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underwaterguy

GoPro Hero 7 Black - Sharpness & WB settings underwater?

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I've been reading some posts online recommending that for "on land" shooting, the Hero 7 sharpness be set to "low" for more natural looking footage. I haven't gotten to use mine in the water yet but I'm wondering if settings of "medium" or "high" might yield better results underwater where the overall environment is less sharp than on land due to less that gin-clear visibility. Any recommendations for WB of "auto" or "native" (or some other choice) would be helpful, too. I'd be free diving with the camera a depths of 30ft of less. Thanks!

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30 feet is almost like land. The GoPro produces heavily compressed footage it is best to get the results as good as you can from the outset as the idea of flat profile when you are compressing 4K in 72 mbps HEVC just does not hold well. Try to get the footage as good as possible without having to touch it which means filters and light within the limits of the tiny sensor of the camera.

30 feet a nice red fiter should be enough

Sharpness is always not good in any camera and could create problems with water so i would keep that to low but you can run some tests yourself

You will find millions of youtube video telling you that you can process protune flat etc etc but the reality is that it is just too compressed and you will be wasting your time in my opinion.

Edited by Interceptor121

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White Balance: Underwater Auto WB for the 7 Black is much improved and I normally don't use filter down to 5 meters (16 feet). Beyond that, I recommend using a Flip Dive Filter since colors are harder to recover at deeper depths. Protune Auto WB is more stable than previous generations and color shifting is minimum.

Sharpness: I leave it at "Medium" and never feel the need to sharpen 4K 60p clips any further. Also, 1/60 sec or faster shutters keep 4K 60p video frames from getting too soft since 60p videos don't need motion blur to look smooth.

 

HEVC: 7 Black H.265 at 78 Mb/s can capture more details and better motion than H.264 at more than twice the data rate (156+ Mb/s), made possible by advanced codec engineering and much faster camera and computer processors! Example: bandwidth required for 4K broadcast: HEVC H.265 15 Mb/s vs H.264 32 Mb/s.

 

All of the 4K 60p clips in this video were recorded with Protune above 10 meters (32 feet) without filter: https://youtu.be/Jc_NuFilVuU As usual, the YouTube version is much softer than the edited ProRes output.

Edited by A.Y.

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GoPro 7 Black provides option to use either HEVC H.265 or H.264 for many 1080, 2K, and 4K frame rates, but won't record H.264 at higher data rate to compensate for the codec shortcomings, resulting in lower quality videos!

 

This YouTube video let you see for yourself (at 38sec mark) HEVC H.265 @ 320kbps outperforms H.264 @ 640kbps in overall image quality, especially in capturing motions.

 

 

7 Black HEVC H.265 videos can be viewed on the newer smartphones (iPhone XR was mistakenly omitted): https://gopro.com/help/articles/block/hevc

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Thank you for the 3 replies to my questions. I apparently have notifications set wrong somewhere, because I didn't know these responses were here and just saw them now. I'll dig into the suggestions and experiment soon. Much appreciated!

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Hi Underwaterguy,

 

I'd be interested in hearing how it goes — have been thinking of picking up a new Hero7 Black and would value the advice before splashing out!

 

Cheers!

 

 

Thank you for the 3 replies to my questions. I apparently have notifications set wrong somewhere, because I didn't know these responses were here and just saw them now. I'll dig into the suggestions and experiment soon. Much appreciated!

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7black-wb.jpg

 

These two 4K 60p video frames show 7 Black Protune Auto WB is much improved over the older models. Correcting colors for 10-meter (30-foot) videos should be pretty easy! However, using a filter below 8 meters (26 feet) is highly recommended!

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Posted (edited)

This is an old thread, but should anyone still be looking for information on GoPro UW settings, I'll share mine if it can help.
I've been using these for some times now (GoPro 4 Silver, then 6 Black then 7 Black), and they give me a little flexibility for colour correction, within obvious limitations of course.

Shooting in ambient light in tropical waters, I can get useable footage down to 20m depth depending on conditions.

I use a UR PRO CY filter, one is the combo SRP Blurfix 55 dome model, the other a standard acrylic 55mm UR.

I was shooting in 1080p, 2.7 and 4k.
Frame rate 30 or 60 fps depending on conditions
Medium or (sigh...) linear fov

Pro tune-on
Max ISO 400 or 800 - min 100
Shutter auto
WB native
Colours flat
Exposure compensation -0.5 or -1 depending on conditions
Sharpness medium or low


Here are some examples with these 3 cameras, done before I had time to sit down and actually work on colour correction with FCPX or Da Vinci resolve, which is what I'm doing now (finally starting to understand what i'm doing a little better, and how to rationalise the process and workflow) during this dry period.

These were shot hand-held, with the camera on a retriever directly to the housing - I do have a tray set-up which is much nicer for stability but can't use it very often, as opposed to having the camera simply clipped-on, tucked in a BC pocket on pretty much every non-teaching dive.
 

These two clips were shot on the GoPro 4 Silver, multiple dives max depth 20m

 


This here is an example of the GoPro 4 struggling a little more than usual, even though this was less than 15m depth :
 


This here was shot on the GoPro 6 Black - single dive, 20 to 15m
I didn't use the 6 as much as the other 2 models


Finally these here are all on the GoPro 7 Black

This one here at less than 15m depth - not happy about the lens distortion


This particular GP7B clip was made during a rather green and low-viz season (strongly positive phase of the Indian Ocean Diapole...) max depth 20m


These two were shot a little deeper, often beyond 20m :
 

 



Hope this helps others playing around with the ambient light + filter GoPro settings

I'm still trying to get results playing with the shutter settings (twice the frame rate etc) but nothing convincing so far, if anyone has tips on things that have worked for them with the GoPro

Cheers,

B

Edited by ben gazzal

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