This GoPro Hero 12 tutorial is something I wish I had when I first got my camera. If you’re eager to start filming but aren’t quite sure how to set it up, I’m here to guide you through it.
Today you’ll learn how to set up your new camera, choose the best settings, and select the right accessories.
GoPro Hero 12: First Setup
Here’s how you get started with your new GoPro Hero 12 Black:
Preparing Your Camera
Charge and Insert the Battery: Before embarking on your adventures, ensure that you’ve charged the powerful Enduro battery. Insert it into the camera securely, making sure the side door is properly sealed to maintain the camera’s water resistance.
Insert a microSD Card: To capture and store your stunning photos and high-definition videos, don’t forget to insert a GoPro compatible microSD card. I use the Sandisk Extreme Pro and find it very reliable. This is the SD card I use:
- Up to 160MB/s read speeds to save time transferring high res images and 4K UHD...
- Up to 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting; Requires compatible devices capable of...
- 4K UHD and Full HD Ready with UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30)
Setting Up the Camera
Power On and Pair with GoPro Quik App: Once your camera is powered on, use the back touchscreen to follow the simple prompts for pairing with the GoPro Quik app on your smartphone. This connection is your gateway to seamless camera updates, remote control, and media editing, all in the palm of your hand.
Selecting Modes and Settings
Choosing Your Mode: With a simple press of the Power/Mode button, cycle through the available modes. Whether you’re looking to capture video, photos, or time-lapse sequences, this is where you set the stage.
Capturing Content: Use the Shutter/Select button to effortlessly start and stop recording your videos or snap that perfect shot.
Mounting and Accessories
Mounting Options: The folding fingers and 1/4-20 mounting threads provide versatile options for securely attaching your GoPro to various accessories, letting you capture unique and captivating perspectives.
Media Mod and Max Lens Mod: Elevate your content creation with the Media Mod, which offers features like a shotgun microphone for improved audio, an HDMI port for live streaming, and a cold shoe mount for attaching additional accessories. Consider the Max Lens Mod 2.0 to expand your camera’s capabilities with a 360-degree horizon lock and a wider field of view.
Playback and Editing
Review Your Media: After your adventure, relive your experiences by using the touch screen or the GoPro Quik app to review your photos and videos. Ensure that you capture all the excitement and beauty.
Create Highlight Videos: For those looking to share their adventures with flair, the GoPro Quik app allows you to create automatic highlight videos with background music and effects, turning your raw footage into engaging stories.
Save Your Media: Safeguard your cherished content by using the GoPro Quik app or a USB-C cable to transfer it to your computer or cloud storage. Alternatively, employ a microSD card reader or adapter for a seamless backup process.
Deleting and Formatting: When it’s time to tidy up your storage, you can efficiently manage your media by using the camera’s touch screen or the GoPro Quik app. For a more thorough clean slate, format your microSD card directly within the camera’s settings (save your media before).
Best Settings for GoPro Hero 12
The best settings for the GoPro HERO 12 depend on your specific use case and shooting preferences.
If you don’t have time to dig into details, you can use my free GoPro Cheat Sheet. I’ve made a research and crammed all the best settings for every occasion onto one page, so you can just download and use it without stressing yourself over terms like Hypersmooth, ISO, etc.
Watch my video to get all the main setting explained:
However, if you want to go into details, here are some recommended settings to get the most out of your HERO 12:
Resolution is the size and quality of your video or photo. The higher the resolution, the more details and clarity you can get, but also the more storage space and battery power you will use.
The GoPro Hero 12 can shoot up to 5.3K resolution, which is ideal for large screens and cropping. However, for most purposes, 4K resolution is enough and more compatible with most devices.
This defines the format of your video or photo. The GoPro Hero 12 can shoot in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. The 16:9 aspect ratio is the standard widescreen format that most TVs and monitors use.
The 4:3 aspect ratio is more square and can capture more vertical information, which is useful for social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
Frame rate is the number of frames per second (fps) your video will have. The higher the frame rate, the smoother and more realistic your video will look, but also the more storage space and battery power you will use.
The GoPro Hero 12 can shoot up to 240 fps, which is great for slow-motion effects. However, for most purposes, 60 fps or 30 fps are enough and more compatible with most devices.
This determines how steady and smooth your video will look. The GoPro Hero 12 has a built-in feature called Hypersmooth, which uses advanced algorithms to reduce camera shake and motion blur.
You can choose between different levels of stabilization, such as On, High, Boost, or Off. The higher the level, the more stable your video will look, but also the more cropping and distortion you will have.
Shutter speed is the time each frame of your video or photo is exposed to light. The longer the shutter speed, the more light and motion blur you will capture, but also the more noise and grain you will have.
The shorter the shutter speed, the less light and motion blur you will capture, but also the less noise and grain you will have. You can manually set it using Pro Controls.
EV (Exposure Value)
EV is the amount of bright or dark your video or photo will be. The higher the EV, the brighter your video or photo will be, but also the more highlights and details you will lose. The lower the EV, the darker your video or photo will be, but also the more shadows and details you will lose.
A good rule of thumb is to use a negative EV (-0.5 or -1) when shooting in bright sunlight, and a positive EV (+0.5 or +1) when shooting in low light.
This determines how sensitive your camera sensor is to light. The higher the ISO, the more light and noise you will capture, but also the more details you will have. The lower the ISO, the less light and noise you will capture, but also the fewer details you will have.
I recommend you to use a low ISO (100 or 200) when shooting in bright sunlight, and a high ISO (800 or 1600) when shooting in low light.
Sharpness defines how crisp and clear your video or photo will look. The higher the sharpness, the more edges and details you will enhance, but also the more artificial and unnatural your video or photo will look. The lower the sharpness, the more edges and details you will soften, but also the more natural and realistic your video or photo will look.
It can be manually adjusted using Pro Controls. Use a low sharpness when shooting in high resolution or planning to edit your footage later.
The higher the color, the more vivid and colorful your video or photo will look, but also the more contrast and dynamic range you will lose. The lower the color, the more flat and dull your video or photo will look, but also the more contrast and dynamic range you will have.
Natural color is great when shooting in normal conditions, a vibrant color when shooting in dull or cloudy conditions, and a flat color when planning to edit your footage later.
Now that you’ve set up your new GoPro Hero 12 you’re ready to film your adventures.
Experiment with angles, find new perspectives, try out Timelapse and Timewarp – find best setting here – and don’t be afraid to express your creative side!
The last piece of advice I can give you is to really think about the accessories you need. Don’t drop cash on stuff you’ll never use. However, adding essentials to your gear, like a tripod or an ND filter, might be a smart move.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you learn about the GoPro Hero 12 Black 🙂
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