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GoPro Spot Meter & Exposure Control: All Model Guide (How to Use)

The Auto Exposure setting on GoPro does a great job. But for a more professional look, you can lock the exposure. On some GoPros, this feature is called Spot Meter. In others, it is known as Exposure Control. The Spot Meter feature is found inside the Exposure function.

Here’s how to use spot metering on your GoPro. And where to find this feature on every GoPro model.

gopro spot meter

What is GoPro Spot Meter?

Spot metering is used to correct exposures in high-contract settings. By manually choosing the exposure, you can ensure that the subject is correctly exposed.

Later in the post, you’ll find videos that show side-by-side comparisons of both auto and manual spot metering.

GoPro cameras offer the Spot Metering option on most of their cameras.

Which GoPros Have Spot Meter Feature?

Technically, you can find the Spot Meter feature on virtually every GoPro model.

Here are the GoPro models with the Spot Meter option.

  • Hero5 Session
  • Hero4 Black
  • Hero4 Silver 
  • Hero4 Session
  • Hero3+ Black 
  • Hero3+ Silver
  • Hero3 Black
  • Hero3 Silver
  • Hero3 White
  • Hero+ 
  • Hero+ LCD
  • Hero 

And here are the newer GoPro cameras that have the Spot Meter feature inside of the versatile Exposure Control Menu.

  • Hero12 Black
  • Hero11 Black
  • Hero10 Black
  • Hero9 Black
  • Hero8 Black
  • GoPro Max 
  • Hero7 Black, Silver, White
  • Hero (2018)
  • Hero6 Black
  • Hero5 Black

Here are the GoPro cameras that don’t have the Spot Meter option:

  • GoPro Fusion
  • GoPro SD Hero (3MP and 5MP)

How to Use Spot Meter on GoPro

Here’s when to use spot metering on the older GoPro cameras.

Note: If you have a newer GoPro (Hero5 Black or newer), you’ll want to scroll down to the Exposure Control section.

Should I Turn on GoPro Spot Meter?

This is a creative choice. By selecting Spot Meter, you’re forcing the center of the frame to be correctly exposed.

While this is great if your subject is always in the center of the frame, remember that other details maybe not be correctly exposed. This includes other people, the sky, and background detail.

how to use gopro spot meter

Here’s how to improve your GoPro photography.

What is GoPro Exposure Control?

Exposure Control is a GoPro feature that allows you to determine the part of the image to prioritize for exposure. This feature is primarily for high-contrast settings, where your image could be over or underexposed.

Do new GoPro cameras have Spot Meter feature? On the newer models of GoPro cameras, Spot Meter is a feature within the Exposure Control menu.

Which GoPros Have Exposure Control Feature?

  • Hero12 Black
  • Hero11 Black
  • Hero10 Black
  • Hero9 Black
  • MAX
  • Hero8 Black
  • Hero7 (White, Silver, Black)
  • Hero (2018)
  • Hero6 Black
  • Hero5 Black
  • Karma Controller

How to Use Exposure Control on GoPro

It’s pretty simple to use Exposure Control on your GoPro.

  1. Tap and hold the display until a square appears.
  2. You can drag the square to set the exposure level. Place it over a bright section to darken the whole image. Or place it over a dark part of the image and lighten it all up.
  3. Tap “Auto Exposure” at the bottom of the screen to “Locked Exposure.”
  4. Important: Tap the checkmark to accept the setting. If you forget the checkmark, it won’t hold your exposure setting.

The result of the exposure changes is immediately displayed on your camera screen. This helps to tweak the exposure to get your best shot.

gopro exposure control
Don’t forget to tap the checkmark to accept your locked exposure in Exposure Control menu

Here’s an excerpt from the manual for the Hero9 Black.

Press the touch screen until a set of brackets with a dot in the middle appears in the center of the screen. This is the Spot Meter. It will base the exposure on the center of the shot.

Hero9 Black Manual, page 75 (link opens pdf in new tab)
gopro auto exposure
Once selecting your exposure, by moving the Spot Meter box, tap the box again to lock it.

How to Use Exposure Control on GoPro Hero 10

Here’s how to use Exposure Control on the Hero10 black.

How to Use Exposure Control on Hero7, Hero8, Hero9

Here’s a simple tutorial for using Exposure Control on Hero7 through 9 cameras.

Exposure Control on Hero5, 6, 7

Here’s what the menu looks like on the older Hero5, Hero6, and Hero7 cameras.

This video has some great side-by-side comparisons of before/after using the exposure control, spot meter feature.

Just how waterproof is your waterproof device? Learn more: IPX Waterproof Rating Chart

spot meter gopro

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Your Turn

When do you use Spot Metering or Exposure Control on your GoPro? Have a tip for better exposure? Join me below!