Recently got an action camera for yourself? These type of camera boasts an ability to capture fast-motion images beautifully—but only if you know how to use action cameras the right way. If you don’t, then it is high time that you learn how.
Action cameras are the future of the photography industry. Thrill seekers use it for recording their adventures while sports enthusiasts use it to show off their skills. While the number of action camera users is incessantly growing with each passing day, the majority of them don’t even know how to maximize its potential.
How to Use Action Cameras
If you are among these many people, then allow us to help you out. In here, we will provide you with a detailed guide to using an action camera. And by the end of this article, we are confident that you will have learned how to shoot like a pro.
Here are a few useful tips and tricks to help you understand how to use action cameras to its fullest.
Choose a Model with Useful Specs
First off, while buying an action camera, you should go for the one that offers Wi-Fi functionality. In this way, you will be able to share your recordings or shots promptly and with whoever you want.
Secondly, there are many action cameras now that let you edit your photos and videos directly from it. Some also come with integrated editing software. Therefore, if you want to avoid the hassle of data transfer for editing purposes, you should get a model with this functionality.
Use Various Angles
For making your final edited video more interesting, shoot it multiple times using various angles. Mount your camera at different positions. Not only would this help in capturing the entire view, but you’ll also get to find out which position produces better results than the others.
For instance, recording from the handlebars of your bike may result in footage that has more shakes, whereas keeping the camera closer to your chest would result in a smoother film.
Purchase Mounting Equipment/Accessories
A lot of people use duct tape as an inexpensive alternative for mounting their camera. However, it can never ensure the security of your device, especially if you plan to use it while playing. Hence, it is better to avoid the likelihood of any unpleasant incident by investing in a mounting tool.
Make sure to go for the one that is compatible with your camera. Normally, the majority of mounts are meant to be used with either your headgear or on your chest. However, there are other types too, such as stick mounts, that are designed for recording other games like hockey.
Know Your Camera
Before you begin capturing the real action, practice filming things around your place to understand how your camera works. This would also give you plenty of time to experiment with different settings.
A few fundamental things to keep in mind are the camera resolution and the frame rate. The prior refers to the pixel quality of the camera, whereas, the frame rate refers to the number of photos your camera can shoot in one second. You need to bear in mind that the standard playback for video is 24fps, but you can also get higher frame rates.
Keep Additional Batteries
Always keep spare batteries with you. You never know when your batteries decide to betray you, so think smartly and stay prepared for the worst at all times. Pack at least two additional batteries in your gear and make sure to keep them protected from extreme temperatures.
Keep it Brief
While editing your video, try not to add prolonged overlay shots. Moreover, don’t keep the individual scenes more than five seconds long. Aside from that, for augmenting your editing options, always shoot a little more than what is required.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
From purchasing to utilizing an action camera, there are several common mistakes that people tend to do. Here is a brief list of all those mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Don’t Fall Prey to the Marketing Tactics
If you haven’t yet purchased your camera, do proper and thorough research before buying one. A lot of models claim to have 4K resolution with some other fancy features. However, the truth is that only very few of them actually deliver what they promise.
There are many 4K cameras whose video quality is inferior to those of normal HD cameras. So, do not make the resolution of the device your deciding factor and look for the overall performance.
Don’t Shoot With a Dirty Lens
For capturing crisp and clear shots and videos, it is imperative that your lens is clean. Recurrent use often results in the accumulation of dust particles on the lens. Shooting while cycling may also attract rain droplets, dirt, and muck to the lens.
Your job is to keep the lens of your camera as safe as possible from these intruders. However, if they somehow manage to get onto the lens, clean it off immediately. Also, make sure to clean the lens on a regular basis to avoid dirt buildup.
Don’t Shoot in Compromised Lighting Conditions
In case you don’t know yet, the size of an action camera lens is quite small. The small size allows it to collect lesser light per second in comparison to a camera with a bigger lens. For compensating this flaw, action cameras enable you to increase the sensitivity of the sensor or to decelerate the shutter speed.
Yet, the thing is, slow shutter tends to blur out quick motion shots, whereas higher sensitivity significantly intensifies the noise in your images. You can still try it if you want but the result would be distorted, hazy, and blurry images/videos. Therefore, to avoid it altogether, it is best to capture all of your action in the daytime.
Don’t Use the Wrong Frame Rate
Many action cams have the capability of capturing high-speed films for playing them in slow motion later on. As tempting and awesome as this function may seem, never leave your camera on this setting on a permanent basis. Not only would it quickly eat up all of your storage, but it will also result in generating additional sensor noise.
The reason for that is simple. A high frame rate increases the shutter speed, which allows lesser light to enter. As a result, you get an underexposed photo, which is surely not the reason you bought this device for.
For best results, we’d strongly recommend you alter the frame settings manually every time to suit your requirements. If the lighting conditions are good, you can keep the settings high, but if it is not, then you shouldn’t go above 30 fps.
Action cameras are a relatively new technology, which means that they offer endless possibilities that are yet to be discovered. In time and with enough practice, we are confident that you will get to use it to its full potential and capture images that are not only priceless but also timeless.