Do you ever look at GoPro footage on YouTube and wonder why yours doesn't look as good? Don't feel bad, we've all been there. Luckily, there are a number of super simple things you can do to increase the cinematic quality of your action cam footage, and they won't take a whole lot of time or money. In this video, Peter McKinnon explains how he gives his GoPro footage that lovely cinematic look with a few tweaks to the settings and a little magic in post. Check it out below:

The first time I ever shot something on a GoPro I was a little disappointed. I stupidly expected to see footage that looked like all those awesome, beautiful, cinematic videos I'd been viewing on YouTube for years, and instead, I got—not that. It wasn't the GoPro's fault, though. It was my fault for not knowing how to use the camera, accessories, and post-production tools to get what I wanted, which was something cinematic. That's why McKinnon's tips are so great because if you're wanting cinematic, they'll definitely help get you there.

Here are his tips from the video:

  • Don't use SuperView: Getting a wide-angle view is great for a lot of action cam footage, but if you want to shoot something cinematic, shoot in Linear FOV. Your edges won't be as distorted and you'll get a most classically filmic field of view.
  • Stabilize your footage: Steady hands can be a very powerful stabilizer, but using an actual camera stabilizer is even better (if you have the money for it). You can also try using Warp Stabilizer in post to make your footage smoother.
  • Shoot in Protune: Capturing your footage in a flat color profile is important if you want the most latitude in post, and GoPro's Protune option will give you much more to work with when it comes time to grade your footage.
  • Add matte bars: Just a little trick that adds a little of that cinematic feel to your footage: matte bars. In your NLE, you can either crop your image or add an overlay. Either way, it's super easy.

McKinnon also shares all the GoPro settings he uses in case anyone wants to get themselves set up:

  • Shutter: auto
  • ISO: min. 100, max. 800
  • White balance: auto
  • Sharpness: medium or low
  • Color profile: flat (ProTunes)
  • Audio: medium

What are some other ways you can make your GoPro footage more cinematic? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Peter McKinnon