GoPro Settings for Filming 360 Degree Videos

GoPro Settings for Filming 360 Degree Videos

What GoPro settings should I use to film 360 degree videos? Well it all depends on you are going to film and luckily this article should help you figure out what works best.

You will have to set each camera manually by hand so decide the default settings you want to shoot on before changing them.

ATTENTION: Every camera must have all the same settings in white balance, frame rate, iso, low light, colour, sharpness and spot meter. You'll open up a world of pain if not.

What Settings Should I Use?

This handy Gopro video settings table for filming stitch proof 360 videos is everything you need. Thanks to Freedom360 for creating it.

If you do not understand any of these terms resolution, fps, ISO or white balance please take some time to Google and research the terms.

2.7k 4:3 W 1440P Wide 960P Wide
Nominal output size 8k 6k 4k
Bright Light Outdoor 30 fps 80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps 120 fps, 60/50 fps
White Balance: native or 5500 K (Outdoor)
ISO limit: 400
Low Light Indoor 30 fps 30 fps, 25/24 fps 60 fps
White Balance: native or 3000 K (Indoor)
ISO limit: 1600 (6400 with additional noise)
General Protune Mode: ON
Auto Low Light: OFF
Sharpness: Low/Medium
Color: Flat

The main take away from the above table are the frame resolutions. It’s showing that currently the only three resolutions you can film to produce a 360 video are at 2.7k 4:3 W, 1440P Wide and 960P Wide. This is so that adequate video overlap occurs to be able to stitch the videos together.

Before you can start filming you need to set each GoPro to record on the same settings. This will allow them to stitch better and have less color matching and balance to correct in post.

Now the question is. What should I film at?

  • If you want a high quality result and have a lot of hard drive space then film 2.7k 4:3 W.
  • If you want to film fast motion and think you’ll slow it down later then film 1400P @ 80fps.
  • If you’re going to film indoors then adjust the white balance to suit the lighting.
  • If you want to save hard drive space then film at 1440P @ 24fps (very few people do this)
  • If it’s a really dark scene increase the ISO (but watch out for increased image noise)

The majority of our films are shot on 2.7k 4:3, 400 ISO, 5500K White Balance and 1440P @ 80fps when we want slow motion.

How to Set Your GoPros to Film 306 Video

Now that you have choose your desired settings let’s start to set each camera.

While on video mode press the settings button on the left side of the GoPro. This will bring up the video settings menu. Now the fun begins.

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. pressing the settings button

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. Settings menu

You will then be clicking the top record button to toggle each setting on an off. Each front power button click drops the current selection down to the next setting in a loop fashion.

Frame Resolution

Depending on which rig you are using, different settings must be used so that videos overlap between the seams. For this whole example we are using Freedom360 rigs.

For our Freedom360 rig we set all our GoPros at 2.7k 4:3 W. It’s a higher quality result at the cost of larger file sizes.

Frames Per Second (fps)

We film at 30fps with 2.7k 4:3 W or 80fps with 1440P There has been talk that viewing 360 video at higher frame rates helps your brain perception and reduces motion sickness. Of course Google to find out more details.

Why ProTune Mode?

To keep the colour and stitching in post-production more streamline you need to set your gopro cameras to all record on the same white balance, iso and sharpness.

The protune setting should always be kept on. Protune enables you to get much higher quality throughout your post-production workflow. Enabling much higher dynamic image range and overall image quality with more detail in highlights and shadows. Thus give you more flexibility for colour correction and colour grading in post-production.

Turning on Protune in your camera causes the videos you take to look less sharp, and you’ll also notice that the colors look more washed out.

Note: Protune has higher data rate capture (up to 60 megabits per second) and less compression, giving you more information to work with (and less compression artifacts).

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. Turn protune on

White Balance

This will keep the color tone constant on the video for easier color correcting and color grading during post-production

  • Auto (Default): Automatically adjusts the color tone based on the environmental conditions. NEVER USE THIS FOR 360 VIDEO
  • 6500k: Cool light. This setting is great for overcast conditions.
  • 5500k: slightly cool light. This setting is great for daylight while shooting outside.
  • 3000k: Warm light. This setting is great for lower-light situations, where you want the camera to pick up detail without the help of a lot of surrounding light.

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. Kelvin level

Sharpness

Use the low setting for less processing on the footage and more data to work with in post.

The videos will need to be sharpened during post-production for more clarity and detail. A great tool Skybox 360 Post FX will help with 360 video sharpness.

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. Sharpness to low

ISO

This adjusts the camera’s sensitivity in low light conditions. We change between using 1600 and 400. At 400 your videos will be darker but have the least noise and gain.

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming. set the iso

One Camera Complete. Yes.

You will now see see the symbol PT in the display to indicate that Protune is ON.

Changing the gopro camera settings for 360 filming complete for 2.7k at 30fps

Do All that again for the Rest of your GoPro Cameras

Change all the gopro camera to the exact same filming settings

All gopro cameras are set to the same film settings ready to film 360 degree video

Congratulations you have now setup up all your GoPros and can begin filming 360 videos! Be sure to tweet us your videos to @360thrill as we’d love to see them.

Conslusion

Film using the settings that fit your situation. Play around with the results in post and figure out what works for your current needs. By default our setup is 2.7k 4:3, 400 ISO, 5500K White Balance and 1440P @ 80fps when we want slow motion.


Now you’re ready to take on the world.

More to come soon.

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Post by Allan Dixon.