I certainly don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to taking underwater video and usually leave all the filming up to Deon.  After a lot of reading and a bit of trial and error, here are the settings we have found work best for filming and editing GoPro footage with our basic setup (GoPro Hero Black camera, with handle, no lights and no filters). Here is Deon filming a shark at Shark Alley 😀

Before Shooting:

  1. Go to the GoPro website and make sure you have the latest firmware update.  If not, update your GoPro.  It’s really straight forward.
  2. Make sure you have a suitable SD card for your GoPro.  Check out the GoPro Website here for more details.
  3. Get yourself a second battery – they don’t last long, so if you plan on filming more than one dive a day, have one charging (a GoPro wall charger comes in handy for this) and the other in the camera.
  4. Download GoPro Cineform Studio here (make sure you always have the latest version)

Underwater settings for your GoPro:

  1. 1080
  2. 60fps
  3. Wide
  4. ProTune On
  5. Camera Raw
  6. Spot Mode Off
  7. Flat mode (GoProHero Black 3+ only)

When Shooting:

  1. Shoot with the sun behind you.
  2. Shoot short clips rather than long ones, it will make life easier when it comes to converting and editing.
  3. Get to know which are the on and off buttons.
  4. Make yourself a handle (or buy one, or mount it securely to the top of your digital / SLR housing) – try to keep the camera steady at all times.   This is the best way to film.
  5.  Just be aware that the deeper and darker the dive, the more grainy the footage will become, so lights are certainly preferable (but costly).  It really depends on the type of water, available light and visibility.  You will get much better footage from a 25m dive in the Red Sea or Mozambique than you will on the Smits Wrecks or Steenbras Deep at 25m without lights….
  6. If you’re using a head mount, try not to move your head around too much and if you use a chest mount, be really careful when getting back on the boat. I don’t really like chest mounts as it means you have to swim in an upright position 🙁
  7. If you remove the camera from the chest mount before getting back on the boat, be very careful that the mount does not catch on the pontoons or rope.  It will either break the mount, attach you to the pontoon and can also damage the boat….

Next, we will cover how to convert and edit your files for making your movie!

Here are some of our latest videos shot using our GoPro Hero Black.