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What Is a GoPro & How To Get Started Using One

What Is a GoPro & How To Get Started Using One.

Renowned for their pioneering action cameras, GoPro continues to set the gold standard in the market it created today. Its cameras are commonly referred to as “GoPros”, but each model has its own name.

But what are GoPro and how do you get started with them? This article will answer all of these nagging questions.

A GoPro Is An “Action Camera” – What’s That?

The first GoPro was a revolutionary device. A small camera that can withstand shocks, bumps and anything that nature can throw at it. Regardless, the GoPro cameras offered very high quality footage. The latter part of the formula included an innovative fastening system with a long list of accessories from both early adopters and third parties. The GoPro mount system is so popular that other brands of action cameras are often compatible with it.

Thus, an action camera is a compact camera capable of capturing high quality footage with a high frame rate and a very wide field of view.

It is robust and, thanks to the mounting options, can be placed almost anywhere. The intended use of your GoPro is to mount it on the helmet, chest, or vehicle you are using, such as a motorcycle. The footage should give the viewer a first-person view of what the sport is like.

However, content creators have found all sorts of creative uses for action cameras. They are used for more than just people who want to share their weekend exploits! Documentary filmmakers, filmmakers on a big budget, TV show creators, video bloggers and many more use action cameras as an essential part of their toolbox.

Every Model Has Its Place

The main line of GoPro action cameras is the “Hero”. At the time of this writing, the latest model in the lineup is the HERO 8 Black. So if you just want the very best GoPro money can buy, go for it.

Silver HERO 7

However, various past and present models have their place. It is often better to have two or three less expensive GoPro cameras than one premium model. The HERO line is regularly updated. For example, the differences between HERO 7 Black and HERO 8 Black are small.

Take a close look at the specs of each model for sale and decide if you need upgrades at the top of the range. Most importantly, search the Internet for footage of the exact camera you are looking at to see the final result firsthand.

Pick The Right Accessories

The GoPro camera, in its bare, ready-to-use state, is really just a platform to build on. If you don’t pair your GoPro with the right accessories, you won’t be able to get the most out of it. For example, although many GoPro models are waterproof to a moderate depth, if you want to dive you will need to buy a good underwater housing.

If you want to attach it to the inside of your car window, you will need a suction cup mount. The list goes on and on, but there are mounts and accessories for just about any use you can imagine.

GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp

There really isn’t such a thing as a universal “must-have” GoPro accessory, but we strongly recommend that all GoPro users consider purchasing a “frame” housing that offers its own attachment point and some degree of fall protection. These housings also often have additional connection points for lights or microphones. Making them a good choice for video bloggers.

Another accessory we can recommend is the GoPro “Jaws” Flexible Clamp. This innovative clip and gooseneck system lets you quickly attach your GoPro to almost anything, including anything as thin as a pencil.

It’s generally a good idea to use official GoPro accessories, especially if they’re designed to protect your expensive camera gear, but there are great third-party products out there to watch out for.

Taking The Lens Into Account

One of the most important things you need to know when getting started with your GoPro is the effect your lens will have on your footage. GoPro standard shots were taken with a very wide angle lens. Because you fit such a wide field of view into a standard rectangular video frame, there will be significant distortion.

Objects at the edges of the frame will be distorted the most. The good news about this is that you get incredible sensations of speed, because you always feel like you are moving from place to place. However, many people use GoPro for shooting where it is not desirable. Newer GoPro models like the HERO 8 allow you to choose from a variety of lens settings.

The camera then compensates for lens distortion and re-frames the captured image according to different field of view preferences. If your GoPro does not support this feature, the distortion can be corrected using software such as Adobe Premiere Pro.

Learn To Use The App

While some GoPro models have a full color LCD screen on the back or otherwise offer some way to control the camera, the GoPro smartphone app is inevitable. This is where all the magic happens, and the sooner you get to know the app, the better.

After adding a camera using the app, you can change any settings from your phone. You can also view what the camera sees in real time, allowing you to frame your shot perfectly. Once you’ve finished recording, you can wirelessly transfer your footage to your phone for safe storage.

Considering that GoPro is often locked in a case, the app is a convenient way to monitor and control your device.

Picking The Right Settings

GoPro is not a point-and-shoot camera. You need to think carefully about what you are shooting and what settings are appropriate. Here are the main considerations:

Frame rate: 60fps for fluid extreme sports, 24fps for a more cinematic look Resolution: Do you need 4K? Need FullHD? Consider how this affects recording time and available frame rates. Field of View: Wide Angle Distorted? Linear with cropped view? It’s up to you! Color. If you have a “flat” color profile option, this is the best choice if you’re going to edit footage first before sharing. Use a GoPro color profile if you don’t plan on evaluating it yourself.

White balance, shutter speed, and ISO settings can be left automatic if you’re a novice camera user. But you should read a little about what these settings do and how to tweak them for the best video footage.

Editing And Sharing Your Footage

The GoPro app has great automatic footage editing features. You can automatically cut and package your GoPro clips, add music, and then share it right on the Internet. If you want to share your recording as quickly as possible, use the built-in tools of the application.

However, the best place to edit your GoPro footage is in the full-fledged editing suite. Here are our recommendations:

Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac and Windows) LumaFusion (iOS) KineMaster (Android)

This is the minimum you need to know to get started with GoPro! Now get started creating incredible content!

What Is a GoPro & How To Get Started Using One

What Is a GoPro & How To Get Started Using One

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