Ever used a GoPro camera for filming in low light? While most GoPro cameras are awesome for shooting your action-packed adventures in 4K, they are not usually great at low-light photography. Many users complain of grainy or noisy low-light shots captured with GoPros. Thankfully, there are a few settings that can make your GoPro low-light shots look considerably better.
In this post, you’ll learn about the recommended GoPro low light settings. These settings are relevant for all the latest GoPro models – HERO 7, 8, 9, and 10.
So, let’s get started!
Factors That Affect GoPro Low Light Performance
Before proceeding further, let’s first figure out the main factors that influence low light performance on GoPro cameras.
#1. Aperture Size
The aperture refers to a hole that’s present in your GoPro camera lens. This hole controls the amount of light that passes through the camera lens. The aperture size is expressed in terms of an “f-number” or “f-stop”. The smaller the number, the more the light and the brighter the image.
Here’s the full range of aperture values: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/44, f/64.
However, please note that you can’t control the aperture size of your GoPro. It is fixed at f/2.8. This size is large enough to let adequate light in even in low light scenarios.
#2. ISO Limit
GoPro ISO Limit is a setting that controls the image sensor’s sensitivity to light. A higher or lower ISO value setting means the image sensor is more or less sensitive to light, which results in either brighter or darker footage. The ISO Minimum and Maximum values range from 100 to 6400. Higher ISO values result in brighter images, but with greater noise. Lower ISO values, on the other hand, result in darker images, but with less noise.
Therefore, you’re not suggested to raise the ISO settings too high in your GoPro because you probably end up with a grainy or noisy image that can’t be fixed in post-production.
#3. Frame Rate
Frame rate, also known as FPS (frames per second), refers to the number of images taken per second in a video. High FPS delivers smooth video, but also lowers the amount of light and darkens the resulting image. That’s because faster shutter speeds shorten the exposure time of each frame. This results in less light reaching the camera sensor. Therefore, a high frame rate isn’t recommended in low-light situations.
#4. Image Sensor
The image sensor also affects the brightness of the image captured through your camera. The larger your camera’s sensor is, the brighter the resulting image would be. However, you can’t control this setting on your GoPro camera. GoPro sensor size is 1/2.5-inch (5.75 mm × 4.28 mm).
Recommended GoPro Low Light Settings
Here are the recommended low-light settings for the latest GoPro Hero Series camera models:
#1. Enable Low Light Mode
Turning on your GoPro’s built-in Low-Light setting would help you achieve better-looking shots in low light. When this setting is enabled, the GoPro will automatically adjust frame rates according to prevailing light conditions. It is especially helpful in situations when the light is constantly changing, for example, during a concert.
For most cases, enabling low light mode would suffice for low light or nighttime shots. But, in case you still feel that your shot isn’t looking good enough even after enabling this mode, you can try some manual settings as mentioned below.
#2. Use Low Frame Rate
High FPS isn’t recommended in low light scenes. That’s why you should select low frame rates like 24fps, 25fps, or 30fps on your GoPro camera. This would slow down the shutter speed and let more light reach your camera’s lens.
3. Increase ISO (Appropriately)
Higher ISO values result in brighter images, but also increase noise. So, increase the ISO appropriately. The default 1600 ISO Limit is, usually, the best for low-light shots on your GoPro action camera.
4. Increase EV Comp
Exposure Value Compensation or EV Comp also affects the brightness of the footage captured on GoPro. It adjusts the brightness within the prevailing ISO Limit. The default EV Comp value on the GoPro camera is 0.
In low-light conditions, you can consider increasing the EV Comp by +1.0. This will result in a significantly brighter image.
To Sum Up:
Recommended GoPro Low Light Setting: Turn On the Low Light Mode
Recommended GoPro Manual Low Light Settings:
- Frame Rate: 24fps / 25fps / 30fps
- ISO Limit: 1600
- EV Comp: +1.0
For a full overview of the various GoPro Settings, have a look at this article:
Final Words: GoPro HERO 7/8/9/10 Low Light Setting
Now, you must have a fair idea of the best low-light settings for your GoPro((HERO 7/8/9/10). Try these settings, and you’re sure to achieve some fantastic nighttime/low-light shots through your action camera. Just read this guide carefully to know what works best for your scenario.
Note that the automatic low light setting works in most cases. But, if your footage doesn’t look appealing even with the automatic low-light setting, you should definitely configure the manual settings as mentioned above.
Thanks for reading! ?
I hope this guide helped you learn about the best settings for low-light on the GoPro Hero Series camera. ?
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