Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go Pro Hero 3 - How To Get Pro Res HQ footage from it....

You may remember i did a blog about outputting from the Go Pro Hero 3 to a Ninja2? It was hampered by the ProTune restriction which meant you could only shoot in non-ProTune mode.

Well, the update from Go Pro means that you can now output full 1080p ProTune from the HDMI live.... which is great! But... it means your Go Pro needs to be attached to a Ninja. That kinda scuppers a lot of the portability of it.

But...there is a solution and it also gets around having to carry too many SDHC cards around on set.

1. Shoot with the Go Pro Hero 3 on it's own in ProTune mode...

2. Connect the Go Pro to the Ninja with a HDMI cable

3. Play the recorded footage out of the Go Pro and record it to the Ninja in Pro Res HQ loveliness....

4. Format the SDHC card and record some more....

Easy! Now you get all the advantages of the Ninja and the Go Pro, without hampering either.

It works... i did this for shooting crazy car footage on 'Seven Cases'.

Big thanks to Jon Atkinson for his brainwave on this one.


  1. Cool, but is the live HDMI feed out of the Hero3 uncompressed (as it is on say the C100 or the 5D3) but the SD card-written data compressed? If so, then you are losing some quality.

    Also, your ProRes won't enable the Cineform Studio workflow to be applied right? So you will have to de-log your footage another way I suppose.

  2. You mean you actually use CineForm that comes with the GoPro? I've always found it slow and clunky i get much better results putting the footage straight into FCPX and de-noising with NEAT and then manually dealing with the log issues.

    I haven't tested it since the update for actual data rate, but as far as i can see, the footage on the card is no different to the signal output live from the HDMI. I've captured live to the Ninja and used the above 'post shooting' method and both look almost the same. Either way, you get a fair bit of noise in low light shots due to the tiny sensor...that seems a bigger issue than compression to me. It makes sense that compressing to MP4 first will degrade the picture a bit, but it's worth it to have the full portability of the GoPro and the ease of ProRes ingest.

    It'd be nice if GoPro published some data on what is coming out of the HDMI and what the compression rate is on the MP4...i can't find anything on their website. Anyone know?

  3. You're using the Go Pro to record - and then playing back the footage for conversion to Prores HQ?? This is an incredibly slow workflow with no benefits as far as I can see. It's much faster to copy the files to your Mac and use MPEGStreamclip for conversion to Prores.

    You need to use the live HDMI out for quality benefits associated with using a Ninja for recording, otherwise what's the point of recording compressed and then converting to Prores?

  4. You're missing the point. Of course capturing to the Ninja is preferable, but out on a shoot it's easier to offload to the Ninja then take a mac with you and then wait for transcodes. It frees up your cards and gives you pro res HQ ready to go.... But most importantly it keeps the go pro small and not hampered by being attached to the ninja while shooting.