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go pro and travels

The role of action cameras whilst travelling

In this article we will talk about microscopic cameras or action cameras. These cameras accompany many of us on our travels, excursions and activities of all kinds.

There are many brands in the market. I have chosen to write specifically about the multipurpose GoPro as a satisfied user of this model. This does not mean that there are no other similar, equally or more reliable in the market. Below in our article you will find useful settings and accessories for action cameras.

Advantages

The DSLR enables me to take awesome snapshots and good resolution depending on the way I wear the lens. Nevertheless, on my travels, and most of my activities I use my microscopic GoPro much more frequently. The reasons are the following:

  • It’s microscopic and weighs 120 g  depending on the model.
  • It is waterproof up to 10 m, usually without a case. With the corresponding waterproof case you can exceed 60m depth when diving.
  • With the activated function  Quick Capture, you press a small button and the video will start recording immediately.At any given time you can immortalize a scene without having the button constantly on stand by.
  • It is suitable for all conditions(mud, water, mountains, cold, heat). You will capture moments and scenes which would not have been possible with a normal camera or mobile..
  • You can take a selfie showing you and the group and the entire scenery behind without any difficulty in focusing clearly thanks to its wide angle lens.
  • As it is an easy fit and so easy to carry on you you will never be anxious that you might lose it or have it stolen.

Disadvantages

  • It has a small battery duration. You will definitely need to have a second battery at hand if you are travelling so you won’t be left stranded in the middle of a shoot.
  • The Zoom! In the older models there was no digital zoom. In the newer models such a function exists, but not to a very large degree. In addition there is a reduction in the analysis that occurs in the final result. 
  • The shutter response.The shutter button is not pressed as easily and  instantly as in the other cameras .The reason for this is that it doesn’t get pressed by accident due to the extreme shots for which it is intended. Some users find this annoying, not so much for the videos, but for the photos, as it is necessary to press the shutter successively. A second disadvantage most users have reported,is the software that the camera has which isn’t as fast as it could be .For example in the Quick Capture function switching from on to off can take up to 3 seconds. This is enough time to lose a very important moment you might want to capture.

Necessary equipment for action cameras

All action cameras have a wide range of accessories which meet the needs of even the most demanding user. In the market you will obviously find the authentic products of each respective company, as well as quite a few aftermarket giving a 50% discount. 

In my opinion, having suffered the consequences (with broken wrist accessories), it would be good to have good quality, reliable accessories on your travels. Whatever you do not use often and just want a few downloads you can experiment with aftermarket products.

Generally, each  user will choose their equipment based on their activities and interests. Below I will list the most important accessories for photo and video shooting:

3- way camera mount

One of the most basic accessories of the GoPro and of all action cameras,which has a triple use as its name implies. It can be used as a single handle for your camera, it can extend into a selfie stick for solo or group selfies and, finally, it can be turned into a tripod for stead and varied shoots. It is a multi purpose accessory which takes up very little space in your bag and can give you many solutions while you are taking important photos. If a user doesn’t use the tripod they can simply buy a selfie stick.

3 way equipment fot action cameras
The Strap

This is the next accessory for someone who doesn’t have any free hands. It is placed on the wrist and has a rotating base of 360ο  for shoots from every corner.It also has other larger straps with velcro for tying on thighs or even on the head. The possibilities are many.

Strap for go pro
Waterproof case

In the event that your trip involves diving or some other extreme water sport it would be good to obtain the corresponding cage. They can go as deep as 40m or may even exceed 60m. Gopro is waterproof up to 10m without a case, but it would be a shame to miss shoots at a deeper level.

waterproof cage for go pro action cameras

For scuba diving read our article here.

Go Pro Dome

This accessory is necessary for all sea lovers. The Dome has a special socket for action cameras and allows for underwater shots. What makes this accessory impressive is that you can take half the shoot above sea level and the other half below the surface of the sea, hence capturing the entire beauty of the landscape, or the person and activity both in and out of the water.

Batteries

It would be good not to be satisfied with just one. The duration of a battery is quite long if you are only taking photos (around 2 hours), but if you are also taking videos it will finish very quickly. The battery usually runs out faster in cold temperatures. Finally, your battery might get stuck in the middle of a shoot.In order to avoid any of the above and to be sure you will capture your beloved moments,you had better have 1 or even 2 spare batteries with you. Beware of aftermarket batteries!They sometimes get the camera stuck during shooting and they need to be taken out and replaced. They might also have a lesser life expectancy.

Use of Time Lapse & Burst Mode

Time Lapse

Usually while taking a photo or video recording you do not achieve the desired result. Either the object of the shoot is not properly placed or the background has not been given the desired emphasis. For this reason, especially during selfies, it would be better to choose the Time Lapse and regulate the shutter to close very fast.The camera can take photos as fast as every half a second.

So we can achieve every possible shot and take a photo from different positions or in different poses. Be careful to keep a steady hand and not move the camera or your photos will be unfocused! Surely you will find at least one likeable photo after 100 shots, whereas with a normal camera you would have to make quite a few compromises! Furthermore, with Time Lapse we can create small videos with all the photos we have taken. For example for an extreme sport or even a sunset!Indicatively, some examples of shutter speed, depending on what we are shooting, can be found below:

SHUTTER SPEEDACTIVITY
5-10 secClouds or slow motion activities
2 secBusy roads
10-60 secLong duration activities as for example the construction of a building
0.5-2 secSurfing,cycling or some other fast moving activity

Finally we can regulate Time Lapse in the event that someone else is taking the shots. Είτε και για δικές μας selfie φωτογραφίες.Usually we are too shy to ask a stranger to bother taking 15 shots instead of one.So we just hope for the best result. Time Lapse loosens our hands in this case. We simply regulate the shutter speed at 0,5 sec and ask the stranger to take a photo while holding the camera steady. He or she will have already taken quite a few shots without realising!  

Burst Mode

On the other hand, if you want to achieve a precise shot in a very short time span GoPro has another regulative function, the Burst Mode. For example if you want to jump in the air and capture that precise moment whilst you are in the air.Indicatively, and depending on the model you have, you can take the following shots:

30 photos in 1, 2, 3 or 6 seconds

10 photos in 1,  2 or 3 seconds

5 photos in 1 second

3 photos in 1 second

In case you are trying to take a selfie the seconds are very few so you will need the remote control of GoPro or the application to press the shutter remotely.

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