- GoPro Max Camera Settings
- Use Voice Control
- Composition Ideas for Photographs
- Make Use of HERO Mode
- Take Advantage of 360 Mode
- Get the GoPro App for Your Smartphone
- Use Horizon Leveling
- 360-Degree Sound
- Edit In-Camera or with App
As far as action cams go, it’s hard to beat the GoPro MAX for features, capabilities, and pure usefulness. It is also one of the most fun cameras to use for either photography or videography.
GoPro MAX OvervieW
There really isn’t anything else quite like an immersive 360 degree video to thrill your viewers with the action or area you’re filming. Anything you could imagine doing, or have already done, with single lens HERO style action cam, just think of the WOW factor of showing that as a 360 degree video or image.
GoPro MAX can record in high-quality video, single lens or 360, has excellent audio and can dive underwater with you (or your dog) to 33 feet. It stitches in-camera for panoramic video or stills. All the other regular action features from the GoPro 8 HERO apply as well. Quite an awesome action cam!
Table of Contents
GoPro MAX Tips for Photos and Video
With all that this camera can do, you find yourself asking for ideas and tips for exactly how to accomplish all of those things. Let’s examine some ideas for how to use a GoPro MAX for photography and some video tips for GoPro MAX.
GoPro MAX Camera Settings
First off, you will need to set your new action cam to make the videos or images you are imagining in your head. Almost everything in the camera is accessed by means of a menu on a touch screen. The touch screen doubles as a view screen.
From the touch screen, you select whether you are in 360 or HERO mode, what type of lens you want, switching between still imaging or video, and deeper features. Which brings us right away to the second of our GoPro MAX tips.
Editor’s Tip: Need to use your GoPro for capturing B-roll? Pair the GoPro Hero MAX with the Octopus.Camera Octopad, and you’ll have the perfect setup! Its weighted anti-slip mat keeps it right where you want it, even if you’ve got it on a smooth or uneven surface. It has a built-in ¼-20 threaded male bolt for attaching your GoPro (or any number of other GOPRO ACCESSORIES, for that matter). When you need to be hands-free, Octopad is a great helper!
Use Voice Control
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Lots of action cams have remote control capability, and the best GoPro MAX has voice control. From the touch screen menu, choose the voice control option. Now, your action cam can start and stop video recording with simple vocal commands.
Some of the commands are start and stop video recording, take a still picture, highlighting a part of the recording for finding it easily later (tagging), switching between video, photo, burst, and time lapse mode, powering down the camera, and a few other functions.
The camera can be set to recognize English, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and a few others. A funny thing to me was that there are separate language files for certain accents of languages, such as Australian or UK for English. So, Mad Max can easily control his GoPro MAX.
Composition Ideas for Photographs
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Many photographers and videographers learn the “rules” of composition early on. Action cams require a slightly different set of parameters.
Most action cams use a fairly wide angle lens, the GoPro MAX adds 360 degree filming, so those old rules are good as a starting point, but you should take into consideration the unique aspects of action cams.
If you previsualize what results you want, you pretty much have a no-brainer for how to compose your photos and videos. One video tip for GoPro MAX use is to include a reference point for viewers to know what the point of view is. In other words, sometimes it’s okay to show part of the mounting bracket or whatever your camera is attached too.
Make Use of HERO Mode
photo by Onfokus via iStock
The deciding factor for many purchasers of the GoPro MAX over the GoPro HERO is the 360 dual lens feature of the MAX. However, you don’t want to limit yourself to only 360. The HERO single lens style of action cam is a very versatile and extremely useful camera for both video and still imaging.
Play with the different lens choices available in HERO mode. The lenses are Narrow, distortion-free Linear, Wide, and Max SuperView, which is an extremely wide-angle view.
In HERO mode, you have the ability to shoot video or take still photographs.
Take Advantage of 360 Mode
photo by FluxFactory via iStock
One of the most amazing features of the GoPro MAX is the ability to shoot video and take pics in 360 degrees. There is also a panoramic mode that creates a special still image that covers 270 degrees of the view.
Truth be told, there are a number of modes and features that use the two superwide lenses. Some of them are accessed with the GoPro smartphone app.
Once you start filming or taking pictures in the 360 degree mode, you will wonder how you so long without that option. It adds an extra dimension that many find fascinating. Take some time to properly orient your camera and frame your view before you start filming. In fact, try out some previsualization exercises without even taking out your camera.
Editor’s Tip: Whether you’re using your GoPro Hero MAX for photos or videos, sometimes you need a little extra light, and for that, the Litratorch 2.0 is an excellent option. It has 16 LEDs that give you several different lumen settings depending on what you need. It’s rugged, waterproof, and at 3.17 ounces and barely more than 1.5 inches square, it’s an accessory you can slip in your pocket and easily take anywhere!
Get the GoPro App for Your Smartphone
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So many things can be done with this app. The GoPro MAX tips above list several options available to you in regards to 360 imaging or single lens imaging. Using the smartphone app for GoPro, you can take a 360 degrees video and use the ReFrame tool in the app to adapt that footage into traditional photos and videos.
What this does is it allows you to shoot in one mode and show it in three modes. Since you are immersed in your action footage, there is no reason to get sidetracked by taking still images to show also. Just use the app!
Use Horizon Leveling
photo by cihatatceken via iStock
One of the best video tips for GoPro MAX filming is to watch that horizon. The reason is because a slightly tilted view during extreme wide angle recording can be quite annoying to viewers when played back.
Thankfully, GoPro MAX cameras have a tool to level the horizon for both still and video, in single lens or 360 mode.
Anytime you shoot with extreme wide angle lenses, regardless of camera or format, being level adds to the quality of the results. By the same token, not being level degrades the perceived quality because it exaggerates the distortion that wide angle already has.
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
When using the GoPro MAX for 360 videos, you can also record sound in the full 360 degrees around you. The MAX has 6 microphones that capture a sphere of sound.
Since you can record sound all around you, you will need to stay aware of all of the sound happening around you. You have the option of turning off 360-degree sound and using stereo sound or even directional audio.
Using directional audio while recording visuals in 360 will allow you to diminish engine noise or other distracting noise. Staying aware of audio is one of the more important video tips for GoPro MAX since excess audio feed can make the video difficult to enjoy without major audio editing.
Edit In-Camera or with App
Photo by Jye B on Unsplash
A great feature of the GoPro MAX is the ability it gives you of editing your videos and images right in the camera or in the full featured smartphone app. After editing, use the smartphone app to upload your video or images directly to your social media feeds or other online applications.
That’s right! You can post your vacation or your project right there from the field. No need to wait to get to a computer for advanced editing, you’re doing it on the go.
Editing is an essential skill for videographers. While some still images may seem to look just fine straight out of the camera, it’s been my experience that few videos do. Some editing is always needed for a smooth finished product.
How Much Can You Do?
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How much can you find to do with your new GoPro MAX 360 action cam? We have barely covered the tip of the iceberg with GoPro tips for videos and still imaging. Some of the capabilities of the GoPro MAX aren’t readily apparent when you first start using it.
Take a little time before you go out with your GoPro MAX and familiarize yourself with the functions, features, and capabilities. The Instruction manual is your most valuable first tool in mastering action cam videography and photography.
Keep up with GoPro online, too. The nature of this fantastic camera allows for features to be updated without GoPro even touching your camera. An update to features can come at any time, all you have to do is download it and apply it to the camera when it comes.
The GoPro MAX is not the perfect action cam, but it’s close. Enjoy getting to know all you can accomplish with yours.