Filming with a GoPro - Field of view

I don’t know how many times I have to tell people this: When using a GoPro, get closer to the subject you are filming than you originally intended. “Why?” you ask? Because it’s a wide-angle lens going on fish-eye. This means that it has a 170 degree Field Of View allowing it to see what is in front of you, but also what is almost beside you. As a result things look further away than they actually are. You know when you give your mum your camera and she spends half an hour trying to figure out how it works, then stands really far back to “fit you all in” so as you look like ants when you look back at the picture? – Yeah that’s what your footage its going to turn out like. GET CLOSER! The closer you get the nicer your footage is going to look, the more you are going to be able to see without squinting and the more you are going to feel part of the action If you do not want to get closer but still want nice footage I would recommend doing the following on the HD HERO and HD HERO2 – change the resolution to 1080p 30FPS which should allow you to bring the Field Of View down to 127 degrees meaning that you can stand back a little and still get a nice clear shot. 

You can see the difference between 127 and 170 FOV clearly here:

The HD HERO3 gives you 3 options at 1080p – Wide (170), Medium (127) or Narrow (90). Again the differences can be seen here:

You will also notice on the HERO3 that there is a SuperView option. My Advice. Just don’t. Here is what GoPro has to say about SUPERVIEW. Long story short, you end up with VERY stretched looking footage around the edge, resulting in a loss of clarity and quality, which no-one will be overly impressed with.

Stay tuned for more from Hugh Floyd, including his run down of the GoPro Hero 4 and in his next blog he'll take us over choosing the best resolution.