Never heard of a GoPro? Me neither! Until I stumbled across a hot clip of a Hemsworth destroying the surf, which made me wonder as to how exactly surfers film on the water whilst constantly being in motion!
This article is aimed to help you understand the absolutely insane world of GoPros, and hopefully give you a few tips on how to film quality content using those cameras.
The GoPro Story
After a 2002 surfing trip down under with his buddies, Nick Woodman came back with the resolve to not just master the art of surfing but also to create the perfect action camera. He was astounded to find out that cameras that could capture elite quality videos and images were either ridiculously unavailable or unreasonably priced. His quest for creating such a device led him to go on a funding expedition involving selling belts and camera straps out of a van.
The name GoPro was an inside joke wherein Woodman and friends aspired to go pro in the arena of surfing so they could film legendary hero like shots!
Two years after the dream of GoPro was incepted, they introduced their very own HERO camera system featuring a 35mm film for stationary pictures. As times evolved, they ventured into producing cameras to be used for digital photography and film making. Fast forward to2019, they have released version 8 of their trademark HERO cameras.
Different GoPro Equipment
Since its inception, GoPro Inc. has introduced the world to a host of images and motion capturing products. Here are few of the notable ones:
HERO Cameras: In the span of nearly 25 years, the company released approximately 8 main versions of their trademark HERO cameras. The name as discussed above was to make sure the imagery and motions captured with their lenses would make a person feel like a real hero! The latest GoPro 8 offers a range of features including 1080p live streaming, Hypersmooth 2.0, Timewarp 2.0, SloMo, Built-in mounting, Touchscreen, 12MP, 33ft underwater coverage, LiveBurst and more.
GoPro Max 360: This product as the name suggests provides an “immersive 360” audio and visual and an absolute beast of a microphone, making it ideal for extreme vlogging. Packs the punch of a HERO8 in a much more wider sense literally.
These are supporting equipment for video and image capture via GoPro cameras. Some of the famous products include mods, batteries, mounts, camera floaties, magnetic swivel chips, tripods and various kits (sport, adventure, travel) to suit the desired customer experience.
C. MOBILE APPLICATIONS
GoPro really intends to make sure customers derive a complete film and photography experience with their products. Thus, the tailor-made software. These majorly include video and photo editing features on its GoPro app. Their in-house “Quikstory” feature in the app enables users to edit their footage with music and effects and consequently share it on various social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Coming to the question that’s probably eating us all alive from the inside, what’s the need for GoPros when there’s a host of cameras existing already? What indeed is so special about them?!
Firstly, these cameras were designed and created for the sole reason of capturing extreme action and stunts especially those involving water! Nick Woodman was so distraught by the lack of quality cameras suitable for the surfing adventures that he went ahead and designed one. Some of the unique features GoPro cameras claim include:
- 1080p live streaming
- Hypersmooth 2.0
- Timewarp 2.0
- Built-in mounting
- Underwater coverage
- 360 immersive audio and video capture.
Ideal Situations For GoPro Usage
GoPros were intended for use in extreme situations to film the most thrilling sports and adventure moments. GoPro enthusiasts are usually adrenaline junkies who use them for:
- Underwater photography and motion-capture
- Capturing meteoric skydiving free-falls
- Mid-air sequences and shoots
- Documenting athletic activity such as skateboarding, bicycling, wave surfing, paragliding and more!
Expert Advice On Capturing Mind blowing Footage With GoPros:
Go big with GoPro Accessories: If you’re really looking to getting the best out of your GoPro then you should absolutely splurge on getting the right accessories too. One thing every GoPro owner must also possess is a “mount”. Especially when they are up to filming adrenaline spiked activities. You can never go wrong with a chest or bicycle mount. This would help in picture quality and video capture being stable since there is a lot of movement involvement whilst filming. In the case of still photography, a tripod is always advised. The GoPro 3-Way mount is the most versatile choice since it condenses a grip, a tripod, as well as an arm extension into one handheld product. Other accessories you should consider buying are anti-fog inserts in case you intend to film in high altitudes and also a gimbal for added stability and vibration cancellation.
Away with ham hands: Accessories such as mounts, tripods, and gimbals definitely offer a certain level of stability whilst filming. But the very fact that you’re probably in motion whilst filming, means you need hand support as well. Master the art of stable hands since the elements of nature will definitely be acting up and against your favour, especially if you film in high altitudes, underwater or in bad weather. Practice keeping your hands steady whilst holding the camera or the arm extension so when you have to translate your film making skills in real life, it goes smoothly.
- Expertly manage battery life: Despite the all-round epicness of GoPros, its absolutely immature to claim that you’ll get the desired imagery and footage in one attempt. Multiple takes mean a dying camera battery. Cue in the fact that if you’re live streaming your shenanigans, it means more battery life drainage. So always ensure that you carry at least a pair of extra batteries in one hand along with a portable battery charger just in case. A useful tip to keep in mind is to turn off your internet if there is no need for it when filming since it drains the life of your GoPro battery.
- Go bonkers with Camera Filters: Unlike social media filters that artificially enhance your images and videos, GoPro cameras offer a wide range of real filters. They are tangible filters placed before a GoPro camera lens so as to play with the light entering it. There are a host of such physical camera lens filters available in the market for purchase. But the best ones include the red or magenta underwater filter, the neutral density filter that acts as sunglasses for your camera lens in bright weather, polarising filters to play with effects of refraction.
- Make the most of the GoPro App: Not only do all GoPro cameras house inbuilt video and image editing features i.e. Protune, but their GoPro app also allows users to do a whole lot more. From editing videos, meshing time-lapse shots and burst shots effortlessly to sharing your GoPro captures on your social media channels; their app is seamless. If you are a serious vlogger then do not hesitate. Just get their app and go above and beyond.
- Storyboard & Plan Your Content Beforehand: A tip not everyone follows but it actually helps enormously. Plan out everything from the venue to the monologue (if any), the characters involved, to the different shots (the introduction, the plot and the finale). Posting a video is no big deal. But if you really want to optimise the engagement on your GoPro featuring shots, there definitely has to be a lot of behind the scenes prep involved.