November 20, 2014

Go Pro HD Hero 4 Night Lapse Mode

Shooting Stars with the Go Pro HD Hero 4 in Night Lapse Mode

Many people have longed to know how to shoot great time lapses but what about the night lapse? In the past, it was all a bit "manual" and time consuming when it came to rendering the final output.

A few digital cameras have now made things easier by automating the process but the Go Pro HD Hero 4 still requires some work on your behalf.

Saying that, their software makes life a little easier so what it so good about the Go Pro HD Hero 4?

Finally, we have some manual control over the settings such as exposure, white balance, shutter speed and so on which makes night time lapses a lot easier.

Here is my first effort with all the details and settings below:

Click to play

This sequence was shot over 3 hours and 10 minutes from 7pm onwards in November. It was a relatively clear night and the camera settings were:

  • Mode: Night Lapse
  • Shutter: 30 seconds
  • Interval: 1 minute
  • Megapixels: 12mp Wide
  • Spotmeter: Off
  • White Balance: 5500k
  • Colour: Flat
  • ISO: Max 400
  • Pro Tune: On
  • Sharpness: High

The camera was placed on the floor in our garden (out of the wind) and set on a Gorillapod.

Go Pro Exposure and Battery

I was worried that the longer exposures would "burn out" the paint on the buildings but the Go Pro 4 actually coped really well. The building were quite dimly lit so I expect brighter areas wouldn't fair as well. Find somewhere dark to practice this.

Go Pros are well known for poor battery life so I needed a way to overcome this. I hooked the camera up (via a standard USB cable) to my cool Anker Astro 5600 battery pack which, even though I used it for 3 hours +, would have allowed the camera to run for many more hours.

A larger battery pack (around three times larger) such as the RAV Power one below would allow days, not hours, of time lapse photography:

NOTE: The footage when viewed on my computer is actually smoother than this. I was really impressed with how well the Go Pro HD Hero 4 coped with the dynamic range and long exposures!

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Go Pro, lighting

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