How Do Action Cameras Work – Beginner’s Guide

If you’re wondering ‘how do action cameras work?’ and you need an answer, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to talk a little about what it means to use action cameras and what we can do to drastically improve the results in the video.

But first, we must learn what these terms are all about.

What are they?

The action cameras, also called sports cameras are simply devices that serve to capture scenes where there is a lot of movement and dramatic situations generally find it difficult to take on a normal SLR camera.

Not only because of the technical capacity but also because of the fact that the action cameras are smaller, portable and commonly, they have a much longer life than a normal load.

The GoPro cameras were the equipment that marked the trend in recording in extreme situations and in situations where a regular user would not have enough reach.

Thanks to the evolution of carrying this equipment, photographers and non-photographers began to start in this type of video and photography.

However, we must remember that GoPro is not the only brand that exists to perform this function.

How do action cameras work – Tips for using action cameras

1. Use natural light in your favor. Logically, action cameras are assumed in situations in which to involve other types of tools is basically impossible since we are skiing, swimming, surfing …

So thinking about using artificial lighting sounds a bit crazy, because it would mean that the user, in addition to loading a helmet with a camera and doing whatever sport, you would have to load somewhere a kind of diffuser or flash of light.

That is why calculating the time of day and the light at that time is an essential factor if we want to make use of action cameras. If we know the conditions for a certain moment, we can avoid unnecessary video shots.

For example, if we know that there will be a lot of suns, we will know what to expect when making the recording by directing the camera in that direction.

Remember that you should not focus the light directly, as this will cause the burning of the video that will not allow you to see well what is being done.

2. Make different planes. It was assumed that the action cameras originally had to be to make a continuous shot of our sport or exercise and that the best way to record this would be to place our camera simulating a first-person.

Of course, this is interesting enough if it is an extreme sport … but even in this sense, it can become repetitive. Think of it this way: how many videos in POV have you stopped to watch?

For this, we can make use of angles that allow better visualization of what is happening and that does not make use of the athlete’s perspective.

For example, we can place the action cameras on the snowboard instead of placing it on the person’s head. We can also make use of Selfie sticks if it is a completely manageable situation.

If we go on a skateboard at a very low speed, we may be able to use this accessory without any problem.

3. Explore the tour. Although usually very interesting actions, some discomforts, and difficulties can be avoided with a simple tour of the place where we go skiing, surfing, riding, among others …

To take a better video home, we will make sure (if possible ) that there is no situation that hinders the video or hinders our security. Of course, if we are going to make a free fall, this clearly cannot be done.

But if we are going to skate, we can easily explore the fragment where we will perform our feat or tour and avoid unwanted movements in our recording. Not to mention that we can save a few scratches and bumps.

4. Also, practice with the camera position. It is possible that the plans in the first person facilitate many certain aspects of the video that we want to provoke the viewers.

However, action cameras tend to be quite versatile in terms of weight and dimensions, so it is good to take a moment to think about where you will place the camera.

action cameras© Robert Tadlock –

Likewise, we can plan what will be visible in the background of the video. And if there is nothing worthwhile, we can take different forms. Our comfort will also influence, which will be the most important.

If we are not comfortable with a headgear, we may want to use a band on the arm or place the camera in the vehicle we use. Just make sure you are comfortable to the point that you can perform the exercise correctly.

5. Under no concept forget to charge the camera. Although these cameras are designed to last much longer on than regular cameras, the batteries have not been sufficiently developed to last an entire afternoon, for example.

And it may sound extreme, but when we talk about wanting to make a video of this kind, we are referring to spending a lot of time on trial and error.

Why? Well, it involves drastic movement, it involves a physical movement on our part, it involves climatic conditions, it involves the times we fall … In short, these cameras are known to be lacking a very lasting load.

If you think you’re going to be away for a long time, make sure you carry the charger. It does not matter if you are going to ski: you may find a cabin where you can load the equipment. Do not underestimate the presence of the plugs!

6. Use neutral density filters. Neutral density filters can be the best companions of action cameras, as they provide effective leveling of light levels. The filters will help neutralize the excess light that the camera will probably access due to the different shots that we will face when making action videos.

Additionally, they will provide a little more protection to the equipment. Although really, it tends to be unnecessary due to the construction of such cameras.

7.Various sequences. Recording several sequences will allow you to make a much more exciting, more creative and less monotonous video. Apart from trying to capture different angles, as we said above, use a multi-camera system if possible.

It is expensive because it involves the purchase of several cameras and some accessories, but it is definitely worth it.

action cameras© Steven Worster –

action cameras© Steven Worster –

If we do not have the possibility of accessing more than one action camera, what we can do is move the camera ourselves as we move. Likewise, this requires some physical and photographic ability, so it becomes a bit more complicated.

8. Editing is essential for a good result. And editing will be even more important if we have planes and sequences of different types instead of just having a long plane sequence.

Basically, when we edit this type of video, our goal is not to tell about a specific moment but to tell the whole experience. If we are climbing, we can record while climbing, when we reach the top, when we descend, etc …

In this way, not only a much more dynamic video is made but we save battery and memory, which we will need if we go to a place far.

 © Steven Worster –

9. Use different video formats. Some action cameras, including the famous GoPro, have a system to choose different image formats. These depend on the role that we will play in the video.

For example, about 2.7K at about 30 fps are perfect for making videos in the first person. However, they take up a lot of space, but it will be useful to later reduce to Full HD. In this way, we will have a completely crisp and smooth video.

Recording in Full HD format at 60fps will provide us with a very clean and very smooth video, especially if we make a reduction to 30fps later. It is perfect for making videos in slow motion.

If we use an HD format at 120fps, the action cameras can make a slow-motion recording, but of less quality than the one made in Full HD. By the way, it is the second-best video quality allowed on YouTube so it will not only be impressive in itself but will be light enough to upload to the Internet.

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The information contained on this page is not official nor has it been verified. For technical details, official information and updated data, please visit the website of the corresponding brand/manufacturer.


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