Wearable action cameras will let you capture excitement-packed footage in a way that's simply impossible with a conventional standalone cam. Whether you're looking for incredible slow-mo shots or an awe-inspiring time-lapse, a decent action cam makes it all easy.
Now, we're not saying you have to recreate something as jaw-dropping as Felix Baumgartner's space jump or backflipping over a canyon on your bike, but if a cycle around the park is about as extreme as you like to get, then you can at least make sure that you're set up properly to nab some footage.
And once you've picked up a device, you're going to want to learn how to make the most of it. Here are some tips to help you shooting amazing Gopro videos.
Check your angles
Action cameras tend to have very wide angle lenses to pack in as much activity and scenery as possible. When shooting at 1080p, the latest GoPro offers wide, medium or narrow fields of view - we reckon the narrow or medium options are best as the lens is so wide anyway, and the extra-wide setting tends to result in a 'barrel effect' with lots of distortion around the edges.
You'll also need to think about the physical angle you want for your shot – POV (point of view) or anything that you wouldn't be able to see normally is best here. If you're setting up a shot where the camera will be static, use any natural light to your advantage, whether that's highlighting the object you're filming, or creating shadows and silhouettes.
Make the most of the Fisheye Lens
The good news about that wide angle lens is you can use it to get some really great fisheye still images. Even better news (perhaps) is that this is great for selfies as you can fit lots of background in behind your gurning visage. This is where a pole like the GoPole Grenade Grip comes in handy, letting you take a snap at arm's length.
You don't want to get faces too close to the camera or you'll end up looking like a reflection on the back of a spoon. This rule does absolutely not apply to animals where the rule is, well, 'the closer, the better'. You simply can't lose with a close-up photo, or even a video, of a dog's inquisitive snout looming towards the camera.
Get your' filter on
Filters that will improve your films rather than just making them look like they were made in the seventies. There are several options to choose from - in particular a red filter makes a big difference when you're filming underwater
If you're filming in very bright daylight, such as a snowy landscape, then a Neutral Density filter is the way to go. This slows down the shutter speed of the camera to ensure that footage is as smooth as possible without being overexposed.
Check your settings
Most of the settings can usually be left on auto, letting the camera do the brainy stuff for you. However, if you want to tinker, GoPro cams will let you choose the white balance from 3000k for low light settings up to 6500k for places with lots of white light, like a brightly lit room or outside on a sunny day. You can also play with exposure and sharpness, if you're that way inclined.
Depending on which camera you're using, it's likely that you'll have a choice of shooting resolutions ranging from WVGA (too low-quality for most) up to 4K (massive, but not really that usable because of the ropey frame rates). You're best opting for something in the middle - good ol' 16:9 1080p is the perfect middle ground.
There's an incredible selection of mounts available for action cams, ranging from the GoPro Fetch for dogs to mic stand mounts and clamps for surfboards, heads and handlebars. And don't be afraid to go lo-fi with some gaffer tape – it'll keep things extra secure and help you adjust your shooting angle, if need be.
Taping things securely can also help dampen vibration. Using a helmet mount will give you a great POV but you'll look like a plank – a chest harness is much more stable and will look ever so slightly less stupid.
--Reprinted from Wareable.com
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