Budget, Travel

GoPro Hero 5 Black User Guide: Why You Need One

GoPro Hero 5 Black Tips 

GoPro Hero 5 Black Why You Need One and How to Use It

Why you need a GoPro:

The GoPro Hero 5 was released in October 2016. We decided to ask for one for Christmas for our trip to Kauai. This camera is so user friendly. The settings are simple to navigate through. Here are some tips to get your capturing adventures in no time!

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GoPro Hero 5 Specs

Although I don’t have another GoPro to compare it to, the specs on the Hero 5 are unbelievable!

  • Voice control for hands-free control

  • 2-inch display to preview your videos and photos

  • Waterproof for up to 33 feet (10 meters) without a housing

  • One-button control to power on and start recording

  • Advanced video stabilization for smooth recording no matter how bumpy the ride

  • 4K video and 12 MP photos in single, burst, and time lapse mode

  • On-screen exposure control

  • GPS captures the location where your photo was taken

Removing the Cover

The GoPro Hero 5 is waterproof without purchasing a waterproof housing. The outer cover must be removed in order to insert the microSD card and battery. I was afraid to break the clip on the top at first, but it is tight for a reason. You should grasp the clip on the top of the camera with the camera pointing away from you. Pop the clip towards you, and remove the cover.


Setting Up Your GoPro

  • Insert the microSD card (sold separately)-Lexar is the best brand to use with the Hero 5 due to compatibility. I suggest purchasing at least 2 micro SD cards. I have a 64GB and a 32 GB.

  • Insert the battery-I suggest purchasing an extra battery and charger for your GoPro. *To save battery life turn off wifi, GPS, and voice commands.

  • Power on your new camera, and take the camera tour. This quick tour will give you a quick run-through of the various settings.

  • Choose your desired camera mode with the touch display or Mode button (on the side).

  • Press the shutter button (on the top) to start and stop recording.

Changing Settings

The mode button on the side will change the setting. You can also change settings (very easily) using the touchscreen. The front LCD screen will show what setting your camera is currently on.

The Hero 5 has a simple one-button control. If you press the shutter button (on top) it will power on the camera and start recording.


Which settings should I use?

The GoPro Hero 5 has several options for the range of view that your camera will capture. Here are the various FOV (Field of View) settings. These settings control what angle that your camera will capture.


Field of View (FOV) Settings


wide FOV on GoProWide-Very wide angle for the general GoPro shot.


Linear FOV GoPro

Linear-This FOV setting is for a more standard photo or video.Linear FOV captures similar angles as medium FOV but a little bit lower.


Medium FOV GoPro

Medium-Medium FOV captures similar angles as linear FOV but a little higher.


Narrow FOV GoPro

Narrow-Narrow FOV is exactly how it sounds-a narrow angle for your photos and videos.


Superview FOV GoPro

Superview-This FOV option is very similar to the wide setting. The fish-eye effect is minimized in the center and and exaggerated towards the edges. This view would be great for a pole mount such as a selfie stick. The center will be focused, and the area around the edges will be exaggerated.

Quick Tips for the LCD Screen

  • Swipe to the right to preview photos and videos

  • If you swipe to the left to enable or disable Protune, WDR (improves level of detail in an images dark and bright areas good for backlit scenes), or RAW format

  • Swipe down to lock/unlock the screen, connect to bluetooth to use the app, connect to wireless internet, or turn voice control on and off

  • Now swipe down to adjust the preferences-Access GoPro updates, date, time, voice control, language, list of commands,beep volume, LED options,Quik capture, touch display screensaver, brightness, and autorotation


Quality of Footage

The Hero 5 offers a maximum of 4K and a minimum of 480p. If you are using an editing software then you should record in the highest setting possible. If you are only recording to play back to friends and family then recording 1080p or 720 will work great!


Frames Per Second (FPS)

When you are deciding which FPS to select these are the main things to consider:

  1. the speed of what you are recording

  2. the amount of light where you are recording

If you are recording an action shot it is best to use a high FPS rate. This will keep your footage from looking choppy.


Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)

This setting will help reduce any shakiness or vibrations that your camera may pick up while you are recording. I leave this setting on at all times unless I am recording at 4k at 30fps. The EIS setting doesn’t work at those resolutions. I recorded this video while speeding across a lake. The EIS setting really helped out with the shakiness! I used the handler floating arm grip for this video. Just in case it flew out of my hand. 😉



Protune allows you to control the appearance of your photos and footage. You can leave this option on auto, or you can adjust the exposure, white balance, color, and other options. I normally leave these settings on auto so that I don’t even have to think about it. 🙂


Action Shots Mounted

If you are cycling, surfing, or recording a helicopter tour you should have your GoPro mounted using the included clips. After researching, I suggest recording 2.7k at 60fps with a wide field of view. You should keep the EIS setting on as well.


Pole Shots (action)

gopro action shot

If you are performing an active shot while holding a pole then I suggest 2.7k and 60fps with a wide FOV and EIS turned on.


Pole Shots-selfie with scenic background 

gopro selfie stick

For capturing a sweet photo of you and your man in front of an epic background then I suggest using 4k with 30fps for a high-quality shot.

 gopro selfie stick

Body Mounted Shot (action shot)

This option is perfect if you have your GoPro mounted to your backpack or helmet. I suggest using 2.7k at 60fps with EIS turned on with a wide FOV. I use these options for our cycling footage.


Other Shots

If you are recording for various social media outlets then 1080 at 30fps will work great. If you plan on editing some of your film then you need to at least record in 2.7k.


Using the Voice Commands

The voice command capability was one of my favorite features of the Hero 5. Here is a list of the commands to use. Just speak the commands loud and clear and always start out saying “GoPro” and then the command.

  • Start Recording

  • HiLight

  • Stop Recording

  • Take a Photo

  • Shoot Burst

  • Start Timelapse

  • Stop Timelapse

  • Video Mode

  • Photo Mode

  • Timelapse Mode

  • Burst Mode

  • Turn Off

  • Turn On


Which Attachments are the Best?

I tossed around the idea of purchasing our GoPro attachments on Amazon and buying off-brands, but in the end I stayed with the GoPro brand. I would feel awful if our GoPro was destroyed because I wanted to save some money by purchasing off-brand attachments. Here are the attachments that we purchased and what we use them for:


GoPro 3-Way Grip-Arm-Tripod


gopro 3-way arm attachment

If there is one attachment that I URGE you to purchase it is this one! This 3-way arm does it all. It’s a selfie-stick, a tri-pod, and a hand grip. This is a pricey attachment, but it is worth it! We purchased this for all of our activities and to be able to take photos/videos with BOTH of us in them. 🙂

took photo using tripod GoPro

The GoPro Tri-pod is so handy for taking photos with a background. The cool part is I connected the GoPro to my Capture app and was able to see how we looked before taking the photo. I loved using our GoPro and the tri-pod attachment on our Memphis trip!

GoPro Chesty Harness


chesty harness for gopro

The GoPro Chesty (Chest Harness) is great for capturing moments that need to be hands-free. We purchased this attachment for recording our cycling adventures. In this post I recorded parts of some cycling trails using the Chesty.

chesty harness GoPro


GoPro Clip/Head Strap Mount


gopro clip and head strap

The GoPro clip and head strap can be attached to the head to use for various action shots. We received this attachment for free when we purchased the Hero 5. It’s perfect to use on hiking trails, cycling, and other outdoor activities.


GoPro Handler Floating Hand Grip


gopro floaty arm attachment

This is the perfect attachment if you will be doing any underwater activities. We purchased this for snorkeling purposes. It floats like a dream. 🙂


Case for Organization


gopro case

This case was perfect for our GoPro. It isn’t the GoPro Casey, but it is similar to it. I love this case because you can adjust the compartments inside. It’s a great price as well.

Apps to Download


gopro capture app

Download the Capture app for Apple and Android devices.

gopro capture app for android

Features of this app:

  • Get full remote control of all camera functions: adjust settings, start and stop recording, switch modes and more.

  •  Frame the perfect shot with live preview.

  • Add HiLights while recording to mark key moments.

  • Available on Apple Watch—preview shots, control your camera and add HiLights.

  • Check out your shots, and save your favorites to your iPhone or iPad.

  • View HiLights in your GoPro Camera Roll to quickly find your best shots.

  • Browse and delete files on your camera’s SD card.

  •  Pull high-quality still images from your videos for easy sharing.

  • Create short video clips and share them to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and more.

  •  Easily update your camera for the latest features and optimal performance.

GoPro Editing Software

Once you have your GoPro and have captured your first footage, you will need some awesome editing software to make that video social media worthy. 😉 Here are some great GoPro editing software:

  • GoPro Studio (free)

  • iMovie for Mac (free)

  • Quik (free)

Check out some of my other favorite adventuring gear! Let me know what you think about it in the comments below! Now get to capturing those perfect moments. 🙂

41 thoughts on “GoPro Hero 5 Black User Guide: Why You Need One

  1. This is what I needed to convince my to buy me a GoPro. Love this article how detailed it is. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am interested in getting one. I have been wondering about the video quality however. I would love to try one out before committing.

  3. My son is an aspiring you tuber so this review is very helpful. I hope to get him this for his birthday.

  4. I have a gopro and it makes beautiful videos but I found it so complicated to use!! I still didn’t get it ahah 😉 The 3 way grip looks perfect, I’m gonna check it out!

  5. I have been wanting the go pro 5 since it came out. It looks so good and the photos are great quality. I only have the go pro2 and it is soooo bad haha. Thank you for sharing this. Will remember to go back to this post when I get one so I know what to do 😀

    1. You can exchange any older version GoPros for $100 off the newest version right now. You may look into that! 🙂

    1. No you don’t. And if you have an older version of the GoPro you can trade it in now for a $100 credit towards your new one!

  6. This is so in depth. I wish we would’ve had one for our honeymoon! Thank you for the details – this is definitely a purchase I want to look into.

  7. I have seen these series of GoPro many times but I was never interested in them until now. Your blog post really makes me wanna try out them .. 🙂 Thanks for such an interesting and detailed article explaining all the features and uses of it.

    1. I always try to put out informative and helpful posts. Thanks so much for reading and giving your feedback!

  8. What a great review! I was thinking about getting the go pro5 for this summer. I’ll have to come back to this page when I do get it!

  9. I am a huge advocate of GoPro and carry my Hero5 almost everywhere. Love how compact it is and the wide angle shots are truly spectacular. I think it is one of the best cameras to buy in the market and not just for action photography but also normal picture taking. Great article that highlights everything great about this beautiful gadget.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind feedback Mike! Yes, I completely agree. The Hero 5 is fantastic for action photography and everyday photography!

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