Whether you’re on vacation or just spending a fun afternoon at the park, a GoPro can turn any activity into an interesting story with the right tools and know-how. Here’s how to get the most out of your GoPro camera.
Buy a Cheap Accessory Kit
You might already have a mount or two for your GoPro, but you can really never have too many accessories for it. Luckily, you can get accessory kits that are pretty cheap, and come with a lot of useful stuff.
There are a ton of companies that sell GoPro accessory kits on Amazon, and while they’re not genuine OEM accessories by any means, they can get the job done just fine.
The best part is that most of these kits come with a handful of different accessories. You have different mounts that allow you mount your GoPro to just about anything. You also get a head mount, chest mount, selfie stick, a floatable stabilizer (for waterpark fun), and even a carrying bag to put all these accessories into.
The best part is that these kits usually sell for less than $30, and all of the accessories will fit your GoPro without any compatibility issues.
Experiment with Different Angles
The angle of a shot can really change its impact. If you record something at chest or head height, it’s not going to have the same wow factor as something that’s shot from a lower or higher angle.
A point-of-view shot of a snowboarder might look way cooler with the GoPro mounted to the snowboard, rather than to the snowboarders helmet or chest, and a GoPro mounted to the lower part of a bicycle frame will give viewers that cool low-to-the-ground feel with the road buzzing right past them.
Take advantage of all your different GoPro mounts that you got in your accessory kit and mount your action cam in places that you might have not considered in the past. You might be surprised just how good the footage turns out.
Get the Aim Right
Since most GoPros don’t have any kind of viewfinder, it can be really difficult to know if you’re getting everything you need in the shot, or if the angle is good enough to begin with. It’s easy to think you’re getting everything into the frame, but when you watch the video later, you find out that you mostly just recorded the sky.
To fix this, remember that your GoPro has a wide field of view, so if you point the camera directly at the subject, it might not be the best angle. That wide field of view could mean you get most of the sky in the shot, rather than the subject and its surroundings.
With that said, try pointing your GoPro at someone’s stomach if you need to get a head-to-toe view of them into the frame. If it’s not a person you’re recording, but rather a landscape, point your GoPro a bit further down than you might think is required, so that you get more of the landscape and less of the sky (unless, of course, it’s the sky you’re wanting to record in the first place).
Grab Some Extra Batteries
The GoPro is a great action cam, but its battery life is one of its biggest downfalls. In fact, the battery only lasts around an hour-and-a-half when it’s recording, which is pretty lousy.
To combat this, grab a few extra batteries to take with you, or get an extended battery that you can attach to the back of your GoPro. These options will allow you to get some extra juice out of your GoPro without having to stop and recharge it.
Improve the Audio by Connecting an External Mic
The built-in microphone on the GoPro isn’t that fantastic, especially when you have the waterproof housing on–audio gets pretty muddled and it’s really hard to hear dialogue.
To improve this, you can connect an external microphone to your GoPro using the Mini-USB port on the side. Obviously, you’ll have to sacrifice any waterproofing, and your setup won’t be as portable as it could be without the microphone, but a simple lavalier mic can still keep things pretty portable.
Don’t Forget About Editing
What you do with the footage after recording can make or break any GoPro video. Take the time to make a few edits to the video, and you can increase its production value immensely.
Even if you’re not all that experienced with video editing, you can use a free program like Windows Movie Maker (on Windows) or iMovie (on a Mac) to cut down footage and insert some background music. Once you get good with that, you can do more advanced things like correct colors, add special effects, and so on.
Image by Juanfran G/Flickr