Anyone can buy a GoPro — but not everyone knows how to get the most out of the action camera to make a badass video like the ones you see online. Here are eight things to do, use, and know to up your GoPro game.
Play with Time Lapse Mode.
You've seen them in your favorite shows when the sun sets on a city or someone completes an incredible feat in seconds, and now it's easy to shoot one yourself. If you have a GoPro HERO4 camera, with the camera in Video mode, press the Settings/Tag button. Then press the shutter button once to switch from Video to T Lapse Vid. Press Mode to highlight the interval setting, where you will set how quickly your camera snaps pictures. With that done, you can exit out of the menu and press the shutter button to begin recording.
Overlay health data over footage.
Want to know how fast your heart was beating when you descended a double black diamond on that Colorado vacation? When you pair a GoPro with a smartwatch from a company called Polar, the watch will feed the camera stats about speed, elevation, and heart rate that gets superimposed over the GoPro footage in real time. The end result is not unlike the look of a video game.
Use a GoPro with a drone.
If your drone doesn’t already come with its own onboard camera, many others are sold ready to mount a GoPro right away. But if you’re clueless on where to start, then you can’t go too wrong with a DJI Phantom. This one comes pre-loaded with a GoPro gimbal designed to hold a camera smoothly and steadily.
Charge the camera wirelessly.
This is a killer feature for anyone who surfs and swims with a GoPro: You no longer need to take your camera out of its waterproof case to charge the battery when you use a MOTA wireless charger. The wireless charging dock even includes a USB port for charging any USB-compatible device at the same time.
Buy a battery pack.
Few things are worse than when you realize you're about out of juice right before you wanted to record your next stunt. Luckily you can do something about that. One company called LimeFuel makes a battery strong enough to keep your GoPro shooting for 12 hours.
Use a mount to get stable footage.
There are more mounts, harnesses, and supports available for GoPro cameras than make sense. Whether your cinematic needs call for footage shot from the front of your car or the top of your dog, there is an assistive device designed to make your shot as stable as possible. Unleash your inner Kubrick.
Fit more in the shot with a fisheye lens.
From skateboarding videos to stylized action movies, a fisheye lens fits a little more of the world into a shot by warping the image slightly. The look is a great one for any action sports footage or compelling close-ups. Use it to bring more of what you see into a shot.
Add an external microphone.
While it certainly hampers the GoPro’s famously low-impact profile, an external microphone will go light years in making your footage sound better. A microphone embedded in a camera will only work so well, but by outsourcing the job to a microphone removed from the device entirely, that camera can still capture footage with a high-quality soundtrack.