This is an informative guide on how to shoot at night using your GoPro gadgets. So, do GoPros have night vision?
GoPro doesn’t have night vision. But, there are settings that will help you obtain great low-light photos that are equally amazing (if not better). If you are looking for that eerie footage you can capture on infrared (IR) cameras, then this brand doesn’t have that effect yet in any of their models.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- what you can do with your GoPro
- how to shoot videos at night with an action camera
- the best settings for low light conditions
…and many more techniques in having the best outcomes from your Hero gadget.
Let’s get started right away!
What Can You Do With A GoPro?
Let’s talk about GoPro uses. A tiny monster packed with too many features, you can actually do so much with a GoPro device.
From shooting awesome time lapse to creative fish-eye images, you’ll certainly have fun with this gear. But, what can you actually do with this aside from those basic functions, especially in a low-light setting? Read on to find out!
Isn’t it just amazing to observe the night sky with all its glittering stars contrasting the deep blue atmosphere? It’s even better if you have a device that lets you capture this. Well, say no more! GoPro has included a night lapse mode on their models (Hero Black 4 and up).
For Hero 8, 9, and 10 Black, you just need to find the Time Lapse Mode and click the Presets, then look for the Night Lapse mode to enable this feature.
Here, the device will let you record the events just like any normal time lapse, but with optimized settings for low-light conditions.
If you don’t want the lapse mode, then you can very well just shoot stills using the night photo mode. Here, the action camera will optimize the settings so you can capture the scene even in dim light. Of course, if you want to manually adjust the settings, you also have that option.
How To Shoot Night Photos with GoPro
It’s a bit challenging to take decent night shots even with a regular camera, much so for tiny devices like GoPro with limited capabilities.
But, it’s not totally impossible to get those eye-catching images by using your action camera in a low-light setting. In fact, if you only know how to do it right, you can have magazine-worthy stills by using your Hero model.
Here are some tips on how to capture the magnificent night scene with your action cam.
Spontaneous photoshoots and footage are fun and all, but really, planning your course of action ahead of time will take you to greater heights. If you plan the session right, it will be easier to do the actual shoot since you know very well how you are going to execute it and what results you are expecting.
It’s true that the plan might not be 100% effective and there might be some unpredictable circumstances, it’s will still provide you some insights on what to do next in case all else fails.
One thing you should consider when planning is the weather. The night sky is undeniably beautiful. But what if you happen to shoot in a very cloudy atmosphere? Then there’s really nothing much you can see there.
==> The Ultimate Guide to Your GoPro: Beginner to Expert (Video)
So, if you can, try to check weather forecasts for the dates you want to shoot. This way, you’ll not waste time setting up your equipment and end up only capturing a totally dark sky.
Another thing to consider during this stage is the location. There are several apps that will provide you with information about places with the most stars and celestial events are seen.
Provide external lighting
Though we are talking about night shooting, it doesn’t mean we have to do it completely in the dark. So, as much as you can, it would be nice if there was some sort of external lighting to at least illuminate the surroundings. This way, you can get a better view of the night sky.
By the way, it doesn’t have to be as fancy as professional strobes and such. What matters is that they have luminance that can enhance the total ambiance for the shoot.
Use max resolution for better quality
If you have a gear with high photo and video resolution, then it’s the best time to use them. You need to get as much details as you can since the sky is dark.
However, you should also know that putting it at max will consume more battery, and GoPros are not that generous with the gadget runtime.
READ ALSO: GoPro Overheating (Fixes)
READ ALSO: Can GoPro Record While Charging?
If you need to shoot time lapse, you should just take out your battery pack and plug in the device using a wall charger. Just make sure the power is stable to avoid interruption.
Experiment on composition/angling ahead
Composing your photos is never easy, especially if it’s not something you do everyday (casual shooters). But once you master this aspect, your images will never be the same.
If you want to get the best results, it is a good idea to practice on different angles during the day. Then, before the actual shoot, you can experiment on them at night and choose the best composition for your stills and videos.
On of the most important things to remember when shooting at night is stabilization. The good news is that GoPro now has Hypersmooth, a propriety IS for Hero models. With this, there are less camera shakes and will give you a smooth and seamless footage.
Although the gear already has an IS, it will help to have at least a tripod to keep the physical device stable, especially for GoPro time lapse videos.
You wouldn’t want to end up with blurry videos, would you? Plus, it would be easier to leave the gear on the tripod instead of holding it for hours, which is very impractical (and tedious?).
Use the GoPro app for easier review
It’s good to review your stills and videos every now and then. This way, you’ll know if you got the results you were looking for, and if not, so you could reshoot it right there and then.
The GoPro app will be the most convenient way to do this. You can use your smartphone to remotely access the files on your GoPro.
Do the post-processing magic
It’s no secret that this brand’s products produce great unedited shots. But still, if we’re talking about night photography, some post-processing magic will help you get the best results.
Through this, you can refine the output and produce a more appealing masterpiece.
Best Night Shooting Settings For GoPro
Hero 7, 8, 9, and 10 (Black) has a dedicated Night Mode setting for both stills and videos. This means there is already a preset you can use if you are not comfortable adjusting them manually.
But for those of you who wants to set things by yourself, you can do that as well. Here are some tips on how to properly setup the gear for night shooting.
Keeping ISO levels at minimum
The thing with setting the ISO to high levels in low light condition is that they do brighten the scene, but it does give you too much digital noise. To avoid this, set it to the lowest level together with choosing a low frame rate. Doing a 24fps video will be most recommended for night shooting.
Set shutter speed to twice the frame rate
In low light conditions, setting your shutter speed appropriately will help so much in getting clearer and better results. It is highly suggested to set it to a level at least twice your frame rate. In this case, if you happen to record at 24fps, then you should set the shutter speed to 1/48 or so.
GoPro has a SuperView mode that makes use of the full sensor; no cropping. For better videos and stills at night, you can use this instead of the Wide View mode.
Indeed, GoPro offers versatility in a very small body. It is not only capable of shooting fast-paced sports action, but it also performs well for night photography.
But if you are looking for a gear that produces an effect like that of an infrared camera, then you are better off with another product. But if you only want to capture the beauty of the night sky, then your GoPro can do that much.
Now, I’d like to hear from YOU:
- Have you tried using the night photo and night lapse mode in GoPro?
- How was the experience?
- Do you prefer setting the ISO, shutter speed, and frame rates manually?
Share your experiences below!