There is a specific reason most people are huge fans of the GoPro action camera series:
The large number of features and the amazing versatility it offers.
Not only the people associated with action sports but also simple video enthusiasts opt for a GoPro due to its durability and ease of use. Although the inherent features of GoPro make shooting videos of high quality a cakewalk, there sure are some tips and tricks that can help you make better use of your GoPro. I will share some of these tips and tricks for filming videos with your GoPro in this article.
Since GoPro is a camera mainly used for action sports, professional action and extreme sportsmen use the GoPro extensively to shoot their moves. With continuous use, they have mastered its use and that is evident from the quality of the videos they shoot, as you see here.
Now I am not suggesting that your video quality needs to match those of the professionals. But keeping in mind the below GoPro tips, you can still make the best use of your GoPro.
Mount it well
One of the accessories you’ll be using a lot will be a mount for your GoPro. You must choose the right place to mount the camera. To figure that out, test different places for the appropriate angle and smooth shots.
For example if you are snowboarding, a front POV might not be a great shooting angle. You want to record any tricks or special moves that you make. So what do you do? You either ask one of your friends to film your moves for you. Or, you use a GoPole with the camera mounted as shown in the video below
If you’re shooting video while biking, make sure you mount the GoPro on the top front side of the helmet. This will give you a better POV than the handle mount.
Eventually, you will figure out the most favorable position through trial and error.
Ensure stability of the camera
You might be wondering what has stability got to do with an action cam. With so much movement that has to be recorded, what does stability mean here?
When you are recording something from the sidelines or taking photos, a tripod helps a great deal in achieving the desired stability. Moreover, a GoPro is compatible with a lot of third party accessories to keep the camera stable and thus prevent the shakiness of the hands.
In cases where you’re recording while in motion, a lot of stability can be obtained with the use of gimbals. Basically powered gimbals. They contain motors that counter the motion of the hands that causes unstable videos.
However, I would still go for a good quality mount while shooting POV videos in extreme sports like mountain-biking or snowboarding.
Choosing the best angle
Shooting with the correct angle is extremely important when you’re looking to record action videos with the GoPro. It comes with a default wide angle view which is very useful in capturing a comprehensive part of the action. Even then you must be open to change the angles and orientation of the camera.
Sometimes you may want to record with the camera facing you or backward for a different effect. Like when you’re biking, you might want to mount the camera in the rear facing backward. The perspective and the angle selected would give a different view which can be a new experience.
Newer versions of the GoPro offer the option of using 3 fields of view : the ultra-wide view, the medium view and the narrow view. Depending upon the occasion, you might want to choose either of them. While the ultra-wide view offers almost like a fish eye view, the narrow view offers a more regular image.
The ultra wide-view works really well in shooting videos when you want to cover a wide angle. For example, if you’re taking a video of the spectators during a football match. Or when you’re recording a video of the horizon. You can get the entire horizon in view.
The narrow view is perfect for shooting a more focused video.
Optimizing the settings and Using Protune
Without a doubt, the automatic settings in the GoPro are very good and you don’t need to make changes in them most of the time. However if you are well versed with camcorders and are looking to customize your shooting experience, you can play a bit with the settings manually.
What changes can you make in the settings manually?
It gives you the option of choosing the resolution of the videos. You can either select 4K quality at 30p or 2.7K at 60p. Videos of these resolutions are of very high quality and also take up a lot of data space. So, if you’re looking to shoot high profile and professional videos keep the setting as 4K or 2.7K. For regular and quick sharing purposes, 1080p is more than sufficient.
You can also make changes in the aspect ratio. Some experts suggest choosing different aspect ratios for different scenarios and effects. However I prefer the standard ratio of 16:9 which is pretty much the standard these days.
If you are well versed with modifying and selecting the settings of the GoPro, for advanced modifications in the settings, you can try using the Protune feature. It is a flagship software for editing of GoPro videos.
Protune offers a toned down basic image which can then be used to make changes additional changes in the graphics. You can read more about it here or can watch the video below.
Editing The Right Way
A short burst of extreme action can be a great treat to watch especially if you have shot it with the GoPro action camera. Take for example a mountain biker riding downhill on a treacherous path. With a GoPro attached to the bike handle, it would be an exciting watch.
On the other hand, watching a video of a cycle race might not be a very interesting video to watch. The same video if shot using a mixture of settings, angles, close-ups, handheld shots, POV and conventional long shots can make a boring video into an interesting experience.
Editing can be done by using GoPro’s flagship editing software GoPro Studio 2.0 for combining different short videos of different styles. Bonus Tip : Keep the videos short. Studies have shown shorter the videos, greater is the impact.
Using Filters To Improve Visuals
This tip is mainly for filmmakers and videographers who want to add a professional touch to the videos. If you do not have much experience in editing videos, you might want to keep away from using filters.
Using filters to improve photo and video quality is fairly common. But that is in case of the final finished image or video. Take for instance the various filtering apps available on Android. The filters that we are talking about of here are to improve the video quality right from the start, offering better views in different scenarios.
For example, for shooting better quality videos underwater you can use a red filter to balance the blue-green color effect. Further, use a neutral density filter for shooting in extremely bright surrounding; this filter reduces the shutter speed and reduces the jarring image quality.
Utilize Burst And Time Lapse To The Full Extent
Though primarily GoPro cameras are known for their video-capture capabilities, they can also function as great photo taking devices. The Hero4 Black and Silver and the Hero5 models offer varied time-lapse and burst modes for taking images. This is a great added feature. Burst Images can be combined together to offer an action-like sequence between the videos. This offers a great new additional feature to the videos.
Similarly the time lapse mode helps in capturing a live scene in a fast-moving animation, thus adding an extra aspect to the videos.
These were some of the tips and tricks that you can use to gain more from your GoPro, especially if you are an experienced GoPro user and want to make the best use of your GoPro.