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5 GoPro Sunset Timelapse Settings, Gear, and Tips (Galapagos Beach)

In this post, you’ll learn the GoPro sunset timelapse settings, gear, and tips you need to create your own sunset timelapse. It’s super easy and will capture the memory like nothing else. Let’s do this!

GoPro sunset timelapse settings

A few years ago, I created my first time lapse video while visiting the Galapagos Islands. The images and video in this post were all shot on Isabela Island. This beach is directly in front of the Red Mangrove Lodge, where we were staying.

In this post, I review what I’ve learned since publishing my first time lapse tutorial. Some of the settings were good – but others could be improved. I also created a new video showing how frame rate affects the feel of the video.

At the end of the post, I share the specific gear I used.

5 GoPro Sunset Timelapse Settings

Here are the GoPro time lapse settings I recommend for shooting a sunset.

  1. Shooting Interval: This time lapse was shot at a rate of 1 image every 2 seconds.   This shoot produced nearly 700 images (4.12GB) over a period of 35 minutes.
  2. Image Resolution: While this was shot at 10MP (on the Hero3 Silver) it was overkill. If you want an HD video (1080P), shooting at 5MP image resolution is plenty. Shooting higher res images means that your card will fill up faster – and the image set will take up more space on your computer.
  3. Playback Rate: When I first rendered this time lapse, I output it at 15 fps. In retrospect, this was too low and made for a fairly boring video. I recommend a minimum of 30fps – maybe higher. See more below.
  4. App Connection: I recommend that you don’t use the WiFi connection during a time lapse. It drains the batteries faster – and if you have to change batteries during the shoot, it will change the composition. I used Wasabi batteries for this shoot.
  5. Card Size and Speed: You’re not going to want to skimp on your card size. High-resolution images (shot every second or two) will fill up a small card quickly. If you are planning on shooting a few time lapses in one outing, I recommend a 32GB card (at least). And speed matters. I recommend the SanDisk Ultra card – in either 32 or 64GB.
Bonus Tip: Choose an evening when there is some cloud movement. The video below was shot the day before – and is much more dramatic. While the clear sky has its own appeal, I definitely favor the painted, moving clouds.

Best GoPro Frame Rate Setting for Sunset Time Lapse

What’s the best frame rate setting? It depends. If the sunset time lapse is part of a longer video, you’ll want to have a higher frame rate – so it goes faster. If the sunset timelapse is the purpose of the video, a lower frame rate is fine – it will make a longer video.

In the following video, you’ll see three frame rates (120, 60, and 30 fps). Each clip is also rendered in the Protune preset. For an even lower frame rate (15 fps), see the original time lapse I made of this sunset.

Watch on YouTube

A few months ago, I created another sunset time lapse video on the Bay of Fundy, here in Nova Scotia. Interested in more? Check out our complete guide to GoPro Time Lapse Video.

Create a GoPro Sunset Time Lapse in GoPro Studio

I created the following video a couple of years ago – before I discovered how easy GoPro Studio is. I’m including it because it shows the steps required.

While I also use Adobe Bridge (to view the photos) and Sony Movie Studio (to crop and add music) these aren’t necessary. You can easily crop the video and add text and music right inside of GoPro Studio. (It’s actually easier in GoPro Studio than in Sony Movie Studio.)

Watch on YouTube

My GoPro Setup: Sunset TimelapseJoby Gorillapod SLR GoPro

  1. Hero3 Silver: This was my first GoPro and still shoots a respectable quality video.
  2. Joby GorillaPod: You’re going to want a stable mount. If your camera moves at all during the shoot, it’s going to be ruined. I’ve had great success with the GorillaPod.
  3. Wasabi Batteries: You’re not going to be happy if your battery dies during your shoot. If you have to change your battery, your composition will change. In my tests, Wasabi batteries last longer than the GoPro ones – and they cost less.
  4. SanDisk Ultra Memory Card: You are going to be shooting hundreds of large images. You’re going to need a memory card that can keep up. Depending on your shooting rate and image resolution, your camera might reduce image quality so your card can keep up. For this shoot, I used a Class 10SDXC card, but have now upgraded to the Extreme PRO series.

Your Turn

There you have it: 5 GoPro sunset timelapse settings. Have you created a sunset time lapse video? Do you have a tip or question? Please share it below!

Some of our favorite camera gear:

Here are some of our favorite things to bring on our outdoor adventures.

See all our favorite stuff here: Recommended Gear


Saturday 21st of May 2016

Thanks for the information enjoyed it. I do not use or like Facebook (it is seeping into every crevice of society and has so many anti-social aspects to its use) - how do I attach a time-lapse video? I have one from my GoPro 3 black I think you might like to see of Ice moving on Lake Louise Canada.


Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Hi, I like your take on time-lapse. Here is the link to my time-lapse videos:

As I am writingthis, I am shooting a time-lapse video of moon with my new GoPro Hero 5. Always wanted to shoot a moon time-lapse. Finally doing it now.

Bryan Haines

Monday 23rd of May 2016

Just share the url to your blog post or YouTube video. I would love to see it!