What is Protune on GoPro? (Explained with Side-by-Side Photos)

How to Use a GoPro

If you're asking What is Protune on GoPro? you're not alone.

It's kind of confusing. You've probably heard a little bit about it. But, what is it? Where is it? And what's it for?

Protune is a set of features that enhance the footage you capture with your GoPro.

It works well with professional editing software. But you don't have to be a professional to use it.

Should You Get a GoPro

Protune will give you more options including higher video quality and color capture.

This post will answer theses 4 questions:

  • What is Protune?
  • Which GoPro cameras have Protune?
  • Who is Protune for?
  • How do I turn Protune on?

Read more about Protune Flat.

What is Protune on GoPro?

When you turn on Protune you can control more settings like field of view (FOV), frames per second (fps), and video resolution. You'll also see an option to shoot video and take photos at the same time.

With Protune, you can adjust the camera's white balance, ISO, color capture, exposure value compensation (EV) and sharpness.

What is Protune?

Footage shot in Protune will generate larger files than what is shot in the default GoPro settings. Protune files take up more space on your SD card because you are capturing more data.

With Protune's neutral color capture (Protune Flat) you get more detail in the shadows and highlights. It's a higher data capture with less compression than the default GoPro color capture. That means that editing is easier. You can balance out bright and dark areas while maintaining good color throughout the image.

In the next images notice the shadows on Bryan's face and the color of his sweater. These photos received the same edits.

Protune and GoPro Color

In the top photo (Protune Flat) the shadows are not as harsh and the color of his sweater looks truer.

Why I Love Protune Flat

The neutral color capture (Protune Flat) is the Protune feature I use the most.

If you're a photographer used to shooting with a DSLR camera, you'll see that Protune Flat is more like shooting in RAW. RAW files maintain all of the information gathered when your photo is taken, where JPEG files are compressed.

When you first compare an image shot in Protune Flat with one shot in GoPro Color, the Protune image will look dull. You'll think the GoPro Color footage is better. But don't be fooled, your Protune images will look better when you're finished editing them.

The following images have no editing other than cropping.

Protune has a flat color appearance

The top photo looks dull compared to the bottom one. That's because with Protune Flat less editing (or compression) takes place in camera. That means you have more control and can make your photos look more like the scene appeared to your natural eye.

Here's my final Protune shot with edits.

Editing Protune Flat is better for GoPro

When you compare this with the original Protune Flat (above top image) you can see that it captured the rich colors in his sweater and the sky. So don't be disappointed when those Protune shots come out of your GoPro looking dull.

Which GoPro Cameras Have Protune?

There are 6 GoPro camera models that have Protune, they are the:

  • Hero4 Session (Protune for video and photos)
  • Hero4 Silver (Protune for video and photos)
  • Hero4 Black (Protune for video and photos)
  • Hero3+ (Protune for video only)
  • Hero3 Silver (Protune for video only)
  • Hero3 Black (Protune for video only)

Who is Protune For?

Protune is for anyone who wants a higher quality capture.

If you like to edit (or want to start) you should use Protune. If you just want to shoot and share, don't use it.

If you are using a GoPro as a blogger, or you're trying to draw attention to your brand, you should be using Protune. Photos and videos will look better and be easier to edit.

Here is a black and white example showing that Protune captures more in the shadows. Notice how much softer the shadow is on my daughter's face. You can also see more detail in the stump and tire tread.

Protune Flat Black and White Comparison

In the photo on the left you can see more of her face. In the one on the right, it gets lost in shadows.

Harsh shadows and highlights make it harder to balance color while editing. Take a look.

Protune Flat GoPro Color Shadow Comparison

The above photos received the same edits. The Protune flat is more balanced and the colors look truer. That's especially noticeable in the sky. The GoPro Color sky looks fake and her face is lost in shadows.

Here is my final Protune Edit.

Protune Makes Editing Easier.

If you don't intend to do any editing you might want to leave Protune off.

But if you're serious about your GoPro photography then Protune may be right up your alley. You'll have more to sink your teeth into and you'll feel more satisfied with the final product.

How Do I Turn Protune On?

Turning on Protune is pretty easy. But which little buttons do you push? How many times and in what order? That's the confusing part.

The Hero3 and Hero4 have a different setup. Here is a video explaining how to turn Protune on in each camera.

How to turn Protune on with a GoPro Hero3 camera

Watch on Youtube video copyright owner is Kyle Martin

How to turn Protune on with GoPro Hero4 camera

Watch on Youtube video copyright owner is Tim Humphreys

Will You Shoot in Protune?

Do you shoot in Protune? If not, will you start? It all comes down to editing.

If you want to make your photos look better by bringing out more detail in the shadows and highlights. And if you want to make your colors look truer, then give it a try. You'll see the difference.

Learn more about GoPro settings.

But, if you just want to share photos straight out of camera, leave Protune off.

How did I do answering the questions, “what is Protune?” If you have any more questions, tips or experiences to share, please do so by commenting on this post. And please share this with your friends on Pinterest.


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Hi, I'm the Author!

I'm an amateur photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. Since moving to South America in 2009, we have made our living as content creators. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. I am co-founder of this site, and our Nova Scotia travel site WiseGuides.ca.

2 comments… add one
  • Nathan May 17, 2016, 7:30 am

    Awesome, we are still new to our GoPro and we have just been jumping right into filming and still learning. We edit our GoPro video along with our Canon camera video together and didn’t have ProTune Flat on, so now we can get some true color in our edit with Flat on. We’ll shoot a video right now with it, thanks!

    • Bryan Haines May 17, 2016, 1:42 pm

      That’s great to hear! Would love to see your first Protune flat video.

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