GoPro made shooting timelapse videos quick, easy and fun with its Hero range of action cameras. And with the Fusion the company has once again given consumers the option to record timelapse sequences with a simple voice command, which you can experience in spherical 360 degrees and 5.2K resolution.
What are the GoPro Fusion timelapse modes?
There are two ways to shoot a timelapse video with the GoPro Fusion 360 camera: Timelapse Photo and Timelapse Video modes. These are very similar, but there are a few crucial differences.
In Timelapse Photo mode will shoot still, spherical images at your desired interval until you tell the Fusion to stop. When it’s done, you’ll have dozens to hundreds of images in that sequence.
You can then choose to delete frames from this batch or edit them all to improve colour. In other words, you have control over the frames that go into your timelapse movie.
The other benefit of Timelapse Photo mode is you have access to GoPro’s Protune tools, which allow you to make adjustments to colour, ISO and add exposure compensation.
The intervals here at your disposal are the default 0.5sec, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60secs.
Pros: more control over the timelapse
Cons: slightly more work
In Timelapse Video mode you set up the timelapse sequence just the same, except rather than getting a batch of images you can edit or delete, the Fusion automatically creates a movie sequence from them.
It’s worth noting, though, that you can still make adjustments to the brightness and look of your video within GoPro’s free Fusion Studio software, but you won’t be able to remove unwanted frames.
The intervals available here are the same as in Timelapse Photo; however, you don’t have access to Protune within Timelapse Video mode.
Pros: quicker, easier
Cons: less control
Night Lapse Photo
The GoPro Fusion also offers a Night Lapse Photo mode, which you can probably guess is aimed at those wanting to shoot in low light.
Protune tools are once again available here, and you can choose from intervals of 4, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30secs, and 1, 2, 5, 30 and 60 minutes. There’s also a default Auto interval, which is very good and sets the interval to match the shutter speed.
You can also set the shutter to an interval within Night Lapse mode, with options ranging from Auto to 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30secs.
Which interval should I use for my GoPro Fusion timelapse?
The rate of your interval depends on how fast your sequence is occurring in real time. If you’re recording fast-moving action like motorsport, or even the chickens running around in the timelapse we recorded below, set an interval of around 0.5secs up to 2secs. To capture people in a crowded area, try 2secs.
If your scene is a landscape and you want to capture longer changes, like sunsets or cloud movements, try an interval of 5-10secs.
Longer sequences that occur over hours or days, such as a painting, try 10-60secs.
For low-light scenes using Night Lapse Photo mode, the Auto setting is a very good option for most scenes. As mentioned above, it will adjust your shutter speed to your interval.
For nighttime scenes with movement, try an interval of 4-5secs. If shooting subjects like the moon, aim for 10-15secs. In very low light – as in no ambient lighting – you’ll probably want the max intervals of 20-30secs.
As for the shutter speed, for night skies you’ll want to set it between 15 and 20secs. Try 2-10secs for subjects like traffic trails and fireworks. Otherwise, leave it on Auto for low-light scenes such as the golden hours where there is a decent amount of ambient light still.
Setting up your timelapse on the GoPro Fusion
Enabling the correct timelapse settings on your GoPro Fusion is a pretty straightforward process once you realise what the menus are and how certain buttons have double functions. We explain step-by-step below how to set up your timelapse, or you can watch the video tutorial above.
When you power on the Fusion, it will by default go to your Video mode. Press the Mode button on the side three times until you see the wrench icon on your screen. This is your Settings menu.
In Settings, press the Record button (the red circle) on the front of the Fusion twice to get to your timelapse settings menu. Note: in the settings menus like this, the Mode button toggles down, and the Record button toggles through the options on each row.
If this is your first time shooting a timelapse, your Fusion will probably be in the default Timelapse Photo mode. Press Mode to scroll down to the Timelapse Photo icon and press Record to toggle across to Timelapse Video or Night Lapse.
When this is set, press Mode and scroll down to set your resolution. Again, press the Record button until you get to your desired resolution, and scroll down.
Next you’ll set your interval in the same manner. If you’re in Night Lapse mode, you’ll set the shutter speed before you get to the interval.
If in Timelapse Photo or Night Lapse modes you can now scroll down and enable Protune. Doing this reveals new menu items for exposure compensation and ISO.
Now you’re done. Scroll down to Done and press Record. This will throw you back out of Settings and into your Timelapse mode of choice. Once you’ve positioned your camera, you can either tell the Fusion: “GoPro start timelapse.” And then “GoPro stop timelapse” when complete. Or you can press the Record button or use the GoPro app to begin and end your timelapse sequence.
Note: at the time of writing the GoPro app doesn’t support the Fusion on most Android phones, so you’ll need to use one of the other two methods.
Have you shot a nice GoPro Fusion timelapse? Post a link in the comments!