HOW TO... set up the GoPro Max for the first time

Discover how to get started with the GoPro Max, from choosing the right memory card to the best settings for shooting video

How to set up the GoPro Max for the first time
Tutorial

The GoPro Max is the action camera maker’s latest 360 camera, yet also incorporates much of the key technology inside the Hero8 Black. In many ways the GoPro Max is the perfect hybrid action and 360 camera to cover all of your needs, from vlogging to extreme sports.

GoPro has designed the Max with ease of use in mind, but if you’re taking your Max out of the box for the first time, there are some settings and set-up steps you’ll want to do first.

In the guide below we show you how to set up your GoPro Max for the first time, from choosing the right memory card to navigating the best settings and preferences.

Setting up your GoPro Max: first steps

Setting up your GoPro Max: first steps

The first thing you’ll want to do is charge the battery (about three hours) and find a microSD card compatible with the Max. The GoPro Max supports microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards in capacities up to 256GB at either Class 10 or UHS-I ratings.

It’s worth reformatting your card on a regular basis to ensure optimum performance. However, remember that doing so will erase the card so ensure you back everything up you want to keep.

On one side of the GoPro Max is a compartment door. Slide the switch and pull to open the door, and this is where you insert the battery and memory card.

When inserting the microSD card, the label should be facing the battery. The battery then slides in so the contact points touch. Close the door and lock the switch, and you’re now ready to get started.

Press the Mode button to turn the camera on!

Shooting with the GoPro Max for the first time

You can control the Max with your voice or via the camera’s touchscreen and manual buttons; however, controlling the camera remotely via the GoPro app offers the most flexibility.

01 Download the app

To begin, download the GoPro app from the App or Play Store and install it on your phone.

02 Enable a connection to your phone

Turn on the GoPro Max and go to Preferences. Select Connections menu and choose the GoPro app. Follow the on-screen instructions once the phone connects to your camera. You may be prompted to enable Bluetooth on your phone.

03 Name your camera

Once a connection has been established between your phone and camera, you’ll be prompted to name your GoPro something memorable rather than its default number.

04 Update firmware

You may be prompted that there is new firmware for your Max. Always update with the new firmware, as this may have critical performance enhancements. Always leave your camera on during a firmware update.

05 Take remote control of the Max

You’re now ready to go. Tap the Control Your GoPro button for remote control of the Max. You will be prompted that the WiFi connection has no internet access. Just click OK. You’ll now see the live preview of what your Max is seeing. Use your finger to navigate around the scene.

06 Choose your shooting mode

At the bottom of your live preview screen you can tap the icons to swap between photo, video or time-lapse modes. On the Max’s touchscreen you can do this in the same manner, by touching the shooting mode icons at the bottom. Pressing the camera’s Mode button also navigates the shooting modes.

07 Setting Preferences

Setting Preferences on GoPro Max

At the top of the preview screen in the app, tap the spanner icon to access the Camera Preferences. Here you can set the voice control language and wake with voice settings. You can also enable QuikCapture, GPS, video compression, LCD brightness, set the date and time and more. You can also check the status of your SD card and battery.

On the Max’s touchscreen you can access Preferences by swiping down from the top.

08 Switching from 360 to Hero mode

By default, beneath the spanner you will see a small globe icon. This indicates the Max is in 360 mode. To swap to Hero mode, or standard video or still, tap this icon and the view will swap to a standard aspect ratio from one of the two lenses. You can swap between the Max’s front and back lenses by pressing the circular arrow icon on the preview screen. This is the same both in the app and on the Max’s touchscreen.

09 Playback content

On the bottom left of the app screen you can playback your captured content by tapping the thumbnail, which will be your most recent image or clip. On the Max’s touchscreen, swipe up from the bottom to play back your images and videos.

10 Other icons to know

At the top of the app preview screen the standard location pinpoint icon will indicate whether GPS is enabled, and a battery icon gives you a quick overview of how much charge is left. You’ll also see how much recording time you have left next to the SD card icon.

11 Power off the Max

To power off the Max, tap the power button icon in the top right corner of the app preview screen. Or you can press and hold the Mode button on the camera itself.

Setting up the GoPro Max for video

Setting up the GoPro Max to shoot video is very simple, both in 360 and Hero video modes. Whether you are using the camera’s touchscreen or controlling the Max remotely via the GoPro app, the process is the same.

At the bottom of both screens (app and Max LCD) is a blue bar indicating the mode you are in (eg 360 video, Hero video) and the frame rate. Tap this bar, then tap the pencil icon to edit the settings.

Once you’re in the video settings menu, you have quite a wide range of options at your disposal, from frame rates to minimum and maximum sensitivity to audio preferences. These are the video settings you can edit in both the GoPro Max 360 and Hero video modes.

360 video settings on the GoPro Max

360 video settings on the GoPro Max
  • Frame rate – 24 or 30fps (resolution is 5.3K for both)
  • Enable Clips
  • EV Compensation
  • Shutter Speed
  • White Balance
  • ISO Min
  • ISO Max
  • Sharpness
  • Color type
  • 360 Audio
  • Wind reduction
  • Placement of shortcuts on your screen

Hero video settings on the GoPro Max

Hero video settings on the GoPro Max
  • Resolution and Frame Rate – 1440 or 1080 resolution at 60, 30 or 24fps
  • Lens – options include Max SuperView 13mm, Wide 16mm, Linear 19mm, Narrow 27mm
  • HyperSmooth stabilisation
  • Enable Clips
  • Horizon Levelling
  • Bit Rate
  • Shutter
  • EV Compensation
  • White Balance
  • ISO Min
  • ISO Max
  • Sharpness
  • Color types
  • Mics – stereo, front, back or match lens being used
  • Wind reduction
  • Raw Audio
  • Placement of shortcuts

For most everyday shooting, I’ve found that the settings in the screenshot at the start of this section will cover you for most situations. Where you might want to deviate, for instance, is if you were vlogging.

Here you might want to put the Max in its Hero video mode and change the mic preference to the front to pick up your voice better. Likewise, you might want to use the Narrow 27mm lens option to make yourself bigger in the frame.

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