How to shoot with action cameras

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It’s 2016. Everyone strives for self-expression with all their heart and soul. Everyone wants to come up with and implement something unique, and with the spread of social networks in the last decade, they also want to share the achievement with the whole world. Sport was, is, and, for sure, will remain one of the most diverse and leading ways to show oneself for a long time to come. And action cameras are a way to show your sport!

Our today’s material will be devoted to the three most important aspects, taking into account which you can shoot cool videos of unforgettable moments, even without special experience.!

Foreshortening

Speaking about shooting with action cameras, you need to understand that you shouldn’t use them to show how beautiful the sky and landscapes are in front of you. The capabilities of these devices imply shooting dynamic events, the protagonist of which is you, and not natural aesthetics.

  • Capture as much of yourself and your surroundings as possible at the same time. Find a balance between showing your movements in relation to the environment and the environment in relation to your movements. Thus, the picture acquires not only tangible speed, but also breathtaking.
  • Choose interesting positions for the recording device. Experience shows that the usual forehead mount is not always the best option, and in most cases even the worst. Experiment and show the audience what the sport looks like from the “face” of your equipment, for example. But the most interesting thing is to take a friend with you on vacation, who will help you film you not only in the usual format, but also from a third person.
  • Use the power of devices like a monopod to shoot yourself (selfie video, if you please)
  • Don’t shoot with one angle

Camera work

Perhaps this will sound unexpected, but there are also a lot of tricks of operating these small and weightless devices, and many of them can only be mastered in practice.

  • Want a stable image? Purchase a monopod and shoot in an “upside down” position so that the clip and the telescopic tube itself are above the camera and act as a suspension, not a stop. Gravity will do the rest.!
  • Interested in showing your environment in motion? Using the same telescopic tripod, describe a circle with the camera around you, moreover, it is much more interesting if at this moment it is looking at you. Higher skill: to make such a “turn” during the execution of technical figures.
  • Want to make your footage interesting? Shoot as many shots as possible from different angles! One of the most interesting tricks is filming a trick with multiple cameras (or multiple performances with one). over, one cannot help but notice that in the presence of flying gadgets (quadcopters or helicopters), not using the potential of an action camera for aerial photography is something sinful.
  • Work for the future. When shooting, Honor’s point is that your video is unlikely to be long if it is all about stunts. I’m right? Shoot a little still-footage of anything you want.

Editing, mixing, scale

People who have dealt with video production are well aware of the colossal role that video sequence selection and correct editing play in it. And for everyone else, we remind you that without a proper approach in post-production, even the most stylish bend, the most breathtaking panorama and the most unusual angle will turn into an uninteresting audiovisual mess.

One of the most common and really effective ways of presenting extreme video is musical. Thus, the action on the screen turns into a fascinating show, the music set by the author to convey the mood helps to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the events.

  • Try to avoid long transitions and drawn out animations. Your video should be dynamic if it is about sports, after all?
  • Dynamics. Again. Show the viewer as much as possible by keeping them in an exciting tension! The most correct way to do this is to mix video and music events. Find moments in the composition for which the frame should be changed to a new one. For example, beats of drums or beats.
  • Equipment. Want to show your viewer how to do a trick correctly? Use Slo-Mo at the peak of your performance, or use freeze-motion when your body or sports equipment leaves silhouettes frozen in place.
  • And do not forget about the fact that for each interesting figure you have (if possible) filmed several angles of the video sequence. Both sequencing and split-screen can be used here, but the latter can distract attention from some of the details.

Here are some examples of correct and interesting shooting:

Insta360 One R Action Camera Review

Until now, we have studied Insta360 products only on examples of monstrous cameras, which with their one look are ready to plunge an ordinary user into a deep knockout (not to mention the cost of such cameras). Now is the time to stop scaring the reader. Let’s turn to the “everyday” examples of Insta360 devices. To a regular action camera. However, the developers of the company distinguished themselves here too, making the camera far from commonplace.

The Insta360 One R was released early last year, but that remoteness won’t stop us from exploring its specs, capabilities, and abilities. And, of course, appreciate the uniqueness of its modular design, as well as the uniqueness of some software solutions.

Design, technical characteristics

The camera is shipped in a flat box with pictograms printed on it that depict basic functions.

Inside the box is the following rather large list:

  • Insta360 One R camera assembly
  • removable protective glass lens
  • mounting frame
  • fastening buckle fastening screw
  • short USB to USB Type-C cable
  • multilingual very quick guide, warranty card, leaflets, stickers
  • lens cloth

It takes a lot of brainpower to describe the construction of a camera in words. In short: three separate modules that interconnect to form a single working organism.

All modules are connected by internal multi-pin loops.

Why is this done? In one word: interchangeability. If you need a tool to shoot 360-degree video, you don’t have to buy a panoramic camera. It is enough to purchase a two-lens 360 Mod and connect it to the existing main unit. In the same way, the battery is replaced with a battery of increased capacity. the module mounts are identical to each other.

Within the framework of the camera version under consideration, this modularity can be used to convert the device into a selfie version. Several movements. and the camera display “looks” at the operator.

The workmanship of the modules, their parts and fasteners is impeccable, as in any Insta360 product. As a hobbyist device, the Insta360 One R looks as professional as the super-priced super camera mentioned at the beginning of the article.

The camera‘s interfaces are hidden under a flip-up cover, and there is a USB Type-C connector and a memory card slot. The lid is seemingly unreliable, but its design is waterproof to a depth of 5 meters.

  • the frame pulls the structure together, holding the three modules together and providing the necessary strength and water resistance
  • Its ears allow you to attach the camera to a tripod, holder, selfie stick, etc.

The depth of the threaded hole of the fastening buckle is 5.7 mm, while the thread length for most tripod heads is slightly deeper, from 5.8 to 7.0 mm. Because of this, it was necessary to thoroughly shake up the blockages of cables and adapters in order to find a tripod pad with a bolt of a suitable length.

Finally, the lens protector. correctly. a screw cap. It has flat glass, and the large diameter is explained by the large viewing angle of the camera lens. if the diameter of the glass of the nozzle was smaller, the frame of the nozzle would certainly fall into the frame.

The attachment is strongly recommended for underwater and other hazardous and specific conditions to protect the lens glass from damage.

The supplied rechargeable battery has a capacity of 1190 mAh and can be charged in less than an hour using the 5V 2A charger. At the beginning of the charging process, the battery consumes an average of 1.7 A, sometimes “accelerating” to 1.9 A. This means that it makes no sense to use an adapter with a power higher than 2 A, the camera will still not take more than it should.

A full battery charge lasts 59 minutes of continuous video recording in the maximum 5.3K 30p mode with a working display and a Wi-Fi adapter (the latter, by the way, does not turn off at all. he, like the head of state, is always on duty). By the way, the battery is charged even if the camera is turned on and recording is in progress. Thus, the camera can be used to shoot long time-lapse videos, powering it from the mains or a power bank.

The unit gets very hot during long recordings. Very much. We did not observe such heating in any of the investigated chambers. These thermal images were taken during long-term autonomous recording, tested in a room with a temperature of about 26 ° C.

It can be seen that the maximum temperature of some parts of the main unit (which is the main one, with a screen) was as much as 73 ° C. But what is characteristic: Insta360 One R does not turn off! Even such strong heating is not a serious reason for an emergency shutdown for her.

The main technical characteristics of the action camera are shown in the following table.

This and other information about the camera can also be seen on the product page.

Before testing the camera, its firmware was updated to the latest version. This is the first thing that every user must do, otherwise he will not see many functions, and the video recorded by the camera will have an incomprehensible insv extension.

Let’s consider the technical parameters of the video that the camera records. Be warned: many will be shocked. First (for starters, so to speak), here’s a screenshot of Adobe Premiere Pro, which shows a window with 16 imported video files. On the left. the state of the program before installing the proprietary software Insta360 Studio 2020. On the right. after installing this software, which along with it also installs a special plug-in for Premiere Pro.

Why did we start with screenshots of some program? Pay attention to the columns with the frame sizes, they are on the edge, on the right. In the first screenshot, the sizes of some files look awkward, wild numbers. Not corresponding to the format. These are the numbers that absolutely all analysis programs, video players and video editors give (except for Adobe Premiere Pro with a proprietary plug-in installed). But in the second screenshot, the frame sizes are normal. This is because the second screenshot was taken after installing the proprietary software and, accordingly, the plug-in for Premiere Pro.

Let’s understand: it turns out that the camera actually records a frame larger than required for a particular format. So, when recording in 4K, the frame size is 4352 × 2488 instead of the required 3840 × 2160 pixels, and when recording in Full HD. 3072 × 1728 instead of 1920 × 1080. Developer error? Not at all. This is the peculiarity of the camera. Which, by the way, is not mentioned anywhere. But this is the basis, the main principle of the camera. Without knowing about it, you can “fly in” great by buying such a camera. We, of course, turned to the representative who sells these cameras in Russia with a question about the strange frame size. And they were not surprised to receive a standard polite reply with a listing of the correct frame sizes indicated on the site. Yes, there are problems with technical education now.

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Cherry: let’s compare what a regular program “sees” and a branded one. Load the same file into each one and make freeze frames.

If the picture that the proprietary software “shows” is superimposed over the original video frame, then you can see how much the edges are cut off during processing. The area with dimensions 1920 × 1080 is highlighted in pink, superimposed on top of the original frame 3072 × 1728.

And by the way, why did the cutout in this case go not in the center of the frame, but slightly down and to the right? This is how the gyroscope worked, it gives such readings at the moment of recording. They can swim at all, these readings even if the camera is stationary, we found this out when we processed a long time-lapse. And even more so, these readings float if the camera is in motion.

And, finally, what are these dances with tambourines for? Answer: stabilization. The camera always records raw video, unstabilized. However, the video file contains special tags that contain data about acceleration, tilt and position in space. Subsequently, when processing video on a PC, these data are guided by the program that stabilizes the video.

We lost a few days until we made this “discovery”. Affected by the habit of ordinary “normal” cameras, which process video (cut the angle, stabilize) directly during shooting, even at the stage of file formation. Our camera always shoots, one might say, just source, the required properties of which (stabilize, change the angle of view) can be given only after shooting, at the stage of computer video processing. over, processing exclusively in one program, proprietary, or in Adobe Premiere Pro, for which there is a plug-in that gives the program the necessary functionality. All other programs will not be able to be guided by the tags in which the information from the camera’s gyro sensors is recorded.

And now we are faced with a dilemma: in what mode should we provide freeze frames, on the basis of which we will judge the quality of shooting? From which video should these stills be taken, from “raw” or from processed? After some deliberation, we come to the inevitable conclusion: of course, from the processed one. Which is the right size.

In addition to the choice of frame size, the camera also has a choice of four viewing angles. Super Wide, Wide, Linear and Narrow. We say right away: these things can be safely ignored. Just ignore the Angle parameter and be done. Because the camera always shoots from the same angle of view. With the maximum. Whichever angle is selected in the mobile application with which the camera is controlled. And what this choice of angles is for is unclear.

Thus, it makes no sense to measure the resolution from different viewing angles, since, again, a video file shot with Super Wide is no different from a video shot with a Narrow angle.

The resolution of the camera in the maximum mode of 5.3K is a confident 2000 TV lines, in 4K it reaches up to 1600 lines. When the sensor is cropped, which occurs during shooting in high frame rates (60 or 120p), the resolution barely reaches 800 TV lines (Full HD format). In the 2.7K mode, we did not shoot the table. well, this incomprehensible intermediate frame size.

The camera can record in two different codecs: H.264 and H.265. We see no point in the outdated AVC, especially when shooting with a large frame size, so we will carry out all testing using HEVC. The following table lists all the shooting modes available in the camera. In some cases, the frame size is indicated double: true and corresponding to the declared format. Frame sizes that correspond to the format both in the source and after processing are highlighted in bold. You need to pay special attention to them, the reasons for this will be stated below.

Format Frame rate Frame size Original frame size Bit rate, Mbps Sound5.3K

4K

2.7K

1080

245312 × 29885312 × 2988one hundredAAC stereo 128 kbps
255312 × 29885312 × 2988one hundred
thirty5312 × 29885312 × 2988one hundred
244352 × 24483840 × 2160one hundred
254352 × 24483840 × 2160one hundred
thirty4352 × 24483840 × 2160one hundred
603840 × 21603840 × 2160one hundred
243072 × 17282720 ​​× 153070
253072 × 17282720 ​​× 153070
thirty3072 × 17282720 ​​× 153070
603072 × 17282720 ​​× 1530one hundred
243072 × 17281920 × 108070
253072 × 17281920 × 108070
thirty3072 × 17281920 × 1080one hundred
603072 × 17281920 × 1080one hundred
1201920 × 10801920 × 1080one hundred

As you can see, the developer limited himself to two bitrates: 70 and 100 Mbps. There is no manual selection of bitrate or video quality in the camera. And rightly so. All these huge lists of modes, present in “serious” cameras, only confuse the user. And here. an absolute guarantee that the video will be shot with maximum quality. precisely, like this: with the maximum possible for the camera. Just don’t forget to change memory cards.

You can clearly visualize the difference in the detail and nature of the picture that some recording modes give with the help of the following freeze frames (complete freeze frames can be seen on the links under the thumbnails, there are also links to the original video files).

These shots helped us choose our preferred formats for shooting. It’s either 5.3K at any frequency (high detail) or 4K 60p (smooth motion).

Let’s evaluate the quality of encoding in different recording modes. A stormy water flow will traditionally help us in this. This time. with floating ducks. Now it’s cold and hungry, so they are almost not afraid of people.

The general conclusion from this information is that files with a low frame rate give higher details than a high frame rate video with the same frame size. Compare the surface character of a concrete wall, for example. This is understandable: a banal bitrate distribution. The higher the frame rate in the video, the higher the bit rate is needed to preserve all the details. But in our case, the bitrate is the same, its ceiling is 100 Mbps in any shooting mode.

By the way. About bitrate. We seem to be missing one important detail. 100 megabits per second is quite a sufficient level for 4K. over, when using the smart and economical HEVC codec. But the true frame sizes in 4K video are different! Not 3840 × 2160, but 4352 × 2448 pixels! That is, not 8,294,400, but 10,653,696 pixels. Which is 2.3 million more pixels. This means that you need to spend more bitrate on such a video. At least a quarter.

Finally, stabilization. We have already said that the camera does not perform any transformations from the video when shooting. The same applies to stabilization. Gyro sensors always work, they cannot be turned off. They constantly record movement, tilt, and acceleration of the camera body into a video file. You can use this information only in the proprietary program Insta360 Studio 2020 or in Adobe Premiere Pro, if the corresponding plug-in is installed for the latter. During processing, these programs read the readings of the sensors from the file, and, starting from them, stabilize or change the viewing angle. How this happens can be seen in the following video.

But alas. with files with a frequency of 60 or 120 frames per second, Focus with stabilization and maintaining the frame size will not work. Since these high-frequency files are initially in normal sizes, corresponding to 4K and Full HD standards. This means that they have no margin around the edges for stabilization. And if we stabilize such files, then we need to save the video with a smaller frame size, otherwise we will get a banal upscale, which entails a deterioration in quality.

To make sure of this, we rolled the camera a little on the handlebars of the bicycle. The weather, however, whispers completely different activities, but what cannot be done for the sake of science.

Out of several takes, one, the most revealing, was chosen. It is notable for being shot in 4K 30p. Why exactly he? And he has a margin of area at the edges of the frame, which is necessary for stabilization (hardly anyone doubts that such a video without stabilization is rubbish). Now, having superimposed the stabilized video on top of the original, which has a larger frame size, we can visually evaluate the work of the stabilizer in the “native” program.

Pretty effective, isn’t it? But let’s say we want a dynamic video shot at a high frame rate, 4K 60p. Our camera can shoot in this format, but the frame size in this shooting is equal to the standard, 3840 × 2160. We have already said: after stabilization and saving with the original frame size, the video will be stretched, that is, its quality will deteriorate. Let’s take a look at how much this quality drops. Let’s take a video shot in 4K 60p, stabilize it in proprietary software, and then compare the stills.

It is impossible to hide the fact that the edges of the original video were cropped during the stabilization process, after which the frame was enlarged to the original 3840×2160. As for the quality, detail. everything is not as bad as one might expect. There is no tragic drop in quality. But this is a freeze frame. If Honor has a dynamic video, then at 60 frames per second, with all the desire, you will not notice any deterioration. Conclusion: quite edible, although the very fact of mandatory video processing on a PC is seriously upsetting.

Rolling shutter (for more details see the material Rolling shutter in video. a description of the defect, examples, explanations) in our shooting is present in an insignificant volume, and even then only with very strong shaking and only in unprocessed, unstabilized files. After stabilization, all signs of a rolling shutter disappear.

The camera settings allow you to change several exposure parameters, but all of these settings are long gone, if we are not talking about shooting in low light. In daylight, the other color settings are much more interesting. Our camera can shoot with three different picture profiles: Standard, Vivid and Log.

Time lapse video shooting

Video lapses can be shot in one of the following resolutions: 4K (3840×2160); 1440 (2560×1440) and 1080 (1920×1080). At the output, we get a ready-made video.

The following intervals are available: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60 seconds or 5, 15, 30 minutes.

The following settings are available: exposure, white balance, sharpness, exposure metering mode, selectable video duration (1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes) and enable / disable date stamp on video.

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It is worth noting that if distortion correction is enabled in video mode, video recording will also be performed with this option. The same applies to the sensitivity setting (ISO). That is, you can change these settings, but through the video mode.

A full battery is enough for continuous shooting of 4K 60fps video with the display off for 1 hour 25 minutes. Video in this resolution takes 5 minutes 13 seconds (3.67GB) and creates additional LRV files (60MB each) and THM (about 70kb).

Or 100 minutes in FullHD 60fps with the display on, stabilization and distortion correction. Video in this resolution takes 14 minutes 30 seconds (3.67GB).

Full charge takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

Taking photos of time lapses.

Time lapse photos can be taken in one of the following resolutions: 12MP (4000×3000), 10MP (3648×2736), 8MP (3840×2160), 8MP (3264×2448), 5 (2592×1944), 3MP (2048×1536) or 2MP (1920×1080). At the exit we get a series of photos.

The following intervals are available: 3, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60 seconds or 5, 15, 30 minutes.

The following settings are available: exposure, white balance, exposure metering mode, sharpness, ISO (auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 or 6400), shutter speed (auto, 1/500, 1/240, 1/120. 1/60, 1/30, 1/20, 1/10, 1/5, ½, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 seconds), RAW shooting, date stamp and distortion correction.

Video broadcast mode

In this mode, you can broadcast video online to various platforms (via the SJCAM mobile application). Maximum broadcast resolution. 1080P.

Slow motion mode

When shooting in this mode, we get a slow-motion video at the output. There are three degrees of slowing down: 2, 4 or 8 times. In the first case, the camera records 60 frames in FullHD (1920 × 1080) resolution, in the second, it records only 120 frames per second in the same resolution, and in the third, in HD resolution (1280×720). In all three cases, the output is a video with a frequency of 30 frames per second.

The settings include exposure, white balance, sharpness, exposure metering, maximum video duration, and date stamp. You can also adjust ISO and enable distortion correction, but through the standard video shooting mode.

Working with the application

The camera can be controlled over Wi-Fi using the SJCAM app. In the application, you can set all the settings as on the camera, as well as use the video broadcasting mode.

Tips for those who like to swim with GoPro

GoPro action cameras are designed and built for use in harsh and sometimes even harsh environments, making them stand out from other cameras and making routine shooting fun and fun. This is also true in water environments. the GoPro is ready to shoot in and near water as soon as you take it out of the box. Still, some of the tips here will improve your aquatic shooting technique and help you capture high-quality, impressive, and memorable footage.

Optimal camera settings

Everything is quite simple here. Stick to the standard “gentlemanly” set of settings: 1080p60 with a wide viewing angle. after all, FullHD is easier and faster to process and post to social networks.

Professional divers do not recommend using frame rates below 60 fps when shooting underwater, otherwise you risk getting blurry and blurry results. Setting the frequency above 60 fps is recommended if you want to watch in slow motion how a great white shark is furiously rushing after its prey at high speed. But in general, 60 fps is the ultimate option, suitable for almost all shooting situations.

For advanced users, it’s always a good idea to turn on Protune mode and play around with different settings until you get the best results. there are no general tips here as you will be diving in seas and bodies of water with different densities, colors, salinity and depths. We only recommend choosing the Flat color profile and setting low or medium sharpness in order to squeeze the most out of the resulting video during post-processing.

Shoot RAW

Shooting in RAW is recommended anytime, anywhere and for everyone: this mode gives you a lot of freedom in post-processing, especially when it comes to color correction. But for shooting underwater, this is especially true, because you get more control over the “white balance” parameter in conditions of a lack of red and orange colors, which (we will write about this in more detail below) is observed under water. in this sense, this advice is something similar to the color filter tip. Of course, you can process a photo even if it was shot in JPG, but shooting in RAW, with proper processing, you will get the best final result.

Below are general tips that are relevant for almost any water shooting environment, although the main focus is on sports such as diving, snorkeling, and surface swimming. The article also assumes that the operator is a user of GoPro HERO5 cameras or newer, but users of older devices will also be able to find interesting information for themselves.

The main tip of the entire article, which will help you save time, nerves and money: check the sealing gaskets on the chamber doors every time before submerging it in water without an aqubox. As if you were checking your tire pressure before driving on a long journey. The manufacturer claims that the device is waterproof to a depth of 10 meters without a hermetic box, but only if there are no damage or tears on the seals and cracks on the GoPro case. Needless to say, if there are any on your camera, it is strongly discouraged to immerse it in water without a box! By the way, if the side door covering the USB port is damaged, you can purchase it separately. On the site it is located in this section.

Also make sure the front protective lens is firmly in place. This is especially true for operators who use a camera with a Super Suit aquabox, periodically removing and putting on the lens.

Again, all of the above must be done BEFORE you dive into the water. Remember, accidentally getting water inside the camera will not only ruin your shooting, but it can also cause serious malfunction or even damage to the device.

Use a float and safety strap

GoPro cameras are drowning. And they drown very quickly. They are also small in size and gray in color, which makes them quite difficult to find on the bottom of the sea or ocean. And only by using a float, you significantly reduce the risk of losing your device.

Floats are usually divided into two types: floats, which are attached to the camera, and monopod floats. The first is the GoPro Floaty accessory. a float made of lightweight foam is attached to the back cover of the GoPro Super Suit Housing and has a bright orange color, thanks to which you can easily notice your device on the surface of the reservoir if something goes wrong. There are also variations of this accessory in tandem with other mounts, as is the case with the GoPro Bite Mount Floaty.

The second includes accessories such as the GoPro The Handler or the SP Section Pole Set. in addition to their main role, they simultaneously function as selfie sticks designed to facilitate underwater photography. It is believed that these floats are more reliable, as they have adjustable safety straps that will help keep the monopod in your hand, even in an emergency situation. But even if something happens to the strap, and the float accidentally falls out of your hands, the monopods are equipped with orange tips, which will again make it easier to find them on the surface of the water.

Another option is to secure the device to your hand using the GoPro Hand Wrist Strap or GoPro Sleeve Lanyard. Of course, the device will not become unsinkable from this, but at least it will be reliably attached to you, which reduces its likelihood of ending its days on the seabed.

When you swim or dive with a GoPro, it is rarely fixed in one position. If automatic orientation rotation is enabled, you may get different results from what you want. For ease of shooting, viewing and post-processing, it is recommended to set the landscape orientation lock. To do this, swipe down to open the Control Panel, tap Options = Touch Screen = Landscape Lock.

Lock the touchscreen

Everyone knows that the GoPro screen doesn’t work underwater. But, as practice shows, at a depth of up to one meter, as well as immediately after surfacing in the presence of water droplets, the sensor can “glitch” and give false signals, due to which an important shooting can unexpectedly stop, or for a long and carefully calibrated settings unnoticed by you change. An important function saves you from such troubles. the screenlock. You can activate it by opening the control panel (swiping down) and clicking on the lock icon. Remember that device buttons and voice control work even when the screen is off.

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Also, GPS and Wi-Fi do not work underwater. therefore, you will no longer be able to control the camera using the GoPro Smart Remote or your smartphone. Based on the above, it is advisable to set the shooting settings even before you dive into the water. it will be difficult or almost impossible to do this in water.

Using your GoPro on the water surface

The following tips are for swimmers, kayakers, surfers, and those who often shoot in rainy weather.

Don’t forget to bring a hemisphere dome

In this article, we have explained in detail what a hemisphere dome is and what images can be obtained using it. If you want to get the same cool footage in the section of water and air environments, be sure to take this accessory with you.!

What to do with water droplets on the lens?

Even the smallest droplets of water caught on the lens can ruin your great shot. And this nuisance occurs only when shooting in the section of water and air environments. you will not face such a problem under water.

There are several ways to prevent dripping:

Lick the protective lens. Yes, you got it right. This is an old and well-known diving trick that saved their masks from fogging up: spit on the glass, rub saliva over the surface and rinse the mask in water. The method is fast, free and effective, but it may seem disgusting to someone. it is for these people that industrial water repellents exist.

Use special anti-fog sprays. As a result of using water-repellent sprays, droplets will not stick to the lens surface. This method is usually more effective than the previous one, since industrial sprays last longer than saliva.

There are many different hydrophobic products available, from the famous RainX, which you may have applied to your car’s windshield, to sprays designed and positioned for use with action cameras only. Since it is rather difficult to compare such products in action in practice, the general advice would be to choose a hypoallergenic colorless spray or odorless gel made from natural ingredients.

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Hydrophobic filters. On the market, you can also find small size films that are glued to the lens or attached like ordinary light filters and act as a hydrophobic spray. This is the most highly specialized and, probably, the most expensive method of all described, but at the same time, the most long-lasting: if 30 ml of spray is enough for 200 injections, then filters under proper storage and operation conditions can be used for years.

Another subtlety that you need to know about when shooting in sea water: after the device dries, a salty coating remains on the protective lens of the lens, which will blur the frame during subsequent shooting or unpleasantly reflect the directly incident light. Such distortions are not always noticeable on a small touch screen, so you need to monitor the condition of the lens, wipe it with a microfiber cloth or rinse it with fresh water in time so as not to be upset by the result of the shooting when you open the materials on the large screen.

GoPro Tip: If you immerse your GoPro in seawater without an aqua box, make it a rule to rinse it in fresh water immediately after use. This will extend the life of your device.

Using your GoPro underwater

If you are fond of diving or snorkeling, then in addition to the above tips, take into account the following recommendations:

The field of view is narrower under water than above water

When viewing footage captured underwater in SuperView mode, you’ll find that ultra-wide angle footage in water and air is different. water, as a denser medium, refracts light more, which narrows the camera’s angle of view. Consider this knowledge when shooting.

Use underwater filters

Have you noticed the oversaturation of blue and green colors in your underwater images, which only increases with the depth of the dive? The reasons for this phenomenon are described in detail in our article. In short, the long wavelengths of the Spectra color — these are reds, oranges, and yellows — are less likely to travel through the water column than short wavelengths. At great depths, this results in only shades of blue remaining in the image.

And here light filters come to the rescue of diving operators: when using them, the colors in the image look more natural and colorful, in other words, the color rendition is improved. Light filters come in red, pink, magenta, and less often yellow. Each of them has its own area of ​​application, so before purchasing them, we recommend that you read this article in detail. General advice before buying filters: be sure to pay attention to their compatibility with your GoPro model, as well as the way they are mounted. some filters are installed on the aqua box, while others are installed directly on the camera body.

It is impossible not to tell about such a useful accessory as a macro filter. This lens shrinks the focal length of the camera, allowing you to capture stunningly detailed footage from the closest distance. In our opinion, this is a real musthave for every adherent of underwater photography and video shooting.

GoPro Tip: Do not use filters close to the surface of the water (1 meter), where there is already sufficient sunlight. In this case, your materials will have a pink and unnatural tint, which will be difficult to remove even during post-processing.

For deep dives, use the aqua box

The camera also needs equipment that will protect it from the colossal water pressure at great depths and prevent it from leaking. For these purposes, it is recommended to use the original Super Suit underwater box. They differ for HERO8 Black, HERO7 / 6/5 Black and HERO7 Silver / White due to lens design, so make sure the box is compatible with your version of camera before purchasing. Separately, we note that due to the same design features, there are no original aqua boxes on the GoPro Fusion and GoPro MAX cameras.

Another significant advantage that the hermetic box gives to divers is that it drains the battery charge more slowly. The aqua box is a little, but retains the heat generated by the camera, and it is especially relevant when immersed in water, the temperature of which is close to 0 ° С.

Before diving, do not be lazy and check the tightness of the accessory: place a dry cloth or napkin inside, close the box and dip it in water. If the rag is not wet, everything is in order with the box. Sometimes a simple precaution can save both the camera and valuable footage.

What you need to know about fogging

Lens fogging is another subtlety that any operator will sooner or later face when shooting in water or underwater. This is possible only under a certain combination of temperature and humidity conditions, but the classic case of fogging occurs when the camera is immersed in an aquatic environment, the temperature of which is significantly lower than the ambient temperature. Humid air or moisture also contributes to fogging in the space between the lens and the protective lens, or the lens and waterproof case.

The problem is that it is impossible to eliminate condensation drops on the inside of a protective lens or aqua box underwater. you will definitely have to float up and wipe the fogged up area, otherwise you will get blurry frames. And even in this case, there is no guarantee that you will not stay on the surface, and the situation due to the temperature difference will not repeat itself. Therefore, it is better to prepare for such a nuisance even before you dive into the water for the first time.

To date, there are two known ways to prevent GoPro fogging, and both imply that the device will be used underwater in a hermetic box. The first is to use special thin reusable anti-fog inserts. Antifogs will absorb moisture from the small amount of air that enters the waterproof box when the camera is installed in it. If such an accessory is not at hand, then the second method will suit you: place the device in the aqua box not on the coast, where the air is saturated with moisture, but in advance, in the car or in a room with dry and cool air. An air conditioner will help create such conditions. it not only regulates the temperature in the room, but also reduces humidity.

Use your battery efficiently

Unfortunately, for the new line of cameras, no official analogs of the external battery Battery BacPac were released, which was considered one of the best and most essential accessories in the line of GoPro HERO3 and HERO4 models. Therefore, before any diver there is an acute question of rational battery consumption when shooting underwater.

How to Remove GoPro from Packaging

We will not reinvent the bicycle, and will only repeat the tips that we voiced earlier in other articles:

  • Turn off the camera when not filming. Before that, do not forget to activate the QuikCapture mode so that you can turn on the camera with one button and start shooting, so as not to miss a valuable shot;
  • Update the firmware to the most current version;
  • Turn off Wi-Fi, voice control and GPS. they still do not work underwater, but they consume a lot of battery power;
  • If necessary, lower the screen brightness to the lowest possible level;
  • Use a hermetic box in cold water. it discharges the camera more slowly;

In the event that you are planning a long shoot, you cannot do without additional batteries. You can leave them charging on the surface using a power bank and a device for charging two batteries.

Choose a fast and capacious memory card

Battery power isn’t the only thing to watch out for underwater. The 4K and 2.7K modes, for which you really want to capture the beauty of the underwater world, give out the maximum bitrate for GoPro (up to 100 Mbps), so for diving, stock up on high-speed cards of the maximum size. from 128GB and above.

Use underwater stabilizers

Traditional electronic steadicams, which we are used to using in the air, do not work underwater. But there is a solution. and this is a manual underwater stabilizer.

Firstly, this accessory, thanks to two wide-spaced grips, provides smoother camera movement and gives you more control over shooting and a certain stabilization effect. Secondly, the slower you move your GoPro, the better the information received by the sensor is processed by the processor, the best exposure, focus, white balance and other parameters are selected. which means that you will get professional-like footage at the output. Third, the gimbal can be fitted with all the accessories divers need, from floats to LED lights. Convenient and practical!

A torch is a diver’s best friend

The use of lanterns under water is a topic for a separate article, but we will try to sanctify it as succinctly as possible in a couple of paragraphs. It should be remembered that flashlights will give you an advantage if you are shooting a specific subject at close range (for example, macro photography of seaweed). They will also help you with dynamic shooting of the seabed, again from a fairly close distance. However, even with a powerful flashlight, it is not recommended to just float and shoot everything horizontally, illuminating everything with a light source. There are several reasons for this, and they are mainly associated with the optical properties of the aquatic environment. water is 770 times denser than air, and even optically pure, it weakens visible light about 1000 times stronger than air. What’s more, in muddy water, you may encounter small particles of silt or bubbles that will not only scatter light, but also reflect the light emitted by your flashlight from those very microparticles into the GoPro lens. Needless to say about high-quality shots after such shooting?

Underwater lighting is one of those things that you need to delve into carefully and gradually. If you are just learning the basics of underwater photography, at first it is recommended to shoot with one flashlight, preferably with it under the camera. The SP POV Light 2.0 adjustable power LED and the SP POV Dive Buoy float in tandem with the GoPro are a great starting setup for newbies. With more experience, you can install a second light source, attach them to extension cords and replace them with brighter, more powerful LED bulbs.

GoPro cameras are built to be used underwater, and with the right dexterity, minimal gear, and more or less constant practice, you can get amazing footage to proudly hang in the Hall of Fame of your best photos. Yes, they are not enough for many hours of shooting, and without a powerful flashlight, you can only count on a modest result. But with proper lighting, GoPro has virtually no competitors in terms of photo quality, usability and ease of use, not to mention the fun of the very process of underwater shooting with an action camera.