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This article looks at two different sets of syptoms related to GoPro picture quality problems, and discusses the measures you should take to resolve them rapidly. It covers the common observations that you may see on the images, and then gives possible causes and solutions.


 

GoPro Picture Quality Syptoms Part 1

  • Grainy finish to the film.
  • Colors appear to have little contrast (washed-out).

Possible Causes

1. Light

Think simple first; Light will always have the biggest effect on the GoPro picture quality. The more of it you’ve got, the happier the camera will be. As a general rule you’ll rarely see any of the professional GoPro video on a rainy day, and even when underwater you’re always aware that there is brilliant sunlight just above the surface.

But, you can work around this…

Solutions

  1. On the camera itself slow things down a little. Reduce the frame rate if you are using a fast one, so that the images are processed effectively. If required, your GoPro will cut corners when processing to keep up with the demands you put on it. This has an effect on the GoPro picture quality when the video files prepared for storage.
  2. Off the camera, think ahead and wear bright clothing that will reflect light or add contrast. Creating an illusion of light can be an effective way of fooling the eye, and giving the impression that the GoPro picture quality is actually better than it is.
  3. Become a master in post-production. Play with atmosphere to produce an end result that suits the video you captured, rather than having a preconceived idea of what it should be like.

Nothing is different for professionals, they just invested more time and effort, and so can you.

2. Protune

Protune is a professional ‘tool’ that has to be understood to be used. If it’s unclear to you when it should and shouldn’t be switched on, and how it can be used to your advantage, then it may appear to do more harm than good. It seems unlikely that something that should enhance the GoPro picture quality may appear to do the opposite, but in reality sometimes it gives that illusion, and sometimes it does actual reduce the the quality.

Solutions

  1. Understand first. Protune actually captures more information than you are seeing, and that’s where the benefits lie. If you download the video to your computer and take a quick look in the Explorer window, chances are that you’ll feel disappointed.
    Often the video appears to have little contrast between colors (hence the expression flat), and can occasionly look grainy. Where the magic happens with Protune is when it goes into post-production, so understand it first, which brings us to Solution 2.
  2. Find out how to maximize the benefits using your editing suit. All the ‘extra’ information that has been stored in the supporting files can be used to dramatically enhance your finished videos. If you have the software and the know-how then you’ll hit the bulls-eye. Don’t give upon footage until you’ve checked it out fully in your editing software and began to examine the dynamic range that has been captured.
  3. Especially at dusk or in extremely poor light, turn the Protune OFF. It can do more harm than good, and artifacts or ‘noise’ will start to appear that you just won’t be able to repair. If in doubt, leave it off until you know how to fully utilize it’s full potential.

 

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If you decide that you really need a masterclass on GoPro Settings we recommend the ProjectGoPro eBook that will cover everything you need in detail.
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GoPro Picture Quality Syptoms Part 2

  • Jagged lines where there should be straight edges.

Possible Causes

1. Aliasing

This is distortion sometimes caused by the processing and storage rate of the camera.

With large amounts of data being the transfered certain parts of that information may start to be ignored. This is to keep up with the speed at which information is being captured and stored. The best place to start ‘forgeting’ information is around the outside and this will have an effect on the GoPro picture quality. Straight and regular lines appear slightly jagged, and moving images may appear to have a rolig area at the side.

Solutions

  1. Make sure that you have two or three settings that you fully understand. Nail these, have them as “GoTo” settings, and know that before trying everything else one of these suits the task forte day.
  2. Either read our GoPro Settings article to find out more or just use one of the follow.
  3. 1080p / Wide / 60fps or 30fps
  4. 720p / Narrow / 120fps
  5. 1440p / Wide / 30fps

 


 

GoPro Picture Quality Syptoms Part 3

  • Black screen in Playback in Explorer or Finder

Possible Causes

1. Nothing Wrong With Your GoPro

Usually due to the fact that your computer doesn’t have the legs, and a very common problem for many people. This discovery is normally followed by panic at losing a days worth of video, then annoyance when you realise that you can hear the sound so you must have captured something.

Solutions

  1. Import it correctly into video editing software.
  2. Try viewing it through the GoPro Studio Software.
  3. Check driver updates for Graphics/Sound cards if all else fails.
  4. If your video editing software is not recent verify that is can direct import and handle MP4 files.

2. Something Wrong With Your GoPro

Worst case scenario, it is black. Maybe it’s not GoPro picture quality that is the problem; there’s actually no picture.

Solutions

  1. Verify that the SD card is really empty.
  2. Reformat the card in your GoPro.
  3. Check the GoPro software is up to date in case of any known bugs.

 

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If you decide that you really need a masterclass on GoPro Settings we recommend the ProjectGoPro eBook that will cover everything you need in detail.
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Final Word

Don’t forget that Knowledge is Power. Read up on your GoPro, your editing software, and any other techniques that may come in handy. Small things can make the different between “good” and “great”, and that can mean a good day and great day, not just the video.