But...what is it?
An often overlooked feature, looping is available on the majority of GoPro cameras and can be a valuable asset for specific usage scenarios. Simply put, Looping video enables continuous video recording; overwriting the beginning of your video to allow for new footage to be captured, which can help to conserve space on your microSD card.
Alright, then when should I use it?
It's perfect for situations in which you think something of importance (examples: capturing your child's first successful backflip on the trampoline, a fender bender) is going to happen, but you're not sure if/when it will. Let's run with the first example: sure, you can grab your 64 GB microSD card, set the camera up and let it run until the card is full. But what if your child has yet to nail the perfect backflip? You're in the position of having to pause the fun, and reformat the SD card to clear space. Here's where Looping comes in; you can set the camera to record in various intervals (5, 20, 60, 120 minutes and MAX--more on this later) and capture a smaller portion of time, while the camera takes care of the SD card space conservation automatically!
NOTE: Protune cannot be enabled for Looping.
Set me up for success.
Simple, right? Yes, but there are some things to keep in mind:
1. SD Card Space - We've all done it. We've recorded fantastic videos and photos from that epic family barbecue (last June), and tidbits of footage from the 13 other events that followed, and they're still on the card. Looping will overwrite footage from the same recording but not those forgotten prior precious moments. We still recommend that you loop with a relatively clear SD card. The last thing you want is to not be able to select a long enough interval for your activity.
2. Choose the Appropriate Interval - The camera provides Looping intervals of 5, 20, 60, 120 minutes and MAX. If you're just trying to get a successful backflip, 5 minutes should provide more than enough footage (before, during, after). Waiting for your friend to walk into their surprise party, and still want to capture the pre- and post-"SURPRISE!" shenanigans? 20 or 60 minute intervals might be a bit more appropriate. The interval determines the approximate length of video that you'll have after you stop recording.
The MAX setting means that the camera will continue to record until your SD card is essentially full. If you opt to use the maximum interval, we strongly advise formatting the camera's SD card (HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, HERO4 Black & Silver, HERO4 Session, HERO+ LCD, HERO3/+) prior to initiating recording.
3. Chaptering - If you've ever recorded a GoPro video longer than 15-20 minutes and then reviewed it on your computer, you're likely familiar with chaptering; it's how the camera splits a longer (continuous) video recording into smaller files.
For example: a HERO4 with Looping set to a 20 minute interval will divide your video into 5-minute chapters. So we start our recording, and we hit 20m:0s, what happens then? The goal is to make sure that you always have at least 20 minutes of footage to work with after you stop the recording.
A few minutes pass and the camera continues to record, then we get to about 24m:59s--just before we fill up another 5-minute chapter--your GoPro will automatically delete the first chapter (the footage recorded in the first 5 minutes) to complete that 25th minute, and continue recording. If we were to let the video run for another three minutes, we'd end up with a total of 23 minutes of video footage, from our total elapsed time of 28 minutes.