Just bought a brand new GoPro Hero 5 action camera, and wondering how to use it for best results and looking for the instructions? Well, we’ve got you covered! This post is a detailed starter’s guide for anyone who’s just purchased a GoPro Hero 5 Black, and is looking for advice to start out. You’ll get everything you need here – instructions, settings, tips and more…
Hero 5 Black: Starter Tips
First things first, here are some tips to let you start using your beloved camera smoothly:
#1: Get a Lens Protector
GoPro Hero 5 Black has a vastly improved design as compared to its predecessors. One of the best features of this action cam is that it’s waterproof (up to 10m) even without a housing. However, there’s one major drawback owing to this. Without the housing on, the camera lens is more susceptible to damage and scratches. So, we recommend that you buy a replacement GoPro protective lens cover to replace your lens cap. And while fixing it, don’t forget to gently apply a little pressure and then rotate the cap in a clockwise direction.
#2: Lock the Touch Screen
You must lock the screen while shooting, or else you may have to sometimes face crashing of videos in case of an accidental swipe on screen. To lock the touch screen, you just need to swipe down on the screen and press the padlock shaped icon on the settings bar. And when you want to unlock the screen again, swipe down (just like you did previously) on screen and again press the padlock. It’ll unlock the screen of your cam.
#3: Extend Your GoPro’s Battery Life
By keeping the side charging door of your camera open, you can directly connect it with a portable power bank, thereby extending your video shooting hours manifold (from about one hour to more than 8 hours). For this, you simply need to open the side charging door and pull it out. Please note that you don’t need to apply too much force to do this. Now, attach the side charging door to a power bank.
To extend your GoPro’s battery life follow these instructions: 8 Tips to Extend Your GoPro Hero 5 Battery Life.
And read How to Turn OFF GoPro Hero 5 and SAVE Battery to prolong your filming.
#4: Buy appropriate SD Card
The GoPro Hero 5 uses microSD cards that are rated for video recording speed class 10 or higher. The camera supports microSD cards with a maximum capacity of 128GB. Find more about max capacity of SD card in the following article: GoPro HERO 5: SD Card Max Size You Can Have.
It is important to note that not all microSD cards are created equal, and using a low-quality card can result in problems like freezing, corrupted files, or loss of footage. Therefore, it is recommended to use high-quality SD cards from reputable brands such as SanDisk, Lexar, or Samsung to ensure the best performance and reliability.
To find where to buy these SD Cards read the article: Top 7 GoPro Hero 5 SD Cards (Black & Session).
You may also find this article useful: The 14 Most Important GoPro Tips for Beginners
For more GoPro tips check out this video:
Best Settings for GoPro Hero 5
In this section, we’ll cover some of the best settings for GoPro Hero 5.
#1: Resolution & Frame Rates
If you want to playback the video on a large screen, we recommend setting your GoPro at a high resolution (at least 1080p Full HD) as it can be played back without noticeable defects, whereas low resolution (480p) may appear poor in quality. For those who plan to shoot super fast action shots or create cinematic slow motion videos, utilizing higher frame rates (120 – 240 fps) is strongly advised. Otherwise, for normal action shots, 30 or 60 FPS is ideal.
#2: Field of View (FOV)
The super wide angle lenses of your GoPro Hero 5 assist you in capturing unique scenes. Recently, the linear FOV (90 degree angle) option has been added to the action camera model. It lets you take a closer look over the scene, and is best for non-action shots like interviews, Vlogs, etc. You can customize the FOV settings as per your shoot requirements. For action shots with the widest angle, SuperView (170 degree angle) should be used.
#3: Use Electronic Stabilization (EIS)
The improved Electronic Image Stabilization in Hero 5 is top notch, despite the 10% of frame crop. It lets you achieve incredibly smooth and shake free footage. We strongly recommend that you turn the Stabilization ON when shooting scenarios with rapid motion, like motorcycling, adventure sports etc. However, you should turn it OFF for low light shots to avoid ‘jello effect’.
#4: Voice Command
To turn this feature on, you simply need to swipe down on the main screen of your Hero5 Black device and go to the voice command icon. With this feature, you can control various GoPro functions by just speaking a few dedicated commands to your camera. Some of these commands include:
GoPro Start recording
GoPro Shoot Burst
GoPro Start time lapse
GoPro Photo mode
GoPro Turn Off
GoPro Video mode
GoPro Take a Photo
GoPro Stop Recording
GoPro Time Lapse Mode
GoPro Turn Off
In case you forget any of these commands, they can be easily found under the preferences list of your GoPro device. These commands are available in 10 supported languages.
To learn more about GoPro’s voice commands read: 12+ Voice Commands to control your GoPro
#5: Time-Lapse Settings
To achieve some of the coolest effects in your videos with Hero 5, time lapse videos are the ultimate option. Time lapse videos means pieces of photos filmed over a long period of time, which are then played back at an increased speed to create an appealing movie for the viewer. This is great for establishing shots, for transiting from night to day, or to show beautiful sunset-sunrises.
To make a time lapse, tap on your camera screen and then go to the shooting mode icon from the left button available on screen. Now, tap on the time lapse icon on top right portion of screen and then choose one of the 3 Time Lapse modes provided by GoPro:
- Time Lapse Video – Records footage for a long duration and creates the output time lapse file in video format.
- Time Lapse Photo – Captures images at specifically-timed intervals and gives output in image format.
- Night Lapse Photo – Meant for time lapse shots in low light conditions.
#6: Adjust Photo Settings
Photo mode lets you capture still shots with your Hero 5 like a traditional DSLR or point and shoot camera. You can access this option by clicking on the video icon at the bottom left-hand corner of the home page menu. Photo mode is best used when taking standard photos.
Here are the other modes for still photos:
- Night mode – Designed for long exposure photographs, typically used in low light.
- Burst mode – Lets you capture multiple photos over a short period of time.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) – Overlays multiple images taken at different levels of exposure.
Visit this article for a more detailed account of best GoPro settings: GoPro Settings Explained: Best for Action, Travel and More
Download GoPro Hero 5 Manual
For a comprehensive and official instruction manual which has all the details that you may need to operate your GoPro Hero 5 Black, visit this link:
If you have GoPro Hero 5 session you can download your manual here:
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post helped you to set your GoPro Hero 5 🙂
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