GoPro Cameras: Controls on Your GoPro

By John Carucci

If you’re a first-time user, you’ll find that the GoPro differs from any other camera you’ve operated. The lack of a viewfinder (except for the Hero4 Silver Edition), the camera’s fixed ultra-wide-angle lens, and its dependence on Wi-Fi take a bit of adjustment.

The GoPro has only three buttons:

  • Power/Mode: This button acts as both a power button and a means of cycling through camera modes and menus.

  • Shutter/Select: Press this button to start and stop video recordings, take photos, and toggle among menu settings.

  • Wi-Fi: To turn the camera’s Wi-Fi signal on or off, hold this button for three seconds. This button also allows you to enter the Settings menu, connect to the remote, or connect to smartphones and tablets via the GoPro App.

What the GoPro lights do

The camera has five LED indicator lights. Those red and blue lights make the GoPro look pretty cool, but they also serve specific purposes:

  • The bottom-front LED blinks red to indicate video recording and photo capture.

  • The top-front LED blinks blue to show that Wi-Fi is activated.

  • The LED lights on the top, bottom, and side of the camera blink red to indicate recording or Wi-Fi status.

Turn the camera off

Powering down your GoPro requires you to hold the Power/Mode button for a few seconds. Whatever you captured will be saved before the camera powers off.

Also keep in mind that if the memory card is full or the battery is out of power, the GoPro automatically stops recording and powers off. In that situation, your video will be saved before the camera powers off.

Set the date and time

Not setting the date and time on your camera would be the equivalent of not setting the clock on a DVR. All your pictures, including the ones you took during the summer, would be dated January 1.

Setting the date and time is simple. Just power up the camera and follow these steps:

  1. Press the Power/Mode button until you get to the Settings menu — the one that looks like a wrench.

  2. Press the Shutter/Select button to enter the Settings menu.

  3. Cycle through the Settings menu by pressing the Power/Mode button until you get to get to the Setup menu; then press the Shutter/Select button.

  4. Scroll through the Setup menu until you get to calendar mode; then press the Shutter/Select button.

    Calendar mode is easy to find because the icon looks like a calendar.

  5. Press the Shutter/Select button to select Month, press the Power/Mode button to scroll to the correct month, and press the Shutter/Select button to select it.

  6. Repeat Step 5 to set the day, year, hour, and minute.