Kit Setup

What's in the box, what it looks like...

Pack setup

0. What’s in the Box

  • 1x GoPro Fusion Camera (inc. case and fabric lens cloth)

    • Available to buy here.

  • 2x GoPro Fusion Batteries

    • Available to buy here.

  • 1x Backpack

  • 1x Monopod

  • 2x 64GB MicroSD cards

    • Available to buy here.

  • 1x MicroSD USB reader

    • Available to buy here.

  • 1x USC-A to USB-C cable

    • Available to buy here.

If you believe something is missing or does not work correctly, please contact us.

1. Unboxing the Camera

The camera is ready to be used immediately. The battery has been fully charged and SD cards inserted.

Before shooting we recommend you familiarise yourself with the camera by reading this section. It is likely you will need to tweak the camera settings before shooting.

The front of the camera is the side with the screen (shown on the left in the image above).

Turn the camera on by holding down the “Mode” button on the side of the camera.

You can turn the camera off in the same way by holding down the “Mode” button.

1.1 Battery

You will find one of the batteries in the camera with the side marked with SD1 / SD2 at the top.

Make sure the camera is turned off before removing the battery.

1.1.1 Charging the Battery

To check the charge, turn on the camera.

Both batteries come fully charged. The photo above shows a battery charge of 90%.

You can recharge the battery by connecting the GoPro Fusion camera, with battery inside, to a power source connecting the USB-C port (open small door above “Mode” button) using the USB-C to USB-A cable supplied with your Trek Pack to a power source.

1.2 SD cards

You will also find a microSD (marked “1”) in the SD1 slot, and, as you might have guessed, the microSD card marked 2 into the SD2 slot.

The cards are formatted to each slot, and must always be replaced in the corresponding slot otherwise the camera will show an error when turned on.

Perhaps confusingly SD2 captures photos taken by the front camera, and SD1 the rear camera. This will become important later.

1.3 Storage

To keep the lenses protected, cover the camera with the lens cloth, place inside the case and close the case when you’re not shooting. Try not to rest anything on the case or put pressure on the case (e.g. in a backpack) when not in use.

2. Important Camera Settings

The GoPro Fusion has a myriad of settings. This document is only designed to cover the ones we think are most important for shooting panoramic tours.

Your camera will come preconfigured with many of the recommended settings, but it is worth double checking these.

If you want to delve into the cameras full capabilities, see the official GoPro Fusion manual here.

2.1 GPS

In order to map your images, they must be geotagged. The GoPro Fusion will automatically add latitude, longitude and altitude data to your images if this setting is enabled (and the camera can lock on to a GPS signal).

By default, this is enabled. You can toggle the settings under the Settings menu.

Before shooting, check the marker icon is block coloured (not just an outline). This confirms the camera has locked on to a GPS signal.

2.1.1 GPS: A word of warning

Sometimes the GoPro Fusion will lock onto a GPS signal immediately after being turned on. In many cases, we have found this is a bug and will cause all the photos to be tagged with the same coordinates.

We have observed this happening when the camera is warm (e.g has been restarted after already shooting).

If your camera locks onto a GPS signal immediately, we recommend you turn off the GPS setting under the Setting menu, select save, and then toggle it on, and select save. We have found this prevents any corruption of GPS tagging.

2.2 Time / Data

Make sure the camera time and date is set correctly to your timezone. You can change the camera time / date under the Settings menu.

The GoPro Fusion will timestamp each photo with two times, 1) the time set on the camera, and 2) the time reported by GPS. It is not a critical problem if the timestamps differ, however, differences in timestamps can cause avoidable issues later on for other pieces of software.

2.3 Shooting mode

The GoPro supports both video and still image photography.

At present we use still imagery to create panoramic tours (versus video).

This is for 2 reasons;

  1. Video is energy intensive and quickly drains the battery

  2. Video files are large and are hard to edit without professional equipment

The GoPro Fusion’s time-lapse photo mode allows can be used to create tours capturing photos at either 0.5sec, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 second intervals.

This means you can start the time-lapse and let the camera capture photos at the designated intervals automatically.

As a rough guide, set to a 5 second interval on a mild day (16°C), a fully charged battery can support up to 4 hours of shooting. Both batteries provided will therefore keep you shooting for a whole day.

Ideally to create a tour that’s easy to navigate virtually, you want to capture photos no more than 5 metre apart.

Below are recommendations, based on our experience, for the best timelapse setting for the mode of transport you’ll be using.

Timelapse setting (secs)

Sport

0.5

Downhill sports (skiing, MTB, etc)

1

Bi-cyling (flat), kayaking (downstream)

2

Hiking (downhill)

5

Hiking (uphill), walking, paddleboarding

You can modify the timelapse setting under the Settings > Timelapse.

When switching to shoot in timelapse mode, you will see the time interval shown too.

2.3.1 High-speed timelapses (0.5 seconds): A word of warning

Travelling at over 30 km/h (8.333 metres /s) is about the recommended top end speed for the 0.5 second timelapse mode. You can still use it for tour photography (and the shutter speed will support it) but your photos will be more than 5 metres apart (above the recommended Street View distance).

2.4 Sound

You can turn on sound to indicate key actions on the camera (when a tour is started or stopped, the camera is turned on or off, etc.).

This is a particularly useful setting when the battery runs out (so you don’t continue trekking, to realise the camera ran out of battery -- lesson learned).

You can toggle sound under the Settings menu.

2.5 Protune

GoPro Protune allows you to modify all kinds of settings like the shutter speed, exposure compensation, white balance, color profiles, ISO and sharpness, etc.

We recommend leaving Protune turned off if you plan to upload to Google Street View. Google will reject photos that it detects are overly stylised. We have heard reports that Protune colour settings can occasionally lead to rejected photos for this reason.

You can modify the Protune setting under the Settings > Timelapse.

2.6 Voice Control

You can enable the GoPro Fusion’s voice control (think Siri, Google Assistant, etc.). This allows you to start capturing time-lapses by saying, “GoPro Start Time Lapse”. A full list of voice commands can be viewed here.

We set voice commands to off by default. If you can easily reach the start or stop button on the camera, it’s a more foolproof way of starting or stopping capture. The voice commands can be temperamental and in loud areas (or on windy days) voice commands might not work at all.

You can toggle voice controls under the Settings menu.

If you do opt to use the voice commands, don’t forget to set the timelapse settings correctly first because you can’t do this using voice control.

Oh and, “GoPro That Was Sick”, is also useful for keeping a personal record of interesting things you see on your journey.

2.7 Limitations

2.7.1 Waterproofing (rain)

Whilst the GoPro is waterproof, rain poses a problem. It won’t damage the camera, however, even in light rain showers droplets will form on the lens. Not only are these visible in the photos, raindrops also cause issues with the camera's ability to focus correctly leading to blurred photos.

In short, we don’t recommend shooting in the rain.

2.7.2 Waterproofing (underwater)

The GoPro Fusion is waterproof rated down to 5 metres.

However, diving with the camera poses a few issues:

  • GPS does not work underwater

  • The way lighting works underwater means water directly on the lens will cause stitching issues

Read this blog post for more information: https://www.trekview.org/blog/2020/underwater-google-street-view

If you do want to shoot underwater, please contact us at hq@trekview.org. We do have some experience of shooting down to 50 metres and can provide loans/recommendations for additional kit to support shooting underwater.

2.7.3 Storage

This is less of a concern, but I’ll point it out anyway.

The 64GB memory cards should hold around 40,000 photos each (40,000 stitched photos).

You shouldn’t need to worry about space running out.

One word of warning though; just deleting photos from the SD cards will not delete them entirely. The SD cards have a hidden .trashes folder which stores a copy of the deleted photos (useful for recovery).

You’ll be able to see the available time or photo capacity on the LCD screen on the camera (e.g “48k” in the photo above, meaning space for 48,000 photos remaining). This will take into account the .trashes folder size.

To permanently delete the .trashes folder and free up the space, you can insert the SD cards into your computer (using the USB adaptor supplied) and selecting “Empty trash” on your computer (the same “Empty trash” function you would use to delete files locally).

Before sending out a camera we try and ensure the drives are completely wiped, but it is worth double checking this.

3. Setting up the Pack

3.1 Securing the Monopod

You’ll notice on the left side of the backpack (if looking from the non-strap side) there are two elasticated hooks.

Release both of these.

Place the monopod into the elasticated side pouch the with the flat side facing inwards toward the pack. Place some padding material (a pair of sports socks are perfect) to fill out the elasticated pouch and keep the monopod from moving around when moving around whilst shooting.

Now secure both of the straps around the monopod, ensuring that the top two release clasps on the monopod are above the top strap (so both can be extended).

Now tighten both straps.

3.2 Check the Shooting Angle

Now, extend the monopod to it’s full extension.

Attach the camera to the monopod, ensuring the ps close to vertical (in line with the pole) as possible. It doesn’t need to be perfect, you can always adjust when processing the images.

For reference, the back of the camera is the side with the LCD screen (this should be facing backwards).

Tighten the camera into position. Just twist until it feels secure. Don’t be tempted to overtighten as doing so will eventually break the nut securing the screw.

You’ll notice an adjustable wheel that loosens the screw that attaches the GoPro mount to the monopod. Loosen this slightly so you can rotate the GoPro Fusion to line up parallel to the back of the pack. That is, the camera should face straight ahead of the pack.

Don’t worry too much about making either the pitch (up / down) or yaw (left / right) of the camera perfect as you can compensate for directional changes during processing.