10 Pro Action Camera Recording Tips And Tricks

Posted on: 
June 18, 2019
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Want to dramatically improve the quality of your action camera videos? Of course, you do.

And here's the thing:

You don't need to be a pro videographer to capture great video footage either. So here are 10 super tips to get you on the road to becoming an action cam vlogging superstar.

1. Make sure your action cam battery is fully charged

Yep, sounds like obvious advice. But the number of times I've gone out with my action cam only to find that my battery is half full. Talk about frustrating?

Don't be an amateur like me. Make sure your action cam batteries are fully charged. And don't forget to bring spares too.

2. Have a spare cam ready

Depending on your choice of extreme sport or perhaps general use. Having a spare action camera ready is useful. Should one camera die on you, hey at least you have another one, right?

Also, with two cameras, you can get a little creative by using both cameras at the same time. Set them up in different locations to capture different and interesting angles for your videos.

3. Make sure your SD card is cleared

Another amateur mistake I used to make, and still do today, is head out with an SD card that has no space left! At which point, I usually give up.

If you know you're going to be capturing a lot of video footage or images, make sure you've cleared your SD card, especially if you only have the one. But if you do have a spare memory card, obviously bring that with you too.

4. Avoid capturing shaky footage

This can be quite difficult, especially with action cameras that don't have an image stabilization feature built-in. If that is the case for you, consider getting a cheap stabilization handle grip.

Check out this post for tips on improving stabilization of your action cam footage.

5. Use an external mic for improved audio

Again, this isn't always possible with action cameras because most of them don't come with a dedicated external mic input. If your action camera's built-in mic doesn't give good audio quality, as a workaround you could try and record the audio separately using your Smartphone.

Check out my review of the Apexcam M80 Pro Action Cam with built-in mic input and EIS.

6. Keep your subject in the frame

If you're shooting a particular subject using your action cam, try and keep that subject in the center of the frame. It takes a bit of practice to do this properly as action cams are small and often quite jolty, but you'll soon get good at it.

If your subject drifts away from the center of your frame, you can always clean it up in post-production using some kind of object tracking tool.

If your subject drifts out of frame, well, then there's no hope 🙂

7. Use a compact tripod

A tripod can not only dramatically improve stabilization - if you don't need to move about with your camera that is, but you can also use a tripod to create some cool effects in your videos. For example, play around with various angles from the ground up or elevated. With a 170-degree view, you can really make your videos stand out.

8. Record at 1080p or higher

This goes without saying, 1080p should be the minimum you would want to capture video footage in.

Record in 4k if you really want to get the best possible quality, but play around with both these formats and see what works best for you and your current set up. 720p is good, but by today's standards, not the best.

9. Use higher FPS rate for some slow mo footage

A mistake a lot of people do is record their footage at normal 30FPS and then try to slow that footage down in post-production for effect. It's not going to work, so make sure you change the setting in your action camera to record at 50FPS or higher if you want to achieve some cool, dramatic slow-motion footage.

The CamPark ACT74 I recently reviewed has a built-in slow motion recording feature at 1080p and 60FPS.

10. Consider using lighting for indoor recording

Finally, if you're going to use your action camera to record footage indoors with perhaps low light, then consider investing in some cheap LED lighting equipment.

You don't need to go crazy on this, something like the Neewer CN Lux160 would be more than ample. That's the one I use and it's awesome.

It's a wrap!

So, there you have it! 10 quick pro action camera recording tips to help you capture amazing footage and enjoy using your action camera to the max. Enjoy.

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