A GoPro is, undoubtedly, the best action camera for you if you look forward to capturing your memorable adventures. The footage shot by GoPro is almost always appealing to the viewer, thanks to the awesome stabilization it provides and an overall great camera performance. However, you must ensure that your GoPro has the best color settings for your requirements if you want truly cinematic and professional-looking shots.
Please note that there’s no such a ‘universal’ best color setting that is good for all filming situations. It all depends upon whether you’re planning to edit your footage and want to give a cinematic mood to it, or you are just recording some clips that you don’t plan to retouch that much.
In this article, we’ve compiled full information about the recommended color settings for different situations.
GoPro Protune Color: Flat vs GoPro Color
Before proceeding further, let’s first discuss what GoPro Protune means. Well, Protune is what GoPro calls its settings which control several aspects of its shots, like sharpness of the image, color, ISO etc. Although these settings are often misunderstood or ignored by many new GoPro users, they are extremely important to achieve quality captures.
👉 If you want to learn more about Protune read this: Advanced Settings Explained + Best Settings For Photo & Video
In the newer GoPro models, there’s a choice between two color modes in the Protune color mode settings: GoPro Color and Flat. You should note that you’ll only see these settings if you turn Protune on. The GoPro color mode is the default setting, and you can manually change it to Flat if you wish to.
Now, the question arises as to what’s the difference between the two. Here’s the answer. GoPro color mode adds a specific color style directly in-camera. It gives you an image that is visibly more vibrant and with a higher contrast. Flat color mode, on the other hand, gives a raw look without any editing. It results in a low-contrast image with no filter applied.
Here are two examples of similar shots captured by GoPro in Flat and GoPro color mode.
As you can see, the most obvious difference is in the contrast. The images captured with GoPro color mode undoubtedly look much more appealing right out of the camera, however, they are not meant for color grading, and neither for applying custom LUT filters.
GoPro Color: For quick, vibrant results
GoPro Color mode is ideal for you if you don’t wish to devote much time for post processing, but still want visually appealing shots. It gives you really nice end results without the need to do a lot of editing.
The key difference between GoPro and Flat color modes is in the contrast. The footage with GoPro Color mode is anytime spunkier and more cinematic without editing. This mode ensures dynamic captures with a lively edge!
Choose GoPro color only if you do not intend to edit the color of your videos.
Flat Color: For more Freedom
Now that it’s clear that GoPro color mode has an edge over Flat (right out of the camera), the question arises:
- “Why would you opt for the Flat mode when the end result with GoPro color mode clearly looks better?”
The section below has all your answers…
Whether you’re shooting still images or videos, Flat color mode lets you capture more detail in your shots, as it is a raw image with full editing potential. The word ‘raw’ has been used because the camera doesn’t apply any color filter on your photo or video in this setting, thus providing you a neutral looking shot. You’ll love how (in post-production) all shadows and highlights are fully captured in the resulting shots, thus giving you more freedom to unleash your creativity.
While you might feel initially that the image lacks saturation or contrast, and is a little washed out, but the truth is that the shots with this mode capture more data. If you have good editing skills, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how the image can be fine-tuned with all the blacks & the highlights punched out to make it look more realistic!
So, if your videos look too flat, don’t worry: it looks like that because you’re supposed to correct this footage in post-production by color correcting or color grading the footage, or using one of the LUT color filters that best suits the mood and style of your film.
The main issue you’ll encounter while manually editing colors is: other than skills, color grading may take a long time… Even for professionals! So, what’s the solution if you don’t want to invest such a long time in manually color grading your films?
Use Color Grading LUTs!
What are LUTs?
LUT stands for Look Up Table. It’s used to color grade and transform the images captured by your camera into a desired color value output (as set by the LUT). In simple words, LUTs are the presets that let you easily apply professional color grading yourself. They give your desired look to your video instantly, so you can apply professional level color tones.
We, at Project GoPro, have made our own GoPro color grading filters packs, specifically designed for GoPro footage style. Click here to have a look.
There’s something for everyone in this wide range (over 100) of color presets to cover most GoPro activities.
Here are some of them:
- CINEMA – Cine Automobile, Cine Cycling, Cine Drone, Cine Hiking, Cine Motorcycle, Cine Ski, Cine Sport, Cine Sunset, Cine Surf, Cine Travel, Cine Underwater, Cine Vlog
- ORANGE & TEAL – Orange Teal Colorful, Orange Teal Fantasy, Orange Teal Light, Orange Teal, Retro, Orange Teal Vivid
- WARM – Adventure, Desaturated, Landscape, Lover, Nature, Pastel Vibes, Pool Party, Retro, Sepia Tone, Sparta, Tropical, Vintage
- COLD – Aqua, Blue Lake, Cold Fade, Dreamy, Blue, Dreamy Green, Faded Ice, Green Nature, Light Punch.
Examples: Before & After applying LUT Filters
Have a look at this video to understand how your videos or photos change before and after applying these filters:
A desaturated brown creates a completely different feeling on screen than a dark, deep brown color:
The cinematic LUTs are designed to brighten up dull, washed-out images, by applying a preset on your flat footage. This way you can have any color mood you like, just a click away.
Here’s anothere example of these LUTs on underwater videos. In our GoPro Cinematic LUT Pack there’s even a lut filter specifically designed for underwater footage (here was my first scuba dive! 🙂
So, what are you waiting for?
Try our Cinematic GoPro LUTs Filters and transform your footage in seconds with 106 Color Grading Filters.