Primary Research – Go Pro Tutorial and Test Shoot.

Tutorial:

For my primary research I had a short tutorial with Brian, our equipment technician, on the GoPro Hero4 and the Karma Grip tripod. He went over the functions of both, which I took notes on and then explained how to use the GoPro whilst it was connected to the Karma Grip. Even though I have never used the GoPro or Karma Grip before I am now confident about using them as Brian gave me a lot of information.

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After the tutorial I looked at the GoPro Hero4 on www.abekislevitz.com [1]  and the Karma Grip tripod on the official website www.gopro.com for more information on the devices so that I had a better understanding of how they could be used.

GoPro Hero4 Research:

The GoPro Hero4 has a setting called ProTune, which if enabled, activates adjustable settings for video mode including – white balance, colour tuning, ISO Limit, Sharpening and Exposure Compensation. These adjustable settings can be used and changed on the attachable screen at the back of the GoPro or the small screen at the front.

White Balance is the colour temperature of your footage (from cool to warm.) On the GoPro Hero4 this is set to auto which works in all conditions. The symbols for White Balance represent daylight mode, automatic mode and tungsten mode.


To lock off the colour temperature, you can set this to different values on the Kelvin scale, between 3000K and 6500K. 3000K will make the footage appear blue to look neutral, while 6500K will give the footage a ‘warm’ yellow colour. The Kelvin scale is a measurement of temperature, used in media (film and photography) to measure the amount of light being recieved and how this effects the look of the footage.


As I am filming outside, in natural light I will keep the white balance setting at auto.

Colour Turning is the overall colour, saturation and contrast of the video. For the Hero4 there are two options – Colour and Flat. Colour is the standing tuning with higher saturation, contrast and accurate colours. Flat is a neutral colour and should be used only if you are experienced with the  settings on the GoPro. I will most likely be using the colour setting. The symbol for Colour Turning is a paintbrush.

The ISO Limit tells the camera how bright it should be in darker scenes or lighting by affecting the gain of the footage. The default setting is set to 6400. This means that in a dark room it will use digital lighting gain to make the footage brighter to compensate. Adding gain will affect your footage however, making it look grainy and sound noisy. As you lower the ISO, the footage will appear darker. The ISO limit won’t affect video footage during daylight or bright lighting. The symbol for ISO is simply the letters. The website I have looked at recommended setting the ISO to 400, as it will give the footage a clearer appearance. I will test both settings and decided which is best when filming.

The Sharpness setting affects the digital sharpness in the video. The default setting is high, which makes the footage appear sharp. The setting allows you to lower the sharpness if you prefer a smoother looking video, or if you want to sharpen the footage in post production. The symbol is –


The Exposure Compensation setting lets you decide wether the camera should always be lighting or darker than normal. The default setting is 0. If you set this to +2.0, the footage will appear to be 2 ‘stops’ lighter – this is also known as the F. Stop. Using +2.0 will make the footage 4x brighter, whereas setting it to -2.0 will make it 4x darker. The author of the website recommended keeping this at 0. Again I will experiment with this when filming depending on the lighting. The symbol is –


There are three video modes for the Hero4, which Brian explained to me. Narrow – which gives the camera a narrow view, Wide – which gives the camera a wider view and gives the footage a rounded appearance at the edges, as if it is a bowl, and Linear – which gives the camera a normal view and seems to crop the rounded edges. Brian first suggested using the narrow setting, but then suggested I use linear as it will remove the rounded edges. I will experiment with both settings as I will some scenes multiple times.

Karma Grip.

The Karma Grip works in conjunction with the GoPro Hero4 as a flexible tripod. The grip allows the camera to turn as the opertator turns for smoother – looking footage.

Test Shoot:

I went outside with another student to test the GoPro and karma grip. The camera was on the ‘narrow’ setting.

I started by walking and adjusting the way the camera looked and turned. I then had the other student run from one side of a path to the other whilst I stood back, attempting a wide shot. I then ran alongside the other student with the camera to do a tracking shot. The GoPro was easy to set up and use and the karma grip was useful as it changed positions smoothly and made it easy to track the person on screen.
The only downfall is that the viewing screen does not fit into the tripod, making it impossible to see what you are filming.

When I reviewed the footage I found that the wide shot I attempted had curved edges – a fishbowl effect. When filming a wide shot I will use the ‘linear’ setting which will crop the curved edges. The tracking shots I had done looked good and had good audio, however it would have been helpful to see what the camera was recording as I sometimes cut off the other persons head.

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I mentioned this to Brian, who mentioned an app I could use which would pair my IPhone to the GoPro, making it possible to use my phone as a viewing screen. The app is called Capture and is free on the App Store. We then set my phone up to the media centre account using wifi and I was able to use my phone as a viewing screen. I was worried that this would not work outside as it connected via wifi, however Brian assured me that the karma grip has its own wifi connection and would work.


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