Are GoPro cameras good for filmmaking?

chanequebec Posts: 9 Just Starting Out

I've seen this question asked countless times at creativecow and on YouTube videos, but then I thought the best was to come and ask about your personal experiences. Most people I've asked say GoPros are 'sport cams' and not really suited for any other purpose, I then borrowed a Hero 7 Black from a friend and was impressed with it after some testing. I'm planning on doing a web series but don't want to continue using my phone (no, it's not an iPhone), should I invest on a GoPro and go for the Action Cam Lens Distort add-on, or should I focus on getting a better, high end camera (which I can't afford right now)? Any pointers you can give this newbie will be greatly appreciated. 😅

Best Answer

  • Arpit
    Arpit Posts: 65 Enthusiast
    edited May 2021 Answer ✓

    The GoPro has a fixed focus point which makes it difficult for true cinematic footage but you can use it for making your web series (Only if you are satisfied with the mood of footage, It would be looking more sporty than cinematic).The GoPro has limited features for videography. However, it is equipped with a quality lens that can capture sharp video and photos.

    In simple words, GoPro uses a single focal length to make movies, but that's not so unusual. Often, feature films are shot with a single lens. ... GoPro makes alternating shots a little more challenging because it's just wide. It's still possible to get a good variation of shots with your GoPro; you just need to get a bit creative.


  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 596 Enthusiast
    edited May 2021

    The lens is quite awkward and very wide, designed for sports action.. You could crop the aspect ratio's in post for a cinematic look but could loose a lot of quality in the process..

    You could get yourself a decent cheap DSLR nowadays for the latest go pro out there that does a better job at cinematics with the right lens..

    My brother has a Go pro hero 6, its awesome for time-lapse cinematic videos though..

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,633 Ambassador

    I agree with the above comments, it really comes down to the style of videos you want to make and what the look and feel of them will be. Fast paced, lots of chase or first person views, go pro would be good, but slower more emotional pieces and you might need something that can pull focus or chuck the depth of field out.

    Wren from Corridor digital recently got hold of a Insta 360 go 2 camera, and I'd say for the shear versitility of the thing and the wicked camera stabilisation it looks great.

    Good luck,

  • chanequebec
    chanequebec Posts: 9 Just Starting Out
    Thanks for the quick replies. I drafted two different concepts, one would be a superhero parody and the other a variety show reminiscent of the old Sid and Marty Krofft children productions from the 70's. None of the two makes extensive use of special effects or require complex shooting techniques. Also, the GoPro Linear setting produced crisp, sharp video and even the larger modes (Wide and Superview) didn't look bad either, even after lens distortion correction. I'll check the newer models out and decide which one $uit$ me best. Thanks again.
  • electricfuse1
    electricfuse1 Posts: 18 Just Starting Out*

    You can take a look at Daniel Schiffer. He recently did a youtube video on using the Insta 360 go 2.

    Similar to a go pro, as you can see, you can still definitely do something cinematic with it. If all you have is an action camera right now, I think that the best thing would be to just use it and make the videos that you can, since you don't necessarily need a manual focus for every single cinematic sequence or shot.

  • ellis_is_great
    ellis_is_great Posts: 50 Enthusiast

    Focus on the stories you want to tell. An expensive camera will not magically make your movie awesome. Filming on your phone will not automatically make your movie bad. If money is tight, I'd say use your phone and buy filmic pro for $15 or a similar app so you can lock white balance and shutter speed. You can even get some cool ad-on lenses for a phones that might help. Prices vary with the lenses but the results from the lower end ones are not bad. Of course Hitfilm is there to help tweak the look of whatever you film.

    If you need to spend money, spend it on a microphone. They saying is people will tolerate a bad image in movies, but they won't tolerate bad audio.

  • oscarwaters
    oscarwaters Posts: 1 Just Starting Out

    In general, Gopro cameras are not bad, but I don't think they are suitable for filming. I think it's better to go to a professional videographer. For trade show production companies, I recommend We have been working together for several years now, and the quality of the video suits me fine. And since I also run my own blog, I quite often need good video content. I recommend these guys!

  • Arpit
    Arpit Posts: 65 Enthusiast

    The service seems to be good, would they come to India if I hire them? (kidding)

    I definitely can't hire them because I do the same work as they do, and I do it in a job, so how they can do it for me. It's just hard to explain but you can still understand.