Action cameras have become quite an important part of the videography today. There was a time when they were mostly used by the amateurs. However, today, they find their use in the professional setups as well. Sometimes, they are also used to shoot certain dramatic scenes in the big budget movies as well. Example, the latest box office movie “Hardcore Henry” (IMDB – 7) was shot in GoPro cameras with real stunt persons. Check out the making of HH below!
These cameras are not very expensive, but they can shoot some really stunning videos. These are the cameras that are used for shooting while in motion. Especially if you are looking to shoot at high speeds where the camera is also moving at the same speed, you will need the action cameras. While you can start using the action camera the moment you buy it, to get great quality videos you will need a bit of learning. Here are some quick list of GoPro Hero tips and tricks for you.
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10 Best GoPro Hero Tips and Tricks That You Should Know
1. Tie it With A Tape
There are several expensive and really fancy mounts available in the market for the action cameras like GoPro. However, you don’t always need to buy them. In fact, you can use some DIY techniques to create really good mounts all by yourself.
What you need is simple items that are easily available at home including a tape for old cloth and cable ties. In fact, they offer better mounting possibilities. You can also avoid vibration using the rubber pads.
2. Buy a Version Down
You would see new versions of the cameras coming up every year, Like GoPro 4, Hero 4+ and Hero 5. They come prefixed with the thing like ‘Hero’, ‘+’ and sometimes an updated version like “8.1 to 8.2.” It is very obvious to get tempted to buy the most recent equipment.
However, you may not always need it. For instance, there is GoPro 4+ (AKA GoPro Hero Black / Silver) in the market. If you are aiming to buy 4 Silver go for 4 Black instead. This is because you will get almost all the features and if there are any features missing you will probably not even need it. But there sure will be a significant amount of saving.
3. Always Carry A Power Bank With you
If you have planned a visit whose duration could last for multiple days, it is best that you carry the charger and lots of spare batteries with you. Extensive shooting will use up the battery pretty fast. If you have the backup, you have the peace of mind. Especially if your trip involves lots of outdoor shooting, with only 1hr 30 minutes of lifespan and you will definitely want the extra batteries.
During indoor shooting, you may still find the power supply but not outdoors. Also, make sure that the batteries that are used up are charged at the first opportunity you get.
4. Learn To Do Video Set It Up
Many times you will want to use slow motion for dramatic effect. First of all, make sure that your camera is set to HD recording mode at 1080p resolution. Secondly, choose the correct frame rate for better results. For slow motion, anything between 25fps to 50fps is great. But if you are using higher frame rate, such as 50fps, then you will need to convert it into slow motion yourself.
You might have heard from the camera manufacturers, such as GoPro that they have the 4k resolution capabilities. However, with higher resolution, the frame rate will decrease and come down to as low as 15fps. This is not exactly very usable.
If you are mounting the camera on your bike, you will want to use either the wide setting or the super wide setting. But the super wide setting is not available with all cameras. Only high-end cameras feature it. Therefore, if you plan to use super wide settings quite often, purchase the camera accordingly.
Also, do not forget that if you are using super wide setting, the quality loss will happen. This is one of the best GoPro Hero camera tips and tricks will handy at anywhere.
Essential Reading: Essential Guide On How To Create A GoPro Time Lapse Video?
5. Buy Additional Extention Arm/Stick
Most of the stick mounts can be used only with one setting. This means that if you have used it once, you may not be able to use it again. This is why it is always better to buy a few spare ones.
If you are on a long trip where you will need to use different settings for shooting, spare stick mounts will come quite handy. If you happen to spot a great opportunity to use the stick, you will not want to regret that you did not carry a few spare of them.
6. Buy The Right Memory Card
Most of the action cameras use the Micro SD card for video storage. Some of them even support the capacity as high as 128 GB. However, using memory cards with higher storage is not a good idea. You will experience issues with reliability especially if you have been shooting for a long time.
Therefore, it is best that you go for highest 32 GB storage. But make sure that you have a lot of Micro SD cards so that you don’t have to constrain yourself while shooting. If the storage issue is in the back of your mind, the quality of the shoot may also get influenced. This is one of the most useful action camera tips and tricks you can use. Also, carry a laptop with you so that you can transfer the videos on the hard drive for safety.
7. Know How To Control The Brightness
When you are shooting outdoors, a clear sky could be a blessing. However, if the sun is too bright, then it can affect the quality of the shoot. This is why you will want to make sure that you have the natural density filter handy with you. This filter can be used with the front lens for better effects. Neutral density filter helps you capture smoother video as it slows down the shutter speed of the camera.
It also helps in reducing the banding that you see on the footage. Buy the neutral density filter that can be installed from outside over the front lens. This recommendation is safe among the best action camera tips and tricks because it can significantly enhance the quality of the footage. The filter does not have to be too expensive. There are many affordable and good quality neutral density filters available in the market.
8. Turn Off LCD To Save Power
One of the main reason you are reading this because you want to save your GoPro battery life. A lot of people do not have the idea how much power the LCD display can consume.
If your action camera has an inbuilt LCD or you bought an add-on, it is best to kill it while shooting. The action shots really do not require you to look into the LCD. They will only drain the battery faster. Action cameras have a very wide field of view. This means that the lens will anyway capture just about everything which is ahead of it.
9. Know How To Override The Wind
Capturing the sound does get tricky with the action cameras. Especially during the high-speed shooting, the wind that will swoosh past the mic of the camera will produce the sound similar to static.
If you are big on capturing the acceptable quality sound for certain footages, you will want to make sure that the camera angle is with the wind.
You can club the camera with the external microphones, but you may still not get the desired sound quality. The truth is that if you need high-quality sound, you will need to spend money on the high-quality equipment as well.
10. Get The Perfect Wide Angle Shot
One final GoPro tips is that you should know to make your picture footages better. When you are shooting at the 1080p resolution and frame rate of anything equal to or more than 30fps, you will get multiple options for the field of view including narrow, medium and wide.
Most of the people tend to use the wide angle as they feel it captures most of the action. Also, during cropping of the video, the resolution isn’t lost. But this is something most of the people get wrong. The action cameras offer a very wide field of view which could be as large as 170 degrees. This definitely allows you to capture a lot of things in a single frame it also causes distortion around the edges. When you have the option to use the narrow-angle, do so. There will be no pixel degradation.
Also, Read this: 10 Best GoPro Alternatives That Are Equally Great