How to Get the Best Out of Your GoPro

Aug 23, 2013

How to Get the Best Out of Your GoPro

So, you’ve finally bit the bullet and gotten yourself a GoPro Camera (nice, choice!).  But now what?  That thing is a bit overwhelming at first.  And while I’m no expert, I have used a GoPro on a lot of river trips. Here are a few nuggets of info I’ve learned along the way that will help you get best out of your new toy.

Must-haves for your GoPro Camera

  • Lens caps for both the camera and the waterproof case. One scratch on the camera’s lens, even superficial, and you’re toast!
  • Waterproof case lens replacement kit.
  • Extra mount clips (the bayonet part). They break. Pre-install the mounts on your helmet, boat, bike…wherever you plan to shoot the action.

Good to Know Info About the GoPro

  • Don’t shoot if you’re farther than two feet from your subject. It will look a mile away. It’s great for landscapes, sunrises and sunsets but if you’re aiming to catch those Bighorn Sheep, they’ll look like tiny ships in the ocean.
  • Bring a flexible solar panel and all necessary cabling to charge the GoPro battery, just in case. Works great, and saves your trip memories if the Wi-Fi acts up (see next bullet!).
  • It’s easy to accidentally turn Wi-Fi on, making the camera battery die quickly if you’re not careful.
  • Keep the camera inside the case when possible for protection, but don’t count on getting the best sound (even with the open back).
  • If you’re mounting the camera, use the long-handled screw. The short one requires the fingers of a ballerina.
  • For safety back-up, don’t bother with the useless tethers that come with the camera. Instead, use plastic zip-ties and cut them off when done.
  • Be very careful with the micro SD cards. They are fragile and prone to going haywire and turning off your video in a few seconds all on their own. Always eject/turn camera off before removing.

Best Shooting Modes for the GoPro

  • For shooting in slow-motion, set your GoPro at 720p 120fms (frames per second) Narrow.
 You’ll avoid lens distortion and get a clean image without aliasing.  You’ll end up with a softness that comes from the Narrow FOV.  The end result is great for the Web.
  • In low light situations or for capturing high speeds try shooting at 2.7K 30 Wide. You’ll notice really nice motion blur with this mode.  The high resolution also makes it ideal for cropping, re-framing, or stabilizing when editing.
  • For a more creative, slow-motion look, shoot at 1080p 60fms Medium. You’ll get shakier and more disorienting shots.

How do I use my GoPro?  Check out one of my recent videos from the river…

 

Some of the above advice came from Abe Kislevitz’s site. Check out his site for more helpful info.  Got some of your own GoPro tricks or tips?  Leave a comment below.

 

Related Articles:

Gear Review:  Is the GoPro Hero3 Camera Right For You?

Gear Review:  Waterproof Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Gear Review: Goal Zero Guide 10 Solar Charger

 

Jeffe Aronson
Jeffe Aronson rows dories in the Grand Canyon, and rafts in Alaska, Idaho, and other far-flung rivers. He loves nature at her wildest, when she is most beautiful. His evocative descriptions of untamed places and the constant tension and nearness of death has gripped travelers and readers alike for the duration of Jeffe's 37 years as a river guide and story teller. Jeffe has published several stories on Amazon, each a chapter of: “Onwards Wayward Boatmen”—a riveting collection of adventure narratives and personal stories. You may subscribe to his blog: “I Can’t Make This Shit Up” at his website: River-God.com.