How To Get The Most From Your Action Camera | MTB Camera Tech

How To Get The Most From Your Action Camera | MTB Camera Tech


– Thanks to the amount of
affordable gear these days, it’s really easy to make a great mountain bike video at home. Now, the cheapest and easiest way to do it is by getting yourself
some kind of action camera. Now the reason these are so
good is you can mount them on your head, you can
put them on your body or your bike, or even just
on a pole and film them using them as a regular camera. But there can be a bit of a tech overload trying to figure out what you need. Knowing which aspect ratio is right, knowing which sort of
memory card you want, or your FPS from your H.264. This video is all about action cameras and how you can get the most out of one. (laid back chill music) First things first, and that is selecting the right style camera for you. Now there’s obviously very
expensive options available and there’s very cheap options out there. Some are fully featured, some
have barely any features. some are small, some are 360 cameras. Now what is it you’re going
to be using your camera for? If it’s just some occasional POV footage, i.e. following your mate down a trail and some crashes, stuff like that, or even a screen grab
to chuck on Instagram, you’re not going to need
the top of the range cameras that film 4K and have all
the bells and whistles. You can get away with
a very modest camera, it’s going to save you a lot of money and you’ll still get plenty of
great use and fun out of it. What frame rates or settings do you really need from your camera? Well to be honest up
to 60 frames per second is absolutely fine. And although many cameras,
even the cheaper ones do film in 4K these days, you’ll often find it’ll
be at a lower frame rate and really, you’ve got to bear in mind that you don’t need to be filming in 4K, 1080p is absolutely fine. And the other option of course,
is something that films 360, this particular one is a Rylo, it has a camera on both sides. If you’re going to pick a 360 camera, make sure it can still
function as a regular camera because of the fact that you don’t always want to have that crazy image. As fun and as amazing it is, what you can do on these things, it can get a bit sickening. So just make sure if you pick one, you can also use it just
as a regular 180 camera. I’m just going to throw you over
to Ben Deakin, The Deakinator. And he’s got some great tips
on using an action camera. – Hello guys, it’s Ben
Deakin here, Mr. Oi-Oi Man. We are here in the Muc-Off workshop, getting next year’s bikes ready. So I’ve got Rob Webb on the case. And we’re just going to show
you a couple of GoPro tips. I got asked by Doddy, to show
you a couple of my top tips. So the first one I’d recommend
is the mounting hardware that I use, so this is
the first one I use, just the normal handhold pole, this is where I can film other people getting all the angles,
this is what I used at Red Bull Rampage of Brendan, et cetera. The next one being, is your helmet mount. Now, obviously some people
mount on top of the helmet, I personally choose to
mount under the peak. The whole reason for this is it just means that you can get the hands
in, you can see some fat whips and all that good stuff. It’s also another top
tip to take a battery out on the trails with you. The main reason being, if
you’re going to a big bike park, you don’t want to miss every run, so you just want to make sure you’ve got a backup just in case. And I guess the final one is
the frame rates and things that I use on the actual GoPro itself. So I actually use a 128 frames per second, if I’m going to get some slow-mo clips. And then likewise, I use
the super wide setting, so the whole reason of
the super wide setting, it just means you can see
a bigger field of view. So certainly on things
like the Megavalanche, it means you can see the
carnage either side of you. Anyway, they’re my top tips, hopefully you’ve enjoyed my
little part of this episode. Until the next time,
see you in a bit, oi-oi. – So as Ben actually just said, he’s using various different
mounts on his helmet and off the bike as well. Now, he actually showed one of these poles to do the old selfie thing with. But this particular one by GoPro, I think Ben uses the same one, you can actually use it
as a mini tripod as well, quite a versatile bit of kit. So it’s well worth considering
something like that. Now, if you’re mounting onto your helmet, a couple of things to consider
are the safety aspects and also how you look. If you mount on the top of your helmet, firstly, you’re going to look
like a bit of a Teletubby, if you can deal with that it’s no problem. But secondly, something quite important for your footage point of view, is it actually slows down the footage from that point of view. So if you’re going to be doing that, make sure you’re following another rider. If you want the better form of view that makes it seem like
you’re going a bit quicker, mounting under the peak as
Ben suggested is really good because you’ve got better perspective. You can still see your bike, you can still see your handlebars and you have the nice stability
of it being on your helmet. If your mounting underneath there, it’s kind of good idea to
do it on the peak itself, ’cause if you have a crash
and you land on the front or side of the helmet, it
means the peak can break off. Next up of course, in
the mounting it realms, of course is the famous chesty mount. It’s pretty much like
a bra that you put on and you mount the camera
on your chest, tilt it up a little bit so it faces down the trail. You can see the bike moving around, it’s a really dynamic place to mount it and arguably one of the better places because you don’t have the
additional weight on your helmet. However, some people are a
little bit bothered by this, because firstly, it can be a bit sickening if you’re watching a
really aggressive trail ’cause there’s so much
movement of the bike, can be a bit disorienting to watch. So if you choose to use
a chest mounted camera just be cautious of how long the clips are and how aggressive your riding is, because it can be a bit
overwhelming to watch. The other one of course,
is it’s a safety point, because the camera is on your chest. Now of course, the camera mount
will most likely break off but some people are put off by this. Something you might want to check out, CamelBak for example, make a chest plate with a mount on, so it’s
actually a sternum protector with the GoPro mount or
the action camera mount on the front there. So, a good safety option
if that is up your street. Now a creator tip from our
behind the scenes guys here, obviously we make videos every day, so Dan Dan the cameraman
and everyone else here at GMBN and GMBN Tech, they
know so much about this stuff. Now on a daily basis
they’re putting GoPros and they’re putting other
action cams and stuff all over bikes and trying
to get this footage. And the stock mounts they come with, although they work really well, they can be a pain when
you’re taking them on and off, so they quite often
replace those actual mounts basically on a mounting hardware with regular bolts and screws, that way you can use an Allen
key like a Topeak trail tool, something like that, or a screwdriver. Just makes it a more secure fit and it makes it easier
to get them on and off. Now whilst on subjects of mounts, there’s lots of aftermarket
mounts available like these little fellas here from K-Edge. This one is designed
to go on underneath you of your saddle rails facing backwards, so you could have the
camera facing out the back, capturing the wheel rotating
around and seeing the rider chasing you down the trail. If you’re using any of
these sort of mounts, make sure they don’t sort of clash with anything on the bike, because this one fits
underneath the saddle, of course your rear tire could
hit it under compression. So wherever you mount them, just take care and make sure they’re not going
to hinder any part of the bike or yourself hitting them. Now you might hear people
talking about gimbals. A few years back they were really popular, especially on that chesty
mount, because you could get the most insanely stable
footage from them. But thankfully, you can
get around that these days ’cause most of the
action cameras available, have very good stabilization built in. And if you’ve got a 360 camera, there’s some really
cool things they can do. ‘Cause they film a much bigger image size, you essentially crop in on the image, you can still crop in at 1080p or even a 4K image and not even need the stabilization of a physical device. Although of course, all
of that does involve on good light, that is your friend. Next up is the memory card, in which you’re going to
record your information onto. I would recommend getting
the best one you possibly can because sometimes you
can get corrupt files and it’s painstaking, especially when you’ve recorded
like the run of your life and you can’t play the file, so get yourself a decent one. Now always look for a number 10, so they’re in a category of one to 10, 10 will be the fastest data rate, basically it records,
it reads and writes to, so look for a 10, it might be so that you’ve got a, I dunno like
a GoPro Fusion for example. It might require you
have a high-speed card. If that’s the case, you’re
going to have to invest and get a really good card. And make sure you do a bit of housekeeping on your card as well. Get in the habit of formatting
your cards quite regularly because it cleans the card out properly, and make sure there’s no
corrupt files on there that could crash your camera or more importantly corrupt
files that are on there. And of course, if you’ve got like, two hours of riding on there, take it off, you don’t need to keep it on there, it’ll slow your camera down
and take up that space. And while we’re at it, one
last point to remember, is you can get cards with huge capacities, now this one’s a 64 gig card, this one from a GoPro here. And I personally probably
wouldn’t want to go any bigger than that, you can fit an enormous amount on there. And if you’re going to be
filming more than that, there’s still a chance you
could lose that camera, I’d rather have two or
three smaller cards. And when they fill up,
just change them out than have a huge one. But that said, cards are very reliable, so I wouldn’t be too worried
about the card itself. Okay, so it’s time to talk
about a camera set up a bit. Now despite the fact
cameras are all different, they’re all going to have
some similar options available in the menus and the submenus on them. Now, some of them are
going to be the quality you record at, it could
be 720 or 1080 pixels or it could be up to 4K, as long as you remember
it’s got that stuff. Now you also want to bear in
mind that frame per second is going to be one of those as well, and of course the aspect ratio. Now aspect ratio is something
you definitely want to consider when you’re placing your camera around on your body or your bike. Now the cinematic 16:9 ratio looks amazing but probably not the best one if you’re going to mount
your camera on your chest because you’re going to miss out on everything that’s going on here, so something a bit more square, bit more like three by four
or something like that, is going to to suit that, so just take that into account when you’re setting up the
camera to go and record. If you’re going to be doing
some presenting at all, then you might want to
consider a separate microphone. You can get plug in lavs, so
if you’re doing say a POV run and you want to talk
your way through the run. Oh, I’m hitting that burn. I’m going left and doubling
that, they’re a nice option. However, if you’re doing stuff
along the lines of vlogs, then you might want to
consider a plug-in mic, something like this Compact one from Rode. It plugs in, although on some cameras you won’t have that jack input, you’ll need an adapter for that. And of course, it won’t fit
directly onto all cameras, so you may need to buy
something like this cage unit, that has a cold shoe on the
top in order to hold that. Always keep the lens clean. If you’re doing a POV run, the chances are a flick of
mud or a dead fly or something is going to end up on your lens, so if you can, obviously
be safe about this, try and just like clean the lens from time to time as you’re riding. Now, there are various
different products available, this is a goggle cleaner from Muc-Off, but that works really well
on the lenses of these. And another thing to consider, just like you might already
on your mobile phone or your device, is a screen protector. I’ve got one on here
and if you look closely, you can actually see it’s cracked, ’cause I actually hit
something with this recently. And I’m glad that’s cracked because I can peel that
off and put another one on and the lens is still absolutely fine. If you have the option
of Bluetooth or wifi on your action camera, try and keep them turned
off as much as possible if it allows, because that’s sort of stuff does drain the battery. And also on the subject of batteries, if you’re taking a spare one with you, keep it in your pocket,
keep it nice and warm, it will last longer than it
will in the bottom of a bag where it’s going to get cold. Batteries don’t like cold conditions. Finally and probably most importantly, light is everything. If you’re going to film in the dark woods, it’s going to be grainy and
you can’t expect features like slow motion to work very well or even the stabilization
that’s built into cameras. You need to head out on the
days that look the best. Just consider all the
coolest footage you’ve seen on action cameras is always
in the best conditions on the best weather. Next up is your editing. Now editing is something that
you need to be careful with because you can overdo the process, and you can actually end up with something that looks overcomplicated
and a bit crap, to be honest. Now there’s lots of
software options available, most computers now will have
some kind of free software available on them. Macintosh computers for
example, like this one here, will have have a program
called iMovie on them. It’s perfectly capable of putting together a really cool little video. Now if you’re going to be filming in 4K at 120 frames a second
and stuff like that, you can choke your computer up a bit. The software can’t quite
handle that as well. But you’ll still get a good result, if you’ve got some perseverance. Now if you really start getting
into this sort of thing, you might want to consider
some more advanced software like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. Now, Adobe Premiere is part
of the Creative Cloud package. Now this is a really cool system, it’s a subscription package and you can check off
a whole bunch of things for an amount of money per month. Obviously, if you’re into this, you might also be into
Photoshop or Lightroom or any of the other things they offer. So definitely worth considering. If you don’t want to spend any money and you just want to do it on your phone, there’s various bits of software that come included with
the action cameras. GoPro’s quite famous for having its relatively simple
stuff included on there enables you to do screen grabs and stuff. That works absolutely fine and
sometimes it’s all you need. But app stores are loaded with different video editing software,
many of them are free, but bear in mind, the ones that are free, normally the better
features you have to pay basically to unlock them. And quite often will have watermarks all over the images you’re
going to be editing, so it doesn’t look quite as good. If you choose to film on a 360 camera, there will also be some
sort of native software that comes with the camera
or they advise you to use. Now, the things with 360 cameras, obviously they’re filming literally everything the whole time, and you can get a bit
carried away with these, so I just say, try not to
use that effect too much. Because you can trace around so you can follow a bit of trail and you get the nice
stable view, that’s cool but you might be tempted to spin around, look behind you, look up, look down, do the tiny planet thing,
use that stuff sparingly. Now, if you’re going to be
exporting and uploading online, somewhere like Facebook perhaps
or Instagram, or YouTube, then you definitely want
to be doing around 1080. If you go for 4K uploads, it can take a very long time, you’re going to need very fast internet and it doesn’t always give you the same result that you hope for, because they do compress as you upload. However, you might still
want to be filming on 4K, if you’re intending on
playing on your 4K TV just by plugging in
via the supplied cable, ’cause that can look amazing. Now something some of the
better cameras have on them, is a sort of a protune feature, which is similar in photography
terms as a raw file. Now most of you will be
familiar with a JPEG file. That is a stock file
that a camera will shoot and it will kind of
grade the image slightly. A raw file will be much
bigger and it’ll be quite flat and that means you can
process that separately. There will be similar equivalents
on some action cameras. Now if you’re going to be
filming a lot of stuff, it’s quite good idea to
set this up as a raw style or pro tune, whatever the
camera format is going to be, and that means you can
grade it in the software. This is especially effective if you’re using the better software like Final Cut or Premiere. However, if you’re just
filming for Instagram clips and stuff like that,
save yourself the hassle and go for the images
straight out of the camera because they look great. Mix up your shots, no one
wants to see the same clip trawling on for five minutes,
it’s an action camera, you can put them anywhere. The whole point of them
is you can mount them all over your bike. Stop at the side of a trail,
put it under your saddle, facing forwards down the down tube, change it to your helmet,
change it facing backwards, move it around, it becomes
much more exciting, more exciting to film,
more exciting to edit, more exciting to watch. A few little tips for you, don’t speed up your riding,
it never looks good. Slow-mo by all means is fine
but don’t go over the top with that sort of thing. Also don’t go crazy on effects in editing, it can look a bit
amateurish, less is more. Keep those cuts and fades quite simple. If you’re quite into your music, you might want to consider
doing some of those cuts on the build ups or the breakdowns in the music for good effect,
it can work really well. But bear in mind, if using a
popular music song for example, and your video starts getting noticed, it could get taken down or the music could be removed from it, which basically just makes
your video a bit boring. So you might want to consider
some royalty-free music or some sort of subscription package. There is a lot of different
options available. And it does save you the hassle, and it’s kind of fun as
well filtering through trying to find something that really suits what you’re making. And I’m going to throw you over
to our very own Blake Samson, king of the POV. – Hey, thanks, Doddy,
yes I love action cameras and working with them are super cool but it does come with a few things. Now here’s my camera bag
and there’s a few things that I’ve taken to
consideration over the years of using an action camera. And the first thing
comes to mind is audio, now I’m going to show you a bit of audio, things that I’ve got set up. You can just run this foam thing, now this foam thing is
basically a diffuser that diffuses all the wind
that goes to this microphone, so the GoPro has two. So this does come up
with some great audio, if you run it on your chest
or you run it on your helmet, you can still hear yourself
chatting going down the trail. That is peanuts, that’s not expensive. Now mounts, I am all about the mounts and my favorite one has to be this, this is an extendable selfie pole. Now this thing, I call
it the unicorn mount. and I basically duct-tape it to my helmet and let the camera face back at me and you can see my whole body and my bike moving underneath me, that looks insane, I love that angle. There’s another angle I like
and that’s not on my person, that is this little guy right here. Now take a look at this. People ask me, how do you
get that nice pan shot in a time-lapse. It’s an egg timer, this is an egg timer and this one right here, is from GoPole. And basically, it’s got certain times, so if you want a 30 minute
180 degree you’ve got it, you just twist it to that. Or you got 45 minutes
which is 270 degrees, or you go for a full 60 minutes, and you can get 360 degree time-lapse of what goes on around you. You could do it right here
and it’ll look insane. That’s a little hack. But I got miscellaneous number of mounts, sticky mounds, you got all of this. Another good thing and I
can’t stress it enough, when you’re out on the trail, I think Deakin’s going to
agree with me, is batteries. You can never have enough batteries, I always have one in my
pocket, one in the GoPro, fully charged so when that thing dies, you can just flick one of
these back into your GoPro, continue to grab all that good action that I love to see. Back to you Doddy. – Cheers for that, Blake. Last up I guess then, is
when you post your videos. If you’re going to post a
video for example on Instagram, you might want to do a bit of research on the hashtags you’re using and things you’re tagging. That will help your video
become found and seen by more people, so you get more views, you’re going to get more likes. If you’re filming crash clips or if you’ve got a good
crash clip or a bike cave, anything like that, send them in to us. Tell us who you are,
all that sort of stuff, the link to the uploader is
underneath this video right here And we’ll feature you
on The Dirt Shed Show or a GMBN Tech show. And lastly, although it shouldn’t
be the last thing you do, consider the thumbnail image
that goes with your video, especially if you’re putting
it somewhere like YouTube. And if you want to little
cool tip from our creators, take a look at the thumbnails, how they appear when you
scroll through the app on your phone, because
the ones that stand out are the ones that you’re
going to want to click on. Well there we go, there are some tips on trying to get the best
from your action camera. Go and make some cool
stuff and show it to us, upload it and all that stuff. Now if you want to see some
more stuff on these lines, click down here for Blake’s video on how to self shoot your own video. Now there’s some tips in
there on using action cameras but also using proper cameras as well, it’s a good mixture of stuff,
so it might inspire you to make an amazing mountain bike epic. Give us a thumbs up if you
like this sort of content, give us some comments down there if you want to see some
more things like this or if you’ve got some
suggestions, let us know. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and hit that notification
bell, cheers, guys.