Shutter speed controls the amount of time that the camera’s sensor is exposed to light, and it can be a powerful tool for creating dramatic effects in your videos. If you’re wondering how to manually adjust the shutter speed on your GoPro, you’re on the right page!

In this guide, you’ll discover the steps to manually adjust the shutter speed on your GoPro camera, along with instructions on how to take light trail photos.

Also, I’ll give you my opinion on what the best shutter speed for GoPros is.


How To Manually Adjust GoPro Shutter Speed

Unlike a DSLR camera’s mechanical shutter, the compact GoPro shutter is digital – there are no moving parts at work. Conceptually, there’s no difference in operational results: the slower the shutter speed (eg. 1/30s), the more light allowed in, the brighter the resulting image (exposure) and vice versa.

shutter speed protune settings

GoPro’s shutter will open for a fraction of a second to allow light in and capture an image, then close it for the same amount of time. This is repeated as many times per second to match your frame rate.

By default, GoPro’s shutter speed is set to Auto, which means the camera will adjust its speed automatically, depending on its surrounding lighting conditions. Manual mode gives you somewhat more control over your shutter speed.

Faster shutter speeds (1/4000 seconds) are usually used for action shots or very bright scenes, while slow shutter speeds (1/30 seconds) are good for low light situations or to capture specific lightning effects like light trails or starlight.

To access manual shutter speed options, make sure to enable Protune in your camera settings, then select the “Shutter” from the menu.

(setting options might differ with different camera models)

gopro shutter speed settings

Now, depending on your lighting situation and what you’d like to achieve, choose the speed that most suits your setting.


How Shutter Speed Impacts Your Frame

Your GoPro’s shutter speed can noticeably impact your video results, especially when it comes to capturing motion.

In videography, A fast shutter speed, like 1/400th of a second, will produce a series of crispy video frames that could, upon playback, appear choppy. Conversely, a slower shutter speed, like 1/60th of a second, will produce softer and smoother video footage.

As a general rule, the number of frames per second (FPS) — your frame rate — at which you’re recording should be approximately half of your shutter speed denominator.


  • Frame Rate (FPS) = 30
  • Shutter Speed = 1/60s

Manual Shutter Speed: when should you use it?

By default, the Shutter Speed of your GoPro is set on Auto. However, consider taking control over your shutter speed when:

In Video Mode: If you want to keep a constant 2:1 ratio between shutter and frame rate (fps)

In Photo Mode: To take light trail or starlight photos

Pro tip: when you set the shutter manually, you might need to use ND filters to help you control the light in your frame. That’s because when you got a fixed shutter, and a change in light occurs, the camera won’t automatically adjust.

ND filters will help you take better long exposure photos during daylight, like shown in the image below:

side by side comparison of waterfall photo using neutral density filter versus without


How to Set Shutter Speed to Take Light Trail Photos

By selecting low shutter speeds (2 seconds or more) you will be able to capture some nice light trails like in the image below.

gopro low shutter speed

To achieve this cool effect, you need to make sure your scene has moving lights (cars in a busy road are the perfect example) in a dark background (better if shot at night).

Then switch to night mode and try different shutter speeds (2-30 seconds) until you find the one that works best with your lighting settings.

For long exposure shots, I suggest using a tripod or a gimbal  as the camera needs to be as stable as possible to avoid blurring and grain.


What is The Shutter Speed of The GoPro Hero 11?

Shutter speed values may vary on different GoPro camera models. Generally, their range is from 1/30s to 1/960s in video mode and 1/125s to 1/2000s in photo mode. In all the latest GoPro models, including the GoPro Hero 11 Black, the maximum shutter speed is 1/960s in video mode (1080p60), and 1/2000s in photo mode.


What is The Best Shutter Speed for GoPros?

When it comes to finding the best shutter speed for GoPros, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Video Mode

In video mode, the ideal shutter speed would be double the frame rate, as this creates a natural-looking motion blur that is pleasing to the eye. For example, if you are shooting at 30 frames per second, your shutter speed should be set to 1/60th of a second. However, it’s important to note that setting the shutter speed manually in this way often requires the use of ND filters to control lighting in the scene, as well as a good understanding of exposure settings.

If you’re new to using a GoPro or simply want to keep things simple, it’s perfectly fine to leave the shutter speed on Auto in video mode. This will allow the camera to automatically adjust the shutter speed based on the lighting conditions in the scene, so you can focus on capturing the action without worrying about technical settings.

Photo mode

In photo mode, the best shutter speed for GoPros will depend on what type of photo you’re taking. If you’re capturing fast-moving action, you may want to set the shutter speed manually to freeze the action and avoid motion blur. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create long exposure photos, you will need to set the shutter speed manually to a slower setting. This will allow the camera to capture more light over a longer period of time, resulting in a beautifully blurred effect.



Thanks for reading!

I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to adjust GoPro Shutter Speed manually 🙂


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