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All my GoPro MotoVlogging settings for a cinematic look

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

The following settings can be applied to any model of GoPro, however, for reference, I use a selection of Hero 9s. These are the settings I use to achieve a more cinematic look, favouring a nice-looking image over clarity.

Resolution: 4K 4:3

Frame Rate: 25

Lens: Wide

Hypersmooth: On

Bitrate: High

White Balance: 5500

ISO: Min 100, Max 400

Colour: Flat

Audio: Low

Shutter Option 1: 1/100 plus ND Filter 8 or 16

Shutter Option 2: Auto with ND8 + Max Shutter Angle at 90 degrees.

Preferences; WiFi off, auto-off 5 mins, Beeping loud.

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Full Transcript

All right let's talk about GoPros, I love GoPros.

As you can see on the front of my helmet there's the GoPro Hero9. Now, I've had this GoPro Hero9 for ages, if not probably almost 12 months because they're about to... I got one when it first came out and they're about to probably come out with a 10, I assume in the next couple of weeks but it took me 12 months to make the switch from... just realized the sun's behind me and that's not going to look particularly great... and the main reason why I hadn't done it before was, one because, I didn't have ND filters for the Hero 9 yet, I just hadn't bothered to and then secondly, I had a process that was working with the Hero 7 so why switch, you know.

And one of the reasons why I decided to make the switch was because I noticed that the footage from the Hero 9 had a much nicer Colour, so I thought you know what, let's make the switch for that reason and then the second reason was I noticed that the Hypersmooth 3 is considerably better than the hero 7's Hypersmooth 2, most particularly when motorcycling.

Now of course the extra advantage of that is how I've got another camera I can get a different angle from so now you can see me. Hello.

So anyway that's why I made the switch and this is the first proper ride I've been on with the Hero 9 on the helmet, let's see what it's, what it's like. Now I'm running my standard settings and uh maybe we should go into that in a little more depth back to me in the studio.

All right, let's talk about the settings between these two cameras. Now, between Hero 7 and Hero 9, the big changes that I've made are really in the stabilization. That's the only thing that I've really changed between the settings that are run in that versus the settings that I run in this. So key things, uh I'm just going to run through really quickly what the settings are and then I'll explain why I picked those particular settings. 4k, 25 frames per second, I run the lens in wide. Hypersmooth is on but not in boost.

Schedule capture, Hindsight Duration, all off obviously.

Uh whoops, I just started recording.

That's another point. I have voice activation turned on because when I'm riding along, I can say GoPro take a photo and it takes a photo for me. So there you go. The reason I do that is that I can't see the camera, so I don't know what settings it's in. I don't know whether it's in video mode or photo mode etc so by using voice activation, I can say GoPro switch to video mode and then it just completely ignores you. GoPro, video mode.

That way unless you know what's happening you can't see it because it's mounted here. You can hear it beeping and you can tell it what you want to do so then if it replies with a beep then you know it's done. I said I wasn't going to explain things, didn't I? Said I was going to do it quick.

Pro Tunes obviously on, uh Bit Rate is set to High. The shutter is set to 1 over 100, white balance is set to 5500k, ISO minimum 100, ISO maximum 400. Sharpness is medium and the colour is Flat and raw audio is Low and the wind is on auto, and the media mod is obviously on front.

All right, now that's the settings. If you want to know why let's run through it.

All right, so, oops that's the right button there, all right.

The resolution, I've run in 4:3 4k and the reason I shoot in 4:3 is that, as I said, if it's mounted on that on the helmet here I'm assuming it's in the right position but if it's not in the right position, maybe it's up a little bit too much or down a little bit too much, I'm aiming to have the horizon and the handlebars in the shot at the same time, right, that's ultimately what I'm always aiming for, so you as the viewer can see what's happening down the handlebars, get the reference point of POV, while at the same time you can see what's happening up ahead. That's ultimately the aim, to have both those things in the shot at the same time.

Now, if I have that up too much or down too much by having it in 4:3, gives me that extra space on top of the frame instead of 16:9 which means if I've got it out of adjustment slightly, I've got room to move it. Right, so that's that's.

The reason why I do that then in post, I just squash it down. I just zoom it in which loses the top and the bottom but then I just adjust it as it needs to be and I just do it for all the files. Generally because once it's in a position, it's not really going to change too much.

I run 25 frames per second. Now the reason why I run 25 is out of convenience because every other camera can run 25, the drone 25, the Canon 25, everything else is in 25 then they're all going to work the same together.

Lens, I can't run Superview if I'm in 4x3, so the widest I can do is Wide. So that's what that is and then obviously adjust it.

Hypersmooth on. Now, that's the only thing that differs with this camera. So Hypersmooth, I wouldn't do any stabilization in the camera on the 7 because I didn't like it. It just was a bit jerky. It wasn't natural enough. However, this is much much better. It's natural enough, it's not quite perfect but it's natural enough that I'm happy with it to compromise on it to reduce that amount of workload. That I would stabilize post, however, I'm curious to see what the Hypersmooth 4 is like on the 10. That would be interesting to see whether they've just made it a little more natural.

Scheduled capture, everything else is obviously off. Zoom is 1. Now Bit Rate. I run High because I like good quality images. It's all about the image. Yeah, it's all about the image, that's ridiculous. I like high quality and I want a high-quality shot, so I shoot with a bit rate set to High. I know I use a lot more space but that's fine. Yeah, now shutter. Now, as you can see I'm running an ND8, all right, at the moment.

I run my shutter locked in at 1/100. Generally, in cinema, you run double whatever your frame rate is so if you're shooting 24 frames per second which most cinema is, you would then run your shutter in 1/48. It's double 24. So on this, if I'm running 25, you would then run it in 50, 1/50, right. I found that 1/50 is, there are two reasons why I don't like it. One, is it's too much movement and it's too blurry and it just looks a bit ridiculous, then the stabilization is absolutely impossible so if you want that full cinematic, you could run that lower shutter speed but there is no stabilization possible because the shot is too blurred for the stabilization to evaluate one frame to the next to see where it should be comparatively. So it hasn't got anything to stabilize against, so that's why I found that 1/100 is a good enough compromise. It has a bit of movement but it's also enough to be able to still stabilize it. The new stabilization, by the way, GoPro recently, when I say recently I think it was like a couple of years ago bought ReelSteady and they brought it in-house and so that's where they did all their stabilization. Now if you use ReelSteady to post stabilized content from GoPro, it actually uses data from the built-in movement sensors and so the stabilization is not comparatively one frame to the next entirely. It's also using the movement and therefore stabilizing so it's actually pretty good. It's pretty impressive.

Now, the white balance is set at 5500k. The reason why I've set it to and something rather than Auto, I just found the Auto, it tends to mismatch a lot. Also, I like it to be consistent from one shot to the next. I don't want it to change, so that's the reason why I set it to a specific number and then 5500 is good for the outdoors. Bringing indoors, you need to change it. Nighttime you need to change it. Usually, I set it to auto when it comes to inside stuff because it's all different lights. I've got like five different lights in here, different colours right, so yeah, but 5500 for outdoors works really nicely.

ISO minimum set to 100 and then iso maximum is set to 400 if not 200 sometimes. I don't like it when it goes higher and it gets... it compromises the quality of the shot. So, yes, you can see more but it's not, it doesn't look as nice and I'd much prefer to see less and have it look nicer than to see more and have a look shit. So, have a look at this shot. I accidentally left the ND filter, I didn't accidentally, I forgot to take the ND filters with me so when it got dark, I still had the ND8 on in. This shot but I like it looks dark and it is getting dark and it actually captured the sunset quite nicely.

So now sharpness set to Medium. I used to always set it to Low and then bump up the sharpness in post but again the same thing, I found that Medium was actually quite nice, High is too much, I don't like it but the Medium is just that right amount it doesn't look like it's been sharpened, it doesn't look odd for any reason but also means that if I set it to Medium, I don't have to add sharpness afterwards which is not that much of a hassle because you just copy and paste it over everything but medium seems nice so then it works nicely with taking shots directly out of the camera with the app to share on social and stuff like that.

The Colour is set to Flat. Now, I like to adjust colour. I like to, as a photographer, I like to be able to play with colours and it gives you much more room in your saturations to be able to move the colours around also gives you a lot more room in contrast. Primarily it's more contrast than it is colour, to be honest. I just find that when that's set to GoPro colour when you have sunsets and stuff like that, it just messes it up but just it's everything's overexposed. Is one of the key things about these, they overexpose everything when it's outside so setting it to Flat means there's a far less chance of that happening. It also gives me a bit more room to play.

So, now, Audio. The big thing I love about these is they capture a separate audio file as a Wav file, so if you set your raw audio to, I set mine to Low because I don't want any adjustments made. Set in Low means it will just capture all the audio and it will store it as is, which means most when you hear them back straight out of the camera you can't hear anything and it seems like it hasn't done anything but it has. The audio is all there, you've got to bring it up. So I use Adobe Audition to bring up all the audio levels, match loudness to all the files so that they all could, do it in one big batch which makes it nice and easy and then you just synchronize the audio file to the video file. The audio captured in the video file is trash by comparison to the Wav file one. It's in a Wav file format which means, yes it takes up more space but it's got so much more dynamic range to be able to grab some more. I just, cannot believe the difference in the audio between what's capturing a Wav file versus what's captured in the compressed version that's stored in the video file. Hugely different. Like if you at all want your audio to sound good make sure you capture the Wav file and set it to Low. Make sure you capture the audio separately. Yes it adds a fair amount of work but oh my god it makes such a difference, such a difference.

Go away, bloody dogs. All right, uh, love them to bits but, oh my god, whenever you're trying to record something.

Okay, Wind is set to Auto because if I do want to use the audio that's in the video file, just for you know dragging something straight off the camera to put it through the app, to share it on social or anything like that, then yes. However, I'm using the media mod so it's actually irrelevant.

Uh what else, what else, what else? So that's everything. That's in the video setup.

Aspect, I do set have a different, um, I have one for Motor, I don't know if you can see that one, for Motor, one for Standard, one for you know, different shots so this I have a set up for them on the camera and then slightly different ones for the rest of the stuff.

All right, what else? Now, I always turn the wireless off on all the cameras because so many times I've drained batteries because the app is trying to talk to the camera when it's turned off and also just ensures that the app isn't your phone isn't trying to connect to the camera's wi-fi while you're riding along. Preserving battery power is number one.

Obviously have the beeping on because when you're talking to the camera you want to get a response that it's heard you or pressing the button, so obviously, that set is set to High.

Anything else in preferences, general, quick capture set to on because when you're pressing on the helmet you can just press on the button and it turns on starts recording, you capture whatever it is and then you press it again turns off. Stops recording and turn off, so saving battery power. Auto power off five minutes.

Video compression I set to H265 or HEVC because I'm running a mac and so everything's native anyway and it saves a lot more space. Probably the only other key thing is I'm running these in GoPro labs because I use the QR code to set the time and so if I set the time on all the cameras to be the exact same means I can do it multi-camera much easier. So I'll go into that later, another day.

I think that's it. That's all the settings. Anyway, I thought I'd run through them, that's the settings and why I run them and I'm going to do a lot more of these nerdy style techie videos. So more to come if you have any suggestions or anything any queries in particular let me know otherwise stay safe have fun and I'll see you next time.

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