GoPro camcorders are a lot of fun.
No marketing hype here, they really are. I’m not much of an extreme sports person (my idea of a good time outside involves folf discs and a mountain course or a an inner-tube and a meandering river), but there’s something amazing about being able to take a camera with you anywhere, and not worry about having it break.
Of course, before you don the camera and head out, here’s 5 things I learned in filming my first videos (with the video to prove it, of course).
Your steps are not as smooth as you think
You can see it above, but it feels a bit like the camera is attached to Frankenstein’s monster. Because there’s no image stabilization, tromping through the underbrush looks… exactly like that.
The camera is wide, not tall
The camera is very widescreen. You can’t tell just looking, but a few times when I looked down I was trying to get the bike into the shot, not show you the intricacies of the pavement.
Look up, tilt down
This was taken floating down the Clark Fork, but it may as well have been an amateur astronomy video with how much of the sky gets captured. Pay attention to how your head will be most of the time, and adjust the mount if necessary. It twists down, which can give a much more appealing shot.
Glare isn’t as big an issue as you think
No extra video for this one, but you can see it in a few of the above ones. I was worried that the camera would just be pure sunspots, since most of the time it’s pointed directly at the setting sun. The GoPro digital camcorder does a decent job of reducing glare, letting you take in scenery.
Don’t mix up your cases
The video is unrelated, but I had two cases for this particular camera, one that let me capture better sound, but still remain sealed for drops, and one that was sealed for use around water. Unfortunately, during an early test, the cases were mixed up, and we sent a mostly unprotected camera into the drink… with some bad results. It dried out okay, and still captures video, but there’s now a nagging problem with the SD card where we have to tape it down to get it to work. So, if you’re planning to do stuff like what’s above: Don’t mix up your cases!
Now that you’re prepped for shooting, go pick up a GoPro, and then show us the footage! We want to see what tricks and tips you can offer in the comments below.