scenes by affecting the digital gain added to the video.  By default it’s set to 6400.  This means in a dark room it will use digital light gain to make it brighter and compensate for the darkness.  The brightness comes at a price, which is noisy footage (grain, spots, etc).  As you set the ISO limit lower, the footage will appear darker, but also cleaner with less noise.  ISO limit won’t ever affect video footage during daylight or in bright situations because the camera won’t need to use the extra ISO boost.  400 is the darkest/cleanest looking footage, while 6400 is the brightest and noisiest footage. I personally keep this at 400 at all times since I don’t ever want grainy footage.

The Sharpness setting affects just that – the digital sharpness in the video.  A GoPro lens is only sharp to a certain point.  After that digital sharpness is added to make the footage appear sharper.  By default it’s set to high, which will make your footage pop and appear sharp.  This setting allows you to lower the digital sharpness if you like a smoother looking video, or plan to add sharpness in post. I prefer low sharpening at all times to get smooth, clean looking video.

Exposure Compensation
The last setting in ProTune is Exposure Compensation/Bias which lets you tell the camera whether to always be slightly lighter or darker than normal.  By default it’s set to 0.  If you set it to +2.0, the footage will appear to be 2 “stops” lighter in all situations. In photography if you go up by 1 “stop” you’re doubling the amount of light that gets let into the camera.  If you set the exposure bias to +2.0 the footage will be 4 times brighter than normal.  Similarly if you set it to -2.0 it will be 4 times darker than normal. Careful when adjusting this – there’s no indication on the UI once it’s set – be sure to check this value regularly if you are prone to changing it now and then. I keep this at 0 for most things. On occasion if it’s a varied scene with a mixture of bright highlights and dark shadows, dropping it to -0.5 can help save some highlights.

Abe’s Go-To ProTune Settings for Max Image Quality:

White Balance: Auto
Color Profile: GoPro (Flat if you prefer detailed manual grading)
ISO Limit: 400
Sharpening: Low
EV Compensation: 0 (-0.5 to save highlights)

Video Modes in the HERO4 Black

The following list is my personal review of each new mode that appears in the HERO4 Black – I mainly focus on image quality and utilize this information to maximize the overall visual quality of my videos. If you’re up for it, learning when and how to use each mode will guarantee a higher quality final output.

Explanation of Terms
POV: Cameras mounted to your head, chest, or other point of view of  action.
Mounted: Similar to POV but usually refers to cameras mounted to physical objects (cars, skis, bikes, etc).
B-Roll: Any other camera mount (handheld, pole follow-cam, glide-cam, interview cameras)


  • 4K – 24 & 30 – Wide

    This is a new standard of quality for the HERO4 and my favorite mode when I don’t need slow motion. In editing, even when scaled to 1080P, you instantly know when you’re looking at a 4K shot vs a 2.7K shot. The level of detail and clarity is stunning, especially with good outdoor light. At 60 MBit/s 4K is pretty much max-ing out the data flow, so when you film extremely high motion scenes you’ll start to see a bit of compression blocking. That being said, it still holds up well and looks great for most applications.

    Anything you don’t need slow motion! Quadcopters, B-Roll, interviews, etc. 16:9 frame has a less immersive feel for POV so a 4:3 mode is generally better for fast action POV. Use 24 FPS for slightly better low light performance. Look to higher frame rates for reduced rolling shutter on mounts with a lot of vibration.

  • 4K SuperView – 24

    This takes advantage of the full frame of the sensor, pulling the images from the taller 4:3 aspect ratio and dynamically stretching them down to 16:9 4K. This gives you more view above and below what would be your normal 16:9 frame. It looks great but should generally only be used for POV/mounted shots; otherwise, the dynamic stretch may give undesirable distortion over your footage.

    This will be big for action sports films that want to take advantage of 4K and good immersive POV.

  • 2.7K – 60 – Wide & Medium

    This looks almost identical to the 2.7K 30 we’re used to in the HERO3+ but at 60 FPS, so it’s a stunning mode to use. This is my new ‘everything’ standard for filming non-POV footage. I use this in place of 1080-60 in the HERO3+. Medium will naturally have a bit more grain in lower light as you’re cropping in on the sensor and are closer to actual pixel size without scaling.

    Mounted non-POV, auto, B-Roll, drones, pole-cam, diving, etc. 60 FPS will help with reducing rolling shutter on mounts with high vibration, compared to 30 FPS.

  • 2.7K 4:3 – 30

    Similar to 1440P, this mode takes advantage of the full 4:3 aspect ratio of the sensor. It has the same width dimensions as 2.7K but is taller with a height of 2028 px (vs 1524 px of 2.7K). This mode can take the place of 1440-30 (my old favorite mode in the HERO3+). I use this anytime I want to capture the most real, immersive, and real-time POV (no slow motion). I utilize dynamic stretch techniques to pop it into a 16:9 frame when editing.

    Anything POV that doesn’t need slow motion. This is great for wearing on your chest or head to capture daily life, behind the scenes work, car driving, etc. Works well indoors & outdoors.

  • 2.7K Superview – 30

    This mode takes the tall 4:3 frame captured in 2.7K 4:3 and dynamically stretches it down to a 2.7K 16:9 frame. If you want quick and immersive POV footage without dynamically stretching the footage yourself, this is a great mode to use.

    Anything POV that doesn’t need slow motion. Use this over 4K Superview when 24 FPS isn’t enough. This will work well in low light situations.

  • 1440 – 60

    This is the 4:3 version of 1080, so it’s the same width as 1080P but taller at 1440 px vertically. The HERO3+ has this mode in 30 and 48 FPS. HERO4 Black adds 60 and 80 FPS to the list. 1440-60 takes the same quality we’ve had with 1440-48 in HERO3+, but brings it up to 60 FPS. It’s a welcomed addition; you can feel the increase in FPS when slowing the footage down to 50%. As with 1440-48 in the HERO3+, when looking at 100% you’ll see very slight jagged edges/aliasing compared against 1440-30. This is due to it being processed slightly differently to get the combination of high resolution and high frame rate. This is my go-to mode for all around great high action POV. I utilize the dynamic stretch techniques to properly put this into a 16×9 timeline.

    Anything POV that you may want to slow down in editing.

  • 1440 – 80

    When you make the jump from 1440-60 to 80, there’s a slight change in quality. You’ll see a bit more aliasing on hard edges in 1440-80 when comparing to 1440-60 or 48. It’s the same quality you’ll see in 1080-120 Wide, so these two modes mix and match well. In editing you can slow this down to 37.5% of original speed and still retain 30 FPS.

    High action POV that you want to capture better slow motion. Generally you’ll want to stick to outdoors; avoid using this in lowlight or dark indoor areas.

  • 1080 – 90 & 120 – Wide

    1080-90 and 1080-120 are identical in image quality and processing. When looking closely against 4K or 1080-60, you may notice aliased edges similar to that of 1440-80. It looks great on the web.

    Any high action moments you want to slow down a lot that require the full wide angle of the GoPro. If image quality is your highest priority, look to 2.7K-48 or 1080-60. 1080-90 will handle slightly better with lower light, but generally you’ll want to stick to good light outdoors with these modes.

  • 1080 – 120 – Narrow

    This is an amazing new mode that looks very similar to 1080-60 Narrow in the HERO3+. It’s clean, gets rid of the wide angle, and shoots at 120 FPS in full HD. You can try quick moving shots or not worry about being as smooth with the camera since you can slow down the moments so much. This mode will appear noisier compared against 1080-60 wide when looking at 100% since it’s cropping so narrowly into the center of the sensor, and it’s not getting a ton of light while capturing at 120 FPS.

    Try this on a drone or pole cam for interesting slow motion shots. It will add something extra and different to your videos! Remember to have plenty of light since the frame rate is so high.

  • 1080 Superview – 60

    HERO3+ has this mode as well; however, the quality has been upgraded slightly in the HERO4. This mode is very clean and a great setting to use for anything POV (if you don’t want to deal with 4:3 aspect ratios of 1440.)

    Anything/Everything POV – beautiful image quality. Use this over 1080 Superview – 80 if you’re looking for the best image quality.

  • 1080 Superview – 80

    Similar to 1440, when you make the jump from 60 FPS to 80 you’ll see slightly more aliasing in the image. When comparing against 1440-80 or 1080-90 at 100% this mode will have a bit better quality since it’s scaling down from a larger 1440 frame.

    High action POV – use this over 60 FPS if you’re looking for better slow motion.

  • 960 – 120

    960 – 100 is in the HERO3+ and GoPro has taken the same mode and added 20 more FPS. This is still the go-to mode if you want the best slow motion for your high action POV moments. This is also one of the best modes to use for Instagram video – the 4:3 aspect ratio is closer to a square and it has great slow motion. For normal 16:9 video sharing, if you utilize the dynamic stretch tricks in post, the quality generally holds up well against higher resolutions.

    Highest/fast action POV that you want to slow down. Surf barrels, skate trick POV, cliff diving, etc.

  • 720 Superview – 120

    720 Superview 120 is a great, clean mode to get the best slow motion for your high action POV moments. It’s similar to 960-120; however, this mode simply dynamically stretches the 4:3 video into a 16:9 frame for you.  Clarity-wise, it will be tough to hold up well next to 4K; however, used in the right way, and sparingly, could work well in a high quality video online.

    Highest/fast action POV that you want to slow down. Surf barrels, skate trick POV, cliff diving, etc.

Abe’s Go-To Modes for Maximum Image Quality:

Non-POV without Slow Motion: 4K-30
Non-POV with Slow Motion: 2.7K – 60 Wide & Medium, 1080-120 Narrow
POV without Slow Motion: 2.7K 4:3 – 30 or 2.7K Superview 30, 4K Superview 24
POV with Slow Motion: 1440-60 or 1080 Superview 60, 960-120 or 720 Superview 120


Read my reviews of the modes for the HERO4 Silver/HERO3 & HERO3+ Black Edition – Understanding your GoPro

4K-30 Colored Frame Grab from DJI Phantom 2 – ProTune, GoPro Color, ISO 400, Sharpening Low, EV Comp 0

Spot Meter & Auto Lowlight

There’s two more video settings that can affect the overall look of your video – Spot Meter and Auto Lowlight. These are both located outside of ProTune. Spot meter is accessible for all video modes, while auto lowlight is only accessible in modes above 30 FPS.

Spot Meter
Spot meter changes the way the camera auto exposes for light in a scene.  If active, the camera will look to the center of the frame to adjust for light rather than look at a scene as a whole.  This is handy when you’re mounting the camera in a car looking forward and you’d like to see the road, not inside the car.  Normally the camera will adjust for the darkness of the car and the road will be pretty bright.  With spot meter on it will make the inside of the car dark and adjust the light for the road more properly.


Auto Lowlight
If you are filming in slow-motion modes (60 FPS, 120 FPS, etc), the camera will automatically reduce the frame rate in the middle of a video when it’s dark out.  Naturally if you’re filming at 30 FPS (30 frames in one second) you’ll have more light being let into the camera than if you’re filming at 60 FPS (60 frames in one second).  If this setting is set to ON, it will switch your video from 60 FPS down to 30 automatically when faced with dark situations.  I personally always keep this off because if I want to film in slow motion, I’ll choose 60 FPS, and if I want to get better lowlight, I’ll choose 30 FPS.  This lets you set one mode and forget about it, if you want.  It’s only available on frame rates 48 or higher. Keep in mind this won’t have any additional advantages over filming in a low frame rate.


The HERO4 Black is the next generation of video device for the masses. The dynamic life-like scenes you can capture with 4K and 2.7K 4:3, coupled with the awesome slow motion of 1080-120 and other versatile modes make this camera truly unique. I can’t wait for filmmakers and adventurers around the world to get their hands on this camera to start creating the next wave of incredible media online. Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions – shoot them below! Feel free to help others out as well!


New Features of the HERO3+

Understanding Photos in the HERO4

New Features of the HERO4

  • Pingback: Understanding Photos in the HERO4()

  • Jacob

    What video mode would you use for snow skiing or snowboarding?

    • I don’t think about modes dependent on activity – if you read through this post I talk about what my usage will be – skiing is mostly B-Roll with slow motion, so 2.7K-48 or POV with slow motion so 1440-60 or 1080 Superview 60

      • I now recommend everyone to be using ProTune due to new changes we’ve pushed through. At the most basic level, if you enable ProTune and don’t touch the settings, your video footage will look exactly the same as it did without ProTune, but higher quality (higher bit-rate). We can dive a bit deeper and learn about the effects of the different settings, and how they can be used to increase the quality of your footage.

  • Matt

    Great post Abe, very helpful and appreciated! Look forward to more

  • Josse

    What mode would you choose for concerts and events like Tomorrowland during the night (though with a decent amount of light from stages and such) for the HERO4? I experimented with protune 2.0 on the 3+, though the ISO400 footage was slightly too dark to be really useful, a higher ISO would probably make protune to grainy. Could you elaborate a bit on how you did the Tomorrowland shots for instance? I saw a panamora-cube (or so?) on the live feed constantly either behind the DJ or in front of the crowd, which basically was a long pole with several GoPros attached to it, was that yours? Any word on when a longer video of that will show up? A couple of you guys are in the live set Steve Aoki posted (at the Dim Mak stage) haha!

    • Most of the Tomorrowland shots were 4K-30, 2.7K-4:3 or 2.7K-30 with ISO at 400, sometimes at 800. The 400 will get you really clean darks, but you’ll definitely want a lot of light to make it look good.

      • JonLea

        Hi Abe,

        There doesn’t seem to be an ISO limit of 800 built-in. The ISO limits in Protune are set at 400, 1600, 6400. It skips the options all in between. How did you achieve 800?

  • Bryce Twyman

    Hey Abe, great post, thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to get my hands on the HERO 4! Just purchased a DSLR though, so won’t be for a while…

    Considering most other frame rates have been doubled, I was wondering what the reason was for not including a 720-240 mode? Could the processor not handle it? Would it generate too much heat?

    Thanks a lot and loving the updates to the photo streams!

    • Robert Oreški

      By specs of processor, it should be able to handle that, I think heat wouldn’t be problem as it’s not big problem for 4k or 1080p 120fps, so my guess is that they left that for future update, hope to see it soon

      • Pablowwww

        And… it’s… here!

  • Josh

    Hey Abe! Would you mind sharing a new screenshot of your render settings for YouTube? I know you posted one previously for the older cameras but I’m guessing things change for 4k and the higher bitrates.

    • Good call – I actually haven’t uploaded anything in 4K other than the GoPro launch video, I can look to see what we settled on. I think we pushed the bit-rate high just to make sure we were getting the best quality.

      • This may sound stupid, but how often do you shoot 4k video to use in a 1080p video? So that you can get large, detailed footage that you can just scale down and crop?

  • Pete Hodgson

    Thanks ABE, U DA MAN!!

  • David Harrysson

    I have no experience of gopros in the past and just got a hero4 black for my trip to thailand this winter. I´ll be filming some snorkeling using the gopole reach. What video mode do you recommend? I really like the smooth 60 fps “smoothness” when I just try some filming in my backyard. I´m afraid 4K at 30 fps will be to “choppy”.

    • 1080-60 is great still or 2.7K-48!

      • David Harrysson

        Thanks Abe! Will there be a problem if I shoot at 2,7k-48 under water and 4k-30 on land and try to mix/edit the vids together in gopro studio 2.5? I´m totally new to shooting film.

  • John F

    Hey Abe what do you recommend for a hero4 25p 4k protune workflow in premiere pro cc? is a transcode to a pro res option the best bet for scrubbing, warp stabiliser etc? Your 4k 30 frame grabs above have a real nice look are you able to share any info on the grading process?


  • Marie

    I’m having a seriously hard time deciding between the silver and black….not sure I need the 4K, but worried I might regret not getting it…what’s your suggestion, who should get what camera.

  • Pretty much answered all my questions. Thank you for always taking the time to put together these articles man, they are extremely helpful. I know they can be time consuming.

  • I know you said that 2.7k 4:3 – 30 is good for chest mounts, but I’m on a PC and don’t have that tool/plugin to do dynamic stretching, unless you recommend GoPro Studio does a good job? I want to use a chest mount while four-wheeling. Will 4k @ 24fps give me a nice motion blur sort of look? I don’t need any slow motion. I intend on mounting the camera to the four-wheel too which will add a lot of vibration, so do you suggest I bump it up to 30fps or switch it to 1080p @ 60fps?

    • Michael
      • VideoGuy

        I have to hide a Hero4 on a small pedestrian bridge that is covered like a tunnel with Christmas lights. The electrician in charge of the light show will change the lights on the bridge to all white in foreground and colored in background when the time comes for the two people who will be on the bridge. I’ve asked the electrician to do white so I can get the best light on their faces when necessary. However, given the fact that the lights will in the shot as well, I am wondering about the best settings that will give me sufficient exposure on their faces – Iso settings. ProTune? Spot Metering? White Balance? Etc… I’ve attached several images of the bridge. (I may also set up a second Hero3 and want to optimize settings for it as well.) Suggestions?

        • VideoGuy

          Sorry – Just realized I posted this under someone else’s comment. Meant to post this on main.

  • Kelly

    Abe, you mention Phantom 2 several times. I fly P2 with 3-axis gimbal, mostly landscape shots, occasionally surfing, fishing and other ocean activities. I rarely slow down my footage, and don’t want to spend a ton of time in post. What video mode would you suggest for landscape videos? A mix of sunrise, midday, and sunset, if that would influence your answer. Oh and I should mention, I HATE jello in my shots. 😉 Very helpful reviews!

    • GoPro Nerd

      Propably 4k 30fps if you have hero4 black, if not -> 2,7k 30fps

      • Kelly

        I have Hero 4 Black. Also, intended application is 99% web, and likely rendered at 1080p. Curious what the benefits of 4k/30fps are over 1080p/30fps if rendering down to 1080p.

        • Aaron

          There is more retention into detail when using the 4k/30fps scaled down.

          Source: Some review video on youtube where they actually tested the difference between 4k30 and 1080p30

  • Rich Vid

    I have noticed an issue in regards to GoPro handling of color
    in the GoPro 4 Black.

    GoPro Color mode can’t seem to properly handle LED lighting

    The picture loses all detail and the color blooms into a blob of
    color.THis was shot in Protune mode

    Here is a folder link to 3 files directly from the camera showing
    this issue


    • I have seen this as well – Have you tried shooting the same scene with a different camera? I was seeing the same handling with higher end camera as well.

    • Amarie

      You May need to adjust the ISO it looks a bit saturated…Turn Protune on and manipulate the saturation level. See if that helps?

      • Rich Vid

        This was in Protune mode and the ISO was low at 400. I just think that the GoPro default color setting needs to be tweaked a bit for indoor use, maybe have a setting GoPro Color Outdoors and GoPro Color Indoors. Protune flat color is not always an option for me because of editing time constraints.

  • Mark

    Hi Abe,

    just wondering which Sandisk Micro SD card you would pick for Hero 4 Silver.
    There are three versions
    Extreme (60:40MB/s Read:Write Class C10:U3)
    Extreme Plus (80:50MB/s Read:Write Class C10:U1)
    Extreme Pro (95:95MB/s Read:Write Class C10:U3)

    The Extreme Plus only has U1 rating.

    I’m unsure of what Hero 4 Silver will need at its max settings 2.7K 30fps in Protune

    any advice would be helpful



  • JohnnyJohnny

    Thanks for this! Hard to find good settings info on the Hero4. If I’m wanting to shoot some super slow-mo underwater stuff, what protune settings do you recommend? It won’t be deep down, mainly just under the surface. Thanks again!

    • 1080-120 should work alright if there’s good light!

  • Evan

    Thanks for this Abe!

    What would you suggest for shooting surf at sunset?

  • Masaki McLellan

    Which memory card are you using?

  • Great article thanks Abe – I’ve been using my GoPro Hero 3 Black on a DJI Phantom a lot lately and the only thing I’d add to your recommended settings is to lock the white balance as I’ve often found if you point the camera directly down the white balance often wanders off to a cool setting (in both video and photo modes) ruining the shot. Have you had any experience with that?

    • Ah, good call. I have seen that – though I don’t point straight down that often.

  • Thomas

    Great article! I own a hero4 black and I’m looking for the best rec settings for videos in nightclubs. I know that this is a difficult setup to get good looking footage from but I found quite a few vids on the web where they seem to pull it off well (enough for my taste).

    my biggest problem so far is the noise I get regardless of which setting (Protune on/off, Lowlight on/off, fps) i choose. Which settings would you recommend? (Besides lowering the fps as much as possible is good in lowlight situations with quick light changes)

    Thx in advance,

    • Thomas

      one more thing … the noise is not only a problem when Im filming in clubs … I also get very noisy material when filming indoors at night with standard ceiling lights on.

      • Yeah, this is due to your ISO being too high, lower that to 400.

    • GoPro Nerd

      Best is to choose protune off (becouse too dark), lowlight on and last choose the lowest possible frame rate you can film with. Propably 4k 30fps would be superb (if your computer can playback it).

      • Actually, ProTune on with the ISO set as low as it go will perform better in the dark.

    • Hey Thomas, thanks for the note! It’s a tricky one but this is what I would use:

      2.7K-30, 2.7K-24, 4K-24

      ProTune On, WB Native or Auto, GoPro Color, ISO 400, Sharpening Low

      • Thomas

        thx for your input abe … i didn’t have much time lately to test it, but i will do so this weekend using your recommended settings.

  • Wyatt Shattuck

    Hey, i was wondering if using the gopro app and downloading the footage decreases the quality compared to using your computer. I used my hero 4 black and i cant seem to download my footage into HD when i download it onto my phone. Also when i try to watch one of my videos that i filmed with a high resolution on my computer, it only plays the sound not the actual video, Thanks

    • Typically when you download to your phone it will only download the low-res standard definition LRV file. As for playback on your computer, try using VLC (http://www.videolan.org), sounds like a computer hardware issue. Also, make sure the files are copied onto your local hard drive or USB 3.0 hard drive/thunderbolt.

  • Justin

    Hi Abe,

    Thanks for the great write up, but I just have a question. What frame rate do you use for your overall project sequence. Obviously 48fps is a somewhat uncommon frame rate to use for the overall project, especially when combining footage from different cameras, so i’m just wondering how your workflow gets around this.


    • GoPro Nerd

      What frame rate do you use for your overall project sequence?

      – Project sequence what Abe uses is 29.97fps

  • Jeroen

    Hi Abe,

    I was wondering if there will ever be a 720p240 and/or WVGA 480fps setting in the Hero 4 Black or is it assumed those settings unnecesary? And what was your contribution to the Hero 4 launch video? Anyway, thanks for the nice and helpful article.

    Keep up the amazing work

  • BuckRambo

    I saw a review with hero3 using 30fps vs 48fps, and the resolution of the 30fps was better. With Hero4 and using 2.7 Medium, is 48fps the way to go? Any reasons not to use 48fps? It seems that would be the way to go. I wish it was 60fps in 2.7k medium or 4k had medium fov. Thanks Abe for all your research.

  • Hayes

    What video setting would you suggest for using would you recommend for shooting an archery hunt with the sportsman’s mount? The target will be between 10 and 40 yards away from me and the camera will be facing the target, not back at the shooter. Thanks!

  • Matt

    Hey Abe,

    Great article, I appreciate you taking the time to write it.

    Do you use any particular method to take your screen grabs from video? If so, what is it?


    • Jim

      Hey Matt, i usually do screen shots out of FCPX at the raw resolution, just put the playhead wherever the still shot is then you go to “share” —> “add destination” —> “still” —-> export

  • Phil

    Hi Abe !!!
    I’m new to the gopro world !! I just got the hero4 black
    What settings would u use for fast downhill biking ?
    To get nice videos like red bull 😉 ahah
    Thank u !!

    • TheRealArtOfSports

      Depends where the GoPro is mounted but I would go with 1080p Superview and 80fps if you have less light go with 60fps or 48 🙂
      Check out my Youtube Channel TheRealArtOfSports

  • Jim

    Hey Abe! I am looking to shoot music videos with the Go Pro, what settings would you use and also what would you use for Green screening? I may want to do slow motion as well, but want to utilize the 4K. I am thinking plan out the shots before hand and switch modes? or what if I want a slow motion 4K?

  • hi abe. i keep watching ur Tomorrowland edit, and how amazing it was in lowlight. im currently shooting a concert and want to do so in 4k. but did some test shots last night 4k 24,30 and all super noisy!! i didnt use protune tho, perhaps i could of turned down the ISO and +exposure compensation??? whats ur advice for NO NOISE thanks!

    • Johnny, I suggest you follow the settings I suggest here on this page. ProTune on, ISO 400

      • ahhh. i did it, and amazing results thanks!

  • Really enjoyed this, thanks a bunch. I have a few specific questions…

    As far as aerials, do you sharpen in post? How much? I have FCPX, will the sharpening tool be enough there?
    Do you take the fish eye out in GoPro Studio or FCP/Premiere?
    Can you please expand on the highlights with Exposure at -.5. What situation is that good in?
    Also, won’t filming in 4:3 be a different crop and be hard to integrate into 16:9, which most monitors are sized at?

    Thanks again, Sami

    • Hey Sami,

      Sometimes I sharpen in post, sometimes I leave it. If it’s for the web it usually doesn’t do much. Sometimes I’ll remove fisheye if it looks like it needs it. Setting exposure compensation to -.5 will underexpose the image slightly so you’ll retain highlights that sometimes are lost if you’re filming scenes with a lot of contrast between highs and lows. Yes 4:3 filming is a different size, you can either crop or dynamically stretch as i explain in the linked article.

  • Craig Gebhart

    Hi Abe, What’s the quality difference (or simply “the difference”) between 4K on the GoPro Hero 4 with it’s crop sized sensor and 4K on a full size sensor camera like the Sony F55?

  • jed

    what i’d like to know is why does the gopro hero 3+ record at such a high datarate and bitrate,

    as an example a typical video i take is 5 minutes long ( rc racing )

    i always record 960 – 48

    file size 1.43gb

    datarate is 28985
    total bitrate 30113

    format it records is mp4

    this is too big to upload to youtube so i always convert from MP4 to MP4 ( yes same format )

    the result is,

    file size 193mb

    datarate 3844 kbps
    total bitrate 3957 kbps

    so: file size goes from 1.43gb ( 1043mb ) to 193mb
    datarate goes from 28985 kbps to 3844 kbps
    total bitrate goes from 30113 kbps to 3957 kbps

    there is no visible difference in picture quality between the 2 so why doesn’t the gopro record video at the lower rates to save having to convert them to the exact same file format to get the smaller file size and rates??????

    • TheRealArtOfSports

      Because recording at higher bitrates is better for image quality after and during colour correction 🙂 but you as you did with converting just render it out in your video programm for optimal youtube settings. the normal consumer bitrate on youtube is at 1080P 8.000 kbit/s and at 720P it’s only 6.000kbit/s so you can render it down to this if you really want to save uploading time 🙂
      I hope this is goiing to answer your question.
      Check out my channel on Youtube: TheRealArtOfSports

  • Rex


    I’m looking to take a convertible up PCH from LA to SF. Any recommendations on recording settings and mount positions?

    I am thinking of mounting near the back of the car, perhaps around the trunk, so I get a good view of the road, everyone in the car, and the scenery. 4K superview seems like the best combination of image quality and field of view. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  • VideoGuy

    I have to hide a Hero4 on a small pedestrian bridge that is covered like
    a tunnel with Christmas lights. The electrician in charge of the light
    show will change the lights on the bridge to all white in foreground
    and colored in background when the time comes for the two people who
    will be on the bridge. I’ve asked the electrician to do white so I can
    get the best light on their faces when necessary. However, given the
    fact that the lights will be in the shot as well, I am wondering about the
    best settings that will give me sufficient exposure on their faces – Iso
    settings. ProTune? Spot Metering? White Balance? Etc… I’ve attached
    an image of the bridge. (I may also set up a second camera that is a Hero3 and
    want to optimize settings for it as well.) Suggestions?

  • Er Ankit Choudhery

    HI Abe,

    just wanted to know about how to shot a firework show from go pro hero4 silver i am really not getting proper setting for the same


    Frame per secount–>???

    low light–>>????

    spot meter–>>???

    white balance –>>???

    color –>>???


    EV –>>???

    evrything i want to know and from where i have to shot from brighter side or from dark side i attached a picture of brighter from where i genrally shot

  • Er Ankit Choudhery

    have a look on the so dull pour quality image and my setting is 1080 super view with 60 fps and 400 iso wih low light and spot meter off remain is on auto

  • Er Ankit Choudhery

    have a look

    • Pablowwww

      You should probably shoot in 2.7k or 4k to get the best detail. Did you drop down to ISO400 and turn ProTune on?

  • kao

    Hey abe I just purchased a gopro hero 4 silver today and I took it out for a test. While I was recording I noticed that my camera len and battery was heating less then 10 mins. When I stop recording an error saying(camera busy) any suggestions or ideas would help thanks.

  • Mat

    Hi Abe,

    did you record some night scenes? What is the best settings for night videos?


  • Mark Minors

    Hi Abe, great article and cool site! I’ve just upgraded from the Hero2 to the Hero4 Black so it’s really helpful having someone from GoPro giving their thoughts and ideas online. Just wondering why you prefer softer image with the Protune Sharpness setting? I always figured sharper was better?
    Thanks, Mark

    • Rocco Saya

      Sharpen in post-production, in this way you’ll have precise choice on how little or much you need to sharpen. If you sharpen in-camera, you can’t “undo that” in post. In some sense, sharpness is over sold, good dynamic range, composition, etc., are usually much more important (none the less, it’s hard not to like a sharp, crisp picture.)

  • Greg Smith

    hi guy just got a hero 4 silver and my computer craped out on me do you know what would be a good computer to use the gopro on it the 500:00 buck range thanks

  • Greg

    great article. Thank you. 2 questions: 1. I use two hero 4 silvers running 1080p 60 in a small aircraft since I have heard higher frame rates minimizes vibration. It seems my hero 3 footage looked very smooth in comparison to the hero 4 with the same mount (go pro suction) so that is confusing. I am now using ram mounts which helps but it still exists a little. 2. On a trip back late morning on a nice clear day (probably around 10:30 am) both the rear camera and front camera were extremely washed out (looked like I was flying through bright white snow) so I use protune the next day and set EV to 0.5 on front and 1.0 on back. That helped a little but do you have any thoughts on EV in my situation in regards to in cockpit footage and exposure?

  • Mark

    Hi Abe love your website. How do you do your colour grading? I am using Premier Pro but cant get it as good as I would like.

    Thanks Mark
    New Zealand

  • JCV Az

    Mark. My wife gave me a GoPro for Christmas. I hike with a couple of guys in the desert foothills of Arizona. Views are world class. Obviously since we are hiking, action is fairly slow compared to other sports. How would you recommend setting up my GoPro for hiking. I have read all of your articles, but would appreciate any specific guidance.

    • TheRealArtOfSports

      Hi there, I believe you are walking in a great enviroment with a lot of beautiful nature. So I would choose 4k Superview 24 Frames because the quality is insane and you can really do a lot with it in post production. Scale it down cut of something etc. I guess it’s the right mode because it sounded like your goal is to achieve a nice and very clean image and you are not in need to have slowmotion. This is the setting you can capture at high quality and a lot of nature at once because of superview 🙂
      I hope this is a little help for you 🙂
      Check out TheRealArtOfSports on Youtube

  • Gary

    Hi Abe, I film my floor hockey on a stationary tripod on 1080-60fps superview with my Hero3+ black, I’m switching to Hero4silver soon. The image quality is quite good but once I zoom in for slow-mos it’s quite grainey. Any suggestions on what setting I should use with my Hero4silver.

    I’ve also heard it’s a good idea to film in 4K for image qualtiy then in gopro editor output it to 1080 youtube export.

    • TheRealArtOfSports

      I would go with the Black Edition because it has the perfect setting for you. 2.7K 48Frames is your setting to go you can zoom in a bit and still got your desired 50% Slowmotions and image quality is insane! 🙂

      Best wishes TheRealArtOfSports

  • Tommy Long

    I have a question. I am new to the GoPro Hero4. I am a good photographer, a very creative person in general, but by no means am I a professional and I have a hard time understanding a lot of the jargon used to explain the settings. I wish the GoPro was more user-friendly in nature so the everyday person like myself could have an easier time making & editing awesome videos.

    Anyway, my main questions for now are – why is “wide” the ONLY setting a available for my POV on the GoPro Hero4? I would love to take some videos without the “fish-eye” look.

    Secondly, when I take still photos with the GoPro, they are ALWAYS very blurry. On the flip side, I would love to have some stills that DO have the fish-eye look…because you can get some really cool shots otherwise not available with standard cameras / phones.

    Any help or suggestions with these two issues would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Pablowwww

      You can actually choose a medium FOV in 2.7K @ 60FPS. Otherwise, if you’re using the GoPro Studio or iMovie you can just shoot in 4K to get max resolution and simply crop the video. It’s not a big deal, and the GoPro Studio gives you the option to remove fisheye.
      As for your photos, are you shooting in daylight or at night? If it’s at night that is because the shutter has to stay open for a longer period of time to catch more light, therefore the longer the shutter stays open the more motion is captured.

  • Douglas Kreitz

    Hi Abe: I am shooting GoPro Hero 4 video from my quadcopter and the auto-exposure feature is driving me crazy. I would like to set one exposure (averaged for the entire scene) and not have the camera adjust anything exposure-wise as it moves from light to shadow. I don’t want any changes in the image brightness — I can live with some shadows being too dark. Now, the camera is so super-sensitive, it’s exposing all over the place trying to compensate. I have the EV set at “O” at the moment in Protune. Please help me understand what I can do here. Many thanks!

  • Sean

    Hi, I was wondering what would be the best settings for filming my gopro hero 4 black in night time in the city, for example, las vegas strip? Is 1080p 30 or 24 fps, iso 1600 good? Thanks…

  • Daver

    Hi All ..

    My Problem is iv made some cool videos for a online course , with my HERO 4 silver . ( im using way to much data )
    I want 13 min video to be under 1G, iv been getting 3.5 G ‘s .. Very Frustrating chopping my videos down to upload in a marketplace platform that only allows me 1G uploads on a cloud ..ugh !

    im POV on the (chest / head cam ) do i just lower down to 720 ?i was at wide screen 🙂 im very new guys any help will save me a lot of embarrassment to my students , i love them to have the best .. and so i can propose my online class to industry for partnerships . so i have alot ridding on this ..please need help

    • Hey Daver! What you can do is put your video through GoPro Studio (free software download from GoPro.com) and export to YouTube. That way it will compress your file down to a smaller size! Otherwise, yes perhaps try filming at 720-30, that should be sufficient!

      • Daver

        Thanks brotha.

        Any more ways to compress the film ?

  • Abe, when does the GroPro 5 come out?

    • GoPro Nerd

      I dont know but if I right remember the new processor can handle 4k 60fps.

  • Ness


    Or perhaps, another way of posing the same question…..


  • Juan Antonio

    Hi Abe, I will attend Tomorrowland Brazil in May and I just bought Hero4 Silver, which settings do you recommend??

    • Awesome! For your head I would recommend 1080-60 if you want slow motion during the day. At night I would use only 30 FPS to get better lowlight.

      • Juan Antonio

        Hey Abe..thanks for the tips, I’m near to use them and can’t wait, maybe I could post a photo later.
        Thanks again man!

  • Rodrigo Hidalgo

    What would people say is the best setting for an averagely lit bar with a strobelight with some par cans. i’d be attaching the go pro pro to the topof my guitar with a gooseneck looking down the neck. please reply quickly 😀

    • Hey Rodrigo, sorry for the not-quick reply. I would say 1080-30 or with ProTune on and ISO limit set to 400

  • Larsly888

    Abe, I just have to ask.

    Your iceberg photo is that Iceland, Norway or Greenland? It looks alot like an island I saw when I was ferrying in Iceland…

    Beautiful work by the way! Love your blog!

  • jon

    Hi Abe. Thanks for this blog. I appreciate it as do a lot of us out there. Quick question that may be on the minds of a LOT of us: what are some of the settings you know of that GoPro itself uses to get such stunning commercials? Do you think they always use ProTune Flat and then just expertly color grade it? If so, any ideas of their workflow? Do you think any of the footage in commercials, like the “life in 4k” new commercial is with “GoPro color?” to know some of their workflow, i.e. initial settings, luts, etc. would be immensely helpful. As it stands I think a lot of us don’t even get close, and its a bit of a mystery. Any clarrification on the things I mention above would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hey Jon, all of the settings used in life in 4K are what I mentioned here in this article. We use GoPro color for most things actually, rarely do I use flat. I am the one that color grades all of our big commercials such as that one. I use Resolve for the coloring, no luts, just proper correcting 🙂

  • Zamiel Reza

    hey abe , what is the best photo setting or maybe video setting when you record a building with high lights , my video got so blurry when recorded it last time. appriciate your answer

    • Hey Zamiel – I’m not sure I understand your question?

      • Zamiel Reza

        When you have so much lightning as my selfie background ( such as KL Twin Tower Background) my video result got so blurry , even my night photo didn’t help either . Do you have setting tips in this condition ? Thanks

  • Jaimen Hudson

    Hi Abe, great article thanks mate. Do you use a program to get your screen grabs? Or just take a full screen shot of your computer? I’m using a mac. Thanks in advance mate!

  • Angelo Glorioso

    Hi abe!

    why do my videos appear to be yellowish after i convert them to .mov
    protune: on
    wb: native

  • Justin

    @abekislevitz:disqus I have just recently purchased a GoPro 4 Silver. I’ve had a GoPro 2 forever and loved it. I do mostly mounted video shooting on Cars. We do everything from mountain drives to track days. Anyways, I am getting a ridiculous amount of motion artifacts in all of my videos especially from dark to light like from leafless trees and the shadows from it.This is made worse after being compressed. I use Premiere for editing and know it pretty good but when I say, upload it to youtube it is almost not worth viewing. I’ve already done a ton of research on this and have tried so many different export and shooting options I could scream. Any advice would be great. Thanks Btw I accidentally posted this to the Understanding photos page also, sorry about that.

  • amit

    hi Abe, what is the best setting to use for shooting a game of soccer without using any mount. essentially use it as broadcast camera.


  • Hi Abe ! How are you ? Could you please show me what are the best videos resolution to go Fishing and post on youtube ? I have a Hero 4 Black. I think in 1080 , but what are the other characteristics ? Do you have angler friends to help me ? Thanks.

    • I would say 1080-60 Superview would be great for POV fishing content! It’s got a wide view and will be immersive content!

  • Jim

    Hi Abe,

    Thanks for all your great articles! They helped me along a good way with the GoPro Hero 4 Silver.
    But still I have a question if it is possible to ask you.
    I live in Europe so filming in PAL mode. Now I am a lot filming and shooting on the water, and now I always film at 1080p-50fps and PT. But now I discoverd also the mode 48FPS. My question, what is the difference between the 50 and 48 fps.. I can’t see the difference really.

    I hope you can help me out with these question.

    Many thanks, and keep up going these good articles.


    • The difference won’t be noticeable – 48 is there in case people need double frame rate of 24 FPS meaning you can slow your content down by 50% in a 24 fps timeline

  • Lynette

    I’m running various trails along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in two weeks. I use a GoPro Hero to shoot various sections encountered. I would love to capture some low light early morning, late twilight and possibly moonrise scenes. Can the GoPro 4 handle such a task? Also, has the technology improved to the point that stabilization of video has gotten better? I’m thinking one renting a GoPro 4 for the week and hope toake the most of the experience. Thanks for any assistance!

  • Wyatt Shattuck

    Hey, recently my gopro hero 4 Black edition has been randomly freezing. It has happened in both cold and hot weather. What should i do? Thanks

  • Ben

    Hello Abe,
    I am bought a go pro hero 4 black and this is the first time I am using one. I will be using it mainly for snorkeling. Could you please guide me on what settings should I use and what mount to get?


    • Hey Ben – I would say 2.7K-60 FPS Wide would be a great setting for snorkeling. If you’re pretty smooth underwater, 4K could be awesome! For mounts I usually see people using a little handle grip or pole mount as well as the headstrap to get your POV!

  • Pingback: For more advanced users….. | robbogopro()

  • Mark

    Hi Abe,

    I am about to shoot an aerialist and some dancers performing choreography on a big stage with my Phantom 2 and HERO4 Black. I will be panning back from the action on stage with moving lights, set pieces etc and over the audience which will be empty but also dimly lit. It is to showcase a big theatres stage and give the impression of what its like to see a show there. I am concerned with what settings to use in this scenario to achieve the best possible footage. I want the action on stage to be fully clear and will be flying close to the performers and panning back over audience to show the stage from far away as well in one shot.

    What settings are best for this?

    • Mark

      I will be shooting this sequence Tuesday next week, 6/16, and would LOVE to get your setting preferences for above to be as best as possible! THANKS!

      • If there’s enough light on stage I would definitely go with 4K – 30. That’s what we used for all of the Tomorrowland stage shots and they looked great

        • Mark

          Thanks! What specific settings should I use outside of that? Protune all default?

          • Nope, scroll up in this article in the blue square where it says abe’s go to ProTune settings. Check that!

  • Joe

    Hi Abe,

    Great article first off. This has definitely helped me a lot. I did have a question, what would your “Go To” settings be for limited light indoors?

  • Brian Davidson

    Awesome article! Thanks! I just got my Hero4 Black and will be using it for mostly extreme type sports like Motorcross, Wakeboarding, Mountain biking and kiteboarding. Any suggestions on what modes to use? Thanks in advance!

    • Thanks Brian! Sounds like 1080-60 Superview would be great for you – good combination of slow motion and high quality but gives you a great wide POV view

  • Jen

    Hi Abe,

    I have a Hero4 Black and I’m just wondering if you have any recommended settings for both indoor and outdoor??


    • 1080-60 is a good go-to if you’re not totally sure what you’re doing!

  • Gina

    Hi Abe, this Saturday 20th June 2015 I fly to Canada for a 10 day holiday (Alberta- Canadian Rockies). I got a gopro especially for the trip. I plan on doing a variety of activities (hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, white water rafting, night time-lapse, underwater shots, ludging, etc) using POV, Mounted, B-roll. Basically, anything and everything I can do to capture the heart of the trip and the very best of the country. When I come home, I want to make one compilation video to tie everything in. However, the big question I have (which i can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere) can I film in various resolutions (4K, 2.7, 1080p – based on the activity and slow motion) but keep the frame consistent (i.e. wide) and still produce a decent consistent video? I feel like I should just use one size fits all (i.e. 2.7K) to guarantee the output – but I’d rather play around to make the most of each situation. Help! Please advise 😉

    • Hey Gina,

      You can totally use a variety of modes and get it to edit together seamless in the end. It’s what we do all the time at GoPro.

      • Gina

        Does that mean I can use different FOV (wide, 4:3, etc) too or should I just stick with the same one throughout (but alternate resolution)?

  • Darragh Cushen

    Hi Abe,
    I am going to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite this summer and am interested in taking some sunrise and sunset lapses. I am a beginner and am wondering what setting I should use on my GoPro 4 Black. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Chris DeAntonio

      Having done a time lapse sunrise in Cabo, I used Protune, Color = Flat, ISO 400, EV Comp = 0 and it came out great.

  • Dennis

    Hey Abe

    I’m using the Gopro Hero4 Silver edition and adjusted it to your recommended protune settings for maximum image quality.
    But When I switch the ISO Limit to 400 it seems quite dark?

  • Ryan Kapp

    Hi Abe,

    Really enjoy these posts – very informative and helpful. I’m trying to decide between the Hero4 Silver or Black to take on a Great White Shark cage diving trip to Guadalupe Island this August (2015). I have never owned a GoPro and my question for you is if exporting native stills from 4k or 2.7k videos will yield decent print quality for say about 10″ x 10″ print size? A better way to ask this question might be: how does exporting native stills from 4k or 2.7k video compare to taking photos withe the Hero4? I ask because if the exported stills are decent, why bother shooting photographs with the camera at all? If exporting stills is an okay way to go, what video settings would you recommend for the best results?

    Thank you!

  • Manuel Di Marco

    Hi Abe , I’m trying to do a video with photos from the night timelapse of a coplete day, of 24 hours.I always do a great job of night and day, it battery sufficiency for also more than 24 hours, my problem is right with the sunrise, just before the sun rises, I should change the settings for optimal viewing of day, I’m spending sleepless nights to go and change but there is always some frame, rather many, which ruin the fluidity of all. however if I leave the settings automatically, the night is dark and day would almost well. I hope you can advise me to complete my work! actually I have given so many already. thanks a lot!

    • Yeah, it’s tough. If you have two cameras you could put them side by side and have one on Auto exposure and one on longer (20-30 sec). That’s all I can think of until the GoPro can have a longer auto exposure limit.

  • Tomasz Morawski

    Hello Abe,

    I just bought GP4Black and sometimes when watching recordings I made I can hear tapping-like, fast, repeating noise in the background. It happened two times already, I dont see any pattern, both times it was in waterproof skeleton though.
    Do you possibly know anything about it? How to prevent it? Today I made 15 test vids and only in one of them the noise is present.
    I attach youtube link so you can check it. https://youtu.be/dOmXZUHv2tE

  • Tomasz Morawski

    Hello Abe,

    I just bought GP4Black and sometimes when watching recordings I made I can hear tapping-like, fast, repeating noise in the background. It happened two times already, I dont see any pattern, both times it was in waterproof skeleton though.
    Do you possibly know anything about it? How to prevent it? Today I made 15 test vids and only in one of them the noise is present.
    I attach youtube vid so you can check it.


  • Tomasz Morawski

    Hello Abe,

    I just bought GP4Black and sometimes when watching recordings I made I can hear tapping-like, fast, repeating noise in the background. It happened two times already, I dont see any pattern, both times it was in waterproof skeleton though.
    Do you possibly know anything about it? How to prevent it? Today I made 15 test vids and only in one of them the noise is present.
    I attach yt vid link so you can check it.


  • GB

    Hi Abe,

    I have some trouble with Go Pro Studio..

    While importing vids over 1080p the studio suddenly crash on my computor, any suggestions? Do i need to comprimize the video files first?

  • Abe, thank-you so much for your wonderful guide and breakdown of the features. I bought the Black, read this article, and then used your settings on my recent honeymoon – I can’t wait to get to work on the 20+ hours of footage I’ve returned with.

    On a side note, I couldn’t find a similar breakdown of best practice for end-to-end workflow for GoPro files, so I’ve written my own.

    It covers GoPro Studio, NLE settings, colour correction and export settings for getting the best out of the GoPro.

    It’s hugely indebted to your great guide, so thank-you again. Anyone wanting my tips can read my guide here:


    • That was an awesome breakdown Will! Really good read, I learned a few tidbits myself! Thanks! Glad my guide was of use!

      • Oh whoa, thanks for the kind words, keep up the good work 🙂

  • Anthony Swiecicki

    Hey Abe, I was wondering if you could give me a little insight on your workflow when importing footage. I am currently making the switch from FCPX to Premiere. Do you first import your footage into Gopro Studio and use the gopro cineform codec or do you import your footage straight into premiere? It would be awesome if you could give me a brief explanation or link me to a good article. Thanks man!

    • I drop my footage straight into Premiere without transcoding. I’ve got a pretty fast computer and for smaller projects it works fine.

  • Robert Rundberget

    Thank you for a very informative article, Abe! I wonder if hou have any tips on how to output my Hero 4 Black videos and uploading them to YouTube to achieve best possible image quality? My videos look good on my computer but gets lots of artefacts and very blurry on YouTube. I use Premiere Pro CS 5 to edit and Adobe Media Encoder to output H264 mp4-files with 50 Mps bitrate, and sadly it looks really crappy. Anyone else have this problem?

    • That sounds like pretty good settings – do you have a link to look at? Unfortunately anything on the web won’t hold up to the same standards as the high res version on your computer. I’ve also had better luck viewing videos on YouTube in chrome – the compression is much better surprisingly.

  • Logan Heinen

    Hey Abe, in late August I will be going to a Floating Lantern Festival and I need your help. What settings should I use and avoid? Resolution, frame rate, auto low light, and protune. Obviously, this will take place when the sun is down; but there will be a bunch of campfires and torches for the lanterns. I am wondering if filming them fill up the night sky versus up close will need different settings. Let me know what you think and thank you so much for everything you do.

    • Hey Logan,

      This sounds like a tough situation for any camera – I was just filming some lanterns in Mexico with my DSLR and had to have the video ISO on around 2000 while my aperture was at 1.6 on 50mm lens. I’m not positive you can capture enough light with a GoPro but if you want to try I would probably choose something like 4K at 24FPS, ProTune On, GoPro Color, WB on Native, and ISO at 1600.

      • Logan Heinen

        Auto low light on, I’m assuming, and what about spot meter? Spot meter seems to trip me up the most.

        • Auto lowlight will only drop your frame rate if you’re shooting at a high FPS, which you won’t be, so that won’t do anything. Not spot meter, since you’ll be filming a scene as a whole and not looking to expose for the center of the frame.

          • Logan Heinen

            Thanks a lot. I will let you know how it goes.
            Stay cool

  • Neil Rodgers

    Hi Abe. Thanks for the tutorials, amazing detail, in fact the best I have seen ! Just wanted your advice for settings. I am using a hero 4 to record my beach wedding so will be fairly close on a tripod in a sunny environment. Any help on this greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

  • Neil Rodgers

    Hi Abe. Thanks for the wonderful tutorials, the best that o have found. I was wanting your view on video settings please. I have a hero4 and plan to use it for filming my beach wedding in sunny climes. The camera will be fairly close up to the action but need to get the best results to bring home and process. Thanks in advance. Neil.

    • Are you using black or silver? For black I would simply recommend 4K-30. For silver I would say 2.7K medium or wide depending on what framing you want !

  • Lee Hunt

    Hi Abe, really would appreciate some advice for my new gopro hero 4 silver. I am going to use it at a concert in a stadium tomorrow and I was wondering what settings would be best? The stadium is outdoors and will be going from daylight to night time. We are not close to the stage either! I’ve tried finding the answer in previous questions asked but I am getting confused…..Thanks again for the help.

    • This sounds like a good opportunity to try 2.7K medium at 30 fps if you want a bit closer view, and 2.7K-30 wide more for pov/experience shots! I would have protune on, auto white balance, sharpening low, and either 1600 ISO or 400

      • Lee Hunt

        That’s great, thanks for the reply. Is their much of a difference between 1600 or 400 iso?

  • Hey Abe,

    I drone a lot and the main problem I have is trying to capture sunrise/sunset lighting.
    With GoPro, what settings do you recommend to maximize image quality?
    I’ve shot a lot of my stuff in 2.7k at 48 cuz i never know when I’m gonna want to slow down the footage.
    However, I think I may be switching to 4K. It’s just the right thing to do.

    You say that one can ‘apply either a ProTune LUT or basic curve over the footage, it will drop the grain into the blacks.’
    I’ve had a good amount of trouble with my past footage as it is really grainy cuz I’m in Medium at 48 fps and higher iso.

    So what settings do you think are best to avoid this and what program can I use to apply a LUT or basic curve?


    Sami Kattan


    • Tori Mahoney

      Hi Sami, I know this post was a while ago but ‘m just wondering what settings you ending up using that worked for a drone during magic hour?

  • Marc Gayagas

    Hi Abe! What resolution and protune settings are you using when you’re filming Indoor with low light at night and Outdoor at night?

  • erik

    hi abe^^ I edit on premiere and wanted to know, how I can take advantage of high resolution content, when i’m producing full hd youtube videos. it there an increase of quality, when I create (for example) an 1080p projekt and fit in an 2,7k clip by zooming out? or is the final result the same quality like the normal 1080p? thanks for your time =)

  • Joe Erato

    Dude, just got my camera (Hero4 Black) and I am INHALING the data you put out. Thanks for this. I am going to try and compile a smaller pocket cheat sheet out of this.

  • Mike

    I just bought a hero4 black edition after 3 years using a hero 3 black.
    I immediately tested the “new” protune features regarding protune etc but I found something very strange.
    With my old hero3 I could see a big difference between NoProtune and Protune in terms of dynamic range (also if the image was less detailed and noisier) for example a cloud with a sun behind was overexposed and compromised in the noProtune version but still detailed with the protune version.
    With the Hero4 the first impression was that the NoProtune has the same identical quality and dynamic range than the Protune/auto/gopro color (so the cloud is identical, no more dynamic for the overexposed shoots etc…) and the only difference I have is for the neutral profile but not in terms of dynamic.
    So my question is: which is the benefit to have an higher bitrate if I have the same dynamic range and the same identical image quality if I shoot with or without protune? I tried also to edit the 2 shoots and the exposure/cotrast control acts in the same exact way on both. Compared side to side the noprotune and the protune are identical in every way.
    Could it be caused by my sdcard? It’s a class 10, it doesn’t stop filming in 4k but it can’t reach the 60Mbit/s of a Sandisk Ultra or a Lexar 633.
    I checked also the bitrate of the 2 videos and the noprotune was 30Mbs and the Protune 45Mbs but no difference in dymanic range.
    So at the end, I still prefere the sharpness of the new protune but it’s like the dynamic range in protune now is the same of the no protune…

    Any advice?

  • Pingback: GoPro releases industry-grade VR rig made from 16 cameras - Best Apps for Android and iPhone()

  • dc07

    What video settings would you recommend when parasailing in Mexico? Hero 4 silver on a selfie stick

    Also, would it be better to do video+pictures or video only and some how extract video stills later?


  • Jason Frerking

    Hey Abe! Just wondering what you would recommend for settings to achieve good lighting in these conditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTPyXLeWICg
    Wanting to shoot with my Hero 4 Black at this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm, especially on this experience and trying to get the right balance of light and low noise for this minimal lighting situation.

  • Rodrigo Martins

    Hi there!
    I love this article and often come back to it for shooting with my gp4, but I am still a bit new to the whole post production thing. Can you help out on getting the best possible workflow? I am specially referring to converting, color correction, speed change, sharpness/contrast, all of that that makes image quality.


  • Brooke

    HI there. I just bought a Hero 4 Silver, basically only for the super wide lens. I am a therapist and record some sessions for learning. However, I have a small room and need to get both the client and I in the frame- hence, the wide lens. I did a test session with 1080, 30, medium (I think that’s what it was, not completely sure) and the video came out much more grainy than I had expected. I would love to see better details in people’s faces and I’m wondering if you might be able to point me to a better setting. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Will John Snow – UXD › Getting the best from a GoPro()

  • Pingback: B.A.M. Films()

  • Pingback: Suggested GoPro Settings for Solo | B.A.M. Films()

  • Carsten

    hi Abe,
    I am new to the GoPro world and I really like your site. I may ask a silly question here, but why is 2.7K 4:3 – 30 better for POW shots than 2.7K – 30?

  • timothy Ellis

    Hi Abe,

    Thanks for being generous with your time and knowledge! I’m a outdoor/adventure guide from Washington State and I just bought a Hero4 Silver. So far, I have only used the camera as an instructional aide on my fly fishing trips. Historically, I shoot video of a client casting, landing fish, bombing down a hill on a mtn bike, climbing up a grinder, etc and I provide them with a copy of the video as well as feedback based upon my review of the video footage. Unfortunate, the quality I have experienced with the Hero4 Silver is very poor! I spent a fair amount of money for the camera and accessories, but I am beginning to think I threw my money away! Is my experience unique? If not, is GoPro going to do anything about the poor image quality? If so, is there something I might be doing wrong?

  • Donny Foscalina

    Awesome article!!! Thank you for the knowledge! I want to shoot some xmas lights from my drone at night time. What settings should i use for this low light situation? Thank you in advance. Gopro hero 4 black.

  • dejan

    Hi Abe,, i m a bit confused here.. why there is no narrow field of view in 4K?? i used it for spearfishing in 1080 60 on the gopro 3 to make the fish look closer,,, when i use 1080 NFV is it lower quality then 1080 WFV??? So when i will be using 4K for filming corals it will be a huge difference in quality compared to the 1080 NFV??? Should i use 4K and then crop it in editing for best quality?? thnx

    • dejan

      i mean zoom in editing)))

  • Pingback: Suggested GoPro Settings for Solo (Englisch) | B.A.M. Films()

  • Jessie Allen

    I just brought a go pro 4 silver what the best setting for it right now for like summer and bright lighting ? it’s on 1080 p and 4 k is it good

  • paul

    hi ive bought the gopro 4 black i would like to know the best settings for cycling in the dark so the camera will read number plates

  • Dayne Konrad

    I’m curious what your recommendation is for settings when filming motocross from a side or top helmet mount.

    I have a GoPro Hero4 Black, and I have been typically using 2.7K Superview, 30FPS, Auto White Balance, GoPro Color, ISO Limit of 400, and Low Sharpness with no EV comp. I was pretty satisfied with my results, but I recently compared video with footage my friend took on his Hero4 Silver at 1080p60, and it looked incredibly gorgeous. It was the same location, but his video was an hour or two earlier in the day. Besides the angle of the sun, the lighting wasn’t much different. Should I be looking to use a different resolution that will get me a higher framerate, or is it more likely a setting issue?

    While the day was bright skies with no cloud coverage, most of this footage was in and out of trees so I assumed thought that the lower framerate of the 2.7K would turn out better.


  • Abe, thanks for the super useful guides, really appreciated. Quick question. In the diagram above where you show the boxes of each of the different resolutions embedded within each other, why does the 1080 look taller than the 960 box?

    I’ve been trying to understand when to shoot 960 vs 1080 on a 3+ Silver, and I realized that the 960 captures a more vertical FOV which is great for chest or helmet mounted shots where I want to see the riders skis plus some of the horizon. To me that would imply that the 960 captures more vertical FOV? Maybe I’m misunderstanding the relationship between vertical pixels and FOV?


  • Boris Gervaise

    Hi Abe,

    A question regarding filters.
    Nowadays there are ND and polarized filters available on the market; have you ever tried one?
    For example, when snowboarding on a sunny day, is it better to use protune/flat color, and then do the color correction in post, or does the polarized filter do the work by itself? (I’m hesitating on buying one, but the footage videos I see on the web with these filters have really dark shadows).


  • harmony

    hi i have a gopro hero 4 and when i try to change the field of view for video i can’t because i only have the wide view option. how to i fix this??

  • Jim Flynn

    When recording my band, my hero 4 silver splits the recordings into roughly 1 minute files. Why? I have a recommended 32gb card. I can join the files but it’s a lot of work. The camera is plugged i to a wall socket, and controlled with the app thru my cell phone.

  • Pingback: Suggested GoPro Settings for Solo (Englisch) | B.A.M. Films & Fotos()


    hi abe, how i gonna capture northen light with gopro4? should i taking video or using photo lapse?

  • Baker kabunga

    when i install a my Rode video mic into my Gopro Hero 4 silver my LCD screen turns off. When i unplug the mic the touch screen is off too, i have to turn the gopro off and on again for everything to work as normal. is this normal? or do you know of a fix?

  • Joshua Munoz

    I have a clip filmed at 1080p 120fps. I put it in Final cut pro and try slowing it down but every time it looks sooooo choppy still. Any advice? I think I have a good memory card for it. This is the memory card I bought for it…http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-MicroSDXC-Adapter-SDSQXNE-064G-GN6MA/dp/B013CP5IWO?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

    Is that not as good since its not a class 10, its only class 3?

  • Derek F

    Hello. For simple video – like snorkeling what would you recommend for a Hero 4 Silver. I don’t have the FPS options you recommend above. Thanks for this information it’s super helpful.

  • Lodewijk Curiel Luijt


    I am wondering how much bandwidth it would take for two go pro’s to live-stream over wifi. Has anyone looked into this?

  • Pingback: Recommended settings for tutorial vid? - GoPro Forum, Classifieds and Support()

  • Hunter Greene Parkour

    What do you recommend for parkour video settings in general, for action shots and pov shots, currently using a go pro hero 4 black

  • Thanks for this great detail information, because im new on Go Pro 🙂

  • ben

    Hi Abe- Amazing tutorials, incredibly helpful! I have just bought a Gopro 4 silver, and plan on using it for diving in tropical waters, with a good red filter, natural light.
    I’ll be in good light, less than 20m / 65ft and shooting wide angle fishy scenes, non POV, no selfies, little to no slomotion- this kind of stuff

    Problem is I won’t be able to test the camera in water before leaving, only on land, and also won’t be able to check the footage on a computer when I’m traveling.

    So I’m looking for a good, fool-proof setting:

    So far I’ve got it down to:

    Protune on (I’ll be editing in post in After Effects), WB native, go pro color (or flat?)
    Iso 400
    fps 60, low light on
    FOV wide or medium

    sharpness? medium or low, not sure – but then again with water and a filter…

    1080 (so at 60fps?) seems like the best choice
    or 2.7 at 60 (but I’m a little worried about card space) or 2.7K 30 Wide – not sure it’s worth the hassle

    thanks a bunch!

  • Mike

    I have a Hero4 Silver. I am wondering what setting I should consider using for day-to-day filming. I am stuck between 2.7k at 30 frames or 1080p at 60 frames. Any suggestions between these two or any other settings?

  • Jamie Marley


    I Read all these comment and the best settings etc for the hero black 4, which I have just purchased.
    I cannot find anywhere on the settings on the cam to change the video quality. Am I missing something? or do you just film and then change the quality on the PC when you go to edit, that’s if you do want to edit. Please help appreciated as its driving me bonkers as I cannot find half of the icons / settings below

    Many thanks

  • Javier

    Hello Abe,

    amazing post!

    i have one question..which video mode would you recommend me to record a music festival?

    It will be from 06:00 pm to 02:00 am.

    Thank you so much!

  • I’m upgrading from the 3+ silver and trying to decide between the 4 silver / 4 black. My interests are in higher dynamic range and potentially using 4k to do image stabilization in an app like premier. Would one be a clear choice over the other?

  • Valeria Morales De Rodriguez

    Hey Abe,
    Thanks for the great article I have a question I have the gopro4 silver and will be running the spartan race in Hawai in August I will also be using the head mount which settings would you recommend I use?

  • Noor Al-Mannai

    Hello my Gopro Hero 4 Black taking fast videos sometimes, how can I stop this from happening again?

    I’m trying to take videos while driving at night, but I’m not sure which setup should I use! The lights on the road extremely brights

    When it’s sunny on the road the videos turnout to be dark!


  • Pingback: Why is my Iphone video better then my GP4 Black?? - GoPro Forum, Classifieds and Support()

  • Pingback: Hero 3+ black indoor shooting. - GoPro Forum, Classifieds and Support()

  • Ben Mills

    Hi Abe – I have a Hero4 and shoot a lot of video in school PE lessons for assessment purposes. When I look back at the video the footage is slow and takes jumpy. What settings would you recommend I use? I am a complete novice, excuse my ignorance 🙂


  • Pingback: Film jouw reis met een GoPro Actiecamera - Hero Shop()

  • Jonathan Russell

    My gopro 4 silver only gives me 15 FPS when in 4k mode. I just updated the camera. Is there something wrong or am i missing something?

  • Jono Ashton

    Hi Abe
    I have a hero 4 silver. I use it almost exclusively for trail riding and Motocross. I often get a very dark image when coming over a hill and have a lot of sky in the image but perfect when there is not too much sky. I have tried spot metering and that is worse. Is there anything else that will help?? Thanks

  • Pingback: BEST GoPro Settings! TeamSuperTramp’s Favorite GoPro Settings! – Your Gadget()

  • John

    Hi Abe,

    You wrote in this older article about there being a “setting called ‘Native’ which won’t apply any WB correction matrix (formerly called ‘Cam-Raw’).” Are there really no differences between the old CAM RAW from the HERO3 and the HERO4’s Native setting besides the name? Just wondering, because on the GoPro website’s discussion of the Protune settings (https://gopro.com/support/articles/advanced-protune-controls-explained), it makes it sound like CAM RAW was no white balance compensation period while Native is very minor but still not totally absent compensation.


  • David

    On Hero4, what resolution and frame rate uses the least amount of battery and the least amount of memory? WVGA looks to be the smallest, but the framerate is 240? So I guess that would make 720 at 25fps the most economical? I am recording backgammon matches and just need the barest gist of the action – literally one frame per second would be great if possible.
    Also, does changing the view to Medium or Narrow save anything?

  • Pingback: Video Settings in the HERO5 Black()

  • Pingback: Primary Research – Go Pro Tutorial and Test Shoot. – Hayley Dean – Unit 7()

  • Pingback: Bibliography. – Hayley Dean – Unit 7()

  • Pingback: Hiểu về Video trên GoPro Hero4 – Hùngです()

  • Mauricio Garcia

    what setup would you use while skiing on snow?

  • Pingback: GoPro Advice/Tips()