GoPro releases Protune firmware update

If you have a GoPro HD HERO2 camera there's a free firmware update that doubles the video bit rate, has a neutral white balance, and disables internal noise reduction, contrast adjustments, and sharpening. This dramatically improves the quality of the video and opens new doors for post processing of the video.

You can get the update from the GoPro website under support. It suggest updating through their CineForm video editing suite (also a free download).

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Tags: firmware, gopro, hero2, protune, update

Comment by Boston UAV on October 9, 2012 at 7:26pm

Nice find!

Comment by Mike R. on October 9, 2012 at 9:24pm

Nice - Thanks for the post!

Comment by Steve on October 9, 2012 at 9:58pm

Been waiting for this since they announced it in the spring!

Comment by Marooned on October 9, 2012 at 10:52pm

Filling a form, downloading 37MB, installing useless app only to update few kB of firmware. Blah.

But hopefully issues with white balance will be out. But as I can read it's only in new mode that will produce even bigger files (current are enormous!) and no more 960p@30fps which is handled by any player without conversion.

Not very "wow" for that upgrade.

Comment by Marooned on October 9, 2012 at 11:17pm

Is there a way to downgrade? I find this update a serious mistake:

1) from my short test in low light I find quality with Protune enabled much worse (color noise, leakage on columns with light bulb)

2) when Protune is disabled, new .lrv files are created for each clip cutting down overall length of the movies (on trips it's kinda important). Files takes ~5.8% of the clip size so we have average ~5.8% less space on SD for our clips. This is some kind of small version of the clip.

3) with Protune no more 960@30 requiring editing every clip to be viewable (regular speed plus synced with voice) on regular player

4) and of course clips are more than two times larger (but this is of course desirable for better quality)

This was a very bad idea to "upgrade" my Hero2 :-/


Developer
Comment by John Arne Birkeland on October 10, 2012 at 12:50am

Regarding (1). Most likely the reason that you get more visible noise with Protune is that the neutral color profile and higher bandwidth is allowing you to see just how crappy the GoPro sensors actually is. Great for outdoor sunlight shots, but useless for anything else (depending on how picky you are). The default non Protune color profile hide much of this noise by over-filtering and crunching the colors.

Comment by Project Nadar on October 10, 2012 at 1:37am

Thanks i asked them a week ago when it will be released and they didin't give a clear answer :D 

Comment by Luke Olson on October 10, 2012 at 7:26am

Marooned, are you a glass half empty kind of person? Just disable the Protune mode in the settings if you don't want to use it and the camera will go back to the automagical mode you're used to. Not everyone will want to use it which is why it can be enabled and disabled in a few seconds. I'm very happy with the new features personally because it gives so much more control over the footage in post production.

Low light noise is the reality with any camera that doesn't have a huge sensor. At least with Protune you can choose the noise reduction technique to use that works best for the shot instead of relying on whatever the camera does while recording like it used to. Overall it requires more work to use the Protune mode but the finished footage can look so much better, which is the whole point of the Protune mode (note they didn't call it Easytune mode).

Comment by Marooned on October 10, 2012 at 7:28am

Luke, I'm certainly not but "just disabling Protune mode" is causing what I described in point 2) in post above.

I'm for sure not grumbling on the new optional mode.

Comment by Luke Olson on October 10, 2012 at 7:56am

Marooned, the LRV file is unrelated to the Protune mode. From my understanding of it the LRV file is a lower resolution version of the video recording used for preview purposes on the phone and tablet GoPro applications (less data to transfer wirelessly to the device running the application). It sucks that they take up space but SD cards are cheap and small.

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