Everyone is already familiar with Gopro’s, but they have come a long way since they first hit the market. I have decided to do a review of the Gopro with the fisherman in mind. Since I literally use this camera on the water 5 days a week, I think you’ll not only see that this thing is awesome, but you might get some filming tips. Gone are the days when you have to deal with fish eye video that just doesn’t look good. When it comes to filming fishing, the Hero 4 silver is an awesome piece of gear. I have 2 of them at the moment, and I’m thinking of getting another. Do I really need 3 of these things? Heck Yes! I usually strap one to my head, put one on a selfie stick to use for capturing fish fighting footage and my third one is mostly going to be strapped onto my net. I have started getting serious about filming fly fishing, so the more cameras I have out there, the more action gets captured. You can see my Gopro in action in most of these fly fishing videos. To top it off, the price of these has dropped over $100 since I bought my first one in December 2015. Check the current price here at Amazon.
You are probably asking yourself if it’s worth spending over $300 on a video camera? To me it sure is! These cameras are so small and portable that they can go everywhere. With no trouble at all it will slip into any fly fishing vest pocket or backpack. 10 years ago a camera that could film in this quality would have been 10 times the size and would have costed thousands. These small cameras are supercharged with features that will capture that once in a lifetime fish in full detail.
I realize there are tons of reviews out there already covering every aspect of these remarkable small cameras, but most of them are not directed at people who want to capture fishing footage. If you are an angler looking to make fishing videos, these cameras are worth their weight in gold.
Simple, the black does not have a touch screen. The hero 4 black gopro does have more options for frame rates for high resolution video, but the lack of a touch screen was a deal breaker for me. The touch screen makes the silver version much easier to use, especially if you aren’t familiar with the prior versions of these cameras. I’ve been happy with the silver version and I’m a camera snob.
The Hero 4 Gopro is very easy to use once you get the hang of it. You can set them so the default (when you turn the camera on) is set to video or picture mode. I have mine set to video, because I don’t ever take normal pictures. When I have the camera on my head, I hit the button in the front which gives 3 beeps telling me it’s on. When I’m ready to record, I tap the top button and with one beep I know it is capturing video.
The touch screen design makes these cameras very simple to figure out. I thought about buying a Gopro for filming fishing for years, but until now, they didn’t have screens to see what you are filming. I wasn’t willing to trust a camera that just showed a red light telling me it was filming. The touch screen is clear and easy to use, allowing you to intuitively change settings.
For me, there was a short learning period before I could quickly change some of the features. Particularly I could not figure out how to get it onto night lapse video, (which is really sweet by the way!) I only had trouble, because I refused to read the instruction manual.
This is one thing I was worried about when buying this camera, but the sound quality is not bad. Even through the waterproof plastic case you can clearly hear what people are saying, though it is slightly muffled and nothing like you’d get from a big shotgun mic.
Most people who use the Gopro on their head, tend to have it tilted up too high to capture everything. When I first started using it, I fished an entire day and caught a ton of fish without any good footage. Once I learned that its better to have it pointed too low vs too high, my footage became much better. You can easily prevent this by hooking the Gopro to your phone using the Wifi feature. That way you’ll know exactly what you are filming at all times. The key is to test it out before fishing trips and learn the proper angle so you can feel it with your hand and know that its pointed where you want it.
Perhaps one of my favorite things to film with the Gopro is the releasing of fish. You can just pull the camera off your head and stick it in the water to capture the fish swimming away. Another great way to capture good fishing footage with a Gopro is to attach it to a selfie stick. This way you can stick it out in the water to get some great underwater footage of the fish fighting. I use this Luxebell selfie stick for getting good fish fighting video. These are very inexpensive and collapse small enough to easily fit in any backpack. You can add 2 of these floating keychains to the handle to make it float. One won’t keep it floating, but 2 works well.
Another factor to consider are all of the inexpensive mounts and adapters available for the Gopros, making the filming opportunities endless.You can find a mount to attach your camera to pretty much anything!
In the following image you’ll see my secret weapon for capturing video of fish underwater at long distances. I have also tried it several times to get ultra closeup video of trout eating my flies, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful. Basically you just get upstream of the fish and let line out of the attached reel. The body is made of cork and is shaped like a boat to cut through the water better. I have been meaning to attach a fin to it, which will make it more stable in faster water.
I usually set my video to 2.7k resolution and 25 frames per second. This gives great video that is better than you’ll usually see on most Youtube vids. At 2.7k you can easily pull crystal clear stills from your video with no need to ever even take an actual picture of your fish. The beauty of 2.7k video can be seen in the image to the left. Shooting in this high setting will give you the ability to capture a ton of detail and give you the option to zoom in on the fish (or whatever) after the video is taken. 1080 is the standard HD size that you’ll see in most high definition videos. The only problem with shooting in 2.7k with your gopro, is that you are limited to filming in either 24 or 25 frames per second.
While shooting in the 1080 setting you can go as high as 50 frames per second. This will give you smooth movements and the ability to slow down your video to show a slow motion fish jumping or casting. I almost always have at least one other camera running at a very high frame rate, so I don’t use this setting unless the gopro is the only camera in use.
The Hero 4 silver is also capable of shooting in 4k resolution, which is extremely large. The only problem with this setting is that 12.5 frames per second is the only option for frame rates. For fishing, 12.5 fps is way too slow for capturing good fishing video. I’ll never use this setting for any type of fast paced action.
If you want to shoot with the ability to go very slow motion, you can film in 720 with a frame rate as high as 120fps! While not HD video, at close range that makes some great slow motion.
In this video above you can see my Gopro Hero 4 silver in action. Start the video at 14 minutes and 16 seconds to watch a Gopro hookset and the fight with a big rainbow trout. (Be sure to watch in Youtubes HD setting)
In short, the Gopro Hero 4 Silver is an awesome camera that is capable of catching all the action. Since there are so many mounts and adapters available, the options for taking great video under tough conditions are endless. If you are only going to get one video camera, this is the right one to buy. From underwater still photography, to stunning time lapse video, the opportunities to pull off once in a lifetime shots in nearly any situation should be easy. The Gopro hero 4 silver is a kick butt camera for filming fishing and everything else you can imagine.