Recording a GoPro timelapse using in built timelapse mode
Traditionally, timelapse was done by taking a series of photos and stitching the footage together. There is an in built function in a GoPro Hero 4 which you can set the interval between photos and once complete the GoPro will automatically stitch the photos into a video.
Here are some of the camera icons you will need to know about:
Available interval options are: 0.5 (default), 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds.
Available resolutions are: 2.7K – 4:3 aspect ratio, and 4K (default) – 16:9 aspect ratio.
A. Configure your camera’s Time Lapse Video options:
- With the camera on, in VIDEO mode, press the SETTINGS/TAG button on the side of the camera.
- Press the top SHUTTER button once, to cycle from VIDEO to T LAPSE VID.
- Press the front MODE button once to highlight the INTERVAL SETTING. By pressing the top SHUTTER button you can alter the interval at which the camera will capture a frame (see above for available interval options).
- Once an interval is chosen, press the front MODE button to highlight the RESOLUTION SETTING. By pressing the top SHUTTER button you can alter the resolution and aspect ratio of your resulting Time Lapse Video. NOTE: The aspect ratio refers to the overall shape of your video; it defines the ratio between a image/video’s width and height. 4:3 is a taller image (like that of older, box-style TVs/monitors), where as 16:9 is a widescreen view (as with most HDTVs).
- Press the front MODE button once more to highlight EXIT; select the EXIT with the top SHUTTER button.
B. Capturing your Time Lapse Video footage:
- Press the top SHUTTER button to begin recording.
- The camera’s red LEDs will blink to indicate that the camera is capturing footage, and the time counter on the camera’s display will show the amount of Time Lapse Video footage captured.
- Press the top SHUTTER button again to stop your recording.
- Your SD card will not store individual image files (as it does in normal Time Lapse mode), but rather a single MP4 video file played back at a frame rate of 30 frames per second (FPS).
- Your interval setting will govern how long it takes to capture one second of resulting video footage. The camera needs to capture 30 frames (remember, the video will play at 30 FPS) so that it can stitch together one second of video footage. For example:
- If set to the 0.5 second interval option (one frame captured every half-second), you will need to record for at least 15 seconds to result in one second of Time Lapse Video footage (played back at 30 FPS).
- If the interval is set to 60 seconds (one frame capture every minute), the camera will need to be recording for at least 30 minutes in order to have one second of Time Lapse Video Footage.
- When recording Time Lapse Video, the time displayed on the camera’s LCD screen(s) reflects the amount of captured video footage; not the time that has passed since you initiated the recording (elapsed time) as it does with all other video modes. This means that when you initially start recording, “00:01” can remain on the screen for any where from 15 seconds (in the 0.5 interval setting) all the way up to 30 minutes (with a 60 second interval).
- Allow the camera to record for a few more intervals than you think—this will give you more freedom if you opt to edit or trim the footage.
- When viewing the HERO4 Silver or the HERO4 Black (with the LCD Touch BacPac), you may notice that the video preview populated while recording is choppy. This is expected; the camera is working to capture time lapse footage, and as such, will populate the previewed image in increments. Your final Time Lapse Video clip will playback at a smooth 30 FPS.
- When using Time Lapse Video, your camera’s battery runtime will be similar to recording Video in the same resolution. A table of runtime estimates can be found, here.