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Posted: 8/11/2018 8:02:38 PM EDT
I have a Hero4. I'm fairly far out in the country, but the GoPro on normal settings won't resolve stars on the darkest nights.

I want to make a time lapse and have never experimented with the 'pro-tune' settings. Any recommendations?
Link Posted: 8/11/2018 9:28:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2018 9:29:46 PM EDT
Only with the GoPro app, but I can't get it to connect to my phone.
Link Posted: 8/12/2018 1:20:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2018 1:22:01 AM EDT by L_JE]
It should let you do a time lapse without the phone. I could do it with my 3+ just with the onboard buttons. It's a PITA, but it works.

1You want to limit the ISO to no higher than 400. At ISO 800, the noise is going to be objectionable on a warm summer night - the heat build up in the sensor is going to cause problems.

30 second exposures, at AUTO intervals (or as close together as you can get). On the Hero 5 Black, AUTO interval leaves about a 3 second gap between each 30 second exposure. You'll hardly notice it with the star movements, but if there are low flying clouds, you'll get a Morse Code pattern. Nothing you can really do about that, though.

You can set your White Balance lower if you are seeing too much orange from light pollution on the horizon. 4500k might be a good value, but it comes from experience based on your location. Just leaving it on auto isn't too bad - you can adjust color biases in post processing, if needed.

Before you stop the time lapse … put your hand over the lens and let the camera take 2 or 3 images with your hand blocking all light … this will allow you to do a "dark frame subtraction" to remove thermal noise from your images. It will dramatically improve your end result. And, if you forget, you can always just let the thing run for an hour timelapse in your closet to get a reference dark frame later.

ISO 400
30 second exposure (Night Lapse)
AUTO interval
dark frame for "subtracting" in post processing
White Balance is your call, the more light pollution, the lower you want to set it


My GoPro (H5B) is currently sitting on my roof, and it's set to Auto WB. I just don't feel like getting back up there and trying to dink with it. Auto is usually good enough. Usually.
Link Posted: 8/12/2018 11:30:56 AM EDT
Here are the Hero 5B results from last night.

This is the unedited image stack. If any meteors registered, they'd show up somewhere in this image, then it's a matter of isolating the particular times meteors came through.

This image is, uh, how do you put it … utterly gross. That's probably the most accurate description of the image.



You'll note that not one meteor shows up. As I was setting up my camera, I did notice one very prominent meteor streaking past the roofline on the left, but the timelapse hadn't yet started, and I didn't stick around after that.

So, with no meteors to worry about, let's see if we can make this image look slightly less repulsive …

[with and end-of-series dark-frame subtraction, and some white balance correction]

Link Posted: 8/12/2018 6:28:19 PM EDT
ISO 400 just couldn't hack it, so I'm going to try 800 tonight, but the noise is going to be even worse.

Link Posted: 8/12/2018 6:31:35 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:
ISO 400 just couldn't hack it, so I'm going to try 800 tonight, but the noise is going to be even worse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAF91JVjHKA
View Quote
Well, at least your sunrise was pretty!
Link Posted: 8/12/2018 6:51:23 PM EDT
Low light performance is not the strength of the current GoPro cameras, but you can still get reasonable images if you play to their strengths. The thermal noise has a very low gray average RGB value, so if you can overlay a scene that's just above that threshold, you can wipe out much of the objectionable stuff.

Link Posted: 8/15/2018 12:33:30 PM EDT
Sunday night had even poorer visibility, so I didn't even set up. Monday night had somewhat improved visibility, but still had a lot of atmospheric moisture and passing clouds.

I had the GoPro run from about 10pm to 5am, and came away with two or three rather unimpressive meteor streaks from two different frames (one just a minute or two after setup, and the stronger streak just before twighlight)...

I didn't do much with post processing because I forgot to wake up and reset for sunrise, and the meteors are meh, at best.

This was done at ISO 800, and as I suspected, the noise is worse than 400, even after some degree of dark frame subtraction.



I also had my D800 set up from about 10:05 to midnight - this interval misses both of the meteors shown in the GoPro photo, but manages to pick up a more faint meteor that the GoPro was unable to resolve [far left of the image, about halfway up].

Not a great photo, but it's worth it to include a comparative image from proper DSLR …



And, why set up on Monday, outside of peak? Truth be told, I've had much better luck capturing meteors outside of showers than during.

Here's one from Mt Washington, earlier this year, again, D800 [arfcom server compression kills the image quality, but you get the idea]…
[you can also see some climbers ascending Damnation Gully in Huntington Ravine, off to the right of the summit.]

Link Posted: Yesterday 6:47:45 PM EDT
I did not take any pictures, so you beat me. I did go to over 4000 feet on the blue ridge parkway
and used my filmless white phosphor pvs-14 to look at the sky. In 30 minutes I saw one big fireball
and multiple long trail slow movers too dim to see with the naked eye. They looked epic in the night vision.

It is a device I bought from TNVC and the damned thing worked so well I wont even bother with my older gear anymore.
Epic view of the milky way. It was like a live view long time exposure...epic.
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