gopro hero3 time lapse auto-exposure problem: customer support explains cause, promises solution

setting a gopro hero3 camera to time lapse mode and a very short interval (0.5 or 1 second) will lock the entire time-series’ exposure to that of the first frame.

example: a recent sunrise time lapse attempt

gopro hero3 auto exposure problem in time lapse mode: customer support explains cause, promises solution depending on the situation, the result may be an SD card full of overexposed/washed out or drastically underexposed pictures. this is obviously problematic for time-lapse recording of relatively fast-changing scenes (esp. with changes in lighting), but even more so if you just want to do action photography and not think about pressing the shutter button manually (i.e. while whitewater rafting or skydiving).

Sorry for the inconvenience, would you believe that’s a feature rather than a bug?

gopro customer support just explained in a response that the problem is not actually a software bug: “the skydiving community requested the feature”. they are, however, working on making it an option in the settings menu:

The skydiving community asked for it, but since then we’ve heard lots of complaints so we’ve asked the engineering folks to make it an option you can turn on or off.

For now be aware that in the two shortest time lapse modes, 0.5 and 1.0 seconds, the exposure will latch on to the the values encountered at the first frame. For time lapse intervals of 2.0 seconds and longer each frame will be imaged using auto exposure. Remember that if auto-exposure results in flickering you can improve and smooth out the assembled video by invoking the De-flicker filter from the Advanced Settings menu of our free Cineform Studio software.

Keep an eye on the forums and check in to the firmware update page every few weeks for when the update hits.

what’s funny about the explanation: most of the discussions about the problem were apparently started by skydivers.

One thought on “gopro hero3 time lapse auto-exposure problem: customer support explains cause, promises solution

  1. I set mine up at 2. second intervals and it still does it not that the extent in the video ut it still ruined a great sunrise.

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