Why you shouldn’t use GoPro GPR photos

The GoPro HERO11 allows you to shoot a sort of RAW file called a GPR file. There are big pros and cons to this file type, so let's have a look at what's best for timelapse photography on the GoPro HERO11.

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The GoPro HERO11 has the most amount of pixels out of any GoPro yet, and it’s hailed by many as the absolute best GoPro for timelapse photographers so far.

In my previous videos, I spoke about why I shoot timelapses in video mode, but in this video, I want to share some more information about the GoPro RAW files, which come as .GPR files aka General Purpose RAW files.

If you want to learn more about how GPR files actually work check out the GitHub link here: https://github.com/gopro/gpr

GoPro .GPR files explained

Traditionally, for timelapse photography, we shoot RAW files for a number of reasons. Mostly for shadow and highlight recovery and for the ability to change the white balance and parts of the exposure in post-production.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of shooting GPR files on the GoPro and then see how I’ll be shooting in the future.

Pros of GoPro GPR files

  • You get the max resolution of the sensor at 5568×4872 pixels
  • You can perform non-destructive white balance changes
  • There is more room to play with exposure compared to JPEG
  • There is more room to recover highlights and shadows compared to JPEG
  • Because of the above its great for Holy Grail sequences, but more on that later

Cons of GoPro GPR files

  • You get the big fisheye lens look, which warps everything. Fixing this really stretches out the pixels and this the footage, reducing the sharpness
  • More noise in the footage compared to the video files, which can be hard to remove. Best to shoot on low iso max (100 or 200).
  • These files, compared to normal RAW files, are much slower to edit in LRTimelapse, as they’re “not real RAW files” according to Gunther from LRTimelapse
  • They’re much bigger in size compared to the video files (but of course, you get a lot of positives instead as mentioned earlier). Each .GPR files is about 11MB in size, compared to the 6MB for JPEGs.

Conclusion of GoPro GPR files

If you want maximum resolution and flexibility in your footage and are willing to pay for that in time spent in post-production, then go ahead with GPR files.

For me, I’ll keep shooting in video timelapse modes!

Check out my previous video about how I shoot timelapses on the GoPro HERO11.

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