GoPro Cameras: Coherent Shot Arrangement

By John Carucci

Basic shot structure with a GoPro differs somewhat from the approach you would take with a conventional camcorder or DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera). The GoPro uses a fixed wide-angle lens, whereas the others use a zoom lens that covers lots of focal lengths (but nowhere as wide as the lengths that the GoPro’s lens can cover).

Instead of using focal length to bring a shot in tight, control the variations in the size of the subject in the frame solely with camera-to-subject distance. Typical shot arrangements such as wide, medium, and close-up take on different meanings with the GoPro. If you’re using the Black Edition, it’s possible to change the Field of View. Here are some of the shots you can get:

  • Ultra-wide: This shot covers a wide area of the scene with nothing looking as though it’s anywhere near the camera.

    Normal ultra-wide GoPro view.

    Normal ultra-wide GoPro view.
  • Very wide: This shot still covers an expansive area, but some objects appear to be closer.

    Expansive GoPro view.

    Expansive GoPro view.
  • Fairly wide: Objects in the scene are much closer to the lens, though not that close that the ultra-wide angle view makes them seem a little distant. Meanwhile the subject is probably only a few feet away, as seen here.

    Wide GoPro view.

    Wide GoPro view.
  • Intimate wide: This shot is still wide but fills the frame with the subject, who may be just inches away. Think of this view as being the GoPro’s version of a close-up.

    A shot taken right next to the subject.

    A shot taken right next to the subject.