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4 GoPro Time Lapse Settings to Create a Sunset Video

Do you want to make a GoPro time lapse video? Confused about which settings you need? While it sounds complicated, it isn’t. In this post, I’ll cover the specific settings needed to create a quality time lapse video, including the shooting interval, image resolution, and playback rate.

I’ll also cover the specific gear and tips you’ll need to follow to make a great GoPro timelapse video.

gopro time lapse settings

The specific GoPro settings are based on what I used to shoot the Galapagos sunset time lapse video. The video is embedded at the end of the post.

Okay, now let’s get started:

GoPro Time Lapse Settings to Time-Lapse Video

  1. Decide on the shooting interval. This time-lapse was shot one image every two seconds. Remember that it’s easy to remove extra images, but they cannot be added if they weren’t shot. This shoot produced almost 700 images (4.12GB) over 35 minutes.
  2. Decide on image resolution. This set of images was shot at 10MP (3840px X  2880px). This was overkill and is rated as ultra-high-definition (2160p). For a standard high-definition video, you should shoot at 1080p (1920px X 1080px). This is around a 2MP image. Because you will sometimes want to crop the video, it is a good idea to shoot a slightly higher resolution (like 5MP) which gives you some room to crop and still finish with a high definition video.
  3. Decide on playback rate. I’ve found that 15 fps (frames per second) playback rate keeps things fluid without making them move too fast.
  4. Render and upload. Once you’ve organized your images and entered these settings, you are ready to render the video and then upload it on a video sharing site.

What you’ll need to create a GoPro time lapse video: a GoPro Hero3+, Gorillapod tripod, Wasabi battery, large capacity memory card (I prefer the 64GB), and some editing software.

Create a GoPro Time Lapse Video of a Sunset (Settings)

This video details the specifics of what is explained above, along with explanation of the GoPro Studio software settings.

Watch on YouTube

5 Tips for GoPro Timelapse Video

  1. settings gopro time lapseUse a solid (stable) tripod: There are lots of options (tripod, suction cup, etc.) but it is hard to beat the Joby Gorillapod. It is easy to setup and gives a death grip. If your camera moves, your time lapse is ruined.
  2. Use long-life batteries: The last thing you will want to worry about is your battery dying halfway through the shot. I like Wasabi brand. They last longer than the standard battery that comes with the GoPro. And they come with their own charger (both wall and car adapter).
  3. Use a huge memory card: Space is the other constraint. Shooting hundreds of images over a short period of time will quickly fill up your memory card. I like using a 32GB Class 10 microSD card – I haven’t been able to fill one in a day yet. Choosing the right image resolution will help ensure that it doesn’t fill up to quickly.
  4. Take time to frame it up: Even the most magnificent setting can look awful if you don’t take the time to frame it up. Follow the rule of thirds to shot a pleasing video.
  5. Avoid distracting elements: One of the major problems with time lapse videos are the close up elements – because they are distracting. As you will see in the tutorial video below, they can ruin the whole video.

Galapagos Sunset Time-lapse Video (GoPro)

And here is the finished product:

Watch on YouTube

gopro time lapse settings

So there you have it: the 4 GoPro time lapse settings needed to create a quality sunset video.

Your Turn

How do you create GoPro time lapse video? What settings do you use? Please share in the comments below.

If you have created a video, please share the link below. Thanks!

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Friday 30th of December 2016

Just starting a golf site where I attach a gopro to the golf cart and map out the course while I play. I had started with 60 fps, results seemed choppy. I had to speed up in editing because nobody has time to watch at normal speed. I then went to 30 fps and it seemed to my eye to "flow" better. Is that my imagination? Do you think time lapse would improve my movies? I have as hero plus. Time lapse can only be 8 mp , .5 second. If you go to my site, you will see that it is a work in progress, lol! Similar concept about traveling with my wife as yours, we do golf traveling and include other touristy things while we are away. If you click on our you tube channel, you will see a few movies I made. Would love to hear a critique! Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work!

Bryan Haines

Monday 9th of January 2017

I think this is a good idea. What if you rendered each hole as it's own video? You could then group them by playlist. This way you could play the tour of each hole back at regular speed - and let viewers see all the detail. You could then group them into one compilation video that is sped up. It might be a way to give viewers a few options of consuming your content.

YouTube plays back at up to 60fps - although it probably won't make that much difference for this type of video.

5 GoPro Sunset Timelapse Settings: Galapagos Beach | Click Like This

Friday 25th of March 2016

[…] 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 […]


Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

Here's my time-lapse: It's a one shot every 60 seconds and 24 fps. I had no idea about existence of a rule of a thirds back then, or else I would definitely use it =).

Bryan Haines

Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

Nice work. What did you shoot it with? 2 days is a long shoot. Was it battery powered?


Wednesday 13th of May 2015

TimeLaps Amanecer en Cabo Corrientes, Chocó Colombia 4000 fotos, 12Mp 60FPS, tiempo 1hora :7minutos, intervalo de 1 foto por segundo. Este es el resultado

Jazz K

Thursday 9th of April 2015

On topic of flying platform + video: typically you need a permit to capture video for commercial use on a flying platform. No permit is needed for personal video. Do yourself a favor and don't say that you own or fly a drone. Instead, you own and operate an RC toy. Think about the language you're using for a while. Don't subscribe to the term "drone." There are huge differences between a drone and RC. Research the history of both terms and you'll understand.