October 9, 2012

GoPro finally gets its protune update

Its here… at last: GoPro have finally realeased their long awaited firmware update for the HDHero2, and it really is quite a beast of an update. Initially announced at NAB earlier this year the big hitter for me is this massive jump in bitrate – from around 15mbps upto the 35mbps found standard in most decent cameras. Thats a lot lot closer to the 50mbps demanded by the BBC etc for HD broadcast – and the difference in the video quality is immediate – especially in fast moving footage (which afterall is so common with a POV camera like this).

Second up is much better colour accuracy and the implementation of a log curve. The simplest way to explain this without getting to technical is that the camera can read darker shadows and brighter highlights. The image out the camera looks ‘flatter’ with less contrast, but with a couple of tweaks in post you can start to recover detail in the highlights of clouds in the sky say that would have otherwise been ‘blown out’.

And almost lastly the third big one is the introduction of 24p – invaluable if your cutting in gopro material to a 24p project. gone are the days of hours of framerate conversions – now you can shot 24, 25, 30 as needed – and 50 or 60 in 720p and plus the additon of 48fps at 960p.

There are however a good list of known issues with the software on the mac at the moment so well worth having a quick skim over this list.  Its probably also well worth checking your SD cards are up to the job though of capturing at this new higher datarate.

To see your update launch the cineform software and you’ll be prompted to download a new version. Once installed plug in your gopro and the updated software will register that there is a firmware update available (HDHero2 ONLY).