After you have familiarized yourself with the Gopro Hero 4/3+/3 menu structure, it is important to set certain parameters in the cameras, in order to shoot material that can be successfully stitched into a 360 video with one of the video stitiching applications, Kolor Autopano Video or VideoStitch Studio. Each of the different models of  Hero 4/3+/3 cameras has slightly different features. Aspect ratio of the individual videos needs to be 4:3  in order for the six videos to have enough overlap to be stitched. 2.7k 4:3 (only Hero 4), 1440P and 960P are the video resolutions that have a 4:3 aspect ratio. If you pick any other video resolution, you will not be able to stitch a 360 video from the footage. We recommend to always use 1440P unless you require a higher frame rate or higher resolution.

Some notes:

  1. Field of View (FOV) is always Wide when you choose 2.7k 4:3, 1440P or 960P.
  2. It is recommended to always use Protune Mode. It gives you more control over your final video in post, and gives you a higher bit rate while recording. You see 1440T or 960T in the display when Protune is ON.
  3. Avoid an ISO Limit setting of 6400 since it increases image noise.
  4. Do not use SuperView Mode or the 1080P mode. It is not stitchable.
  5. Always Set Date and Time in the GoPro App before a shoot for all cameras. It facilitates better synchronization. It is also very useful to have the same time stamp on the six files when it comes to data management.
  6. Make sure all cameras have the exact same settings: same resolution, same frame rate, same white balance, same Protune setting. Always check before each shoot that all cameras have the same settings.

The following camera settings are recommended when you use your GoPro cameras in the Freedom360 Mount, the Freedom360 Mount with 5X Adapter or the F360 Explorer Mount.

Hero 4 Black:

Our recommended camera settings are as follows:

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

Recording time: Hero4 cameras will always generate mp4 files that are ~ 4GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 4GB, until the card is full. With Protune on, the camera will make a 4GB file about every 11 minutes for the normal modes, and about every 8 min for the higher modes (1440P/60 and larger).

Hero 3+ Black:

Our recommended camera settings are as follows:

1440P Wide 960P Wide
Nominal output size 6k 4k
Bright Light Outdoor 48 fps, 30 fps 100 fps, 60/50 fps
White Balance: 5500 K (Outdoor)
ISO limit: 400
Low Light Indoor 30 fps, 25/24 fps Frame Rate:
Protune ON:60/50 fps
Protune OFF:48 fps
White Balance: 3000 K (Indoor)
ISO limit: 1600
General Protune Mode: ON
Auto Low Light: OFF
Sharpness: Low/Medium
Color: Flat

Recording time: Hero3+ cameras will always generate mp4 files that are ~ 4GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 4GB, until the card is full. With Protune on, the camera will make a 4GB file about every 11 minutes.

Older, and outdated cameras (still working but not recommended anymore):

 

Hero3 Black:

The H3B has two video resolutions that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 48 and 100 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)
  • 1440P (1920x1440px) at 24, 25, 30 and 48 fps (final size about  5600x2800px)

Pick the resolution and frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file. Keep in mind that current 360 panorama web player and IDevices can only play back about 1920×960 at 20-30fps, meaning you need to scale down your large master file after editing, for web delivery.

Protunes is a feature that allows recording a higher data rate (about 45mbit/sec), as well as a flatter response curve (preserving more highlight and shadow details, but deep shadows will get more chroma noise as well), making video stitching far easier. You can turn Protunes on/off in the settings menu. If you turn it off, the video footage will have much higher contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as a lower data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The camera has different settings, among them indoor and outdoor. Pick the one closest to your filming situation.

Recording time: Hero3 cameras will always generate mp4 files that are 2GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 2GB, until the card is full. With Protune on, the camera will make a 2GB file about every 6 minutes. With Protune off, the camera will make a new 2GB file about every 18 minutes. This is independent of the frame rate and resolution. Please keep in mind that some frames may get lost when a new file is created.

 Hero3 Silver:

The H3S has one video resolution that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 25, 30 and 48 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)

Pick the frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file.

Protune is a feature that allows recording a higher data rate (about 35mbit/sec), as well as a flatter response curve (preserving more highlight and shadow details, but deep shadows will get more chroma noise as well), making video stitching far easier. You can turn Protune on/off in the settings menu. If you turn it off, the video footage will have much higher contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as a lower data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The camera has different settings, among them indoor and outdoor. Pick the one closest to your filming situation.

Recording time: Hero3 cameras will always generate mp4 files that are 2GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 2GB, until the card is full. With Protune on, the camera will make a 2GB file about every 8 minutes. With Protune off, the camera will make a new 2GB file about every 18 minutes. This is independent of the frame rate. Please keep in mind that some frames may get lost when a new file is created.

Hero3 White:

The H3W has one video resolution that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 25 and 30 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)

Pick the frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file.

Protune: the H3W has no Protune feature, the video footage will have  high contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as the standard data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The H3W has only auto white balance.

 

A small comment on the frame rates: any notion or compatibility with old school broadcast standards is outdated: your 360 videos will be played back via the web, or any other digital device, and they are capable to play back just about any frame rate you can imagine (certain upper limits apply). Pick a frame rate that suits your action and your style, not based on your geography and your grandparents TV.