GoPro Cameras as just "Video Cameras"?

August 06, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

You have a GoPro camera? If so, what do you use it for? What do you shoot with it? Be honest, do you actually strap it to your helmet, surfboard, skateboard, bike, motorcycle, or dog and capture that super awesome POV GoPro footage you see in all those super awesome promo videos? Or do you just use it as a small handheld video camera when you're on vacation like, I would hazard a guess, most of us do? Have I strapped my GoPro onto moving objects? Of course! Do I do it very often...alas, no. 

What I DO use my GoPro for is to capture footage when I'm at sporting events, and since the majority of sporting events I go to are cycling and skateboarding events, the GoPro camera is a perfect little camera to get the epic footage that I'm looking for, whether it be a cool close up of a skater blasting out of a bowl, or a mountain biker launching off of a jump, or a cyclocross racer sloshing through the mud. The little GoPro is perfect size for me to carry in my pocket when I'm on site, and allows me to pull it out and shoot some footage while I have my SLR in my other hand. I have a good SLR camera that shoots good 4K footage, but really, unless I have a 10-20mm lens on it, the 70-200mm I usually have on it, is not THAT conducive to shooting footage. I find that the GoPro has amazing capabilities to shoot what I need, and if you have one of the latest models, like anything from the Hero 8 Black to newer, you can dial in the right lens "look" (super wide, wide, linear, etc) and frame rates (up to 240fps) to get the look you want. For my stuff, I almost ALWAYS shoot in 2.7K, Wide, 120fps. I'd shoot in 4K 120fps, but I use the Hero 8 Black and the highest frame rate it does in 4K is 60fps, which will STILL get you good slow motion footage, but 120fps is SO MUCH FUN!  2.7K is still high enough resolution to allow you to crop in, or do some moving around of the footage in post if you want, and since 99% of my stuff is going up on Stock Footage sites, or Youtube, I export it in 1080p anyway. 

Here are some examples of some of the stuff I've shot with my GoPro:

On a very wet and soggy day out shooting a cyclocross bike race. I figured if the racers have to race through calf high water, then I might as well get in there with them. Good thing I brought my boots. ;) This is a perfect example of why the GoPro cameras are great for using as just video cameras. You can shoot in pretty much ANY weather conditions. 

 

A great example of how shooting at 120 frames per second allows me to slow the footage down to 24fps and achieve super smooth action. A photographer at the same event was using a handheld Godox strobe while he shot photos, and this produced the "happy accident" of my footage capturing his flash, allowing me to freeze my footage for a super cool "pause" in the frontside air the skater was doing.

 

For this one, I had my GoPro on a Zhiyun action camera gimbal and ran backwards as these cyclocross racers headed to, and over, the little jump ramp on the course. The beauty of the small gimbal and compact nature of the GoPro, makes it super easy to get these sorts of shots. 

 

So as you can see, I am a firm believer in using my GoPro camera as "just a video camera" when I'm out and about at these sporting events. If you attend sporting events as a photographer, either "on the job", or just for your own enjoyments, I highly recommend either bring your GoPro, or picking one up to shoot footage and add to your personal portfolio, stock offerings, or to your clients as another asset. They are super easy to use, very portable and produce great footage.

 

Now grab your GoPro and get out there and shoot! 

 


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