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What Is the GoPro Video Format and Codec for 4K Shootings?

What video format/codec does GoPro HERO action camera use to record 4K video?

Influenced by 4K rising in popularity, action camera maker GoPro jumped on the wave in 2012 with the 4K-capable Hero 3 Black Edition. This 4K video camera can shoot at up to 3840x2160 pixels at 15 frames per second. GoPro action cameras that support 4K video shooting have been rounded up in the list below.

HERO3 Black Edition: 4K at 15 FPS
HERO3+ Black Edition: 4K at 15 FPS
HERO4 Black Edition: 4K at 24, 25, 30 FPS (Superview mode only supports 25 FPS)
HERO4 Silver: 4K at 15 FPS
HERO5 Session: 4K at 25, 30 FPS
HERO5 Black: 4K at 24, 25, 30 FPS
HERO6 Black: 4K at 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 FPS

Well, what video format does GoPro use for 4K shootings? What're the features of GoPro's 4K video file format? We'll get to the answer in the next part.

If you need a GoPro 4K video converter, compressor, editor, downloader...

- Free download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe and then you can

* Convert GoPro 4K video format, such as HEVC to H.264 and H.264 to HEVC, to solve GoPro video not supported issue.
* Compress Gopro 4K video by changing file format, lowering resolution (i.e., 4K to 1080P), bit rate, etc.
* Crop, trim, merge, rotate, subtitle Gopro videos. Add special effects. Add text or image watermark.
* Free download GoPro 4K videos from YouTube and the like (500+ sites supported).
* Super fast speed thanks to AMD, Intel QSV- and NVIDIA CUDA/NVENC-accelerated hardware decoding, processing, encoding, and supporting MMX-SSE, Hyper-threading and AMD 3DNow! tech.

GoPro Video Format for 4K

Except for HERO6 Black, all 4K-capable GoPro HERO cameras use the H.264 codec wrapped by MP4. The HERO6 Black still employs MP4 as the container format for all of its video files, but the video codec is no longer limited to H.264. Highest-end video modes including 4K at 60 FPS, 4K at 50 FPS, and 4K 4:3 at 24/25/30 FPS use H.265 (aka.HEVC) - a newer and more efficient video compression standard.

Learn more about the GoPro 4K video container format - MP4

MP4, also known as MPEG-4 Part 14, is a container format that can store video, audio and other data, subtitles and images for instance. It is the most widely used format because of its advanced data compression algorithm. Compared with other container formats like AVI, MP4 can export smaller file size but at the same quality.

Learn more about the GoPro 4K video codec - H.264 and H.265

▶ H.264
Different from MP4, H.264 also called MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC), is a video compression codec. Its popularity results from the capability of delivering same quality file while using lower bit rates than MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD, etc. >> Learn more about H.264

▶ H.265
Judging from the name, we can easily guess that H.265 is the successor to H.264. Using H.265 as the video codec, we can see 40-50% bit rate reduction as compared to H.264 at the equivalent quality. Adoption of H.265 as the GoPro HERO6 Black UHD video format will save you much storage space. >> Compare H.264 vs H.265

What to Do when GoPro 4K Video Can't Be Supported, Played, Edited...

Here're some true examples posted online:

What CODEC is used when the GOPRO HERO 4 Black is recording a video file in the .MP4 format? My new VIZIO 4K UHD TV will not play GOPRO videos... I get the message "unsupported video format". VIZIO rep says they support the play back of .MP4 videos just not the CODEC that GO PRO uses. How do we fix this?

I just bought new Hero 6, and the 4k 60fps files aren't viewable after I import into FCP, Adobe Premiere or Quick. All are using most updated versions. Just see a black screen and can hear audio.

1. Your device should meet the minimum system requirements for GoPro 4K video playback and editing.
2. Transfer your GoPro 4K videos from SD card to computer's hard drive before playback. Otherwise, you may find the GoPro video is choppy.
3. Make use of a 4K-compatible video player like 5KPlayer and VLC. Windows Media Player isn't recommended because it isn't powerful enough to handle ultra-high-definition video.
4. If your GoPro 4K video is encoded with HEVC, make sure the device and the software you use supports HEVC.
5. Ultimate solution - compress or convert your GoPro 4K videos. This way can solve problems like GoPro video format not supported, high bitrate 4K GoPro video not compatible with your player, etc.

If you don't have a program to perform video compressing and converting, you can try excellent WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. It is available to convert your GoPro 4K videos in HEVC format to H.264 or others, compress GoPro HEVC or H.264 4K video to 1080P, 720P, etc, for uploading to YouTube/Facebook, playback/editing on legacy PC/Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android Samsung Galaxy S9/S8, Xbox One, PS4, etc. A user guide is attached below to help convert/compress GoPro 4K HEVC/AVC videos.

How to Compress/Convert GoPro 4K HEVC/AVC Video to Make It Easier for Playback, Uploading, Editing, Sending

To get started, download and install WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe on your computer. This program comes with two versions, Window edition compatible with Windows 10 and lower while Mac supporting macOS Mojave and lower.

Now open this tool and do what we tell you below.

Step 1. Load the GoPro 4K videos you want to convert or shrink.
First of all, click Video to access Video Processing tool. Next, you simply need to drag and drop target files into the screen or click the + Video button on the top toolbar to browse and select them.

Step 2. Select output profile.
WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe offers hundreds of optimized output profiles that can cover almost all of your needs. It allows you to change GoPro 4K video format from AVC (H.264) to HEVC (H.265), from HEVC (H.265) to AVC (H.264), or choose a profile fit for your device (i.e., iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8), software (i.e., iTunes, iMovie, Final Cut Pro), website (i.e., YouTube, Facebook), etc.

Convert GoPro 4K Video
Convert GoPro 4K Video

Step 3. Edit your GoPro video.
▶ Click the Option icon, and then you can tweak video audio parameters, such as video resolution, bit rate, and frame rate.
▶ Besides, you can crop and trim off unwanted part to resize video, rotate your videos, add special effects, adjust brightness, contrast, add watermark, etc.

Step 4. Begin converting/compressing GoPro 4K video.
Intel QSV, NVIDIA CUDA/NVENC and AMD based hardware decoding, processing and encoding will be enabled automatically if there's supported GPU. Hardware acceleration can give a great boost on speed. Speed doesn't come at the expense of video quality. Certainly, you can also disable it based on your own needs. In the end, simply click RUN button to get GoPro 4K video conversion/compression started. Then, you're able to upload GoPro 4K video to YouTube without errors.

About Gopro and Its Products Line – Wiki Resource
Gopro: GoPro, Inc. (formerly Woodman Labs, Inc) is an American manufacturer of action cameras, often used in extreme-action videography and part of the connected sport movement. Its famous products include HD HERO cameras, HERO 2/3/4/5, etc...


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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