Archive for March, 2022

Settings: GoPro HERO4 Black

March 29, 2022

Let’s take stock of what we’ve accomplished as we work toward getting up-to-speed with our older GoPro action cameras: We recharged the battery or batteries and inserted a microSD memory card; paired the camera with GoPro “Quik” app; and updated the firmware. Now it’s time to make some settings and begin (again?) to use the GoPro to shoot photos and videos.

What are the best settings to use?

The best camera settings for shooting photos and videos using full-frame and crop-sensor digital cameras is highly subjective. It’s no different with action cameras — I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos on the topic of GoPro camera settings and opinions vary widely. To a large extent, the settings you choose to use depends upon the intended use for the camera. I wish I had more experience using my GoPro so that I could share some wisdom — instead the best I can do is share some useful resources discovered while researching the topic.

How to make settings

Although it’s possible to operate the HERO4 Black model using the small LCD on the front of the camera … , it’s less than ideal for navigating menus and making settings. In my opinion, it’s much easier to pair the camera with either a smart phone or tablet running the GoPro “Quik” app and use one of those devices to control the camera remotely. Source credit: GoProse, by Walter Sanford.

Whenever possible, I prefer to use the GoPro “Quik” app to make settings. Sometimes we have no choice other than to make settings manually. For example, Protune settings. You might be wondering, “What is Protune?” The name makes me think it’s related to camera audio, but no-o-o-o-o, the Protune settings enable the user to shoot higher quality photos and videos. And you can’t make those settings using the GoPro “Quik” app. Wait, what?

GoPro Inc. is being sued for patent infringement by Contour IP Holding, LLC.

Therefore, the court agreed with Contour’s claim that GoPro’s remote app infringes on the technology patents and has done so since 2014. Source credit: Contour IP Holding, LLC v. GoPro, Inc. | Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC – JDSupra.

GoPro Inc. deleted the Protune settings from what was then called the “GoPro app” (now called “GoPro Quik”) beginning with v7.3.1, updated on 07 January 2021. Two things are worth noting here. The Protune settings are still featured on the camera, but you have to set them manually. That is unless you purchase a third-party app, or like me, you happen to have an older version of the “GoPro app” on your iOS device.

GoPro apps on my Apple iPad mini 2.

I have a copy of v7.1 on my iPad mini 2 (shown above) — the Protune settings are still included (shown below) and the app can be used set them remotely.

Protune Video Settings.

The first screen capture from the “GoPro app” (v7.1) shows the default Protune video settings; the second screen capture shows the default Protune photo settings.

Protune Photo Settings

The third screen capture from the “GoPro app” (v7.1) shows more settings.

More Settings

Doing it the old-fashioned way

Hero4 Black: How To Set Up Protune – GoPro Tip #507 by Mic Bergsma (3:13) is a video that shows how to make Protune settings manually by navigating the small LCD on the front of the camera. Mic is a well-known GoPro user who is hearing-impaired, so there is no narration. The show notes for the video feature a detailed explanation of each setting.

Looking ahead

I’ll talk more about settings when we start exploring some suggested applications to get you started using your action camera. In the meantime, I recommend you get started changing some or all of the default Protune settings — it will take a while to do manually!

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Firmware update: GoPro HERO4 Black

March 25, 2022

If you own a GoPro action camera that hasn’t been used in a few years, then it’s possible you need to update the firmware.

How can you tell whether the firmware on your camera is up-to-date? Well, if you followed the recommendation in my last blog post to pair your camera with the GoPro “Quik” app, then the software will remind you every time you “Control Your GoPro” until you update the firmware.

Screen capture from “Quik” running on my Apple iPad mini 6.

The simplest way to find the current firmware version of my HERO4 Black is to look closely at the tiny LCD on the front of the camera body when I press the “Power/Mode Button” (front) to turn on the camera. The LCD isn’t backlighted so you need to be working with the camera in a well-lighted area. Watch closely — the version number is displayed briefly at the bottom of the screen during the startup sequence.

My HERO4 Black was running firmware v03.00 before I updated to v05.00. The new version enables “Karma” compatibility and adds “Linear FOV.” Hey GoPro — how’s that Karma thing working out for you? Seems like it might be bad karma to name a commercial product “Karma.” I’m just saying. But I digress. I don’t own a GoPro Karma drone but I will want to use “Linear FOV” when my HERO4 Black is used as a Webcam, so I decided to update the firmware.

How to update your HERO4

How to update your HERO4, a reference document from GoPro Customer Support, says there are three ways to update your HERO4.

  1. Using the GoPro app [now named “Quik“]
  2. Manually
  3. Quik for desktop [According to GoPro, “Quik for desktop is no longer under development.“]

In fact there are only two ways to update the firmware. I chose option No. 2 because I am used to manually updating the firmware for my Fujifilm digital cameras using a similar process.

Manual update

Visit the Update your GoPro support page where you will provide the 14-digit serial number and register your camera. The serial number is located inside the battery compartment of the camera. You will need to remove the battery in order to see the serial number — it is shown in two rows with seven-digits in each row. Enter all 14 digits, no spaces. Then click the button labeled “Next Step >”.

Download the firmware update to your computer and unzip the UPDATE.ZIP file by double-clicking on it. You should see a new folder called “UPDATE” that contains three files.

I strongly recommend reformating the microSD card in your GoPro before proceeding with the firmware update, although GoPro doesn’t specifically say this step is necessary.

Insert the microSD card in your computer (using the SD card adapter that came with the memory card). Next, drag-and-drop the entire “UPDATE” folder onto the icon for the microSD card on your computer. After the folder is copied from your computer to the microSD card, eject the memory card.

Be sure your GoPro is powered-off before you insert the microSD card in the camera! Insert the memory card and power-on the camera. Then relax and watch the small LCD screen on the front of the camera until you see a notification that tells you the firmware was updated successfully. Resist the urge to press any buttons during the update process — that probably ends badly!

After you are 100% certain the update is complete, I recommend you reformat the microSD card in order to avoid some strange behavior that I experienced the next time I powered-on the camera. The LCD showed HERO4, otherwise my camera just sat there. No buttons worked. It’s as though the GoPro were trying to update the firmware again. Weird!

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.



March 22, 2022

Maybe you’re like me and have an older GoPro action camera that you aren’t using, such as my GoPro HERO4 Black camera (shown below).

GoPro Hero4 Black action camera, plus QuickClip mount.

Or maybe you’re like several people I know who bought a GoPro and have never used it.

Either way, maybe you’d like to begin using your GoPro camera but aren’t sure how to get started. In this post (as well as a series of follow-up posts), I plan to share some practical advice based upon my recent experience getting up-to-speed again.

Getting started

The first thing you need to do is charge the rechargeable battery that came with your GoPro. Here’s how it works on my GoPro HERO4 Black. Open the battery door on the bottom of the camera, insert the battery, and close the door. Use the power cable that came with the camera (Mini-USB to USB) to connect the camera to either a computer or low-power USB port (5V 1A). A red LED is on when the battery is charging; off when the battery is fully charged.

Next insert a microSD memory card in the microSD card slot on the side of the camera.

Remote control

The GoPro HERO4 Silver and Black cameras are two similar models, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. The Silver model has an LCD on the back of the camera, but shoots lower quality 4K video. The Black model lacks the LCD but shoots higher quality 4K video. I decided to buy the Black model because I wanted to be able to shoot higher quality 4K video.

Although it’s possible to operate the HERO4 Black model using the small LCD on the front of the camera (shown above), it’s less than ideal for navigating menus and making settings. In my opinion, it’s much easier to pair the camera with either a smart phone or tablet running the GoPro “Quik” app and use one of those devices to control the camera remotely.

Pairing your camera with GoPro “Quik” app

Pairing your GoPro with another device is by far the most challenging task you need to complete in order to get up-and-running, but doing so will make it easier for you to get the most from your action camera.

I wish I could provide a simple, step-by-step guide that explains how it’s done, but I can’t because there are many GoPro camera models and the procedure varies depending upon the camera model you own.

What I can tell you is the best way to “get ‘er done” is to launch the GoPro “Quik” app and follow the on-screen directions for pairing your camera model with GoPro “Quik.” Take it slowly, and follow the directions exactly. This method worked for me.

Or you might try following the directions for your specific camera model provided on this Web page from GoPro Support: GoPro Quik: Pair Your Camera. This method didn’t work for me — your experience might be different.

Here’s an overview of what will happen during the pairing process. Initially your camera and the GoPro “Quik” app communicate via Bluetooth. You will use the app to give your camera a name and password, then you will look in Settings / Wi-Fi on your device for the name of your camera and join the camera’s Wi-Fi network.

Finally you will go back to the “Quik” app, connect with the camera, and “Control Your GoPro” remotely. “GoProHERO4Black” is the name I gave my camera. Notice that “Quik” correctly displays an image of a HERO4!

Screen capture from “Quik” running on my Apple iPad mini 6.

If everything works the way it should, then “Quik” should show a live view from your camera such as the following breathtaking view through my living room window. The live view display works in either portrait mode (shown below) or landscape mode.

Screen capture from “Quik” running on my Apple iPad mini 6.

Pairing my HERO4 Black with my Apple iPad mini tablets

The following YouTube video shows how the pairing process works with a GoPro HERO4: GoPro HERO4 – How to Connect to the GoPro APP for the First Time, by Brynmag Productions (4:36). It’s surprising how well a video published in November 2014 has withstood the test of time!

Baby steps, Bob

As I mentioned at the outset of this blog post, I plan to publish a series of follow-up posts. Tentative topics include how to update the camera’s firmware, how to edit video using the GoPro “Quik” app (sneak preview: don’t go there!), how to use your GoPro as a Webcam, as well as a few other suggested applications to get you started using your action camera.

But I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed at first so let’s stop for now. Try to pair your camera with the GoPro “Quik” app by Friday, 25 March 2022 (at the latest) and you’ll be ready to follow along when my next blog post is online.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Did you notice … ?

March 18, 2022

Did you notice I missed a blog post last Friday, 11 March 2022? I did. I was working on the jumping spider blog post but it wasn’t ready to publish and I didn’t have a back-up plan.

Regrettably I find myself in the same position this week. I’m working on a few ideas for new blog posts but am still gathering information, shooting photos and/or video(s), etc. and don’t have anything to share that’s ready for prime time.

This week I decided to give the regular readers of my blog a heads-up about what’s going on. If I finish one of the works in progress then I’ll publish it off-schedule as soon as possible. Thanks for your understanding!

Jumping spider

March 15, 2022

The following photo shows a tiny spider carcass (~3/16″ long) that was inside an exuvia (~1 3/4” long) from a Common Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius). The exuvia was collected on 17 June 2021 from a small pond in Prince William County, Virginia USA. I discovered the spider long afterward — too late to save its life.

17 JUN 2021 | PNC. Wm. County, VA | Jumping spider

Thanks to Eva Weiderman and Joseph Girgente — members of the “Odonate Larvae and Exuviae” Facebook group — for their help in identifying the specimen as a jumping spider, Family Saticidae.

Salticidae is one of several families of spiders with eight (8) eyes. My take-away from reading the reference on BugGuide entitled “Spider Eye Arrangements” is identification of this specimen to the genus and species level is challenging at best and impossible at worst.

In contrast, it’s well known that spiders use odonate exuviae for shelter. I wish the jumping spider had come out of its most excellent hidey-hole sooner!

17 JUN 2021 | PNC. Wm. County, VA | Anax junius exuvia

Related Resources

Tech Tips

The tiny jumping spider was photographed using a Panasonic Lumix FZ-300, Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter, Godox X2To/p flash trigger, and Godox TT685F plus Altura flash modifier. Camera settings: ISO 100 | f/7.1 | 1/60 s | 56.9mm (316mm, 35mm equivalent).

Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter” is a blog post in which I provide more information about how I use the Raynox with my Panasonic Lumix superzoom bridge cameras.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Godox TT685-series external flash units: another demonstration of cross-compatibility

March 8, 2022

The following product photos show the bottom of Godox X2T-series wireless flash triggers for Canon, Fujifilm, and Olympus/Panasonic digital cameras. The pin pattern on the flash triggers is the mirror image of the pin pattern on the camera hotshoe.

Product image of Godox X2TC flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Product image of Godox X2TF flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Product image of Godox X2TO flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Notice the pin pattern varies by camera brand. One pin — the power pin — is located in the same place on all types of flash brands. The other pins are used to control functions such as Through The Lens flash metering (TTL) and High-Speed Sync (HSS). This is why almost any relatively new external flash unit can be used in Manual mode with almost any relatively new digital camera, but TTL and HSS are incompatible unless the flash is mounted on the hotshoe of a camera with a matching pin pattern.

Cross-compatibility among Godox TT-685-series external flash units

The beauty of the Godox system of external flash units is it’s truly a system — all units that I own and have tested extensively are cross-compatible.

For example, when a Godox TT685F for Fujifilm cameras is used off-camera it can be fully compatible with a Godox TT685O for Olympus and Panasonic cameras (including TTL and HSS functionality) when it’s fired by a flash trigger such as the Godox X2TO. It’s amazing to watch!

The following quick-and-dirty video is another demonstration of the cross-compatibily among Godox TT685-series external flash units.

A Godox TT685F flash for Fujifilm cameras is featured in the preceding video. The flash was fired remotely using a Godox X2TO wireless flash trigger for Olympus and Panasonic cameras.

Related Resource: Cross-compatibility of Godox TT685-series flashes, another blog post by Walter Sanford that also features an embedded YouTube video.

Tech Tips

An Apple iPad mini 2 was used to shoot a raw video clip that was post-processed using Apple iMovie. The magic wand tool in iMovie was used to automatically enhance the audio and video quality of the clip. Audio quality was improved significantly by the magic wand tool!

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Can “Panasonic Image App” for iOS run on a MacBook Air?

March 4, 2022

I read a recent article from Macworld entitled “How to run your favorite iPhone and iPad apps on an M1 Mac.” Naturally I wondered whether the “Panasonic Image App” for iOS would run on my MacBook Air (13″, M1, 2020). I’m pleased to report it works!

I followed the directions in the Macworld article and downloaded/installed the Panasonic Image App from the Mac App Store, shown on the left in the following screen capture from my MacBook Air.

Next, I opened the app. Notice the “Home” screen on my MacBook Air is almost identical to the “Home” screen on my Apple iPad mini 6. I clicked on the “Wi-Fi” button.

Then I looked under Settings/Wi-Fi (on my MacBook Air) for an access point to connect with the camera.

After the Wi-Fi connection was established successfully, I clicked on the “Remote operation” button on the “Home” screen and voilà, the “Live Control” panel appeared on-screen.

I wanted to see a larger view of the window, but the app doesn’t allow the user to click-and-drag in order to resize the smallish window. No problem. I clicked the green dot in the Menu Bar and the app filled the screen!

I tested a few camera functions. In particular, I changed the aperture and shutter speed and recorded a few photos. There was noticeable lag when I moved the tripod head to change the camera view, but it’s not something with which you can’t live.

When I minimized the app in order to check my folder of screen captures, that resulted in the unexpected loss of the Wi-Fi connection.

A few surprises might be expected given the disclaimer for “Panasonic Image App” that appears on the Mac App Store: “Designed for iPad. Not verified for MacOS.” From my proof-of-concept testing, I can verify the app runs on my MacBook Air and almost everything I tried works.

I really like being able to see a larger display of the “Live Control” window on my MacBook Air than on my iPad mini. Still wireless; still portable, with a larger display. In my opinion. that’s a win-win!

Related Resource: How to run your favorite iPhone and iPad apps on an M1 Mac, by Roman Loyola, Senior Editor, Macworld.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Panasonic Image App

March 1, 2022

The Panasonic Image App enables wireless tethering of select Panasonic digital cameras with smart phones and tablets. The free app is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.

The app works well when it’s used in a way that’s as simple and straightforward as possible — try to make all or almost all camera settings before starting the Wi-Fi connection (such as P, A, S, M), and limit the number of settings changes made using the app. Otherwise, there seems to be a risk of losing the Wi-Fi connection, although if that happens, it’s easy to reestablish the connection. Hey, there’s a reason many professional photographers prefer using a cable for tethering!

You can control the camera directly while using the app, but I don’t recommend it. In my limited experience using the app, I noticed this can result in the unexpected loss of the Wi-Fi connection.


I highly recommend following Graham Houghton’s excellent directions for connecting the camera and iOS device. Regular readers of my blog might remember I reprogrammed the Fn2 button on my FZ300, so the way I start Wi-Fi is different than the procedure Graham describes in his YouTube video.

After a Wi-Fi connection is established between my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 superzoom bridge camera and my Apple iPad mini 6, the “Home” screen appears in “Panasonic Image App.” Tap the “Remote operation” button.

Live Control

The following annotated screen capture shows the “Live Control” panel. The function of all of the buttons in the panel is labeled in red text except for ISO, but we know what that means, right?

The live view window (left side of panel) shows the camera settings across the top and bottom of the window. Tap the “DISP.” to toggle this information on/off.

Top, from left-to-right: Program mode; Standard photo style plus modifications; no flash; video settings; settings for picture size and quality; AFS (focus mode, single point); and AF Macro mode as indicated by the AF-flower(icon).

Bottom, from left-to-right: Metering Mode (single point); aperture f/2.8; shutter speed 2.5″; exposure meter; and White Balance (flash).

Tap the Program Shift button (P/double-headed arrow icon) in order to change settings in Program Mode. The icon that appears for this button varies depending upon the camera mode. For example, the icon changes to “F/SS” when the camera is set for Manual Mode, as shown in the next screen capture.

The following image shows the camera set for Custom setting C1 in Manual Mode.

Tap the “F/SS” button (shown above) and a menu appears to set the aperture (F) and shutter speed (SS), as shown below. Press the go-back icon to return to the “Live Control” panel.

Notice the up/down buttons for MF (Manual Focus) on the “Live Control” panel. I need to explore this feature further. I’m hoping this implementation of Manual Focus is better than the one featured on the FZ300. In my opinion, the implementation of Manual Focus on the FZ150 is far superior to the FZ300. Hey Panasonic, are you listening?

Press the “Q.MENU” button in the “Live Control” panel in order to see the “Recording Settings” panel.

“Jump Snap” — one of the most mysterious buttons on the “Live Control” panel — is explained in the section entitled “Taking pictures mid-jump” on the following Web page: Image App (iOS) – Digital Camera.


Tap the “Play back” button, located along the bottom of the screen, in order see all of the photos and videos saved to the camera memory card.

Tap the “Menu” button, located along the bottom of the screen, in order to access “Playback settings.”

“Live Control Settings” and “Help” (shown above) might be worth a look as well, although I don’t recall exploring those Menu items.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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