In this post, you'll learn 5 GoPro settings for diving. We also include gear, tips, and more to help you get the best underwater footage and photos while scuba diving. While most of these apply to snorkeling, we also have a full guide to GoPro snorkeling.
I love to snorkel – and have had a blast filming animals with a GoPro. But since I'm not a diver, I'm going to lean on GoPro athlete Mark Healey. Mark is a big wave surfer, spear-fisherman, free-diver, photographer, and part-time Hollywood stuntman.
In the following video, Mark will cover the following:
- Prepping Your Camera (The Night Before)
- GoPro Dive Filter Basics
- GoPro Dive Shooting Modes
Read more about how to use GoPro underwater.
5 GoPro Settings for Diving w/ Mark Healey
Watch on YouTube Video and top photo are owned by GoPro.
Learn more about your cameras capability in our GoPro Waterproof Guide for all models.
Prepping Your GoPro Camera (The Night Before)
1. Make Sure The Lens is Clean Inside
A fingerprint or a piece of lint will ruin your dive footage. Take a minute and make sure your lens is clean and clear. Don't forget to check the lens glass on the dive housing too.
These anti-fog inserts do as their name suggests: they prevent fog from forming inside the case.
When you add them, make sure they don't affect the gasket seal. The case will leak if the insert gets between the door and the case.
3. Floaty Backdoor
The floaty will take the camera to the surface – bright orange (or yellow) side up. This is a good idea if you're using a floaty handle or a selfie stick.
If you use your Hero7, Hero6, or Hero5 in the water without the case, you won't be able to attach the floaty backdoor. For the newer model GoPros, you'll want a floaty case, like this one by Bodhi. It slips over the camera, keeps it afloat, and still lets you view the screen and adjust settings.
Need a new pair of fins? This guide should help.
4. GoPro Dive Filter Basics
Choose your Dive Filter: To get quality footage, you're going to want to use dive filters. Because water naturally filters out color – especially reds and magentas – these need to be replaced with an add-on filter. Otherwise, your colors will look skewed.
Red is for blue water and magenta is for green water. The filters just pop on and off. This Soonsun 3-pack gives you what you need.
You can either wait to mount the filter until you're underwater (to prevent bubbles) or you can mount the filter, enter the water and quickly remove the filter to let all the air escape and then pop it back on. Trapped air bubbles will ruin your photos. With the tether, you won't have to worry about losing it.
5. GoPro Diving Shooting Modes: 1440P at 30fps
Because you probably won't need to slow down the motion from your underwater footage, Mark recommends shooting at 30 frames per second. His favorite resolution is 1440P (1920 x 1440). This is basically the same as the standard 1080P resolution except with a little more height. This is a great video resolution for all point of view (POV) shots. Read more about GoPro settings.
If there is tons of natural light, then you might want to bump the resolution up to 2.7K. But make sure that you have the light to support it.
Want to shoot for slow motion? I recommend shooting in SuperView (either 1080 or 720). At 1080 SuperView you can shoot at 80 frames per second. And at 720 SuperView you can shoot up to 120 fps – that means that you can slow the footage to render 4 seconds of video for every 1 second shot underwater.
Should you shoot in Protune? It really depends on how much editing you want to do after your dive. I'm a big fan of Protune but if you're just getting started, don't worry. The standard GoPro Color setting produces some great footage.
Want to use GoPro WiFi underwater? Here's how.
What are your favorite GoPro settings for diving? What mounts and settings are you planning on using? Let me know in the comments!