How to make a time-lapse video on your GoPro Hero5 or Hero6

Get the most out of your GoPro’s Time Lapse Video mode with these tips

gopro plus gets camera replacement stays 5 dollars hero6 example

A GoPro is perfect for capturing all of your outdoor adventures, but between the slopes and the swells, when you may not expressly need an action camera, you can still use it to capture some stunning footage. The time-lapse function built into Hero5 and Hero6 Black cameras can turn anything from your morning commute to an epic sunrise into a video worth watching. While it’s fairly easy to get it going, there are a few variables that affect the outcome and image quality.

When using the Time Lapse Video mode on your GoPro, the action cam will automatically capture still images at certain intervals which you define. When finished recording, the GoPro will automatically stitch the photos together to make a seamless video that warps through time without the need of complicated post-production software. Do note, this mode is different from Time Lapse Photo mode, which captures the still images but doesn’t stitch them together (this is the mode to choose if you prefer having more control in post-production).

Many of the same settings apply, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll be focusing on only Time Lapse Video mode within this article. It’s as simple as it gets, but you should pay attention to two key aspects: Video resolution and photo intervals.

Resolution and intervals

The exact resolution options available for Time Lapse Video mode vary from one GoPro model to the next, but the current Hero5 and Hero6 models offer 1080p, 2.7K, and 4K (as does the discontinued Hero4 Black).

The default shooting interval is one photo every half second, but you can also choose 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 30-, and 60-second intervals. The higher the interval you choose, the more condensed the time-lapse will be. If you plan to record a long period of time, like an hour of the sun rising or setting, a longer interval is probably best, so that you don’t end up with a video that is too long. Likewise, a shorter interval will be better for shorter activities.

In time-lapse mode, it takes 30 still images to result in one second of video since the resulting MP4 file plays back at 30 frames per second. So, if you select 5 seconds, it will take 150 seconds to capture just one second of final video.

Configuring Time Lapse Video mode

To get into Time Lapse Video mode on either the Hero5 or Hero6 Black — without the use of GoPro’s accompanying mobile app — there’s a few steps you need to take. Power on the camera and tap anywhere on the touch screen to bring up the control overlays. Tap the shooting mode button near the bottom left of the screen. Next, tap the clock icon in the upper right. This will bring up the time-lapse mode options. Select Time Lapse Video.

You should now see options for resolution, interval, and field of view. Tap INTR, and all the available intervals will be listed in two rows at the top and bottom of the screen. The selected interval will be displayed in large text right in the center. Tap any other interval to select it. Selecting a resolution and field of view will be similar. When all of your settings dialed in, tap the screen to return to live view and press the shutter button to start your time lapse when you’re ready.

On the Hero4 Black, which lacks a built-in monitor, you have to rely on the small information display on the front of the camera. Press the power/mode button to cycle through the different modes until you land on time-lapse and press the settings button on the side of the camera to select it. This will bring up the time-lapse options, including resolution and interval. Use the power/mode button to cycle through the list of options, and the shutter button to change them.

If you have GoPro’s accompanying smartphone app, you can control all of these settings through the app, which is much more straightforward. It’s available on both Android and iOS.

Other tips

Remember, in Time Lapse Video mode, your camera will only store the final MP4 video, not the individual stills captured. If you want to save the individual stills, select Time Lapse Photo mode. This won’t automatically stitch a video for you, but it will give you more control in post-production, where you can zoom and pan around the 12MP photos to add motion to your time-lapse video.

Also, as with any video, it’s helpful to record a little more than you think you’ll need. You never know when you’ll need a little more footage or need to trim the beginning and end for an intro. With a time-lapse, however, getting “a little more than you’ll need” may translate to quite a few minutes of extra recording time, depending on your interval, so it is best if you can plan your shot ahead of time and know exactly how much footage you’ll need.


CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2019 learns how to play nice with Macs

The design software CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2019 is here, bringing new features now to both Mac and Windows users. The update adds new tools for better organization, along with features to help creatives design sharper digital graphics.

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.

Six essential apps for improving your mobile photography

Across both Android and iOS, there's no shortage of photo-editing applications on the respective app stores. To make your life easier, we've rounded up seven of the best apps available, whether you want to add a filter or create complex…

The new HP OfficeJet Pro’s smart app cuts your time spent scanning in half

The new HP OfficeJet Pro series offers faster print speeds, but the company says a new app with shortcut options allows users to cut the time spend working on scanning files in half.

Amid confusion, the Red Hydrogen team promises a pro in-device camera

Learning from the Red Hydrogen One, the company is gearing up for a pro-level device. In a forum post, Red's founder shares how the team is designing a Red Hydrogen with a pro-level in-device camera.

Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 is sharp enough to handle futuristic 90-megapixel cameras

Lens launches come with a lot of hype and marketing speak but a recent test confirmed some of the initial claims around the Sony FE 135 f/1.8. A rental company says that the Sony 135mm is the sharpest lens that it has ever tested.

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Want to create a tilt-shift image on a budget? The new Lensbaby Composer II with Edge 35 mimics the look of a tilt-shift lens for under $500. The new Edge 35 optic is part of the Composer Pro II optics system.

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.