Archive for April, 2022

GoPro Time Lapse Video: Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1)

April 29, 2022

The following time lapse video was taken using my GoPro HERO 4 Black action camera remotely controlled with the “GoPro app” (v7.1) running on an Apple iPad mini 2. The camera was set for Video Mode / “Time Lapse Video” submode — the simplest of several ways to create time lapse movies using the HERO4.

The video looks best when played in “Full screen” mode.

The camera is facing east from the 6th floor of a parking garage. Notice the trees look “nervous” — it was windy due to a cold front that passed the day before I recorded the video. Clouds are moving across the sky from northwest to southeast.

Several Fairfax County Public Schools yellow buses are seen making afternoon runs. Three Fairfax County Fire Department red vehicles pass by heading south along Richmond Highway, including a truck, SUV, and ladder truck. Finally, look closely and you might be able to see a series of commercial jet aircraft flying from south to north on approach to landing at Washington National Airport.

Post update: I watched the time lapse movie on a large screen monitor. Although I saw several planes in the sky (with my eyes) when I was outside, I don’t see them in the movie. That’s odd, because the camera was set to record every 1 s — more than long enough for a single plane to appear multiple times.

Tech Tips

Two short video clips were combined using Apple iMovie. I will provide more background information and tech tips in a follow-up blog post.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More resources for editing GoPro video

April 19, 2022

Sometimes I’m a content creator; sometimes I share content created by others, especially when the content is better than I could create myself.

Apple iMovie: Magic Movie

The latest version of iMovie includes a new feature called “Magic Movie.” Although I’ve never used “Quik,” the GoPro pay-to-play app that makes it easier for beginner videographers to create movies, I think “Magic Movie” targets the same demographic and does essentially the same thing as “Quik.” Both “Quik” and “Magic Movie” enable the user to quickly combine photos, video clips, and music into a punchy little movies.

How to make a Magic Movie video in iMovie 3, by Roman Loyola, Senior Editor, Macworld explains how to use Magic Movie on iOS devices including iPad and iPhone. The article features detailed, step-by-step directions that are richly illustrated with an embedded video and lots of screenshots.

Apple QuickTime

Don’t sleep on “QuickTime,” a versatile free utility from Apple, that’s capable of doing some of the same things that were covered in my last two blog posts.

Grab a Single Frame from a Video in QuickTime X, by Jeff Geerling explains how to use QuickTime to do a frame grab from video, including video shot using a GoPro action camera.

QuickTime can be used to do simple video editing, as demonstrated in the following excellent video by Michael Kinney.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

How to edit GoPro video

April 15, 2022

This blog post provides links to several how-to videos that should enable you to get started using two of the more popular free alternatives to editing video with the GoPro suite of apps.

Apple iMovie

I highly recommend a series of YouTube videos by Meredith Marsh, a.k.a., VidProMom …

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve

My good friend and former colleague Kyle Margenau highly recommends DaVinci Resolve, the full-featured video editor available free from Blackmagic Design.

As of this writing, 17 training videos are available from the Blackmagic Design YouTube Channel.

The following video by Kevin Stratvert might be better for new users of DaVinci Resolve.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


April 12, 2022

The more I explore creative ways to use my GoPro HERO4 Black action camera, I realize there’s a lot I don’t know about the camera hardware, firmware, and “supporting” software.

A lot of the frustration and pain of being a GoPro user is inflicted by GoPro Inc. If I knew what I know now BEFORE I decided to buy a GoPro camera, I’m almost 100% certain I wouldn’t have gotten one. Long story short (and it is a long story), all I want to do is make the most of my regrettable decision.

Should you edit photos and videos using GoPro apps?

Before I went on “hiatus” last week (more about that another time), I had promised to do a post (or series of posts) related to how to edit photos and videos from a GoPro camera.

My next blog post will focus on how to edit photos and videos from your GoPro action camera. Source credit: More settings: GoPro HERO4 Black.

And as I mentioned in a GoPro related blog post a few weeks ago …

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. Source credit: GoProse.

I DO NOT recommend using the suite of GoPro apps to edit your photos and videos! That is, unless you like the subscription model for “buying” software. I don’t, especially when there are free alternatives.

Suite of GoPro apps on my Apple iPad mini 6.

Grab Photo

There is one noteworthy exception. When you use either the “GoPro app” or “GoPro Quik” app to remotely control your camera, you can save still photos from a video clip. For example, here’s how it works using “GoPro Quik” on my Apple iPad mini 6.

The first screen capture shows the “splash page” for GoPro Quik, running on my iPad mini 6. Tap the camera icon labeled “GoPro” located in the lower-right corner of the screen. The button works, despite the fact that it’s grayed out.

GoPro “Quik” app splash screen.

Next, tap the button labeled “Control Your GoPro” on the “Cameras” page.

“Cameras” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Media Icon” located in the lower-right corner of the Live View screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in order to see photos and videos that you have recorded using your GoPro camera.

Live View, GoPro “Quik” app.

When you play a video clip shot with the camera and see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located in the lower-middle of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

Video playback, GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Then tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen.

“Grab Photo” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab.

Select “Save to …” location, GoPro “Quik” app.

The frame grab is saved as an 8 MB JPG file, smaller than the 12 MB JPGs created when the camera is set for “Photo Mode.”

The file can be adjusted using your photo editor of choice, but there’s a limit to what you can do during post-processing of JPGs so it’s always a good idea to “get it right” in-camera.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More settings: GoPro HERO4 Black

April 1, 2022

The following screen capture from the “GoPro app” (v7.1) shows the basic settings (highlighted by a green rectangle) used for the first video that I shot in the field using my GoPro HERO4 Black action camera.

I chose these settings by watching the following video from the GoPro Media Team: GoPro Field Guide: Resolutions, Frame Rates and FOV (Ep 2 of 3). I think these settings should be useful for most people most of the time. Try them and let me know what you think.

Screen capture of “GoPro app” (v7.1) running on Apple iPad mini 2.

Also notice that I recently tweaked the default Protune settings for ISO. For videos, I set the “ISO Max” to 400. For photos, I set the “ISO Min” to 100 and the “ISO Max” to 400. These settings are based upon years of personal experience using digital cameras with relatively small sensors.

Screen capture of “GoPro app” (v7.1) running on Apple iPad mini 2.

Sidebar – Sensor size versus noise

Generally speaking, the smaller a digital camera sensor the poorer its performance in low light. ISO can be increased in order to increase the “light sensitivity” of small camera sensors, but the trade-off is increased “noise” in your photos.

The following graphic shows the relative size of some camera sensors used by several types of digital cameras. The GoPro HERO4 Black features a 1/2.3″ sensor — the same size as the smallest rectangle, located in the lower-left corner of the graphic.

As you can see, the GoPro HERO4 Black action camera sensor is small, very small! For best results when using small sensor digital cameras such as the GoPro, it’s a good idea to set the ISO limit to no higher than 400.

Looking ahead

My next blog post will focus on how to edit photos and videos from your GoPro action camera. In the meantime, use your camera to shoot some test photos and video clips.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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