How to Make GoPro Videos Look Good

How to Make GoPro Videos Look Good

Your GoPro footage sucks and your videos are boring. Let's fix that.
Did you know most people hate watching GoPro footage? It's boring... Let's make better videos by exploring the best settings by using superview, high bit rate, lowering EV comp, and adjusting the max ISO.

To kick things off, let's first understand in an incredibly basic form the key components to a camera and how it works. Think about your camera like an eyeball. The shutter speed is how fast you blink your eye, aperture is how wide or how much you open your eye, and the ISO is how sensitive you are to light.

10 minutes of POV footage is boring and there's nothing worse than watching narrow POV footage. Switching over to superview allows you to capture the essence around you and put the viewer in the drivers seat. This will help keep your audience engaged.

Have you ever watched a video that looks great and then all the sudden it gets really grainy when the person starts moving? Enable high bit rate and you'll solve this issue (mostly). The files will be larger because you're saving more data, but the benefits are worth it. Bit rate is directly tied to video quality and you'll notice a big difference when color grading or shooting in 4k. Bit rate has diminishing returns. Doubling your bit rate doesn't mean you'll double the quality, but it will certainly enhance it. Just try it.

EV Comp, or exposure compensation, can be really useful in uneven light conditions. For some reason GoPros blow up their EV comp by default. As an example, imagine you’re filming someone from a distance standing under a streetlight on a dark night. The camera will automatically try to create the “best” exposure and try to make the darkness brighter. But, that might make the person under the streetlight too bright and wash out the details. You could dial down the exposure compensation to properly expose the person under the streetlight. (On newer models, using exposure compensation isn’t the only way to tackle this particular kind of issue–there’s also an Exposure Control feature that’s not technically part of the Protune settings). My recommendation is to turn it down to -0.5 for the best results. When filming with a GoPro, you're generally moving most of the time and potentially in and out of light, like trails riding in the woods. Adjusting the base setting for EV comp to -0.5 has given me the best results for most situations.

Things can get a little tricky when you throw in I S O or ISO. EV Comp works within a specified ISO range, and it’s not going to have any effect if the exposure has already hit the floor or ceiling. On the Hero 10, the ISO limit ranges from 100-6400. This setting refers to the sensitivity of the sensor to light hitting it. In dark settings you want a higher ISO to make the sensor react more to the light hitting it (more sensitive). This sounds great and you should just max it out, right? WRONG. The catch is that the higher the ISO, the further away from optimum image quality you get. Very high ISO settings can result in grainy footage and washed-out colors. In bright conditions, an ISO of 100 will usually give you much better image quality than an ISO of 3200. For general day trail riding, I use max 400 to compensate for going in and out of light or hitting shadows without damaging the image quality. Play around with it depending on your environment, but 400 is a good place to start.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide and there are other factors like shutter speed, white balance, color, and so on. Start with these. Hope this helps and drop any questions in the comments below! 


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