Vlogs have been popular for a while now, so it’s only natural for people to continue finding new ways of capturing vlog footage in order to stand out from the crowd. After the concept of GoPro vlogging was introduced, this tiny camera has become a revolutionary gadget in the world of YouTube vlogs.
In this GoPro vlogging guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about vlogging with GoPro, from the equipment you’ll need to set up the GoPro app and all the way to the mistakes you’ll need to avoid in the process. There are plenty of tricks and techniques that can help you improve the quality of your GoPro vlogs, so if you’d like to learn more, just keep on reading.
The Benefits of Using a GoPro for Vlogging
Are you an aspiring vlogger who’s thinking of getting a GoPro but you aren’t sure whether it’s a worthwhile investment? Here are some benefits of using GoPro for vlogging that might inspire you to purchase one yourself.
Tired of carrying around a large and heavy camera everywhere you go? Are you shy to vlog in front of other people while having the same camera pointed directly at you? GoPro is here to help with that.
One of the many useful traits of using GoPro for vlogging is its convenient size and design. It’s striking how small these gadgets are, yet how many benefits they pack inside. You can carry them around with you everywhere you go, regardless of whether you’re a travel vlogger, a daily vlogger, or a beauty vlogger. Due to its small size and light weight, it’s easy to carry around while travelling, something travel vloggers will especially find useful.
Built-in Wi-Fi Access
There’s nothing more frustrating for a vlogger than having no access to Wi-Fi. Luckily, GoPros come with built-in Wi-Fi that makes the task of syncing and downloading videos and pictures to your phone or laptop easier than ever. Pretty handy, right?
When investing in a GoPro, you no longer have to sacrifice the video quality for more convenient ways of capturing certain shots. Most GoPros nowadays come with 4K video quality that delivers stunning shots and images, meaning you can have a gadget that’s easy to use and carry around with camera-worthy quality.
GoPros Are More Affordable than Standard Cameras
Speaking of cameras, if you’ve ever done any research on using GoPro for vlogging, then you’ve most likely noticed that GoPros are far more affordable than vlogging cameras. Some cameras go up to $1,500 and more in terms of pricing, which, needless to say, not all vloggers can afford to purchase, especially not at the beginning of their vlogging journey. Most GoPro options range from $300 to $400, making them a more affordable option for vloggers.
Swimming and Beach Day Vlogs
One of the best features of GoPros is their water-resistant built. This will allow you to take your camera to the pool or to the beach and capture some beautiful shots without worrying about getting your camera wet. It will also make you less anxious in regards to accidentally dropping your camera while in the hot tub or spilling a drink on it. Keep in mind that different types of GoPros have a certain depth limit, so do your research prior to throwing your camera in a large body of water.
Different Shooting Modes
An easy way to cut down on editing time is to use the different shooting modes that come with GoPro such as time lapses. With the help of a GoPro, if you’re ever in need of some breathtaking visuals for your vlog, all you need to do is set a timelapse once you spot a gorgeous sunset or serene mountain scenery. Making your vlogs more visually appealing has never been easier.
What’s the Best GoPro for Vlogging?
If you’re planning on vlogging with GoPro, it’s important to choose the correct edition right from the start so you don’t waste any money on versions that won’t deliver. We have selected the top 3 best GoPro for vlogging and we’ll go over some of their features.
Any travel vloggers out there are bound to get along with the GoPro Max. Even though it’s slightly on the pricier side ($450), it’s a worthwhile investment that will make travel vlogging a lot easier.
It’s a 360 camera with an easy set up and great image stabilization, making it a perfect option for travel vlogs. Not to mention, it’s incredibly lightweight and small, so it’ll make it easier for travel vloggers to meet their luggage limits. The GoPro Max comes with a built-in touchscreen where you have the option of viewing all the footage that you filmed. The video quality is outstanding – it records at 5.7K resolution, and you can edit all your footage using the GoPro app.
Hands down one of the best GoPro for vlogging cameras is the GoPro Fusion. Even though it’s more affordable than the GoPro Max ($200), it still delivers a great level of performance. It comes with 5.2K spherical video resolution at 30fps and 18MP spherical photos. It contains more than one mic, which will take your audio quality to the next level. Needless to say, audio quality is one of the most important aspects of vlogging and definitely something you should pay attention to. You can always purchase an additional external mic, but more on that later.
Another amazing feature of the Fusion is its low-light performance. You won’t be put in situations where the lighting is subpar every time you vlog, but it’s always a plus to have as a feature. Overall, it’s one of the best GoPros out there with an affordable price and impeccable performance.
GoPro Hero 8 Black
The improved version of the beloved Hero series – the Hero 8 Black is somewhere in between the GoPro Max and the GoPro Fusion in terms of price – it costs $330. It offers 4K video and great image stabilization, the perfect mixture for amazing vlogging footage. Not to mention, it comes with plenty of shooting features and modes like TimeWrap.
The microphone is located at the front of the GoPro, making it easy to divert any background noise that tends to creep up in vlogs. Any audio that’s intended to end up in the vlog will also come out more crisp and clear.
Having elaborated on some of the best GoPro for vlogging options out there, it’s time to delve into the logistics and setup behind GoPro vlogging and explain some of the essential equipment any GoPro vlogger should ideally have, as well as give you some ideas on optional GoPro vlogging equipment.
GoPro Vlogging Setup
When vlogging with GoPro, it’s crucial to have a few essential pieces of equipment that will undoubtedly make the vlogging process a lot easier and significantly increase the quality of your vlogs. There are also a few pieces of equipment that are optional, so if you’re budget allows, we recommend purchasing them as well.
Let’s go over the whole GoPro vlogging setup and all the equipment you will need if you decide to take up vlogging with GoPro.
Essential GoPro Vlogging Equipment
Apart from a GoPro vlogging camera, what else will you need to start your vlogs?
Having an external mic will drastically improve the audio of your vlogs – you will capture crisp and clear audio and the mic will allow for capturing sounds in all directions that the GoPro wouldn’t usually pick up. You have the option of going for an external mic that’s specifically designed for GoPro, or using a mic that works with a wide range of cameras. Our top recommendation is the Edutige ETM-001 Omnidirectional Microphone – it’s ideal for vlogging and due to its lightweight design, you will be able to carry it around with you while travelling without a problem.
One of the most used accessories for GoPro vloggers is a mic adapter. Audio quality is crucial when doing any type of vlogging, which is why having a mic adapter is a worthwhile investment. You can connect it to a wide range of external microphones and it’s quite easy to set up and use.
Let’s face it – you won’t always have the perfect conditions when vlogging with GoPro, which is why it’s crucial to invest in at least one piece of equipment that will give you extra lighting when necessary. Light mods are the way to go for beginners and advanced vloggers alike. It’s essentially a piece of equipment you add on directly to your GoPro where you can set up a couple of different brightness levels and up to 200 lumens. The light mods are also waterproof up to 10m, so you can take them along on your diving adventures as well. Keep in mind that not all light modes are compatible with every single GoPro, so make sure you do your research prior to purchasing one.
The GoPro App is designed to make your experience with using GoPro a lot easier and smoother. After downloading the GoPro app (a process we will explain further on in this article), you can view the captured pictures and videos, do live streams, choose between different shooting modes, and access every camera setting on your GoPro. Overall, you should definitely incorporate the app in one way or another if you plan on vlogging with GoPro often.
Although vloggers who do mostly sit-down videos can easily improvise and use a stack of books or a box instead of a tripod, when vlogging with GoPro, it’s quite harder to pull those creative alternatives off. That’s why we’ve put a tripod as an essential piece of equipment for any GoPro vlogger.
There are plenty of GoPro tripod options over on Amazon, but the Joby GorillaPod seems to be a favourite among vloggers. It’s flexible and easy to use, and compatible with most GoPro models. It will give you immense control of the shots while shooting, which is always useful when filming vlog footage.
Optional GoPro Vlogging Equipment
It’s not always the case that GoPros come with their own protective cases. Sometimes, GoPro users have to hunt down their GoPro case, and it seems like the GoPro Casey might be the perfect option. The Casey will fit any GoPro, including some additional accessories you might buy and protects against water and harsh weather.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so we’d highly recommend investing in a protective case at the beginning of your GoPro vlogging journey.
Some shooting options on the GoPro require a little extra battery power, so if you find yourself often lacking on battery power when vlogging with GoPro, then consider buying a rechargeable battery.
GoPro Screen Protector
GoPro screens can sometimes get damaged if you decide to use them in rough conditions, so if you can afford it, buying a screen protector from the start is a great idea. It will protect your GoPro from scratches and other external damage, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. Most screen protectors cost around $10 and they’re quite easy to set up.
The perfect accessory for travel vloggers who always have their hands full – the chest mount will allow you to go on carefree adventures and film them without having to worry about capturing the perfect shot. The chest mount is lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about carrying around a heavy accessory and it can be worn with most clothing pieces.
Just like the chest mount, the head strap will make vlogging with GoPro a lot easier. The head strap is adjustable, so it can fit any head size, and it’s compatible with most GoPros.
Selfie Stick/ Extension Pole
Using a selfie stick while vlogging can be quite intimidating at the beginning, but it certainly allows vloggers to get more shots and new perspectives. If you aren’t shy in public, consider getting a selfie stick for your GoPro. Most selfie sticks designed for GoPro are waterproof and extend to a pretty long distance. You’ll be able to swivel the GoPro any way you like and adjust the angles easily.
TheGoPro El Grande is one of the best extension poles out there which comes with an over-sized grip that will improve your whole vlogging experience. You can use it for various types of activities such as biking, skiing, and skateboarding, or, since it’s waterproof, any activities that require you to be near water.
How to Use GoPro for Vlogging
So now that you have all the equipment needed to start your first GoPro vlog, it’s time to go over all the steps required when vlogging with GoPro.
Connect to the GoPro App
The first thing you want to do is connect your GoPro to the official app. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, now is the time to do so. Note that internet access is required for downloading and using the app. Make sure your Wi-Fi is on, and once you have a secure connection, click the Connect and Control button. From there, you can monitor the shots and make any necessary changes in the camera settings.
Use the GoPro Case
For this step, you will need to have your external case (which comes with GoPro purchases for free) in hand. If you want to attach your GoPro to a tripod or any other accessory, it needs to be mounted in the external case first.
Connect Your GoPro to Your Mic / Tripod
Most of the equipment mentioned above requires an easy setup. When it comes to connecting your GoPro to your external mic, you will need a GoPro Microphone Adaptor. All you need to do is open the GoPro door and plug the adapter of the microphone in. After the mic has been connected to the GoPro, you won’t have to do any additional installation – the mic will connect automatically to the device.
Mounting your GoPro to a tripod is a straightforward process as well. When mounting the GoPro, make sure you do it firmly enough so that it’s stable and doesn’t fall off. There are many tripod options on Amazon, and you can even purchase some bundles such as the GoPro 3-Way Grip, Arm, and Tripod.
Adjust the Settings
Some GoPro settings will do better than others vlogging-wise. While vlogging with GoPro, you want to be very deliberate in your choice of settings in order to make as high-quality videos as possible.
Standard GoPro vlogging settings include 1080p quality in 30fps. However, if you want to shoot a unique scene, you will have to do some adjustments, especially in terms of shooting modes. In order to become a good judge of what settings a particular scene will require, you will need to do some experimenting on your own.
YouTube vlogger Meredith Marsh, apart from the standard 1080p/30fps settings, recommends a linear field of view with the Protune turned off. When shooting in unstable conditions, make sure you have the video stabilization on.
For specific Protune setting recommendations, we will turn to MicBergsma. For GoPro vlogging, he recommends to:
- Set the white balance to native so you can easily adjust it later on when editing,
- Set the colour to flat so that you can edit the footage in greater detail,
- Set the ISO limit to 400 for daytime vlogging and higher for low light/ nighttime shooting,
- Set the sharpness to low so it’s easier to adjust when editing,
- The EV Compensation (exposure) setting to be set at -0.5 so you avoid overexposure.
You’ve connected to the GoPro app, you’ve connected to the accessories, you’ve adjusted the settings, and now it’s finally time to shoot the vlog!
Once your camera is connected to the app, tap the camera icon located in the middle of the screen, underneath the camera name. By swiping left or right, you will be able to choose between different shooting modes. When you select a certain mode, the mode settings will be shown in the bottom left corner.
There’s a capture icon in the bottom right corner where you can choose between different capture modes. Remember that some of the modes might differ depending on what GoPro you have. If you don’t like a certain setting within a mode, you can change it by tapping the bottom right icon where all the settings are shown.
When you’re ready, press the circle icon in the middle of the screen to start recording.
Import the Footage to Your Video Editing Software
Once you have the clips you need in order to form a cohesive GoPro vlog, it’s time to import the footage and start editing. You have a couple of options when it comes to uploading your footage to your computer:
- Upload it with an SD card reader
- Use a USB cable
- Use software like Quik
Just like editing vlogs filmed on conventional cameras, you have the option of using free or paid editing software. Some editing software comes with certain computers, like iMovie or Adobe. If you’d like to go for a paid version, Final Cut Pro X is highly praised for its easy navigation, so it’s also suitable for beginners.
Here is where all the magic happens. In each editing software, you can make adjustments such as adding a title, making smooth transitions, adding filters, cutting/adding footage, and creating special effects. For more editing software recommendations, check out our in-depth guide on the best vlog editing software.
Vlogging with GoPro – What Mistakes to Avoid
You will make plenty of mistakes in your GoPro vlogging journey. Everyone does. We’re here to give you some heads up on what kind of mistakes to avoid when starting out.
Using the same angle when shooting. When vlogging with GoPro, some angles can be limited, but that doesn’t mean that you should solely rely on one angle. Get creative with your shooting perspective and mix it up every once in a while. Use an accessory like a chest mount or a selfie stick that will allow you to capture more of your surroundings than you would normally. If you have the option, get someone else to film you for a couple of shots – it will give your viewers a refreshing perspective and it will make your video more engaging.
Not including storytelling in your GoPro vlogs. Vlogging can be an extremely creative endeavour, but you have to plan ahead. Whenever you film a vlog, think about the story behind the shots you’re capturing. Include everyone else around you and film from their perspective. When travelling, interview locals and tell their side of the story. Add a unique fact when talking about a specific subject and, above all, arrange your shots so they tell a cohesive story. The possibilities are endless.
Failing to take care of your GoPro. Due to its smaller size, it’s easier to get your GoPro in accidents in comparison to standard cameras. GoPros are naturally much more fragile, so you need to carefully protect them against harsh weather and conditions that can damage them.
Forgetting to adjust the settings. It can be easy for GoPro vloggers to get caught up in the moment and forget to adjust their settings when they move to an area with low light, but by doing so, you will lower the quality of your vlogs and you will have to reshoot the footage. In order to save time, remember to keep the shooting conditions in mind at all times or adjust the settings accordingly.
More Tips on Vlogging with GoPro
Since now you have a good grip on the mistakes you should avoid while vlogging with GoPro, let’s move on to more general tips that you can use in your everyday GoPro vlogging.
Include time-lapse videos. Time lapses are some of the most visually appealing shooting modes GoPro offers. It doesn’t matter what activity you’re doing while you’re filming a time-lapse – it can be a running competition, a picturesque sunset, a drive, or a boat trip, there are plenty of ways you can get creative with your footage and include some variety in your vlogs. Time lapses allow you to make your GoPro vlogs more dynamic and thus more captivating for the viewers.
Do your best to extend the battery life. There’s nothing more frustrating than eyeing a perfect shot and not having the battery to actually shoot it on your GoPro. In order to avoid this, either do your best to extend the battery life on your GoPro by switching off Wi-Fi when not needed or purchase an extra battery and carry it around with you everywhere you go.
Good music is key. Don’t underestimate the power a great music selection can have in your vlogs. In order to learn how to find music for your vlogs easily, check out our guide on finding music for your vlogs.
Lighting can make the world of a difference. Try your best to shoot in natural lighting whenever you can. Doing so will instantly improve the quality and clarity of your vlogs. If you don’t have the option of shooting during the day or outside, you should think of investing in professional artificial lighting or GoPro accessories that offer artificial lighting.
Use transitions. Transitions allow you to express your creativity and make your vlogs a lot smoother and more pleasant to watch. There are plenty of transition options while filming with a GoPro, and most of them are pretty easy to make. If you don’t have an idea about how to make transitions in your GoPro vlogs, check out Jake Rich’s 5 Must Know GoPro Transitions video for some helpful insight.
Source: Jake Rich
Create a powerful start to each vlog. The truth is – if you don’t capture the viewer’s attention within the first few minutes of vlogging, chances are they will move on to the next vlog. To prevent this, put some special thought in the start of your videos and make the intros captivating so that you can grab your viewer’s attention from the get-go.
Get organized. You will have a lot of clips when you sit down and edit, there’s no denying that. To make this process easier, organize your GoPro files, name them accordingly, and separate them according to which video they belong to.
Our GoPro vlogging guide comes to an end, so we hope you found it helpful. Even though vlogging with GoPro can seem intimidating at first, by following these simple steps you can easily get some captivating shots in no time.
Everyone has different definitions of what constitutes a good vlogging camera, but it’s safe to say that the GoPro has some incredible features that are amazing for various types of vlogging. It’s a camera that will enable you to capture great footage with plenty of shooting modes, all the while being very easy to navigate, carry around, and travel with, so overall it’s worthwhile to invest in it.
The price of GoPro cameras varies depending on what kind of GoPro you purchase and where you get it from. Overall, GoPro cameras cost between $200 to $450.