Summary: In this blog, we discuss the 9 killer GoPro tips for beginners. Learn how to make the best GoPro video with these helpful GoPro tips and tricks, including the pro tips for filming with a GoPro camera, and simple editing tricks for an awesome GoPro video.
On April 13, 2005, the first product of GoPro - the 35mm film camera - became available. Although it's a long time moving digital and having gone through various types of cameras now, many photographers and videographers around the world have flocked to GoPros for their versatility, durability, and more:
- They're teeny and light;
- They're quick and easy to use and can be mounted to just about anything;
- They're waterproof and can withstand any conditions, allowing you to get shots that wouldn't be possible otherwise;
- And more …
A GoPro camera is perfect for capturing whatever your most exciting adventures are, from skydiving to your morning bike commute.
While you still need to took some practice and research to find out the best GoPro tips for using the most out of this powerful little camera to create awesome GoPro videos.
GoProTip for Beginners 1: Use a Mount
Whether you're going to film a mountain ride and snowboarding excursion or decide to use it as a tripod for stable stationary shots, a mount is always a good idea for your GoPro shooting. And this may be the easiest way to spice up a GoPro video, and can definitely make things more different and exciting.
There are so many different accessories to choose from:
Image Board: GoPro Mounts
The Strap can attach to your wrist, arms, or legs. It allows you to position your GoPro camera at any angle or direction for unique POV footage.
The Flex Clamp is a convenient accessory. It allows you to clamp the GoPro camera to any item that is between 0.25inch to 2inch in diameter (like a kayak oar, small branches, etc.) allowing you to capture some pretty creative angles.
The sticky adhesive mounts will enable you to secure your GoPro to things like a surfboard, or the hood of your car.
Different mounts can offer different POVs, which can help tell the story you envisioned. How to choose a mount for your GoPro shooting? It much depends on the type of activities you plan on doing.
Pro tip:You'd better test out different places to mount your GoPro to find out which one works best for taking smooth shots, correct angles, and all of the desired action.
GoPro Tip for Beginners 2: Use Filters to Improve Video Quality
The filters that we are talking about here is not about any digital filter effect, but the actual physical filters that you can place them in front of the lens to alter the light your GoPro sees. A lot of GoPro filters are available to choose from, here are a few types worth drawing attention to in your GoPro filming.
A neutral density (ND) filter works well when you're filming in bright environments by allowing for a slower shutter speed, which keeps the footage of your GoPro video looking smooth and natural.
A polarizing filter is good at cutting out reflections on glass or water, and it can help your GoPro see through the surface of a lake or the windshield of a car.
And if you're going to film underwater, a red or magenta filter will help you remove the blue-green colorcast inherent to that environment.
Image Board: GoPro Filters
GoPro Tip for Beginner 3: Shoot with Protune ON
GoPro has a unique model with a feature called Protune, which lets users control things such as Color, ISO Limit, Sharpness, and Exposure. Protune gives you greater control over the GoPro settings and helps you to take control of your photo or video captures.
Shooting with Protune on and off is like shooting in manual vs. automatic on a DSLR, but it is more simple because there are a few settings that you'll need to deal with. Here we show you the two crucial settings that can make a big difference: exposure compensation and sharpness.
Image Board: GoPro Protune Setting
For exposure compensation:
If you're shooting under bright sunlight during the day time, you can set it to -1 ~ -0.5, which can help prevent the sky from being overexposed (too bright) and saves details in the highlights. If you're going to shoot in the shade or at night, you can leave the exposure compensation at 0.
In GoPro Protune mode, the sharpness setting can be switched from Low to Medium to High. If you keep the sharpness high, your footage will become crisp with increased contrast but probably looks artificial and unnatural. What's more, noises may appear on images.
High sharpness is the default setting, and it's what you'll get if you have Protune off. But Medium or Low sharpness is the better option for someone who wants a softer look and prefers editing the footage flexibly.
Image Board: Different Sharpness Grids(Source: havecamerawilltravel.com)
GoPro Tip for Beginners 4: Use Time-Lapse or Burst Mode to Shoot
GoPro cameras are known for their video-capture capabilities, but they also function as rugged still cameras. The last few generations of GoPros offer different burst and time-lapse modes that can add some unique shots to your GoPro video.
With burst mode, you can take the photos (30 frames at 1 second) into a unique action sequence and mix it in between video action. Burst mode is useful if you are going to capture high-speed action shots, like bungee jumping or jumping in the air.
For Time-Lapse modes, they can create fast-moving animations of a live scene. Once you press the shutter button, the camera will continuously take a shot every 0.5 or 1 second (you can choose how often) until you hit the shutter again to stop it.
Image Board: GoPro Time-Lapse Settings
If you want to make your videos stand out, these photo-based modes can help you do just that.
GoPro Tip for Beginners 5: Pick a Frame Rate and Stick With It
How to find what frame rates you need for your GoPro shot? The best way is to figure out at what frame rate your final video will be rendered. But in general, if there are no specialty slow-motion scenes or effects, keep it simple - 30fps is perfect.
Image Board: GoPro Frame Rate Settings
If you want to have a few slow-motion scenes in your GoPro video, then just switch to 120fps or 240fps when needed.
Now here comes a question - how do you set the frame rate when you are not sure whether you want some scenes to be in slow motion or not? Just keep it at 60fps. In this way, you can get half the speed of whatever clip later in post-production.
GoPro Tip for Beginners 6: Plan Your Shots with a Good Story
Why most people always make boring or even bad videos with their GoPro? The biggest reason may be that they do absolutely no planning, no thinking, no story, no preparation for a GoPro video.
A good story is the backbone of any good video. People are curious, and you need to tell a good story to catch their interest. A strong story will grip your audience from start to the end.
So you need to try to develop the idea behind what you want to shoot before picking up your camera. So what makes a good story? - Here are the basic you need to know:
Come up with a story with a start, middle, and end. That's all you need for a complete story.
Image Board: Story Structure
First, giving a brief introduction at the beginning, such as an overview of the scenery, any characters involved in your video story.
Next, you need to make a turning point in the story, and it’s where conflict is discovered and addressed, you'd better keep your viewer always concentrating on the screen and waiting to find out what happens next.
Finally, ending with a final shot that wraps up the story - showing that problems are solved, who are the winners and losers, and more.
GoPro Tip for Beginners 7: Great Lighting Creates Great Shots
No denying that lighting plays a vital role in photo/videography. It doesn't matter if you're taking some pictures or filming some video footage, lighting always can make or break your shoot.
Here are some tips for video shooting lighting:
- Shoot at the golden hour;
- Watch your white balance;
- Avoid light-polluted settings lens flare;
- For more lighting tips, check out our post on 7 Lighting Tips for Video Shooting You Must Know>
GoPro Tip for Beginners 8: Managing Your GoPro Batteries
Never let your GoPro batteries die on your trip. The battery life of your GoPro camera may be better in a newer model, but it's still not enough to support a long time-lapse shoot or an extended 4k production.
Here are some useful tips that will help you manage your GoPro batteries:
- Always get extra batteries( better with the high capacity batteries) and keep them handy.
- Avoid keeping things like WiFi, Bluetooth, Voice Control, and GPS on when you don't need it because this will continuously drain your battery.
- Carry a large external USB charger in your bag so that you can charge things from that as well, especially on a long journey.
GoPro Tip for Beginners 9: Use Right Editing Software to Spruce up Your GoPro Video
It's so easy to shoot hours of footage with your GoPro – but it can be pretty overwhelming to create a compelling edit of all your clips. For most people, making great edits to a GoPro video really not an easy job.
But with the right GoPro video editing software, everyone can easily make cool edits and sprue up a GoPro video quickly and easily. Here we highly recommended FlexClip Video Editor for you to edit your GoPro video.
- Easy to use: FlexClip video editor is a handy video editing software designed for everyone, even a novice. No video editing experience is required! You can edit your GoPro videos with great ease in a few minutes.
- Free to use: It offers a free version for all users to edit a GoPro video.
- Abundant elements: FlexClip video maker provides various resources to you to furnish your GoPro videos, like dynamic text animations, video clips, images, music, and transition effects.
- Powerful video editing functions: This video editor allows you to split and trim your video, add text and logo, set background music, add transition effects, record voice over, and more.
For more GoPro video editor, check out our post on 5 Best GoPro Video Editing Software in 2019>
Pro Tips:Avoid overusing transitions & effects when you edit your GoPro video. Video transition effects are just methods to combine video clips together. Notice that adding too many video transitions in your video always can distract viewers' attention from your video content.
Although your first time out with a GoPro camera likely won't be everything you were hoping for, do not let that discourage you. The most crucial GoPro tip for beginners is that you need to keep working at it, keep trying new things, and keep learning.