GoPro has only recently released a new firmware update for the HERO3+, which effectively changes the way the camera behaves when Protune is turned on. The new options give the camera operator a much greater freedom and control over the footage that comes out of the camera.
The new Protune update is available for HERO3+ cameras only. It adds advanced controls for colour, ISO limit, sharpness and exposure. These advanced settings allow for more control over the end-result. At the same time, GoPro has changed some of the default settings when using Protune on a HERO3+.
The colour setting has a new default that is identical to the non-Protune one — a quite saturated output. The camera operator has the option to turn the colour setting back to Flat, which allows for more flexibility in post-production due to the log curve being used.
The ISO Limit setting (the equivalent of Gain) lets you control low light results better. The default setting was and is 6400 ISO, which results in brighter video in low light, but new settings include 1600 and 400 ISO. The last two options result in darker video in low light, but with reduced image noise.
The sharpness control allows you to adjust sharpness, which was set at a low value in the previous HERO3+ Protune version. The update changes the default from Low (soft image) to high, resulting in what GoPro calls “Ultra-sharp video”. Basically, it’s the same level of sharpness as when you turn Protune off. New settings include the Low setting from the previous version and Medium, giving a moderately sharp video output.
Exposure is the last new setting in this update. Its value affects the brightness of the video and adjusting exposure compensation leaves room for manual correction in environments where light conditions are contrast-rich. The range goes from -2.0 to +2.0 in 0.5 increments with the default set at 0.0 compensation. The compensation adjusts brightness within the set ISO Limit settings, of course.
Except perhaps for the Color option, the new options will appeal to professionals and puts the GoPro HERO3+ in a league of its own — again. Making the camera (even more) interesting for post-production editors and cinema artists is a brilliant move by GoPro because as far as I can see, the competition can’t match the camera’s new capabilities. In the hands of a skilled video shooter the HERO3+ can output first class video quality and is going to be a much wanted B-cam, if not A-cam for action videography.