Ready to capture your best moments? The GoPro camera is perfect for capturing your fast-paced, action-packed sports and adventures. But, with so many settings available on the camera, it can be difficult to know what you should choose. That’s why I have created this guide of 5 BEST GoPro Settings for Sport, Action and Travel. These settings can help transform your footage from average to amazing!
5 Best GoPro Settings for Sport, Action, Travel
You can tune your GoPro settings to get the perfect shot, every time. Here are the five best GoPro camera settings that will help you capture your favorite activities with optimum quality:
#1. Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a photo or video is the shape that it is composed in. The GoPro has two aspect ratios to choose from: 16:9 (wide screen) and 4:3 (squarer format).
The wide screen 16:9 aspect ratio is the most commonly used ratio in almost all platforms. You can use it for your Phone, TV, YouTube and Computer.
The 4:3 aspect ratio looks much more square as compared to the 16:9 aspect ratio (which looks more rectangular). This aspect ratio is best to be used for Social Media, such as for Facebook & Instagram.
Resolution means the overall image size of the photo or video captured by the camera. GoPros provide several different resolutions based on the model you’re using, including 720p, 1080p, 4K etc.
It is generally recommended that you should keep the resolution high for fast-paced action shots. Today, 1080p and 4K are the most commonly used resolutions. Here’s a rundown of the different resolutions offered by GoPro and their use case scenarios:
- 720p (1280 x 720) – I don’t recommend shooting at this resolution, simply because it’s low quality. Today, most smartphones offer better image quality than this.
- 960p (1280 x 960) – Again, not recommended! Unless you really want to conserve your battery and/or your SD card space.
- 1080p (1920 x 1080) – 1080p, also called HD (High Definition) is a great resolution to play the footage on your computer, TV or phone. Therefore, if you want to make a YouTube video of your trip, I recommend that you shoot it at 1080p resolution with your GoPro.
- 1440p (1920 x 1440) – 1440p resolution uses the 4:3 aspect ratio, which means that it captures more top and bottom, thus providing you a taller overall video. So, if you want a video to post on Facebook or Instagram, I recommend using this resolution on your GoPro.
- 2.7k (2704 x 1520 / 2704 x 2028) – 2.7K resolution offers great image quality. However, shooting at this resolution means you’ll have to deal with larger file sizes. If you’re okay with it, then you should use this resolution.
- 4k (3840 x 2160) – 4K is the largest and best resolution offered on GoPro cameras. It offers superb, top-notch image quality. But, due to very high file size, edition or playing videos can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Also, shooting at 4K resolution will drain your GoPro’s battery much faster!
#3. Frame Rate
Frame rate refers to the number of frames (pictures) your GoPro captures per second in a given video. I recommend that you use a minimum of 30FPS frame rate. Anything lower than that would appear blurry to the human eye.
A frame rate of 30FPS or higher is perfect for capturing your various adventures, for example that thrilling downhill mountain bike race you just competed in.
A 60FPS frame rate ensures your footage looks smooth and fluid when shooting in fast environments or high action sports, such as car racing.
Higher frame rates (60FPS, 120FPS and 240FPS) allow you to be able to slow the footage down when necessary, without compromising on video quality.
#4. Field of View (FOV)
The field of view essentially determines what you will see on the video when it’s playing back for others to watch. With this setting you can set how wide or narrow you want your GoPro’s video to be. There are three modes when it comes to GoPro FOV: Wide, Medium and Narrow. Choose wisely so as not to miss any important moments!
Wide FOV: Wide FOV allows you to observe more than just a single focal point within the frame. You can see everything and really get immersed into your surroundings. The only downside to shooting in wide is that your videos will appear warped in the corners. However, it’s not very noticeable!
When should you use Wide FOV: POV shots, Close-up Shots, Selfies.
Medium FOV: Medium FOV offers an ideal compromise between capturing all sides without distortion while still having enough width for those epic landscape shots that need room to breathe horizontally.
When should you use Medium FOV: Landscape, Shooting faraway subjects.
Narrow FOV: Narrow FOV makes everything seem like it’s happening right next door! But, such a shot doesn’t look like it was taken on a GoPro.
When should you use Narrow FOV: Drone Photography, Interviews.
Protune lets you unlock the full creative potential of your GoPro by giving you greater manual control over some really important factors that affect the quality of your shots. These factors include Color, White Balance, ISO Limit and Shutter Speed.
– Color: This setting allows you to adjust the color profile of the videos or photos. It’s further divided into two modes: GoPro Color (default) mode and Flat mode. The GoPro Color mode provides automatic color-corrected image. Flat mode, on the other hand, provides a neutral color profile in which colors may appear washed off at first. However, this mode offers more flexibility when it comes to post-production.
– White Balance: White Balance lets you set the color temperature of the image. You can adjust the white balance and optimize it for cool or warm lighting conditions. There are several options for this setting, including Auto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K, and Native. Lower values provide warmer tones. Choose Native for a minimally color-corrected profile.
– ISO Minimum/Maximum: This setting allows you to set a range for the camera’s sensitivity to light and image noise. In low light scenarios, higher ISO values result in brighter images, albeit with greater noise. Similarly, lower ISO values result in darker images with less noise. The default for ISO Maximum is 1600 for video and 3200 for photos. The default for ISO Minimum is 100 for both photos and videos.
– Shutter Speed: Shutter speed refers to how quickly the GoPro image sensor captures changes over time. It is crucial to how your image will look. You can choose from a variety of speeds, but the lower the shutter speed, the more light it lets into the camera lens. Therefore, you’d want to use higher shutter speed when shooting outdoors on sunny days. A slower shutter speed, on the other hand, would work better for indoor shots with low lighting, like at night-time.
Watch this video for more GoPro Settings Tips:
Now that you know the 5 best GoPro settings for sport, action and travel, set your camera to these modes before starting a new adventure. I’ve also included information on how you can tweak the best settings to increase video quality in different situations.
However, remember that there’s no universal “right” way of capturing quality shots. It may take some trial and error before you find what works best for each situation. I recommend using these popular settings as starting points, but feel free to explore different options after experimenting with them!
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I hope this guide helped you gain essential knowledge regarding the best GoPro Settings for Sport, Action and Travel. 🙂
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