GoPro tips for beginners
13th May, 2020 |
The GoPro camera makes adventure last forever. You don’t have to rely on memory to capture all those heart-stopping moments on a mountain bike or a kayak or trekking up a mountain – the GoPro records it all for you to watch and share.
But how do you get started with the GoPro? It’s such a versatile gadget, it takes time to understand all its different functions. Let’s run through some tips for successful snapping.
Choose the right model for your needs
The crucial thing to remember when choosing a GoPro is that you’re going to need to store the footage you shoot. The fanciest GoPro with the highest 4K resolution might not actually be the best option for you – leave the highest resolution to the pros.
For the most part, 1080p or 1440p footage is perfectly adequate. Filming in higher resolution can be harder to play with – editing, moving from device to device, uploading. Whatever model you go for, this is an out-of-doors camera so be sure to get gadget insurance to cover against risks like theft or damage.
If you do opt for a pricier model, the GoPro’s HyperSmooth stabilisation feature is a real joy. Your footage will look smooth and sleek.
Use a red filter underwater
Catching a tranquil underwater scene on a GoPro is a great thing to do, but without a filter it can look green and murky. The filter – redder the deeper you go – snaps out the gloom and gives brilliantly bright, vivid footage.
Next time you head out with a GoPro and a snorkel, don’t forget your ruby-red filters.
Don’t binge-buy accessories
When you start out, it’s easy to get excited about your GoPro and stock up on tons of accessories, without really knowing what you are doing.
It’s a good idea to take your time, experiment with the camera then make some judicious decisions about what accessories will really work for you. Don’t forget to include the value of accessories in your gadget insurance, too!
Many accessories such as mounts can be bought in highly versatile multifunctional designs, meaning you only need one, not a dozen. The GoPro 3-in-1 mount is worth considering – it can be used as a tripod, extension arm or camera grip.
Learn about lighting settings
When you get your first GoPro, you want to head out and shoot footage of the fascinating world around you – this is understandable, but a bit of time spent figuring out the settings is a good idea!
A key element to understand is the relationship between frame rate and lighting. It works a bit like traditional frame exposure – if you want to use a high frame rate (120 or 240fps) then you need good, strong light.
Use 24fps in low light, or bring your own artificial lighting. It’s also a good idea to look up tips for the specific site you wish to film in before you head out, to avoid disappointing results.
Use the GoPro app
Sometimes gadgets have apps that feel a bit like going through the motions – not so with the GoPro app. It’s an easy, smooth way to add themes, music and effects, transfer wirelessly to your phone, adjust settings, start recording and more. It even gives you tips to improve your shot composition.
The other cool thing about the GoPro app is that it interfaces with social media platforms seamlessly. Perfect for making your friends jealous about your wild times, without delay!
Monitor battery use
There’s nothing more irritating than being able to catch a brilliant shot but your battery lets you down. If you go out for a long session, your battery might need a bit of TLC to ensure it lasts the course.
For a start, using WiFi all the time is a definite no-no – it drains the battery much faster. Turn the GoPro off when not in use, obviously. Carrying spare batteries is also a good idea, as is carrying a spare power pack to charge the battery by USB if need be.
Take some time lapse shots
Time lapse shots can carry real impact, and they’re easy to do once you get the knack. Whether you’re catching a sunset, a blossoming flower or a busy street scene, there are some common elements you should know about.
The camera must be absolutely steady. You need a secure mount or tripod placed where it will not be bashed or jostled – the kids’ playroom is not a good site!
Ensure the battery is fully charged before you start and take the time to think about the frame of the shot, perhaps aligning with straight lines or other forms you can see (don’t forget the rule of threes!)
GoPros to watch out for
You’ll need to really do your homework before buying a GoPro so you can be sure you get the right model for your needs. These ones are worth considering!
The GoPro Hero 8 Black
This gadget is really a solid performer. It has an in-built mounting system, a great microphone, and a lens system to reduce wind noise when you’re whizzing along.
The video records at up to 4K at 60fps and it has HyperSmooth 2 for stable, reliable filming. A joy to use.
If 360 degree shots are what you’re after, this is for you. It has brilliant quality and is really easy to use; the camera stitches the footage together for you in-camera so you’re saved the hassle of processing it.
You can choose a specific angle of the footage to turn into standard footage, it’s like having several cameras at your disposal. There are six (six!) microphones for brilliant sound quality.
GoPro Hero 7 Silver
On the more affordable end of the scale, this is still a powerful piece of kit; it shoots up to 4K at up to 30fps and is tough and durable, with good video quality. You can use it underwater and it’s perfectly good for a beginner’s needs, if you don’t want to splash the cash.
What adventures will you capture? Whatever you do with your GoPro, don’t forget to protect your investment with reliable gadget insurance.