Best GoPro settings for FPV

The two cameras I mainly use are the HERO5 Session and the HERO6. The Session is my main cam in about 90% of my flights as I like to fly fast and low… it’s such a durable cam and therefore still my favorite πŸ™‚

Here are the settings which I use:

  • 2.7k resolution
  • Superview ON
  • 30fps
  • Protune ON
  • Color Flat
  • fixed Shutter speed 60/s
  • ISO locked 100
  • TBS ND filter
  • Stabilization OFF

2.7k resolution

This is the highest resolution on the HERO5 Session that is able to being used along with Superview

Superview

Unique to GoPro, SuperView is an an even wider view than the standard wide view. It’s good for an exaggerated immersive look such as from chest harnesses or helmets, oooor the front seat of your FPV drone πŸ˜‰

30fps

As we look for smooth footage in freestyle clips it’s advisory to record at 30fps. This makes footage not only look more cinematic (as it comes closer to the 24fps used in movies) but also smoother compared to 60fps which is more prone to showing jello.

Protune ON

this setting has two advantages on the Session: it unlocks some more advanced settings like on all other HERO cameras but with this cam it even increases the image recording quality from 45mbit/s to 60mbit/s!
definitely a must have setting in my opinion πŸ™‚

Color Flat

By default GoPros record in a color profile called Color GoPro. It’s that distinctive look that will make many of you recognize a GoPro captured clip. The downside with Color GoPro is that you’ll have less options in your video editing software in regards to color correction or color grading.

fixed Shutter speed

Even the best tuned freestyle quads can have little vibrations (often around mid throttle). With the help of the “180 degree rule” which basically says to set your shutter speed to double the fps setting we can introduce the so called “motion blur” that will mask some of those little imperfections in FPV videos and generally make it look smoother.

ISO locked

The ISO value of your camera represents its “sensitivity to light”. That means if you are shooting in darker places or at night, turning ISO up will brighten up your video. As nothing comes free in this world it has of course a downside: it results in a noisy/grainy image. If you are shooting outside in daylight leave it locked at ISO 100 which translates to the cleanest possible image.

Another advantage is that exposure will be the same throughout your entire video and there won’t be any β€œjumps” in exposure caused by the GoPro trying to adjust it constantly.

TBS ND filter

You’ll notice that when it’s sunny outside and you’ve followed my tips above like ISO 100, 30fps and 60/s shutter speed (to introduce that sweet motion blur ) that your image is way overexposed! In order to being able to use these recommended settings we need to put some sunglasses on our Kwads 

Which filter should I use?

ND32 : extremely bright conditions or snow
ND16: very bright days
ND8 : partly cloudy to mildly sunny days
ND4 : very cloudy days
ND2 : basic lens protection or inside bandos

Stabilization OFF

The electronic stabilization inside the Session firmware does not a very good job at stabilizing with all those fast movements going in our freestyle FPV footage. It mostly results in weird and erratic results and should definitely be disabled/turned OFF. With using 30fps, 60/s shutter speed and an added ND filter we can do a much better job at creating a smooth image.

How to export footage and upload to YouTube

When uploading to YouTube your video is always going to be compressed so it will not take up as much space on their servers compared to your “raw” file. This will have an impact on its bitrate and therefore its image quality.

Here’s a list of recommended video bitrates by YouTube

As we record in 2.7k with 60Mbps and let’s say we would keep that in our video export settings, YouTube would still compress it to a bitrate of just 16Mbps as it is a 30fps upload with 1440p/2k resolution. To preserve more of quality of your video it is a well known trick to “upscale” your footage to 4k and tricking YouTube into letting you upload in a higher bitrate (or from their perspective in compressing less)

There are two ways to achieve this (I can only speak for Adobe Premiere Pro but it should work the same with other video editing software):

– start a new project in 4k resolution and set your 2.7k clips to 142% scale


– export your 2.7k or 1080p project in 4k resolution ( 3840×2160 )

I’d recommend to not go higher on the Target Bitrate than the Mbps of your source clip, which was 60Mbps on the HERO5 Session when enabling ProTune. As already mentioned, YouTube is going to compress your clip anyway and you can save time uploading and compression on the server side will be faster too.

Another note: it will take some time until all resolutions are available on YT, so don’t mind if there is only 1080p listed after the first few minutes πŸ™‚

HERO6 settings

As I am not using the HERO6 for my regular freestyle flights and rather for doing cinematic stuff or chase footage in combination with ReelSteady GO the settings differ quite a bit here:

  • 2.7k 4:3
  • 60fps
  • downgrad to firmware 1.6
  • higher shutter speeds
  • ND filter
  • ISO locked
  • misc settings
some stabilized shots I made w/ HERO6 and ReelSteady GO

2.7k 4:3

To make use of the full sensor information we want to record in a 4:3 resolution. Kinda like SuperView (it internally records in 4:3 and dynamically stretches the clip to 16:9 later) ReelSteady GO will output a stabilized 16:9 clip after stabilization has finished.

60fps

The stabilization algorithms performed by ReelSteady will not profit from more FPS but it’s just nice to have the possibility of slowing down footage later on in your editing project.

Firmware downgrade to 1.6

Normally a HERO6 video would only need two sync points (set automatically by RS GO).  If you are running the most current firmware on your HER06 (2.0) the automatic sync process is making many sync points: Reason is that the firmware v2.0 records lower quality gyro data than other firmware versions. It’s recommended to downgrade as it will make working with RS GO a lot easier for you πŸ™‚

Rolling back to firmware v1.6 can be done in just a few seconds by going here and following the simple instructions.

Higher shutter speed

With ReelSteady GO we want to use higher shutter speeds to avoid any motion blur. The program works best with clean and crips images, any blurry frames will make it harder for RS GO to do its job properly.
Check the clip below to see what happens with a too low shutter speed:

not enough light and too low shutter speed

ND filters

There is a rumor floating around that RS GO wouldn’t work with ND filters. You can definitely use your HERO along with a ND filter and RS GO, but you’ll have to make sure to not introduce any motion blur.

ISO locked

This will keep the exposure the same throughout your entire video
(already described above in the HERO5 Session section)

Miscellaneous settings

To avoid any problems with your clip make sure to turn off/change these settings as well:

  • In-camera stabilization OFF (Hypersmooth etc.)
  • GPS OFF
  • Landscape Lock UP
  • Auto-rotation UP
  • Auto low-light OFF

Recommended microSD card


If this post was helpful to you, I’d appreciate to see you subscribe to my FPV channel on YouTube! πŸ™‚ Thanks in advance!
https://www.youtube.com/chrswnd

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