Four Expert Tips That Will Help You Create Fantastic Action Cam Videos
CHECK YOUR FRAMING
With a tiny viewscreen, you’re never going to get a great view or your subject using your action cam alone. This problem is compounded when mounting your camera in a position where you can’t see the viewscreen at all. Fortunately, you can get a live and far better view of what’s in shot by using your camera’s smartphone app, which will allow you to set up exactly the framing you need.
CHECK YOUR SETTINGS
With buttons that can switch shooting modes and a small screen with even smaller icons, when checking your footage it’s not unusual to find that instead of the video you wanted to shoot, you’ve got something completely different, such as a time-lapse sequence instead. Similarly, it’s easy to have accidentally switched from shooting the 4K video you were after to a much lower resolution. This makes it vital to double-check you’re actually in the correct shooting mode before you hit the shutter. This is particularly important when shooting action sequences, as its gutting to pull off something special, only to find you haven’t recorded it as intended.
KEEP IT CLEAN
If your camera is getting rained on, splashed, or there’s mud flying around, it only takes a single water droplet or the tiniest bit of dirt on its tiny lens to completely ruin your shot. This makes keeping a lens cloth on you a very good idea; failing that, you can use your sleeve or whatever’s handy to clean the lens.
If you’re in an environment where you know your camera will definitely get wet, such as surfing, giving the lens a good lick will help prevent water droplets from forming on it.
VARY YOUR ANGLES
When it comes to producing engaging action cam sequences in post-production, unless you’re capturing something truly spectacular, a single shot of the action is rarely going to cut it. If possible, try to cut your sequence together using footage shot from multiple angles, or mount the camera in unusual positions to get interesting perspectives. Another option is to get a friend to film you on their phone while you wear your camera on a chest harness, or similar, to get a first person POV. With a huge range of mounts available, action cameras give you a wealth of different shooting options.
WEEBILL 2 – First Camera Gimbal With Flip-Out Touchscreen
Chinese gimbal maker Zhiyun has launched the Weebill 2, featuring an innovative 2.88in HD flip-out touchscreen. It’s designed to provide stabilised video footage with mainstream mirrorless and DSLR camera and lens combinations, with the company quoting the Sony’s A7 III and FE 24-70mm F2.8 or the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF 24-70mm F2.8 lenses as examples.
Zhiyun claims the device will offer unmatched stabilisation performance, thanks to its Infineon motion sensor, upgraded motors, and improved control algorithm.
one-touch Smart Follow, Timelapse and Gesture Control directly from the gimbal’s rotatable and retractable touchscreen, without having to use the ZY Play smartphone app. The device weighs in at 1.5kg and promises up to 9 hours running time on a single charge, that’s said to take 90 minutes.
The Weebill 2 Standard is available to pre-order for £509, or in a Combo kit that adds a sling-grip handle and carry case, for £599. There’s also a £979 Pro+ Kit that includes Zhiyun’s MasterEye Visual Controller, which combines an image receiver, monitor and motion controller in one single device.