Video Modes Available on the GoPro HERO5 Session

Here's a rundown of the various video modes available on the GoPro HERO5 Session action camera.

There are two cameras in GoPro’s HERO5 lineup: the flagship Black, which is the traditional GoPro camera shape, and the HERO5 Session, which is the smaller cube shaped. There’s a third camera available at the same time: the HERO Session, which is an entry-level model. Despite the very similar name and look, the HERO5 Session a different camera to the HERO Session.

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The HERO5 Session takes elements from both of the other models, with many of the same video and photo features of Black while sharing the small cube shape of the HERO Session. But while it can do many of the video modes of the Black, it can’t do all of them, especially when it comes to high framerate modes. It can still do 4K30, just like the Black, but it’s top FPS options in smaller sizes are a bit slower than those of the Black.

Two new additional features are available in many, but not all, video modes. They are the new Linear FOV mode, which corrects for fisheye distortion in-camera, and the built-in video stabilization.

Relative Sizes and Aspect Ratios

Here’s a graphic showing the relative sizes and aspect ratios of the available video resolutions. It’s mostly identical to the one for the Black with the exception of lacking the smallest size, 480p. Click on the image if you’d like to open a full-size version at 1:1.

I should point out that when you’re switching the aspect ratios, the zooming is aimed at the center of the frame, not the corner as in this graphic.

Video Stabilization

Both of the HERO5 models offer in-camera video stabilization to smooth out small movements in the footage. It works better on some shots than others. And while not as good as a quality gimbal in many instances, it’s a handy feature to have available.

Be aware, though, that it’s not available in every video modes. Specifically, it’s not available in 4K modes or at other sizes with a framerate faster than 60 fps. I have a table below that provides specific details.

Here’s a quick example of the video stabilization in action:

I’ve also posted separately with more examples and details.

Protune Options Available on the HERO5 Session

Protune is GoPro’s umbrella term for a collection of advanced options that are designed for pro use. The range of options available on this camera is similar to the Black, although the Black offers even more options (see here for details).

These are the Protune options available in the video mode specifically for the HERO5 Session:

Protune OptionHERO6 BlackHERO5 Black
ColorGoPro Color
Flat
GoPro Color
Flat
White BalanceAuto
2300K
2800K
3200K
4000K
4500K
5500K
6000K
6500K
Native
Auto
3000K
4000K
4800K
5500K
6000K
6500K
Native
Manual Exposure / Shutter*Auto
1/24
1/25
1/30
1/48
1/50
1/60
1/96
1/100
1/120
1/192
1/200
1/240
1/400
1/480
1/960
1/1920
Auto
1/24
1/25
1/30
1/48
1/50
1/60
1/80
1/96
1/100
1/120
1/160
1/192
1/200
1/240
1/320
1/400
1/480
1/960
ISO Limit6400
3200
1600
800
400
200
100
6400
3200
1600
1200
800
400
SharpnessHigh
Medium
Low
High
Medium
Low
Exposure Compensation-2 to +2-2 to +2
Auto Audio Mode Group
* Note on manual shutter: The specific options available in the manual exposure / shutter section vary by the framerate you've chosen. The available shutter speeds you'll see available will be limited to multiples of the framerate you're using. As an example, if you set it to record at 1080p60, you won't see the option for a manual shutter speed of 1/96 but you will see 1/120 and 1/240.

Fields of View on the HERO5 Session

The GoPro HERO5 has a fixed lens, but it’s capable of outputting video in five different field of view, or FOV settings (FOV is also often known as lens perspective). Not every FOV setting is available in every combination of resolution and framerate–see the table below for details. The different video FOV settings available are:

SuperView

Unique to GoPro, SuperView is an an even wider view than the standard wide view. It’s good for an exaggerated immersive look such as from chest harnesses or helmets, but it also adds even more distortion by stretching the content and drastically bending straight lines at the edges of the frame. And it’s not the most flattering look with people in teh frame.

Wide

This is the most commonly used field of view. It provides a wide-angle perspective but also adds that distinctive fisheye look that GoPro footage has become known for. It’s possible to correct the fisheye distortion in post-production, although at the time of writing we’re waiting on an update to GoPro Studio to enable it for footage from the new cameras.

Medium

This is a zoomed-in field of view, focusing on the center of the frame. Note that the “zooming” is a digital manipulation, not an optical change in the lens. That is, it’s really a type of cropping, although the output dimensions remain the same.

Linear

This is a new setting with the HERO5 line that corrects for the fisheye distortion in-camera rather than having to do it in post. It’s good if you want a more traditional perspective, for aerial drone footage, or you don’t want bendy lines that should be straight. It reduces the field of view around the edges of the frame. I have more detail on the linear FOV setting here, along with more examples.

Narrow

This is the most-zoomed-in perspective. But again, it’s really a type of digital cropping, not optical zooming (although the output video dimensions remain the same). It’s also worth noting that there are actually two versions of the Narrow FOV: the one used in the ultra-high-speed 720p240 setting is smaller than at the other resolutions and framerates.

Master List of Video Modes Available on the GoPro HERO5 Session

Below is a master list of all the video resolutions and framerates, along with the corresponding bitrates and whether or not stabilization is available at that setting. If you’re deciding between the cameras in the range, I also have video modes compared with the HERO5 Black and HERO Session.

ResolutionFPSFOVDimensionsAspect RatioBitrate (megabits/s)
- Protune / + Protune
Stabilization?
4K30Wide3840x216016:960 / 60
25Wide3840x216016:960 / 60
2.7K48Medium2704x152016:960 / 60
30SuperView2704x152016:945 / 60
Wide2704x152016:945 / 60
Medium2704x152016:945 / 60
Linear2704x152016:945 / 60
25SuperView2704x152016:945 / 60
Wide2704x152016:945 / 60
Medium2704x152016:945 / 60
Linear2704x152016:945 / 60
24SuperView2704x152016:945 / 60
Wide2704x152016:945 / 60
Medium2704x152016:945 / 60
Linear2704x152016:945 / 60
2.7K 4:330Wide2704x20284:345 / 60
25Wide2704x20284:345 / 60
1440p60Wide1920x14404:345 / 60
50Wide1920x14404:345 / 60
48Wide1920x14404:330 / 45
30Wide1920x14404:330 / 45
25Wide1920x14404:330 / 45
24Wide1920x14404:330 / 45
1080p90Wide1920x108016:960 / 60
60SuperView1920x108016:930 / 45
Wide1920x108016:930 / 45
Linear1920x108016:930 / 45
50SuperView1920x108016:930 / 45
Wide1920x108016:930 / 45
Medium1920x108016:930 / 45
Linear1920x108016:930 / 45
Narrow1920x108016:930 / 45
30SuperView1920x108016:930 / 45
Wide1920x108016:930 / 45
Medium1920x108016:930 / 45
Linear1920x108016:930 / 45
Narrow1920x108016:930 / 45
25SuperView1920x108016:930 / 45
Wide1920x108016:930 / 45
Medium1920x108016:930 / 45
Linear1920x108016:930 / 45
Narrow1920x108016:930 / 45
24SuperView1920x108016:930 / 45
Wide1920x108016:930 / 45
Medium1920x108016:930 / 45
Linear1920x108016:930 / 45
Narrow1920x108016:930 / 45
960p100Wide1280x9604:330 / 45
60Wide1280x9604:330 / 45
50Wide1280x9604:330 / 45
30Wide1280x9604:330 / 45
25Wide1280x9604:330 / 45
720p120Wide1280x72016:930 / 45
100SuperView1280x72016:930 / 45
60SuperView1280x72016:930 / 45
Wide1280x72016:930 / 45
Medium1280x72016:930 / 45
50SuperView1280x72016:930 / 45
Wide1280x72016:930 / 45
Medium1280x72016:930 / 45
Narrow1280x72016:930 / 45
30SuperView1280x72016:930 / 45
Wide1280x72016:930 / 45
Medium1280x72016:930 / 45
25Wide1280x72016:930 / 45
Medium1280x72016:930 / 45
Narrow1280x72016:930 / 45

Filetypes

The HERO5 Session outputs H.264 .mp4 files in 8-bits with a variable bitrate setting. You can see more technical details on it below.

HERO5 Session Bitrates

Like the HERO5 Black, the HERO5 Session’s top video modes record at 60 megabits per second. Turning on Protune increases the number of video modes that record at 60 Mbps. The other bitrates used are 45 Mbps and 30 Mbps.

While the 60 Mbps bitrate provides pretty high-quality video, it also means that you’ll need a microSD card that’s fast enough to handle the stream of data.

Formats

It can shoot in NTSC and PAL formats—you choose which in the main camera preferences, not in the video settings where you might expect it. Some FPS settings are only available in the corresponding format. ## Technical Specs If you’re interested in even more technical specs, here’s a sample readout from MediaInfo for 4K30 Protune video shot with the HERO5 Black.

General Complete name : /[-].MP4 Format : MPEG-4 Format profile : Base Media / Version 1 Codec ID : mp41 (mp41) File size : 44.5 MiB Duration : 6s 187ms Overall bit rate mode : Variable Overall bit rate : 60.3 Mbps Encoded date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Tagged date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 AMBA : x Video ID : 1 Format : AVC Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec Format profile : High@L5.1 Format settings, CABAC : Yes Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame Format settings, GOP : M=1, N=15 Codec ID : avc1 Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding Duration : 6s 173ms Bit rate mode : Variable Bit rate : 60.0 Mbps Width : 3 840 pixels Height : 2 160 pixels Display aspect ratio : 16:9 Frame rate mode : Constant Frame rate : 29.970 (30000/1001) fps Color space : YUV Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0 Bit depth : 8 bits Scan type : Progressive Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.241 Stream size : 44.4 MiB (100%) Title : GoPro AVC Language : English Encoded date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Tagged date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Color range : Full Color primaries : BT.709 Transfer characteristics : BT.709 Matrix coefficients : BT.709 Audio ID : 2 Format : AAC Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec Format profile : LC Codec ID : 40 Duration : 6s 187ms Bit rate mode : Constant Bit rate : 128 Kbps Channel(s) : 2 channels Channel positions : Front: L R Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz Frame rate : 46.875 fps (1024 spf) Compression mode : Lossy Stream size : 96.8 KiB (0%) Title : GoPro AAC Language : English Encoded date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Tagged date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Other #1 ID : 3 Type : Time code Format : QuickTime TC Duration : 6s 173ms Time code of first frame : 16:21:42:23 Time code, striped : Yes Title : GoPro TCD Language : English Encoded date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Tagged date : UTC 2016-10-20 15:48:59 Bit rate mode : CBR Other #2 Type : meta Duration : 6s 0ms Bit rate mode : VBR Other #3 Type : meta mdhd_Duration : 6173 Bit rate mode : VBR

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This post was last modified on October 16, 2019 6:39 am

View Comments

    • If you'd like to use the in-camera stabilization to help smooth out the footage, then not 4K (stabilization isn't available in the HERO5's 4K mode). Beyond that, the choice has less to do with the mountain biking part than what you want to do with it.

      If you want to keep a version with the most detail but still keep stabilization then one of the 2.7K modes would be a good choice. The basic 2.7K has the standard wider aspect ratio that we're used to with modern HD TVs, smartphones, computers, etc. The 2.7K4:3 does offer an advantage for this because it has more vertical space. That gives you more room to capture action at the top or bottom of the frame. The output is then a squarer shape.

      If you're only going to share clips on social media and don't care about keeping the highest possible resolution version on file, the 1080p (or 1440p) and 720p (or 960p) are also good options but come with convenience advantages of working with smaller filesizes.

      If it was me, I'd probably start with 2.7K4:3 with stabilization on and see if you like the results. If you find that's more resolution than you need, it's much easier to step down in size than to step up.

  • hi , what is the best setup to shoot Slow Mo video on GOPRO HERO5 seession , and how can i share it on slow mo ( on FB or INST )
    thank you

  • I have the hero 5 session and cannot find how to change the format to Pal or is it default for UK purchased cameras ?

    Thanks

    • In the GoPro mobile app, under the camera settings, it's near the bottom of the Setup panel (just above Set Date and Time).

  • You have this part "Master List of Video Modes Available on the GoPro HERO5 Black", cant you do the same for the GoPro hero session 5?

    • Sorry, the section title was wrong (but now corrected). The table is for the HERO5 Session.

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