Vlogging has been existing for quite a while, but it became a very famous means of making content when Youtube was introduced in 2005. Making high-quality video content should be everyone’s main goal whether you vlog to demonstrate a product, record your adventures or even advertise your business. This is where a good camera comes into play.
Maybe not for you but for many aspiring vloggers, having seen famous vloggers use regular camcorders and DSLRs, a question might arise: Can you use an action camera for vlogging? To answer it in short, Definitely! With its small compact size, you can bring it anywhere. It’s also built with many amazing features including a built-in Wi-Fi to transfer video files and different video modes to make creative videos, and not to mention the waterproof and shockproof capabilities.
What To Look For When Buying An Action Camera For Vlogging
Of course, the first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you buy the best action camera that suits your vlogging needs. Here are some important features to look for.
Low Light Performance
This feature is useful when shooting videos in low light conditions, like nighttime and foggy days. Also, consider an action camera with a good quality lens and a large sensor to capture light.
Optical Image Stabilization
You’ll need this feature to shoot videos when in motion. A good optical image stabilization decreases the probability of shooting a shaky image. The Sony FDR X3000 is perhaps the best action camera with a balanced optical steady shot that I’ve seen.
Another thing that’s as important as the image quality when making videos is the sound quality. Look for a good external microphone to capture the best audio when making videos.
Time Lapse And Slow Motion
These two features may not be useful when making a basic talking head vlog but they give the versatility that you need.
Setting Up The Action Camera
The right setup of the action camera is key to making the best quality video. One advantage of using an action camera is you can set it up on a bike or any flat surface. Mount the action camera to the area with the least vibrations, like the seat post or below the handlebars of a bike.
Use the wide settings of the camera when mounting it on a bike. Don’t forget to bring the setup equipment to make sure that the camera is rightly set. For better stability, use the stick the mounts and bring spare sticky mounts to keep it stable.
For the best results, try mounting the action camera firmly on a tripod. I recommend the JOBY GorillaPod Tripod which has flexible and ultra-stable legs.
Which Action Camera Should You Choose For Vlogging?
When we talk about top action cameras, GoPro is the brand that you might already know. It is of superior quality, yet affordable considering the range of features it offers. Though there are a lot of action cameras in the market today and much cheaper, many vloggers still use GoPro due to a lot of advantages. I personally recommend the GoPro Hero8 as the best action camera for vlogging (Check current price).
Advantages of GoPro
Let us now consider some advantages of the GoPro camera which makes it the best action camera for vlogging.
GoPros are designed in small, compact sizes making them ideal for vlogging. They’re easy to bring in your pocket anywhere and don’t need a bulky camera bag as other cameras do. Since this camera is small, you can use it in public without being noticed.
Most of the cameras I used before have poor quality sound so I need to purchase an external microphone. Not only does it cost an extra penny but it also means bringing another piece of equipment to the site. With the GoPro camera, you can capture a better audio quality even in windy areas.
Superb Image Quality
GoPro offers a 4k resolution, which is very impressive given its small size and affordable price. A 4k resolution allows you to record videos in high video quality with superb details. Compared to lower resolutions, 4k makes your videos look crisp even when viewed on a big television.
If you equip the GoPro with the proper protective gear, this camera would be unbreakable. This action camera can be used in rugged conditions, even underwater. The latest model can still function even 10 meters below the ocean.
There’s no camera that offers all the features that you need for vlogging. Even the most expensive cameras need accessories to make them perfect. However, GoPro can produce results similar to some high-end cameras at a lower cost. It’s perfect for vlog beginners because it requires minimal extra equipment.
Drawbacks Of A GoPro
Just like any other electronic device, the GoPro isn’t perfect. It’s built with a few drawbacks. Here are some of them.
Average Battery Life
GoPros are tiny and shoot high-quality videos, so you can’t expect them to have outstanding battery life. To make sure that you don’t run out of power, carry some extra batteries. Of course, you need to ensure that the model you choose gives the option to exchange batteries.
Lack of Stability
Some GoPro models have no image stabilization so make sure that you look for one. People are usually used to the shakiness of vlogs so some people might not consider this as a disadvantage. However, if you want more stability, use a gimbal or securely set up the camera with sticky mounts.
No Flip Screen
A flip screen allows you to see what you’re recording. GoPro may lack this feature but it’s not a big deal. You’ll realize that using an action camera without a flip screen can be liberating because you’ll not be distracted to check the screen all the time.
Using The GoPro Field Of Views
The Field of View setting allows you to choose different zoom-in levels. If you zoom in, a certain amount of images will begin to get cropped. Think of it as the zoom ring on DSLR camera lenses.
There are three options you can select- normal, medium, and narrow. Some GoPro models offer a Superview option. Which captures the vertical action To zoom in, you can use the Medium or Narrow options.
Action cameras tend to produce a fish-eye-like effect because they have wide-angle lenses. That’s nice for action scenes but not for general use. If you don’t want the fisheye style, you can select between linear and wide shooting modes.
A linear shooting mode is great for normal videos. It also gives you a more natural look when shooting landscape videos and a faraway subject. However, it can’t be used for timewarp videos.
Tips For Maximizing Your GoPro Camera for Vlogging
Use Natural Light
According to most experts, beginners usually fail to invest heavily on the lighting aspect. To make a good quality video, use natural light as much as you can. Make sure that the light source is either behind or to the side of the action camera.
Get A Software
You might not need software to create a video but you may find it important when making edits. Good software will let you add background music on the video or help you create richer visual content. Any video editing software will be enough, but I suggest the [Final Cut Pro X] (https://www.apple.com/vn/final-cut-pro/).
As much as possible, avoid zooming in for close-ups. The image tends to lose its quality and tends to be shakier. Instead, move closer to the image to get a close-up. Hold the action camera with two hands for more steadiness.
Get The Right Accessories
There are many accessories available for you to maximize the use of your action camera. Getting the right one depends on your needs. Aside from an SD card, you need a protective case for protection from harmful elements outdoors.
It’s also a good idea to purchase a windscreen to solve any wind problems. Straps and mounts are necessary for secure setups anywhere.
If the image stabilization feature isn’t enough to keep your videos from shaking, try using a gimbal. This instrument will keep your action camera from moving. There are a lot of gimbals out there and the best ones are the Dobot Rigiet which are compatible with most GoPro cameras.
Start Vlogging With An Action Camera Today!
With your GoPro, not only will you get the portability that you need but you’ll also be able to shoot high-resolution videos in different lighting conditions. An action camera might not produce the smoothest results but you can use a gimbal to bring more stability.