Most FPV pilots have an HD camera paired with the standard analog FPV camera. Some systems like the DJI FPV system have onboard HD recording which is nice to look at but doesn’t come close to GoPro footage in terms of quality.
With the rise of popularity, some pilots even do FPV for a living, filming commercials, music videos and movies, it’s a great time to be an FPV pilot.
In this guide we will show and explain how to get professional grade footage out of your GoPro. How to set it up in terms of camera settings and some workflows to help you get the best possible footage your camera can provide.
Obviously the best option is the Hero 8 Black but for the price you can’t go wrong with any of the cheaper models.
Some split style cameras are able to capture [email protected] but that can’t measure with GoPro footage quality and protune, but can be edited to look more professional.
In this guide we will strive for the best possible image quality from your GoPro.
For footage exposition hacks check the GoPro ND Filters Guide
When choosing a resolution and frame rate you have a few different options. Usually you want to shoot at the highest resolution your camera can shoot at but for freestyle that is not the case.
2.7k is plenty for fast flipy flopy tricks since you won’t be able to see details while doing a lot of movement. Plus your hard disk will be full in no time.
When shooting cine shots you want to get that 4K crispy footage paired with an appropriate frame rate.
FOV° or Field Of View is a number in degrees that specifies the angle or how wide your image looks. Our FPV cameras usually are between 130°-180° while the GoPro from 90°-170°.
Superview is the Golden Standard in FPV since bigger FOV makes jitters and general movement look smoother but with cinewhoops we might want to choose a narrower FOV to get that cinema like look to our footage.
If we want to focus on the speed and movement of the shot we would use a wider FOV, on the other hand if we want to focus on a subject we would use a narrower FOV.
GoPros offer two aspect ratios, since the sensors are 4:3 that is the native aspect ratio of the sensor. GoPro has a feature called Superview which squashes down on the aspect ratio and makes it a 16:9 frame but with 4:3 information which gives that GoPro look we all know and love.
4:3 is a compelling choice since people and general proportions look more natural. We could also crop in the 4:3 image and reframe our shot.
GoPro has an GoPro Color option that saturates the image, some people like it, some don’t. For the most part it is recommended to use the flat color(unsaturated) profile if you plan to color grade the footage.
Recommended GoPro Hero 6/7/8 Black settings
Frame rate, shutter speed and ISO are parameters that you want to lock down in your protune settings to get good results. Your ISO should always be locked to as low as possible. High ISO numbers make your footage grainy and generally bad looking. Lock it to 100 and go from there, if you are using a GoPro with a screen you can just look at the image and check if its properly exposed. If you are using a Session you can use the App to set protune settings. If your image is overexposed or all blown out white, you need an ND filter.
How to properly expose
Camera exposure is a term which describes how much light is gathered per frame. There are 3 parameters which determine how exposed your shot is: shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Since the aperture is fixed on a GoPro you can only play with ISO and shutter speed (in theory there is EV comp but we recommend you always leave it at 0).
To properly expose you will need to look at the screen on a Hero 6/7/8, with the Hero 5 Session you will need to connect your phone and check every time you go out and fly to make sure you are properly exposed. After a while you will get the hang of it and determine if you don’t have to change any settings just by looking outside.
See if the ground is detailed, if its over exposed use an ND filter, if its underexposed try to up the ISO a bit, but keep in mind its harder to fix underexposed footage since you cant add light. For overexposed situations use an ND filter. SEE ND FILTER GUIDE
For cinematic slow flying
4K – 3840×2160
For ReelSteady – GoPro Hero 6 (Stabilisation – off)
4K – 4096×3072
2.7K – 2704×2028
For freestyle – GoPro Hero 5 Session
2.7K – 2704×2028