Recently I came across an interesting firmware error when I took for a test run one of the latest Hero3 Black models in the popular GoPro camera line. It’s not a serious problem, but when met for the first time expect your eyebrows to rise!
The camera offers a built in software flip option for situations when you have to mount the camera upside down. You simply turn on this feature and the camera records everything upside down straight out of the camera, so if you play the video it’s orientation will be normal. If you don’t forget to use this clever feature it can save you a lot of post-processing after you’ve downloaded the video.
There is a glitch, however, with the newest firmware available on the manufacturer’s website. The UpDn mode of GoPro Hero3 Black cameras not only turns the video recording of the camera but it also flips them. This means the video image is not rotated 180 degree (like the camera is) but flipped! Everything that should appear on the left side will be on the right and vice versa, faces look in the opposite direction, and so on.
Working on a fix
I got in touch with GoPro’s customer service people who said they not only know about this firmware malfunction but that their developers are currently on it, working on the fix. Of course they are probably also working on the already promised new features of the wifi remote control as well. The firmware updated on their website was released at the end of last year i.e. a few months ago by now. I’d hazard a guess that my heads-up wasn’t the first time their engineers heard about the problem.
Customer service said that as far as they know the issue occurs only when the camera is used in larger resolutions, which the Hero3 Black has buckets of. But I also experienced the glitch when I was using the 1080p FullHD resolution, considered the video norm these days.
Luckily it’s not the end of the world. Until the native factory solution arrives, the glitch can usually be ironed out in post process, which was the solution offered by customer service by the way.
Most video editors do indeed offer a flip video feature that solves the problem. Unless you have a program you prefer to edit your videos with you can use the Cine Form Studio bundled with all GoPro cameras by factory default.
I found the flip option in the program but unfortunately couldn’t get it to work and quickly gave up trying. I wasn’t really pushed to find it though either as I have Adobe Premiere which has the effect in the list, you just need to drag it on the timeline and export the result. And that’s it, the missing camera feature can be corrected in an instant.