Low Light = Low Quality in Go Pro 4

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Low Light = Low Quality in Go Pro 4

This blog is about how the GoPro performs in low theatre light and a bit about my time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I took my Go Pro along with one set of radio mics because I was staying with a friend who was rigging a show and who wanted a record of the work. She was cool with it being a simple video… so I left my kit at home and instead took my bike up. Virgin trains lets you do that for free as long as you book. A good thing ūüôā

“Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a place where dreams go to die”…. according to Randy (see below) Before that however the artists and techies I met were collectively friendly, sweet, and engaged. What EFF gives them, (and what they pay considerbly for)¬† is a saturation of their peers’ theatre at discounted prices and-or for free , access to VIP areas which are always a lot of fun so they can¬† network like crazy and be inspired along with having a great time. Coming up from London, and slipping into the EFF VIP scene thanks to my connection with my mate Stormy, the rigger extraordinaire…..made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven.



goproI own the GoPro Silver Hero 4 .

I firstly used the setting of 6400 ISO because I thought the theatre lighting would need it. My Sony FS100 handles 6400 quite well however I discovered that the GoPro does not … not at all!¬† Pixelated to such a degree that although I was doing it as a thank you gesture for the holiday,¬† I still have a professional reputation to protect and this imagery challenged that. The worse part was how pixelated the black was and there was a lot of black in each scene. The sound using the usb to mini jack adaptor plugged into a Sennheisser receiver from the sound desk worked brilliantly.

The next day I used the 1600 ISO and it was better but still with a lot of bleeding and glare. Not impressive but not as awful as 6400. There was not another day for me shoot so I could find out what 400 ISO might have looked like. 400 ISO is the best quality¬† the GoPro can offer but judging from the 1600 ISO I do not believe the 400 ISO would have been bright enough to see the talent… let alone the darker parts of the stage. Not being able to change these settings while the camera is on is quite a shame.

I did have my field of view on Narrow because I could not get close enough to be able to use anything else and from everything that I have read this Narrow setting should not affect quality.

Conclusion : The GoPro is pretty hopeless in low light.

1600 ISO


The shows I saw and loved.

In 2.5 days I saw 5 shows, one Supper Club, a short physical performance around pieces of fragile sculptures worth thousands  of pounds and quite a few buskers. I loved every minute of it.

GraceGrace by Emma Serjeant

Dark circus. Physical performance about regret and human fragility. Sometimes physical theatre can be a work of art… and Grace graces us with a balance of depth and connectedness that transported me unwillingly to personal memories/feelings that I did not necessarily want to return to. I guess that is what one calls ‘powerful theatre’¬† Her physical abilities are clearly extraorinary and understated enough to draw you back in subtly from your own thoughts, gracefully pulling back to the present theatre of misfortune. It was an amazing show.


lady rizoLady Rizo by Amelia Zirin-Brown

Strong women whose strength comes from their feminity is always really refreshing to see. Her voice is sooooo good and one that you could listen to for ever. It was a time limited show as she points out at the end and I do feel honoured to have audienced it. Although all of it was really entertaining and funny and clever it was her feeding her baby boy on stage that was tender to the extreme. While feeding him she sang him a song that I have found on line. The song’s original singer songwriter is My Brightest Diamond. Lady Rizo does a great cover and the original is only made better because of the knowledge that it is the original. Both voices are dreamy. It is in this part of the show that tears started streaming down my face. It was all so exquisite and we we all had to be quiet and we were.


betty grumbleSex Clowns Save The World by Betty Grumble 

Mad mad social commentary. I love this kind of bonkers theater. Sex Clowns Save The World starts with a practically nude woman with a large metal rubbish bin on her head. It was a great opening and what she did with the Globe was not all that shabby.






Once Derevo copyOnce by Derveo

The paralysis of love!¬† The protaganist is so in love that he bores his desired partner by his inability to communicate due to such intensity of feeling. Another comes along smooth and suave who is made out to be the baddy because well .. he is successful. It is an emotional roller coaster with a burdened Cupid who clumsily and hesitantly shoots his arrow. The woman’s reaction to the whirlwind going on around her.. is gold. I loved it.



randyRandy Writes A Novel by Heath McIvor

Puppetry at its best. Its been nominated for best comedy in the festival and judging on how many times I laughed out loud I can understand why. It was the first show I saw and was impressed that ‘Randy’ managed to talk about veganism in a hilarious yet committed way. Randy has written a novel and he is tortured about reading it to anyone.¬† I have been working on a feature documentary, for the last three years, (6 out of 8 sections done) that no one other than my girlfriend has seen and I intimately related to the angst before presenting it to the public, that Randy communicates in such a clever and humorous way. It was joyous to share the burden! Positively healing! Thank you Randy. I highly recommend this show for a good laugh!


On the last night of the Supper Club we all had a sing a long of a song that was written about 5 years ago now – 8 Miles Wide. I have since looked it up on line and although it has over¬† a million hits, I had never heard it before.. It was a presented as a welcome to refugees owed to the diversity element of the festival. What I really loved is when Ameilia Riot got the men in the audience singing at the top of their voices¬† “My vagina is 8 miles wide…. absolutely everyone can come inside…..”. Hilarious.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 has given me more laughs than I have had all year!! Thank you x


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