An action camera uses digital technology to record an activity. These cameras are small and simple, yet offer the best and stable 4K videos that you can edit at the end of the shoot.
The action-cam is common with outdoor and field activities. The mounting position is strategic to ensure you get the best shots because recording takes place from your point of view. The ideal places to mount the camera are on the helmet, bike handlebars, on a tripod, a surfboard, or even use it as a handheld camera.
The action camera designers saw the need to create one that requires minimal interaction amid an activity. The typical storage media you will find inside the action-cam is a micro SD card. The connecting ports can be either a Micro-USB or a type C-USB connector.
To get the best view, mount different cameras to capture varying perspectives. For example, the helmet camera gives your eye-level view, handlebar camera to capture the environment, and another camera set to record your reactions.
Steps for Setting up Action Camera
There is no need to rush and start recording before you understand some basic features of the action-cam. Knowing the various components is one way of utilizing the action camera to its full capability. Ensure the Micro SD card is installed and the battery has enough charge.
The steps for setting up your camera come in handy if you can work through its defining features such as the video, resolution, and frame rate.
Step1: Video Setting
The first step is to make sure that the camera is in video mode. Change this using a button that puts the action camera into live view, which is visible on the LCD. When in video mode, you can use the manual mode to give more control over your video settings.
In video mode, tap the menu button, access the video quality section, and select recording features such as MOV or MP4. Using these two settings, you can navigate to the highest quality recording of 4K and full HD videos.
The next step is setting up video size and quality.
Action camera resolution is one of the most basic setups that you should start with before embarking on a shooting spree. Camera resolution defines the number of pixels the image will have. A higher number of pixels produce a clear picture.
Most videos use the 16:9 aspect ratio, which translates to width and height. Action cameras use the same aspect ratio.
Step3: What is the Best Resolution to Use?
Set up your action-cam in 1920 by 1080 (1080 pixels) as a standard resolution that fits with the various displays in the market. With the increasing popularity of higher resolutions action cameras, you can push your limits to film at 2K to 4K.
Step4: Frame Rate
Frame rate is the frequency at which the image (or frame) displays on the screen. Its measurement is in frames per second (FPS). Frame rates and resolution lie on the same tab in most action cameras. The standard FPS is 30, which provides a smooth image and saves space on storage media.
You can use 60, 120, and 240 frame rates alternatively. If you use a higher setting, the recording will be smooth and better when you consider using it for a slow-motion video. The only thing that you should consider is investing in a Micro SD with a large storage capacity. High frame resolutions are not good in a low lighting environment.
Tips of Ensuring You Get Quality Images when Using an Action Camera
Owning a camera is good because you can use it to record photos and videos of important events. Utilize your action-cam to capture the best moments in your life to get the difference from using regular photography using a smartphone or other digital cameras.
Use these tips to get perfect photos with your action-cam digital device:
- Using the right field of view
The field of view defines how wide you want the video to be. The unit of measurement is in degrees, and using an angle of 180 degrees means it will capture anything lying on the left and right. Use 90 degrees if you want to capture only one side of the field of view.
High-end action cameras use complex algorithms to produce a diverse field of view. The three views your camera should have are the wide (covers 160-170 degrees), medium (up to 140 degrees), and narrow (90 degrees).
A wide field of view has some distortion on the edges of the image, producing a bending effect. On the other hand, you will get the best experience in this view. The best way to utilize a wide view is on events with many activities such as hiking, biking, diving, etc.
The narrow point of view produces little or no distortion but with limited detail of events within its view. Due to their few distractions, use this view to capture a particular scene that you can share while blogging, on webcams and social media platforms.
- How to manipulate the action-cam field of view?
Use software to handle the setting of an action camera field of view. The application zooms the image or crops into the sensor to avoid losing its resolution. The sensor inside the camera has a higher resolution than the cropped video.
As an example, if you take a video using the 1080p on a medium field of view, the camera will record an image at 2.7K wide. When you crop, its original size of 1080p remains the same.
Enhancing image setting
An image setting is getting to know how to handle the brightness of the image. A positive value means bright, while the negative is dimmer. Some of the features you need to set up to enhance exposure values (EV) are:
- White balance
White balance is a filter in action cameras that adjusts temperature and tint of the image to give the object its natural appearance. An incorrect white balance produces videos with tint.
- How Temperature and Color Link?
Color and temperature form on an image. Objects with a red image appear warm while the blue ones appear cool. Adjust the following settings under white balance accordingly to create the image you desire.
Action cam setting
The many settings on an action camera allow for its versatility. You can install one as a dash-cam, home security cameras, use in time-shift videos, and slow-motion pictures.
- Home Security / Dash Cams
Appropriate when you need a continuous recording for an extended period. The duration has to be preset.
- Time Lapse / Shift
You can use this setting to depict the effect of time moving very fast.
- Slow Motion
The slow-motion setting does the opposite of time shift by playing back the video slowly without losing its clarity.
Factors to Consider when Purchasing Action Camera
Action cameras are now popular and available in different brands. Therefore, you need to consider some of the following details before buying your favorite action-cam.
The most expensive action-cams may not give the best image quality. When it comes to cost, look at what features that camera has and what you can afford.
Any action camera must have a durable design because of their recording environment. Durability touches on both weather and waterproof. Make sure that the choice of camera you purchase has all the features that match your outdoor activities.
- Features- Wi-Fi connectivity
Internet connectivity is an important feature that your action camera should have. Ensure you can connect to a Wi-Fi network. You may need to give a live feed to your fans on social media platforms or send the activity after you are done with editing.
- Ease of mounting
The mounting capability of an action camera depends on the activity you want to record. Are you going on a biking trail, do you want one for the surfing or diving experience or one for a fishing expedition? The nature of activity determines the type of mounting you need.
- Waterproof capability
You may need a waterproof action camera that is best suited to operate in water-based games and cold environments. The level of waterproof capability depends on how deep or how much time the camera can record while underwater.
- Battery type/longevity
Action cameras will offer up to three hours of continuous filming before the next battery recharge. Pick your camera by looking at its battery life. High-resolution cameras require a better battery performance. It is advisable to have a spare one if you do not have a charging bank.
- Video quality
The quality of the video is crucial for any action-cam. Go for a device that produces clear and quality images. Remember that the highest resolution is 4K, which you can own if it fits within your budget, and work environment.
Action cameras help preserve memories you will want to keep for a lifetime. Filter through the affordable and the high-end ones by going through their reviews and identify the specific features that fit your work environment.