Top 10 Things About GoPro : The Beginners Guide

4:19 AM

About 6 months back, I got a GoPro Hero 4 Silver. I was super excited as I thought it would be the solution to all my problems and I wouldn’t have to carry my bulky DSLR at all. After usage for about 3-4 videos, I came out to a conclusion that its definitely a cool camera(but is not a replacement for your DSLR) and its so small that you could capture many things without bringing it to notice (Well..sneaky in a good way) but it also lacks a few things because its an action camera after all!

GoPro Hero 4 with the head mount. It just feels heavy and weird sitting on your head.
It attracted such unwanted attention that a media person at the venue told me to pose! I wonder what happened to my picture :P

So today we are going to talk about GoPro Hero 4 Silver and when and where can it be used. We’ll also highlight about the various accessories that you may need to purchase. You can get your GoPro from Amazon from here

 1)Buying an SD Card 

 The first thing which you may need to buy for your GoPro would be SD card for storage of data. We have gotten Micro SDHC Lexar 64 GB which can store HD as well as 4K videos. You also get included reader with the purchase of Lexar 64 GB which you can quickly and easily transfer files between devices(i.e Laptops and etc). You can also buy SD card of higher storage capacity like 200 GB but it seriously would be a lot of data to transfer. I haven't tried 4k yet because I have heard it takes lot of space and possibly a better laptop than mine.

You can get these at Amazon here

Since the camera is small, the placeholder where the memory card goes is also very small. So when you take off the cover from the memory card placeholder in the camera, keep it in a safe place. You can easily forget putting them back again because they are very small and I forget that many many times. Sometimes I just put the waterproof casing on and I then notice that my memory card cover is what I have missed.



 2)You would need an extra battery or two 

 Trust me guys, if you are a travel blogger and on the field, and capturing Hi-res videos you would need extra batteries. The batteries last long but they do die fast in cold or if you are venturing all day capturing stuff or lengthy sequences of videos by the late afternoon or evening. Hence, its great to have extra batteries. We have gotten two called Wasabi Power Batteries from Amazon as they were cheaper than the GoPro ones and they work great. I am yet to find out the difference in working hours between GoPro and Wasabi.



 3)GoPro Hero 4 is Waterproof with the casing and great for sports 

 Gopro Hero 4 comes with waterproof casing making it a waterproof camera and that’s a major thumbs up. You can dip in the water, in the mud, in the wherever there is water, you can wash it when it gets dirty and it captures water and water activities very nicely. Though if you are capturing rain, make sure to wipe off the lens as often as possible during rain or the consistent droplet would appear in each shot. Its great for scuba diving and water shots. Its great for adventure sports as well with the casing. I recommend to keep the casing on your GoPro with the sports because dust, mud, water and etc..

 4)GoPro lacks Sound 

 If your purpose is to capture something with sound which we often in videos love to do, GoPro with the waterproof casing is not a good option. The sound comes very very low with the casing. So in case if you need to record your voice or voice of your environment clearly, it has to be either maximum(like equivalent to a pitch of a shriek or you need to talk loudly or the ambivalent sound should be loud enough) or remove the casing. But even with the removal of casing, the sound quality is not so great, the sound is better than with the waterproof case but still not at par.



You get Gopro with waterproof casing, but you can also get normal Frame casing for better sound after you remove waterproof casing and you can attach that to your selfie stick.

If your primary purpose is to record clear and crisp audible sound, get a small mike. I found this one with great reviews on Amazon (but you'd have to buy an adapter along with it and that costs us $50 in total) as a GoPro mike but I am still searching for a pen mike that would be more handy.

i.e. If you need audio equivalent to your DSLR or more, you would need a mike. If you are ok with the audio equivalent to how your phone records, you would be ok with frame mount or without it. And if you want to listen to sound lesser than your phone captures and you really have to speak loud, stay with waterproof mount. Choice is yours.

 Like for example, when I first made videos on Vegas, I didn’t know my voice would come so low with the waterproof mount. And so next time, we recorded the intro on DSLR just because we didn’t had the mike which we still don’t have.

 5)GoPro lacks Zoom 

 How I wish they had added this sometimes but then again its a small camera. I guess most of us know this, but GoPro doesn’t have zoom so you can capture water, but capturing dolphins in water close and clear is not possible unless you want to really get close to the subject. Anything which requires a zoom by the naked eye would be difficult to capture by GoPro. I wish they had clip on zoom lenses but so far they haven't come up with something like that.

6)Get a Selfie Stick 

 Almost 70% of the time, we use GoPro with selfie stick. GoPro in itself is so small it can easily slip off our hands, but we do sometimes hold it and shoot with hands as well. So I have got Gopole which is a transparent waterproof selfie stick for one reason, that, I didn’t wanted my pole to be shown in videos because even by accidentally it does, it doesn’t look bad. However by certain angles, you wouldn’t get the selfie stick in the picture. You can also use general Selfie Stick with GoPro. I don't have GoPro remote so I don't know whether my mobile selfie stick remote would work. You can get GoPole from here

Wide angle picture with transparent selfie stick

If you have gorilla pad tripod for your camera,you could use it on your wrist for go pro or to hold the go pro with your hands in general but do not use on a moving object, the shots may be shaky. We used it on our bikes though by wrapping it around the handle.




 7)Get Accessories 

 What accessories you need to buy would depend on what usage you have. We have gotten the starter kit from Amazon which has got a head mount and chest mount and various other accessories. The one we use the most if at all is Selfie Stick. I got the starter kit from here.

Head mount feels extremely uncomfortable sitting on your head, it feels like you are a miner going for work, it makes your hair go weird when you take it off and on and it feels heavy on your head. I have tried to use it but I highly dislike it.

Chest mount is a great option if you are going for adventure sports such as Ziplining, Cycling, Trekking, Skiing I would say go for Chest Mount because it would be more stable.

Head Mount also gives the perspective of viewing from above the head,which to me feels airy on the shots.

 Chest mount feels like you are giving a first hand perspective.

If you wish, you could use wrist mount but keeping your wrist stable, I wonder if that’s ever possible so your shots might come shaky! If you have head mount, you can make it a wrist mount by tying it twice and removing one strap. Skydiving shots are mostly taken with hand mounts or helmet mounts . 

Recently I got a comment on my Zipline video in Swiss Alps on how did I take my footage while Zip lining, this is how! Observe carefully



Note that the band on the base of GoPole stick is wrapped onto my wrist once..and tightened so that it doesn't fall off in high speed and that's exactly how zip lining video happened.


 Get Gopro Suction Mount(as its high quality) if you wish to capture Road trips. It doesn’t fall off which was our primary concern first time but you can easily put it on the front of your car or back window of your car or sides and it would stay. Just make sure before you do you wipe out dust and it stays. Just to be sure with heavy winds in Pacific Highway we had tied our suction cup with the base of windshield but you don’t have to. Suction mount creates suction, like an air trap inside when you press and sticks. Watch the video below, in this one we have use suction mount on our car.



Suction Mount is not recommended to be used on Surf Boards because they are curvy and so Adhesive Mounts are used. Adhesive mounts has more staying power and we haven't used it so far. It came with the pack but taking it off seems like a task by the instructions online. So, no for us.

 8)Hero 4 silver has a back screen and you can also control with your cellphone

 What I love about my GoPro Silver is, it has got a back screen that shows options, menus, your running screen which really helps in capturing anything without having to depend on my phone for controlling the movements which when we were comparing Black and Silver, we decided to go for Silver because of this very feature of back screen.

 However when you are using Selfie Stick, do use the control with the internal wifi on your phone which you would connect with GoPro app and you can view and capture from your phone too! You can also save media from GoPro to your phone using that internal wifi and when and where the real wifi comes share on social media.

Make sure to turn off the wifi or else you would see blue blink even after you might have had turned off your GoPro. If the blink doesn't go away, click the side button for a 1-2 minutes and it would.

 9)GoPro is ok with the photos 

Picture with GoPro at Night.. I haven't used Nightmode yet but definitely it's not as crisp as I would have loved to in the normal mode! Go pro also doesn't have flash..
But I have seen great videos of Northern Lights by GoPro so may be if you take it through tripod or handheld mounts it may give a sharper image.

 I have tried of be fond of GoPro pictures, but to be honest I am not so fond of GoPro photos. Somehow it feels very similar to the pictures which we click from our cellphones in spite of high resolution in case if the natural lighting is good. Also GoPro doesn't have a feature to focus unlike our cellphones. So I usually prefer taking photos with my phone than my GoPro unless its a wide angle. It doesn't take night shots as crisp as I would love it to, as I said its very similar to our phones when it comes to photos.

The best thing about GoPro is it takes wide angle pictures so wherever you wish to click Wide Angles, it does its work. So the places where you would wish to capture wide angles would be landscapes, races, waterfalls, sea, adventure sports, planes, cruises and etc.

It captures movements of clouds beautifully. 

 10)Gopro has lot of options like Timelapse, Videos with Photos, Nightmode and etc etc


This shot is by Video + Photo mode

 There’s a lot you can do with the small little thing called GoPro. We still haven’t used it as we thought we would, but when you would browse, you would see plenty of options. So you can set different resolution for pictures or videos before taking them, you can take a time-lapse, you can also keep the option as Video + Photos which is a great option because it takes videos, and depending on how much time have you set for pictures (i.e 5 sec, 10 sec) it would take photos with that time gap without having to interrupt the video till the end of the video. Timelapse may require a tripod or a stable place to keep your GoPro on..!

 All in all, we are still learning, but I thought to write the post because Mridula from Travel Tales of India has won a new GoPro (Congrats) and I just thought lets enlighten everyone with which I struggled with! And if there's anything you guys know more.. feel free to drop in comments so that I can add in to my post. You can also correct me anywhere you feel your experience with GoPro differs. I would love to know, because I am still getting acquainted to my GoPro!

Meanwhile, Shrinidhi has written an amazing post on GoPro Accessories with Comparisons, Price Rates and Genuine Reviews. Do check out his blogpost on 

Highly Recommended GoPro Mounts and Accessories
Read before buying GoPro

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4 Comments

  1. hi..
    Very nice blog...
    Thank you for sharing..
    My congratulations to the growth of your blog...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much Ankita for writing this. And thank you for your wishes. Now getting down to make a wish list!

    ReplyDelete
  3. For people on a budget Xiaomi Yi Camera is the perfect companion... These video and image quality is at par with Gopro Hero 4 Silver...
    In my last two trips I have ditched my DSLR and used only iPhone for clicks

    ReplyDelete

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