6 Action Camera Tips for Beginners
There are reasons why action cameras are so popular, especially among travelers and those who love to go on adventures. Action cameras are designed to be durable and compact at the same time, which means you can mount them anywhere and take them through the elements to capture the best moments.
Action cameras are also relatively easy to use. Most of them are designed to be as simple as a point-and-shoot; you don’t have to worry too much about camera settings and manual focusing. Still, you can capture stunning images and videos with a few simple tweaks, and we are going to discuss the best tweaks and tips to use in this article.
Be Playful with Angles
Action cameras usually use a wide-angle lens, and there is a good reason for this choice. Wide angle lenses are better at capturing context (i.e., the landscape around you). Plus, wide angle lenses have deeper depth of field, so focus is never an issue.
The wider angle lends itself to some creative angle and composition choices. Don’t hesitate to be playful with how you position the camera and the kind of shooting angle you use. Attaching the action camera to the end of a very long pole, for instance, helps simulate drone shots.
Play with Pace
If you are shooting videos with an action camera, make sure you keep the pace of the video relatively fast. The combination of a wide angle and all-in-focus shots isn’t the best for slow-paced stories. You want the audience to admire the landscape but also follow the story you want to convey.
Rather than using one long shot, learn to utilize multiple angles and shorter footages. Not all videos have to be action-packed but adding B-rolls and shots from multiple points of view will help keep the video interesting, even when it is relatively long.
Take It Underwater
One of the best footages you can capture with an action camera is that transition from a land shot to an underwater one. The best action cameras, like this one from OCLU, are capable of capturing beautiful underwater footage. You only need the underwater case to get started.
Some cameras require underwater filters for color correction, but the more advanced ones like the aforementioned OCLU are not. You can also color-correct in post-production if you don’t want to invest in a set of filters for your action camera.
Play with Framerate
Another interesting way to utilize your action camera to capture stunning shots is by bumping up the framerate. Being able to shoot 1080p footage at 120 FPS is fantastic. You can play the footage back at normal speed and get a lot of details or slow it down to 24 FPS for some slow-motion beauty shots.
That’s 5x slow motion, which is more than enough in most situations. Even better, you can also use speed ramping – in and out – to add that dramatic effect found in the best travel videos. Speed ramping lets you highlight the important moments in the video.
Use It for Daily Shots
People usually think of adventures like bungee jumping or skydiving when thinking about action cameras. Yes, this type of camera is designed to withstand extreme situations. However, many action cameras are also perfect for everyday videos, including vlogs and travel videos.
In fact, they are often better than DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Action cameras are smaller and easier to mount, so you can be more creative when shooting your travel videos. You can even mount it on your car for some interesting shots.
Explore POV Shots
While we are on the subject of mounting, use action cameras to highlight a particular point of view. POV shots are very popular these days and they are easy to achieve with an action camera. You only need the right mounting option to get started.
When going on a long tour on a motorcycle, for instance, adding an action camera to your helmet (and perhaps another one to the front fork) will let you take your audience on the trip with you. That very personal point of view is something that only action cameras can achieve.
Use the six tips and tricks we covered in this article to help you upgrade your action camera footage to the next level.