GoPros are great little cameras for certain situations in filmmaking. They offer a different way to capture footage because of their small size and unique perspective. So in this post, I’ll go over the many different ways you can utilize GoPros for your next video project.
I personally have a GoPro myself, and I use them all the time in my profession as well. Probably the most commonly used way I use GoPros are for time lapses. Usually for installations or transformations over time in a room or environment. I sometimes use them for driving time lapses as well, such as having them on windshields or on car dashboards.
In the settings, you can choose to capture photos over a period of time. So for example, you can have your GoPro take a photo every 60 seconds. The one thing I keep in mind while setting up my GoPro is how long the GoPro will be recording for. This will determine how frequently you’ll want the GoPro to take photos. By doing some simple math, you can find this out for your own video project. Keep in mind that every photo will most likely be 1 frame of the final video time lapse.
So what do you do once you’ve recorded your time lapse? How do you put all of these photos together you may ask? Well, I’ve went ahead and created a video on how to accomplish this. Check it out below!
POV (Point of View)
The 2nd most common way I usually use GoPros for is to get a POV shot. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. There are a lot of adapters for GoPros, and some of them include accessories that allow you to clamp it to yourself or other people and things.
By using these clamps, you can start to build creative ways to capture POV shots. With how small GoPros are, they are very versatile when it comes to placing them for POV shots. The sky is the limit when it comes to these types of shots.
Popular type of POV shots include headstraps and body cams. You can mount GoPros on your head or put a GoPro on your dog. Whatever you want to do! I see a lot sports POV shots such as the pylon cam in NFL games, or car cameras in Nascar.
EWS (Extreme Wide Shot)
Another way to use GoPros is for extreme wide shots. This may be obvious, but I wanted to make sure to point this out. GoPros have a very short focal length, making them great for wide-angled shots.
To best utilize this feature, make sure to place your GoPro as far back as possible from the subject. I do this all the time at events for room shots. I usually place the GoPros in the corners of the room, usually up high to get an extreme wide shot.
You may or may not have noticed, but in the video above I used a GoPro to film my tutorial on how to edit GoPro time lapses. Yup, GoPros can be used as easy to use webcams.
There is a feature you’ll want to be sure to use however. In the video settings, you’ll want to change the field of view to narrow instead of wide. This will make sure you don’t look to funky and distorted.
In & On Water Shots
I’m always scared to do this, and haven’t actually attempted this yet, but one way you can use GoPros is to put them in and over water.
There is a special case that completely seals the GoPro. This prevents water from getting into the cabin and destroying the camera. There is also a buoy adapter that can go on the bottom of the GoPro to make it float on top of a pool of water.
These can be good ways to shoot water scenes. Just be careful and exercise good caution when attempting these type of shots.
So these are the different ways that you can use GoPros. I also wanted to point out a few features that GoPros offer. GoPros come with many adapters. So be sure to experiment and see how you can utilize these different accessories for your next video project.
You can also use the GoPro Capture app to preview and make changes to your GoPro remotely. There is a feature to turn on wifi on your GoPro. Then you are able to use the app on your phone in order to connect to it. This is helpful, especially when your GoPro is too difficult to get to once it is setup for a shot.
There are also a few disadvantages I want to cover as well. Battery life is a big concern. Be sure that your GoPros are fully charged before your video shoot if you plan on going wireless. Otherwise, you’ll want to plug-in your GoPro to a wall power outlet. So keep this in mind when planning out your video shoot. Be sure to take in account where power is at the venue or place you plan on shooting.
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of microSD card you are recording to. This depends on the type of GoPro you have, but you want to be sure that the card is optimized for the GoPro. If you use a card that is not recommended by GoPro, your GoPro may stop recording in the middle of a video shoot. You can check card specifications on GoPros website, or by clicking here.
So there you have it. I hope you’ve found these tips valuable if you have a GoPro and are looking for ways to use it to it’s full potential. Are you considering upgrading your GoPro? If you are, I’ve made a video below talking about the new features in the latest GoPro Hero 9.
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