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Abe Kislevitz's Personal Reviews of the Modes
WVGA 240 Wide
Well, it’s WVGA – If you look closely at the image it’s not very clean – aliasing is present. The novelty of 240 FPS is pretty cool if you don’t care about image quality when stacked up against some of the other modes. It can look decent by itself when posted on YouTube.
720 60 Wide
Looks great, but why don’t you try using 1080 60 Wide instead
720 120 Wide
This mode is tough for me to like. You’ll notice jagged edges in this mode when looking at full resolution so it won’t even compare to 1080-60 wide – the way it was scaled and read off the sensor gives some aliasing. It looks great on the web on YouTube – if that’s your final output, go slowmo crazy.
720 120 Narrow
Bingo. 120 FPS? Check. No lens distortion? Check. Clean image without aliasing? Check! If there’s any mode in the camera that screams “I’m not a GoPro!” it’s this one. It looks like a 50mm lens and is a clean image. Slow mo is rad. This mode is great for web as well. Blown up next to 1080 or 2.7K, you’ll notice the softness that comes from the Narrow FOV.
960 48 Wide
I’ve never even tried this mode. I bet it looks good.
960 100 Wide
I feel similarly about this mode as I do 720-120 Wide. With this mode there is the opportunity to gain a bit of resolution by stretching 960 to fit to 1080 and dynamically stretching it. Either way, this mode will have slight jagged edges when looking at full resolution.
1080 30 Wide
I did a test where I filmed the same scene at 1080-30 and 2.7K 30. When 2.7K 30 was scaled down to 1080, the details and sharpness were just about identical to 1080-30. So this one gets my full approval; however, you have to ask yourself, why not film this at 2.7K 30 and have the extra resolution if you need it? Either way, 1080 30 Wide is one of the cleanest modes in the camera. Also regarding low-light, this mode will look much sharper at dusk or at night vs 60 FPS.
1080 60 Wide
Comparing 1080 30 & 1080 60, you’ll see 60FPS is ever so slightly softer than 30. It’s not something you’d ever notice even scaling the image to 720P or viewing on YouTube, but there’s a slight difference in the way it’s processed. At the end of the day, 1080-60 W is my go-to mode for 90% of filming action sports. With 60FPS you’ve got reduced rolling shutter as well due to reduced exposure time. Switch it to a lower frame rate at night to get a sharper image.
1080 60 Medium
This mode rocks. It’s very clean, doesn’t look super GoPro-ie, and is in slow mo. Consider this mode for sweet slider dolly shots, glidecam, or cranes. Try it for car mounted shots. Careful with the POV with Medium or Narrow as you’ll get shakier and more disorienting. Again, switch to a lower frame rate (30 or 24) for night or dusk.
1080 60 Narrow
This mode is very cool. Still a very clean image; however, at this level you’re going to see more of the pixel noise & artifacting. You’re close to pixel levels without scaling so sensor noise could be an issue at lower light levels. Also details will be softer overall. The narrow FOV looks like DSLR video, very unique to GoPro. Fun fact – we actually pulled out a few 1080-60 Narrow shots from the HERO3 reel because your average joe may see it and assume the video wasn’t fully shot on GoPro.
1440 30 Wide
I love this mode! First off, it’s VERY sharp and very clean. It really gives you a sense of real POV when you wear the camera on your head, chest, or bite it in your mouth. It can be a pain to deal with, as the aspect ratio is 4:3, but if you know the anamorphic 16:9 dynamic stretch tricks, it can be wonderful. If you’re filming POV to just keep to re-live life later, this is a rad mode to use.
1440 48 Wide
The high framerate is great, but when looked at full resolution, you’ll see some aliasing. The way the image was processed to get high framerate produces some jagged edges. Thankfully, hardly anyone watches this at full resolution so jagged edges are harder to pickup. This mode still looks great online and scaled down.
2.7K 30 Wide
This mode is insane. Here’s what I like about it – sharp as a knife, full sensor wide, full 30 fps, native to the camera. The one downside is rolling shutter since it is a 30FPS mode. If you can get it mounted to something steady, at high speeds or low light you’ll notice really nice motion blur with this mode. The high resolution makes this ideal for cropping and re-framing, or stabilizing in post. I find this mode has great low-light as well.
2.7K 24 CIN
This mode is interesting – it’s 2.7K width but shorter to give it a 17:9 aspect ratio, so it’s got a bit less resolution than the basic 2.7K. I’ve requested 2.7K Wide in 24 FPS as well so 2.7K CIN isn’t the only option. We’ll see, but not sure how that missed the initial spec sheet.
4K 15 Wide
This is great for timelapse, conform to 30FPS later. Don’t make a video at 15 FPS unless you’re highly stylizing it and know what you’re doing. Great for setting in ProTune and locking to a specific color temp for timelapses that might otherwise cause color shifts in the photos (sunset/sunrise).
4K 12 CIN
This is 4K but wider, so there’s slightly more resolution (17:9 with the height of 4K’s height). This is also a great mode to do video for timelapse.
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