It is no secret that action cams, specifically GoPro, have exploded onto the scene at mountains across the country. Everyone has one and you always wonder why their footage looks better than yours does.
You watch videos on YouTube, you try and try again, but your footage keeps coming up worse than you hoped. I’ve been there, and here's what I've learned on some technical tips to improve your footage.
1. Settings, Settings, Settings!
GoPro's "auto" setting is pretty good, but a sunny day on the mountain is actually a pretty harsh day for a camera. To get better footage in bright situations, set your FPS (frames per second) as high as you can. On the new GoPro that is 120 FPS. In low light scenarios, like in your hotel room, cut that in half. The lower the FPS, the more light that hits each frame.
The merits of ProTune can be debated, but unless you are a professional editor or are going to send your film out for a pro edit, leave ProTube off. ProTune opens up the dynamic range of the color sensor, giving professional editors a larger color range to play with. If you are not a professional video editor, turning this feature on can very easily cause your videos to look bad without even knowing it. ProTune is the backcountry of settings - pros and seasoned vets only.
|a still from one of my GoPro vids|
3. Ready for Your Close Up?!
GoPro has an extremely wide field of vision; this creates a shallow depth of field. Depth of field is a photo/video term that refers to the area of focus, within the set focal field. To get good, crisp, exciting GoPro footage, you have to get closer to your subject. The photo you see beside here was taken from a video of myself. The GoPro is attached to a pipe and hardly sticks out past the end of my hand.
4. It's All About Perspective!
GoPro cameras were designed as POV (point-of-view) cameras, so use it that way! Shoot the same thing from multiple angles, this gives the viewer a better perspective as to what you are doing and gives you more options when putting your video together. Things dont always turn out as you thought they would. GoPro has given us mounts for all types of scenarios. Get creative! YouTube has tons of DIY mount videos.
5. Post Processing
GoPros compact the footage to a very high rate, causing the uploading, editing, and playback of your videos extremely CPU intensive. If your computer is not running at least 16 GB of ram and a processor with five or more “cores”, you are losing video quality from the start.
Next time you pack your bag for a trip to the mountains, charge your GoPro, pop in an SD card, and remember these tips!