GoPro Videos Blurry? Try These 11 Fixes

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GoPro Videos Blurry

It can be a big disappointment if you try to capture moments with GoPro only to find that the picture or video is blurry. Rest assured that this is not normal with GoPro and is a result of certain factors which you can easily rectify.

So, if your GoPro videos are blurry, read on to find out why, and to get tested, easy-to-follow solutions to the problem.

Why is My GoPro Video Blurry?

As with all our how-to guides, we recommend that you follow a step-by-step approach to find and fix the cause of the issue on your GoPro video.

The reason for this is that it helps you to understand exactly why the problem has occurred, and to better understand what works best for your camera under different situation. So, when you try the first fix, you should try capturing a video again.

If it remains blurry, try the next fix and then try capturing a video again. Continue until you find the solution that works for you. Every fix in this article has been proven to work for different users, and one should work for you.

1. Low Lighting

GoPro is a utility camera that is designed mostly for capturing moments outdoors. With the right lighting, GoPro video quality is outstanding.

However, it does not do very well with poor lighting. And, unlike smartphone cameras, it does not have a flash feature to beam light unto the objects you are trying to capture.

For this reason, using GoPro in an area with low lighting to capture a video will cause the video to come out blurry. If you have to film in an area with poor lighting, there are a few things to try as listed below.

Fix – Turn Off Hypersmooth

Hypersmooth was introduced by GoPro to electronically stabilize motions in the video you capture. Normally, to capture a video and make it smooth, you need to have the physical skills to move smoothly with the object you are filming.

And if you are capturing yourself in motion or capturing high-action moments, this is even more difficult. Hypersmooth eliminates the raw edges of the movement and makes the transition between frames to be very smooth.

The catch is that Hypersmooth requires good lighting to work well. It’s a compromise that GoPro were willing to make but which may not always work for users. If you want to be able to film in low or poor lighting, you would need to disable Hypersmooth and thereby reduce the lighting requirements on your GoPro camera.

Please follow the steps below to disable GoPro Hypersmooth feature:

1. Tap on the video settings (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. Tap on Stabilization. This is usually already set to Auto which means that Hypersmooth is on

3. On the screen that opens, tap on Off

OR

1. Tap on the video specs (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. Click the pencil icon next to Standard

3. Select Hypersmooth

4. Then slide the slider up to turn off Hypersmooth

Fix 2 – Take Video in Area with Better Lighting

As we stated earlier, GoPro is originally designed as a handy camera to use for capturing outdoor activities and moments.

As a result, the lighting requirements are such that GoPro works best in natural daylight. If turning of Hypersmooth does not fix the blurry video problem for you, you may just have to look for an area with better lighting.

  • You could also use the GoPro Light Mod – this is a powerful, rechargeable LED lighting that you can attach to the top of you GoPro camera or wrap around it for filming in areas of poor lighting or at night.

Just like your GoPro camera, the Light Mod is waterproof and tough to withstand outdoor use over time. It has 4 levels of brightness: 26, 60, 125, and 200 lumens, and the battery life obviously decreases as you go higher in brightness.

So, if you want to use the Light Mod in the dark, be sure you would not have to film for too long.

Fix 3 – Turn on Low Light

Another way to make your GoPro capture images better and eliminate blurry videos in areas of poor lighting is to set the Low Light feature. This will automatically adjust the lighting setting and reduce the lighting requirements on your GoPro camera.

To turn on Low Light, please follow the steps below:

1. Tap on the video settings (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. Scroll down to Low Light.

If Low Light shows N/A, you would need to change the FPS (frames per second or refresh rate) to 60. To do this

1. Tap on RES/FPS and then tap on the higher figure on the right. This is the refresh rate

2. Change the figure to 60

3. Then, go back to Low Light and tap on it to turn it on.

If you make the changes to the refresh rate and you are still unable to turn on Low Light, you can head over to the GoPro app and change the settings there instead. Then, turn on Low Light on the app.

Fix 3 – Brighten Video When Editing

Another option to try is to edit the video after filming by using professional video editing applications. While this is outside of the GoPro camera controls, it is a great way to enhance video quality when you absolutely have to shoot in an area with poor lighting.

2. High Shutter Speed

To understand how this could cause blurry video on GoPro, it is important to first understand what shutter speed means and how it works.

Shutter speed is, well, the speed at which the shutter of a camera closes. If the shutter speed is fast, it means the camera has less exposure at any given moment. Exposure here means the amount of light that the camera takes in. A slow shutter speed means that the camera has longer exposure and so is able to take in more light.

Now, if you are filming in an area with poor lighting, you would want to have a low shutter speed which opens the camera to take in more light. Normally.

However, a problem with this is that having a low shutter speed and by consequence having longer exposure will make any movement blurry.

So, low shutter speed is great for taking pictures in low light but not great for taking videos in low light. To balance this out you need to make some adjustments in the refresh rate and the shutter speed.

Fix -Balance Shutter Speed

The first thing to do when addressing issues with shutter speed to find the right balance, is to first set a good frame rate. Frame refresh rate is the number of individual frames in each second of video recording.

High frame rates require brighter lighting. If you are filming in low light, you need to use lower frame rate in order to reduce the amount of light needed to capture video per second.

So, to reduce frame rate:

1. Tap on the video settings (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. Then tap on the higher figure on the right. This is the refresh rate. Make sure it is no more than 60. (24 works best in really low lights)

You can now balance the shutter speed in relation to the frame refresh rate. The rule is that you should make the shutter speed twice the frame rate. So, if you have set the frame rate above to be 60, the shutter speed needs to be 1/120 (48 for really low light)

To change shutter speed:

1. Tap on the video specs (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. On the window that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click the + button

3. Scroll down to the Protune section and select Shutter

4. Adjust the shutter speed to the value twice your frame rate

Fix 2 – Lower Exposure Compensation

Exposure compensation is a feature on GoPro cameras that allows the camera to automatically balance out the lighting in the area. It tries to find the best brightness level by making dark areas brighter.

So, if you are filming in the dark, for example, and the object you are filming is directly under bright lights, GoPro may try to even out the dark surroundings by making them brighter. But this would also make the object under bright lights to be a lot brighter…even washed out or blurry.

So, if you are filming in areas where the light is uneven, you would want to reduce the Exposure Compensation as long as the area you want to capture is properly lit.

On GoPro, Exposure Compensation is represented by EV Comp. To reduce EV Comp:

1. Tap on the video specs (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. On the window that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click the + button

3. Scroll down to the Protune section and then select EV Comp

4. It is set to 0 by default. If you experience the blurry video at 0, then slide it lower to –0.5 or -1

4. Your Camera Moves Too Fast While Recording

GoPro cameras are great for the outdoor: for filming activities on the go. Many people use GoPro for fast action activities like skiing, running, biking, extreme sports, and so on. With this in mind, GoPro introduced Hypersmooth to even out quick and rough movements while you film.

However, if you are moving too fast, it may be too quick for the camera to capture properly, resulting in a blurry video. The first thing to do when filming quick action is to ensure that Hypersmooth is turned on…as long as you are filming in a well-lit environment.

Once that’s sorted, then try the fixes below:

Fix – Use the GoPro tripod (view on Amazon)

GoPro recently introduced the 3-way 2.0 which combines 3 mounts in one stand. The product contains a camera grip, a tripod stand, and extension arm for capturing motion.

It also allows you to tilt the camera a full 360 degrees, allowing you to smoothly film movements in all directions without even moving the stand.

Fix 2 – Joby’s GorillaPod

An alternative to try is Joby’s GorillaPod (view on Amazon) which is specifically designed for motion filming with action cameras like GoPro, Sony, and Contour cameras.

Unlike GoPro tripod which mounts as a tripod, GorillaPod has wrappable legs which you can use to wrap round any vintage point and film the action 360degrees. It is a good accessory to mount your GoPro camera on and have a great filming experience even with fast motion, and avoid blurry videos.

Fix 3 – Use A Gimbal

A Gimbal (view on Amazon) is a lot like the GoPro 3-way 2.0 and the GorillaPod. It is also designed for capturing high-action movements while filming with your GoPro camera. Some gimbals like the 3-Axxis Gimbal Stabilizer can be either handheld or mounted on its tripod stand. It comes with a remote control, 14 hours battery life and is water resistant.

Fix 3 – Decrease the Speed of the Camera

If you are unable to use an accessory to film your action properly, then you may want to try reducing the speed at which the camera moves.

This can be difficult if the camera is strapped to you. But, if possible, place it in a position where it does not have to move as quickly as the action. You can complement this by setting the camera lens to SuperView.

To set camera lens to SuperView, please follow the steps below:

1. Tap on the video specs (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. On the window that opens, select Lens

3. Then change the Lens setting to SuperView

This makes the camera capture wider frames at any given time, thereby reducing how quickly you need to move the camera to follow the action.

5. Incorrect Camera Settings

It can be quite a chore getting the right settings for your GoPro camera when filming a video. The best settings depend on the lighting around, and the effect you want to create in the video.

Because of this, there is no general best setting to recommend, we can only walk you through some of the key settings and show you how they affect the overall video quality.

Fix – Tweak Your Settings

We are going to provide the best settings on GoPro for standard film making below:

1. Tap on the video specs (RES/FPS) button at the bottom centre of your GoPro screen

2. Select the RES/FPS button again to open the resolution and frame rate

3. The default is 1080:60. Change this to 2.7K/60. If you choose 4K resolution, it is still okay, but be sure that your phone or PC supports HEVC to use 4K

4. Go back and select Lens. Change this to Linear for normal video, and SuperView for action video

5. Go back and select Hypersmooth. Ensure that it is set to High for smooth filming under normal lights

6. Scroll down to Protune section and select Bit Rate. Change it to High to shoot at 100Mps and support the 2.7K resolution you set earlier. This will produce the best video quality but also increase video file size

7. Go back and select Shutter. If the lighting is good, leave it at Auto. If the lighting is poor or uneven, set the shutter speed to twice the refresh rate which is 60*2 = 120 in our example

8. Go back and Select EV Comp. Set it to –0.5 for bright daylight

9. Go back and select White Balance. If you are shooting dusk, slide White Balance all the way down. If you are shooting bright setting, slide it all the way up

10. Go back and select ISO Max. This determines sensitivity of image sensor to light. Higher ISO is better for low light filming but may cause blurred video. Lower ISO is better for bright light. If you are filming under normal light, leave it at 200 or less. For low light, leave it at 800. 1600 and above will result in noise and cause blurring.

These are the key settings that determine the quality of your video and ensure that you do not have blurry videos on your GoPro.

6. Lens Isn’t Clean

We probably should have started with this but thought it was rather too obvious. However, it is sometimes overlooked especially if you use your GoPro camera frequently.

It may just be that on your last use, especially if you used it outside, your GoPro camera lens picked up some dirt, dust, or smudge that is now causing the video to be blurry.

Cleaning the lens on your GoPro camera should be routine practice especially if you use it outdoors.

Fix – Clean Lens

1. Use a clean, soft, microfibre cloth to clean the lens on your camera

2. You can dampen the cloth a bit but do not use wet cloth

3. Do not use abrasive material as it could cause scratches on the lens

4. Do no use any cleaning spirits or bleaching agents on your camera lens. They will damage your GoPro camera for good.

7. Firmware is Out of Date

The final possible reason why the video on your GoPro is blurry is that the firmware may be out of date. If you have performed all the fixes provided in this article and your GoPro videos are still coming out blurry, it is likely that the software has developed a bug which requires an update patch to fix it.

Fix – Update Firmware

There are several different ways of updating GoPro cameras and some steps differ with the GoPro models. We have presented a few general methods below:

To update with Quik for Desktop

1. Download and install Quik for Desktop here

2. Ensure that your camera is fully charged and turned on

3. Launch Quik for Desktop on your computer.

4. Connect your camera to your computer using the provided USB charging cable.

5. Quik for Desktop will prompt you that a camera update is available with a blue icon at the top; follow the on-screen prompts to perform the update.

Tp update with the GoPro App

  • Download and install the GoPro app from your phone app store on your compatible mobile device.
  • Ensure that your camera is fully charged and turned on
  • Pair your camera with the GoPro app. To do this:
  • Open the GoPro app
  • Select the camera button at the bottom left of the screen and select connect to put the app in pairing mode
  • A list of GoPro cameras will appear. Select your GoPro version
  • Go to your GoPro camera and swipe down from the top to open the menu system
  • Then swipe from right to left until you get to Connections
  • Select Connect Device
  • Select GoPro App
  • Back on your phone, tap Continue to search for the camera
  • When your camera is found, click on Connect
  • You will see the connect successful message on the camera.
  • You can rename your camera on your phone app
  • Once paired, the GoPro app will prompt you that a camera update is available; follow the on-screen prompts to perform the update.

To update manually:

1. Go to the GoPro manual update site here

2. Enter your GoPro serial number under Camera Information

3. Make sure your camera is turned on

4. Enter your email address and follow the onscreen steps to update your camera

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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