“GoPro/POV” videos are every where now and fly fishing has not been overlooked. They are the single easiest kind of video for anyone to make for a couple reasons. One is the ease of use and the other is the functionality of available mounts. Literally the cameras are going everywhere. Strap one to anyone or anything and Let’er Buck!
The simple to use and hard to screw up cameras allow a person to record full HD video via a small water/shock-proof unit that comes with an array of mounting devices. Referred to as POV “point of view” cameras, there are several on the market today. They all capture incredible footage and are practically “cheap” at around $300.Unlike footage captured with conventional video cameras, with POV cameras what the footage is showing and how it’s edited are all that matters. The rest is up to you getting creative and doing cool stuff!
However they come with their limitations. They are very good at doing exactly what they are designed to do, and very poor at expanding beyond that. Ironically those very limitations are also what also make it so good. “User friendly” you could say, but limited by lack of control (meaning you can’t zoom or frame shots as there is no viewfinder). But make a few simple setting adjustments to get started and you are in business. It’s either on or off, pretty east to grasp!
What it does very well: It captures the general gist of what’s going on in front of it. Even up to remarkably close ranges, the camera will auto focus and auto expose a very wide almost panoramic view. You can get very creative with where you mount the camera, and achieve confined space shots never before possible with conventional cameras.
What it does not do well: The camera is very limited in range. Meaning whatever you are hoping to see in the video had better be within ten yards or so unless its the size of a buss. You are going to have to get accustomed to what will and will not make for good footage with a POV camera. It’s best to get this stage over with early to prevent major disappointments like when you review footage of that huge buck you filmed at 80 yards and wonder why it looks like a blurry cat under a rocking chair! Audio is another category to be advised on. Depending on which type of case your camera is in, the audio may be entirely unusable. The water proof cases limit audio greatly as one would expect. The ported or open back case allows for some audible audio.
What mounts work well? All of them. Be as creative as you can and use them wherever you can think of. The chest mount is my personal favorite for DIY video ventures. Or you can wear one like a head lamp, strap it to an oar or net handle, attach it to the end of a big stick and swing it around. The suction cups are cool for shots from the exterior of a vehicle, however I have had one fall off at high speeds, so make sure to place the suction cup on a section of the vehicle with a flat surface and not any curvature.
In the next post, we will take a look at shots and other things to consider while out using POV cameras, and what to do with your footage at the end of the day. I’ll talk about getting the video into your computer, and picking out the “A” shots from the junk.
Here is a fun video we shot entirely with a GoPro POV camera.