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Why GoPros Are Useful For Photographers

Have you ever considered using a GoPro? Here's why they might be useful to you.

|  Hero5 in Action Cameras
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GoPro cameras are a craze that has swept the world over the last few years, making a compact, lightweight and high spec camera available to the masses of people wanting to capture their adventures that don't want to be carting a heavy DSLR up a mountain with them. If you're not sure what exactly a GoPro is, or what it can be used for, then this article should shed some light on the issue.

GoPros aren't going to suddenly become the go-to camera for slow shutter speed and meticulous landscape work, but they do have their place in a photographer's arsenal and here, we'll explore these possibilities as we discover why a GoPro camera is useful for photographers. 


What is a GoPro?

We know that a lot of you will already be aware of GoPro as a brand and what they make but just in case you're new to it - GoPro is a brand that specialises in action cameras. These cameras have a wide range of uses as we will go into below, but they were primarily designed for attaching to yourself or your equipment when taking part in sporting activities. There are quite a few models on the market, all designed to be rugged, compact and very transportable. Here are the newest 2 available currently:

GoPro HERO5 Black

GoPro HERO 5

The HERO5 is GoPro's latest offering and has 4K video capabilities as well as the ability to take 12-megapixel stills in single, burst and time-lapse modes. It's waterproof to 33 feet without housing. It can be activated using voice commands. 

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GoPro HERO5 Session

Hero Session

The Session is the smallest and lightest GoPro camera available. It has a versatile cube shape and is waterproof to 10m. It features easy one-button control and is capable of 4K video and 10-megapixel stills in single, burst and time-lapse modes. It can also be controlled hands-free with voice commands. 

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But aren't they just for adrenaline junkies?

The short answer is a resounding no! Let us expand on this answer for you. GoPros are a great camera to have on you when you don't want to, or can't take a larger camera. They can fit in your pocket easily and are so light you'll hardly notice it. 

They turn on at the single press of a button and immediately start recording - great for capturing those spontaneous moments when it's impractical or happening too fast to whip out and set up a larger camera. 

If you're planning an exotic holiday, GoPros are a great alternative to a compact camera as they are waterproof without a case and can capture impressive 4K video under the waves. The wide range of accessories available for them allows you to easily use the camera and keep it safely with you in the waves, too. 

GoPro cameras can allow you to capture memories that might otherwise happen too fast to be captured. 


You're talking about video - I want to take photos!

While GoPros are primarily created for capturing video, they do now have stills capabilities, and impressive ones at that. The GoPro HERO 5 can capture 12-megapixel stills - allowing you to produce a 24x36 print without losing quality. They can shoot in single shot, burst, and time-lapse modes as well. 12 magapixels is the same amount you'll find in the much larger Olympus Tough TG-5, for example. 

Although the GoPro camera will struggle in low light as it doesn't have the ISO capabilities of a DSLR, it is still more than capable of family photos and images taken in good light. The wide-angle lens is great for capturing your surroundings. 


So how can I take a decent shot with a GoPro?

It's true that GoPros don't offer you the wide range of shooting options that you'll get with a DSLR, and nor do they have scene modes or filters built in. But for capturing the raw moment of a scene, in good light, the GoPro is a very capable option. There is exposure control, to help if a scene looks too dark or light.

Getting used to shooting well with a GoPro will take practice - getting used to what will work and what won't with the wide angle lens, and positioning the camera so that you get no unwanted objects in the foreground and background can be tricky at first. 

The GoPro HERO5 has a touchscreen, enabling you to preview and playback your images to see if they're up to scratch. 

Think outside the box and capture images that are original - the GoPro has a wide range of attachments allowing you to capture yourself doing something as simple as walking in a new light. 

Use a bit of forethought to envision how you could take an interesting photo on your next adventure. Spontaneity can be great but sometimes it pays to research and plan to photograph in a specific place at a specific time. Try not to shoot in the middle of the day - morning or late afternoon sun is often best. 

Make yourself familiar with the settings so that you can experiment with the camera to quickly and effectively achieve your shots. Otherwise, your frustration with not knowing how to achieve what you want can get in the way of your creativity. 

Invest in gear to help you achieve great images. If you cycle a lot, invest in a handlebar mount. If you rock climb, consider a chest harness. Even if you simply hike, a head mount can give a unique perspective for your adventure and will capture a human view of the scene without you having to unmount it. 


I need more persuading. Why should I invest in one?

If you've read this far then there's a strong chance you're considering GoPro as a purchase. That's great. Here are the main reasons why we think one will complement your photography:

Wide range of accessories 

GoPro accessories

There are a lot of accessories, mounts, and casings available for GoPro enabling you to keep it safe, and to hand no matter what your activity. From handles to give you a steadier shot to clips enabling you to attach the camera to a surfboard or skateboard, it really doesn't matter what your activity is - the GoPro will fit around you. Even simply stowing it in your pocket when not taking your DSLR means you've got something to capture life's wonderful spontaneous photo opportunities. They always happen when you least expect them when out and about! 


Compact and lightweight

As we've mentioned before, the size and shape of the camera mean that it's easily slipped into a pocket and won't be a bother to you. Even when you do take a DSLR or mirrorless camera out too, the GoPro presents a quicker and easier way to shoot video and photograph on the fly with simple one-button operation. 


Wide angle versatile lens

The wideness of the GoPro lens means it has the capabilities to shoot in a lot of different situations and is especially ideal for those that want to photograph landscapes, or people in the landscape while out and about. It's great for showing people the view of a place, and images can be sent via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to your smart device for sharing on social media. 

We know that GoPros aren't going to suit everyone but if you want a simple to use a camera that can capture photos and videos in an instant in a compact and lightweight body then a GoPro camera could be for you. 

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Check out our 10 Best Action Cameras article for more choices

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Photographs taken using the Hero5

Playing In The PuddlesSplashVictoria Square, Belfast. Christmas 2018

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rninnim 16 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2017 3:50PM
Hero 6 is out in a couple of weeks. No pricing as of yet but will be available on the day

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