How To Vlog With An Action Camera

Alex Foster
Aug 26 · 5 min read

The world may be more accessible than ever, but the world is full of diversity. From diverse landscapes to the vast variety of people and cultures that populate them, no two places are exactly the same. It's because of that that travel, and by extension travel blog/vlogging is so popular - we are drawn to those different experiences.

Blogging is probably the most popular and innovative way to document your travels, but with social media moving towards video - vlogging is a great way to add that something extra and draw in a bigger crowd. With that in mind, I thought I'd round up 7 tips you can use to make a travel vlog more captivating - all with just an action camera.

  1. Vlogging Gear

According to Travel expert Lucy Rose Laucht, the number one rule for vloggers is to NOT use a professional camera. Travel vlogging is more about the story than the gear, and with a light, portable camera that can record smooth footage, you're more likely to get those 'real' moments. So, for the purpose of this short tips article, we'll focus on using action cameras, whether it be a GoPro or DJI's Osmo Action, the premise is the same.

2. Capture the Fleeting Moment

Snapshots + Custom Mode

“Time isn’t a luxury you have with travel photography as you’re moving through various kinds of scenes all the time.” The key of a content-rich travel vlog usually lies in the capturing of the often-fleeting moments. Thus, short setup time of your gear can is essiential while vlogging.

Thankfully both camera's have decent set-up times, with GoPro's Hero 7 going from off to recording in under 5 seconds and the Osmo Action Quickshot feature letting you start recording in around 2 seconds from off.

Both of these relatively quick start-up times mean there's less chances of you missing that fleeting moment, and can be the difference between a great and a meh travel vlog.

It's also fairly good practice to set customise different profiles if possible within the camera. By having pre set modes and settings you can theoretically just switch between them rather than having to adjust every setting individually every time you move to a new location or want to change frame rates.

3. Slow down time by using high frame rates

Is there anything more satisfying than grabbing that iconic moment in super slow motion? Both GoPro and DJI's Osmo Action support 8x slow motion - something GoPro will surely improve upon in the upcoming Hero 8. But, while a normal camera is restricted in where you can take it, the rugged, waterproof body of both of these cameras makes them uniquely able to grab the most extreme of moments in slow motion.

Now obviously this doesn't mean you should record everything in slow motion, but by being creative with where you place them and with speed ramps in post etc, you can get some really creative stuff.

4. Real-time Front Screen Display

Now, this one is only really available for the Osmo Action (here's hoping for the Hero 8), but there's nothing worse than getting home to find out that your epic shot didn't actually really include you in it at all, or that it just wasn't framed up well. The front screen on the Osmo Action is there for those moments. I had some issue activating it with voice control, but having the ability to double check exposure before mounting it on a helmet, or just making sure I'm in the frame, was a great one.

5. Mounts, mounts, and more mounts.

One of the benefits of having such a small camera is that when it comes to where to mount them, the possibilities are endless. Between official and third-party accessories, you can literally put the camera anywhere.

Being the big-guy on the block, the GoPro's accessories list far outstrips that of the Osmo Action for the moment, but either way - whether it's white river rafting, or just going for a run, both have more than enough options to keep you from getting bored with the same perspective.

6. Shooting in the “Golden Hour”

I mean, would it even be a tip-based article if we didnt include golden hour in it? I'll shout it for the people in the back but yeah, golden hour is a thing that every videographer and photographer should be aiming for at least oncee in a travel shoot. By producing that lush golden light, sunset and sunrise can make any scene look great. While both cameras can shoot HDR stills to help with the dynamic range, only the Osmo Action can shoot HDR video as of yet - something to bear in mind if you don't fancy spending too much time editing a D-log profile in post.

Which brings us to...

7. Editing

Every great travel vlog needs post-processing. Whether it's adjusting the colours for a banging insta post or adding smooth transitions for youtube or twitter, post processing is a must. So with that in mind - and if you want to have the most control over the entire process - shooting with both in the log settings rather than the in-built colour profile will capture footage with less contrast, allowing you to capture more dynamic range - something that could potentially take your vlog to the next level.

If you like the sound of that, let me know and I'll post a full tutorial on colour-grading, or if you just do't have the energy for that, look up some lut's online to get it done for you... don't worry, we won't tell.

I hope you guys find above tips useful in your travel vlogging. Have fun with it! Until next time!

Alex Foster

Written by

Travel, photography, and everything in-between 📷

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