Gopro knock off: DJI Osmo Action Review –

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DJI Action 2 review: Super-small and super versatile?

Digital Camera World Verdict

This is an action camera which looks and works like nothing before it. Having such a tiny main camera has previously come with usability sacrifices (like the cubic GoPro Hero Session’s lack of monitor), yet here is a polished camera and powerful camera with a fluid OLED touchscreen which forms the center of a versatile system. Image stabilization and horizon leveling are all there too, and app has all the elegance you’d expect of DJI (with years of experience from drones with live view). While the max resolution is a minor disappointment, this feels like a better ecosystem for the average GoPro customer and the lack of subscription discounts is reassuring too.


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    Magnetic versatility is genuinely practical

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    Responsive OLED touchscreen

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    DJI Mimo app control experience excellent

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    Lighter than GoPro 10 even with 2nd module

  • No 5. 3K video option

  • Smaller screen encourages use of Mimo app

  • Price jump from OSMO Action

Why you can trust Digital Camera World
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Like Sony’s “Walkman” before it, the GoPro is such a dominant brand in the action camera space that, well, that’s what people call them. The market is swamped with cheap copies and innovation is left to GoPro. Or is it? DJI certainly have other ideas. They shook things up with their first Action camera’s front-facing secondary screen (which Go Pro were quick to copy), but their Action 2 is a new thing altogether. Well, several things to be precise.

The camera brings a modular system so that the user can choose between size, weight and power more easily than other action cameras can be taken in and out of their water housings. The practicality and gadget value is glorious but is it the right action camera for you? And if it is, which accessories will make it the perfect tool? 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The unique Action 2 design gives you the choice of very compact 56 gram (2oz) camera which can record straight onto its built in storage when you need to be compact. The entire back face is taken up by a punchy square 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen for control, and it’s not bad looking either; the gorgeous grey aluminum rounded square is IP-X8 waterproof to 10m when used alone.

If you want performance closer to a ‘big’ action camera (i.e. a standard GoPro), then you can attach a secondary unit. That might sound fiddly, but the built-in magnet seems to magically suck the other part on (your choice of Front Touchscreen Module, the vlogger’s favorite, or Power Module, basically a battery). It firmly clips at the sides, and the magnet makes it impossible to get it the wrong way round. 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

  • DJI Action 2 (Black) at Amazon for $289

From launch, you need to choose which of these modules you’re buying with the camera (though you can get another later). The secondary touchscreen faces the lens side, making vlogging easier (or FPV mode), while the alternative is a plain box like action cameras of old. Both bring a microSD card slot and USB-C connector so you need one or other to charge the primary camera make physical cable downloads. 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Alone or paired, the camera block can be controlled from your phone via DJI’s Mimo app, with live streaming while recording just like DJI drones, thanks to built-in Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi wi-fi. 

  • Prime Day 2023: see our pick of the best camera deals in Amazon’s sale

The adoption of magnetic connection extends to camera accessories, which we’ll get to below. 


Let’s get it out of the way straight away; there is one major design sacrifice made against its predecessor – the rear screen (well, either screen) is only as big as the camera face, so fingertip control can be a little tricky. In practice it’s reasonably logical, and at 350ppi very sharp. 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

If you gleefully ignore the instructions and dive in, this isn’t as obvious as it should be, but once you get it, swiping left and right from the centre of the screen bring the main mode choices; the options are controlled by swiping from the sides according to the icons at the edges of the screen; as natural as any phone OS.

The OLED touchscreen certainly has GoPro’s LCD’s in the dust when it comes to viewing angle. We also really liked that the dual touchscreen arrangement gave exactly the same controls to both sides, so there was no need to turn things round or learn a secondary set of button presses. 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Using DJI’s Mimo app is a convenient solution for clumsy fingers; it clearly benefits from the company’s experience in live streaming from drones meaning that – unlike the GoPro – you can view video as you shoot. In manual mode photography features like over-exposure warnings are on offer, while selecting the mode is very natural to DJI drone users or, well, anyone who’s used their phone’s camera.

There are some quirks to the system, not least when adjusting resolution; sometimes we felt we needed to pop in and out of the resolution menu to be offered a stabilization option. DJI, however, are reliable providers of software updates so any issues here are unlikely to be a concern.

Performance & battery

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Testing the battery out in dual screen mode, we were able to run the camera a little over 2 hours, the last 90 minutes of which were in “1080P Battery Saving mode” but even that allowed image stabilization. DJI say that can be squeezed to 160 minutes with no stabilization.

Where things are inevitably a little disappointing is operating the camera unit solo. The built-in 580mAh battery and 32Gb of storage (actually 22Gb, the rest presumably given over to system software), limit you to about 70 minutes.

For some use cases, this won’t be a problem. The camera will make a great alternative to the aging GoPro Hero Session often seen atop FPV drones to capture cinematic footage, and they don’t stay aloft for long enough for it to be a worry. Most action is time-limited, if we’re honest.

(Image credit: DJI)

That said, we did a lot of testing while cycling – a long bike ride begs for a head-cam like this – which in turn means we’d love to see the power last longer.

Having a battery in both units can also be a little confusing. Charging means you need your other module – it’s where the USB-C socket is – and it’s not especially fast, taking about 90 minutes. You can’t change batteries, you can only swap modules to one with a charge. It’s not what we’re used to, but it’s possible to imagine a cash-rich production keeping a box of Battery Modules with microSD cards in and swapping them as needed, making for a speedier and less fiddly swap.

The modules can be charged separately or when connected to the camera – if the latter, the camera takes priority. 

Recording, resolution, and stabilization

Despite the tiny camera unit, at 1/1.7-inch it houses a larger image sensor than the GoPro 10, while the camera maxes out at 4K (the GoPro is 5.4K). Both share the same 155-degree field of view.

RockSteady 2.0, the image stabilization system, is a visible improvement the already good version found on the OSMO Action. HorizonSteady may surprize some by cropping in a little more, and isn’t available above 2. 7K, but the resulting video is easy to watch and it’s possible to rotate the camera entirely without the horizon being affected. 

If you don’t understand the limitations with regard to frame rate and size for the stabilization, the menu could make it a little clearer than it does. 

Photos and video quality

Still from 4K Hyperlapse from bike headcam (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The Action 2 likes a bright day (who doesn’t?) and the slightly larger sensor does okay in low light but rapid motion and high frame rates aren’t photographers friends and DJI haven’t changed physics. Using the camera indoors works much better on a tripod or, failing that, upon its secondary unit. 

The standard video has a pleasing tone to it, which tends to slightly exaggerate saturation and contrast like most phone cameras. The ‘Pro mode’ (which opens up the camera settings) also reveals the D-Cinelike option for those who prefer to grade video themselves. This is a near-flat profile means more detail can be drawn from highlights and shadows, like a log profile, but looks flat from camera.

A slight frustration for a device with which a not inexpensive Remote Control Extension Rod is sold is the nearest sharp focusing distance, which seem to be at least 30cm, meaning if you hold the handle with your elbow against your body your face will appear soft.

Frame from video at 2.7K from HorizonSteady mode – holding camera around 40-degrees from original and it’s doing fine.  (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The 12-megapixel stills are nicely toned in good light, though are unlikely to compete with those from a flagship mobile. Dark areas will appear noticeably grainy though; testing in the UK as winter rolls around we were not short of cloudy days which revealed this.  (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Still from a video shot in near dark London. This was pretty challenging for the camera, and there was motion blur, but it was certainly possible to make out the lights of Canary Wharf.  (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)


We had the chance to try the Action 2 with a few of the new accessories, including the practically invisible Magnetic Lanyard, included however you choose to buy Action 2. Admittedly this use case benefits from certain fashion choices – clearly it won’t work through a ski jacket, nor did it love a baggy T-shirt, but when it works, it works.

Magnetic Lanyard, left, is more discrete than a traditional head mount, right. Note: This is not the new DJI magnetic mount, but a magnetic adaptor attached to a third-party action camera headband. (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The combination of Magnetic Ball-Joint atop the Remote Control Extension Rod is a useful tool for walk-and-talk vlogging or placing on a table and using as a tripod. It’s not cheap at $59 / £50 (and is shown here with the ball joint), but the tiny joystick in the remote can be used to change settings at a distance. Weirdly, the display on that remote is very similar to the one on the old Go Pro Hero Session.

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The waterproof housing will be essential for many as it’s the only way to get two units at once underwater; the camera alone is waterproof to 10m, but the accessories are not. On the plus side divers can go 60m down with the housing.

DJI Action 2 Verdict

(Image credit: DJI)

Once you’ve got over the astounding design, comparing the Action 2’s spec sheet with the GoPro 10 is irresistible. The lower maximum resolution will inevitably frustrate some filmmakers, but in many other regards the Action 2 clearly has the edge, and in reality the two seem to serve slightly different audiences. DJI’s flexibility is fun, and the size of the camera unit alone makes the GoPro look positively chunky.

There are some DJI technologies that we’d love to see included; some form of face tracking for the vlogging arm, and a larger sensor. Perhaps there is room for a ‘Pro’ camera module with the Air 2S’s 1-inch sensor? Presumably not without stealing space from the battery. 

(Image credit: DJI)

So, it’s got some unique features, it looks and feels refined, and it records video of a quality which will beat even discerning consumer’s needs. But does it represent good value? That’s harder to say; DJI are selling in two packs – essentially a vloggers’ version with the Front Touchscreen Module and Magnetic Ball-Joint for $519 / £455, and a $399 / £349 single-screen option with the Power Module.

They’re price-competitive with the GoPro Hero 10 if we take the GoPro Subscription deals out of the equation, but certainly don’t represent a bargain. Instead with the GoPro you’re paying to for the resolution and whereas with the Action 2 you’re digging deep for the possibilities. Given that, and the irresistible gadget value, we can’t help but prefer the Dual-Screen Combo. We can say, however, it’s a product you’ll be pleased with.

Read more
Best action cameras
Best body cameras
Best selfie sticks
Best budget action cameras under $100
The best GoPro cameras in 2021
GoPro Hero 10 vs Hero 9 Black
The best GoPro accessories
Best streaming cameras
Best GoPro alternatives
The best waterproof cameras
The best 360 cameras
The best helmet camera 

DJI Action 2: Price Comparison

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With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones.  

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot’s Handbook

Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition review

Digital Camera World Verdict

An impressively small and compact package, it’s easy to swap between 4K and 360º on this uniquely modular action camera. It’s loaded with smooth FlowState stabilization and plenty of advanced AI-powered features for auto-follow, auto-frame and auto-edit. For videographers looking for an all-in-one option that straddles regular action camera-style footage and virtual reality-ready 360º, the Insta 360 ONE R Twin Edition is a one of a kind.


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    + 4K and 360º lens options

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    + Easy set-up and lens swap

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    + RAW (dng) photos and 100 mbps video

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    + Outputs H.265 and ProRes422 video

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    + On-screen histogram

  • Editing app requires latest smartphones

  • Stitching lines sometimes visible

  • Expensive

  • Lens could be easy to lose

Why you can trust Digital Camera World
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Can’t choose between a 4K action camera and a 360º shooter? So why not have both? That’s the thinking behind the Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition, a modular action camera that combines the two biggest trends in consumer videography.

The ONE R is a neat idea in every sense. It’s lightweight and pocket-sized, and yet has a unique look and feel to it. It comes in four parts that neatly interlock; a processor module complete with touchscreen (44g), a dual-lens module for 360º (51g), a 4K-capable module (43g) and a 1190mAh battery base (34g) that joins them all together. Do that and you can have a 4K set-up weighing just 121g with a few extra grams in your pocket if you want to swap quickly to 360º. 

Insta360 ONE R: specifications

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

The ONE R Twin Edition has much more going for it than being super lightweight. For starters, it outputs video using the H.265 codec, and also in the ProRes422 lossless format. Both lenses capture in RAW as well as JPG, and in up to 100mpbs video bitrate. It even has a real-time histogram on the small screen. 

  • Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition (HDR Black) at Amazon for $439.99
  • Prime Day 2023: see our pick of the best camera deals in Amazon’s sale

It’s also waterproof, despite that clever modular design. It’s able to go underwater to a depth of 5 m/16. 4 feet if positioned inside its mounting bracket. As well as making watertight a few nooks and crannies that could otherwise let in water, this tough plastic mounting bracket also adds some extra stability to the modular device. Not that it needs it since the basic interlocking modules don’t wobble or come apart easily. A dedicated Dive Case is also available that that goes down to 60m/196ft. 

That mounting bracket also makes it possible to use the device with an ‘invisible’ selfie stick, which is also included in the package but is processed-out of finished images and video. 

The two lens modules impress on specs. The 4K Wide Angle Mod is a f/2.0, 16.4mm focal length (35mm equivalent) lens that can snap photos in 12 MP (4:3) and 8MP (16:9) and shoot video in 4K 60fps. It also manages 200fps in full HD, allowing 8x slow-mo footage. Meanwhile, the Dual-Lens 360º Mod is standard Insta360 fare, with its two f/2.8, 7.2mm (35mm equivalent) lenses that together capture everything in 5. 7K 30fps. 

As a bonus, at some point soon there will be a unique additional lens module available. A wide-angle module co-engineered with Leica and sold as the Insta360 ONE R 1-Inch Edition ($549.99/£456), inside will be a 1-inch sensor capable of shooting 5.3K video at 30fps and 19MP photos through a f/3.2 lens. 

Also available are , a 2,380mAh Boosted Battery Case, a 3D Mount for capturing stereoscopic footage, and an External Mic Adaptor (USB-Type C to 3.5mm) for pairing with an external mic such as RODE Wireless Go. Talking of audio, the Insta 360 ONE R captures it using two microphones, and you can also record audio wirelessly using the onboard mics of Apple AirPods. 

Although the Insta 360 ONE R has no GPS sensors inside, to overlay a heads-up display of key data onto your videos means buying a dedicated GPS Smart Remote from Insta360, or via an Apple Watch. 

Insta360 ONE R: key features

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

There are various new innovations for Insta360 on the ONE R Twin Edition, such as Color Plus, HDR video and Night Shot, while long-standing features like the six-axis gyroscope FlowState stabilization are present again.  

Also here are Auto Frame (AI image recognition that finds and frames where the action is in a live 360º video), Auto TimeShift (a reframed hyperlapse format found in the app’s ‘stories’ section), FlashCut auto-editing (AI image recognition that cuts and combines footage to form a basis for editing), pose detection (an AI-powered subject-tracking algorithm called), Deep Track (select a subject to track and keep in the centre of the frame) and Starlapse (for long exposure night sky shots). 

The ONE R Twin Edition also boasts download-free editing so you can edit footage on a phone without downloading it first.

However, to do so successfully you’ll need one of the latest iPhones (iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max, iPhone XS/XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus), or a high-end Android camera phones (Huawei Mate20, Huawei P30, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung S9, S9+, Note9 and newer) to edit videos without suffering from long lags and freeze-ups. 

Insta360 ONE R: build and handling

Insta360 One R app (Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

In our initial test we were impressed by how easy the modules snapped together, and how stable they feel once they’ve been pushed onto the battery module. Not only do they fit together so easily, but the processor/touchscreen can be turned through 180º and snapped into place so that the subject can see what’s going on. That ‘selfie mode’ will prove useful for anyone doing a piece to camera. 

The main drawback of that touchscreen is its very small size. In fact, it’s presented in a 4×3 format measuring just 24 mm on all sides. However, while the 4K module is in place, it’s possible to double tap on the tiny screen to zoom in. It works very quickly with no lag. Ditto the user interface, which in our test proved to be lightning fast and, thankfully, extremely easy to navigate despite the plethora of complex features offered. 

It’s easy to connect-up the ONE R Twin Edition to a smartphone hosting the all-new Insta360 One R app, with the app finding the camera quickly and putting a live preview on the phone. 

When out and about, the 360º module is protected by a U-shaped silicon hood when off the camera and by two snap-on lens caps when on the camera, which is good thinking.  

Battery life is about an hour, so serious users are advised to invest in the Boosted Battery Base, particularly since the editing process really saps that battery, and that of a connected smartphone. 

Photo and video performance

Shot with Insta360 One R in HDR mode (Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

Tiny planet effect with Insta360 One R  (Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

The versatility of having 360º as well as 4K at your disposal is great, and both lenses here – the 360º and the 4K – are of excellent quality. The audio is good too, although it’s worth using the ‘background noise reduction’ options is you’re filming in a windy place. 

The detail in 4K is excellent, though it’s worth engaging ColorPlus modes to extract a little more saturation from some rather muted raw footage. Ditto photos; the color in HDR photos is highly impressive. 

Although 360º footage is adequate, those two fisheye lenses are ranged further apart than usual, and it occasionally shows in visible stitching lines on 360º footage. We therefore conclude that despite it  outputting in H.265 and in ProRes422, this is not aimed at pro-videographers, but general users – and with plenty of features that vloggers, in particular, will love. 

Sample 4K video from Insta360 One R – 360 video reframed to Full HD with  FlowState and Noise Reduction turned on

Comparison 4K video from Insta360 One R – 360 video reframed to Full HD without FlowState and Noise Reduction turned off

Insta360 ONE R verdict

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

Is the Insta 360 ONE R really a pro-grade device? Most pro-videographers will want separate devices for shooting the same scenes in both formats. Besides, the 5.7K capture by the Insta 360 ONE R isn’t really enough for hi-res re-framing; we’re going to have to wait for the arrival of consumer-grade 8K or even 16K 360º cameras for that. 

However, there’s a lot to like about the Insta 360 ONE R for general users, and particularly for vloggers. Its versatile design is excellent, as are its HDR photos, the detail in 4K video, and the super-smooth FlowState stabilization across all formats. However, the ability to turn the touchscreen through 180º to face the subject – complete with invisible selfie stick – makes the Insta 360 ONE R a brilliant device for vloggers who want to film on-the-go. Paired with the FlowState stabilization, the results are excellent, and allow the user to bridge the gap between 4K and 360º in style. 

Read more:

Insta360 ONE R 1-inch Edition review

The best action cameras in 2020

The best 360 cameras in 2020

The best waterproof cameras in 2020

Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition: Price Comparison






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Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines.  

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment. 

Tips for swimming with a GoPro action camera

GoPro action cameras are designed and built for use in harsh and sometimes even aggressive environments, making them stand out from other cameras and turn routine shooting into interesting and exciting process. The same holds true for water conditions as well – the GoPro is ready to shoot in and around water as soon as you take it out of the box. Still, some of the tips here will improve your underwater shooting technique and help you get high-quality, impressive and unforgettable shots.

Everything is quite simple here. Stick to the standard “gentleman’s” set of settings: 1080p60 with a wide viewing angle – because FullHD is easier and faster to process and post to social networks.

Those who like to “dive deeper” and shoot in 2.7K or 4K should remember that such files consume the battery faster, take up more space on the memory card, require powerful hardware for playback and are more difficult and longer to process. If you are determined to capture the beauty of the underwater world in maximum resolution, choose the following settings: 4K60 in 16:9 formatwith a wide viewing angle and activated stabilization.

Professional divers do not recommend using frame rates below 60 fps when shooting underwater, otherwise you risk getting blurry and blurry results. Setting the frequency above 60 fps is recommended if you want to see in slow motion how a great white shark furiously rushes after its prey at high speed. But in general, 60 fps is the ultimate option, suitable for almost all shooting situations.

For advanced users, it is always recommended to turn on the Protune mode and play around with different settings until you get the best results – there are no general tips here, as you will be diving in seas and bodies of water with different densities, colors, salinities and at different depths. We only recommend choosing the Flat color profile and setting the sharpness to low or medium in order to get the most out of the resulting video in post-processing.

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW is recommended anytime, anywhere, and for everyone: this mode gives you more freedom in post-processing, especially when it comes to color grading. But for shooting underwater, this is especially true, because you get more control over the “white balance” parameter in conditions of a lack of red and orange colors, which (we will write more about this in a moment) are observed underwater – in this sense, this advice is somewhat similar to advice with light filters. Of course, you can process a photo even if it is taken in JPG, but shooting in RAW, with proper processing, you will get the best end result.

General Tips

The following are general tips that apply to almost any water shoot, although the main focus is on sports such as diving, snorkeling and surface swimming. The article also assumes that the operator is a user of GoPro HERO5 cameras or newer, but users of older devices will be able to find information of interest to themselves.

Check the seals

The main tip of the entire article that will save you time, nerves and money: check the seals on the chamber doors every time before submerging it in water without aquabox. It’s like checking your tire pressure before driving a car on a long journey. The manufacturer claims that the device is waterproof at a depth of up to 10 meters without a hermetic box, but only on condition that there are no damages or tears on the seals, and cracks on the GoPro case. Needless to say, if there are any on your camera, it is strongly not recommended to immerse it in water without a box! By the way, if the side door covering the USB port is damaged, you can purchase it separately. On the site, it is located in this section.

Also make sure that the front protective lens is firmly in place. This is especially true for operators who use the camera with the Super Suit aquabox, periodically removing and putting on the lens.

Again, all of the above must be done BEFORE you dive into the water. Remember, water accidentally getting inside the camera will not only spoil your shooting, but can also cause serious malfunction or even damage to the device.

Use float and safety strap

GoPro cameras sink. And they sink very quickly. They are also small in size and gray in color, which makes them quite difficult to find on the bottom of the sea or ocean. And only using a float, you significantly reduce the risk of losing the device.

Floats are usually divided into two types: floats that are attached to the camera, and monopod floats. The first one is the GoPro Floaty accessory – a lightweight foam float is attached to the back cover of the GoPro Super Suit Housing and has a bright orange color, thanks to which you can easily notice your device on the surface of the water if something goes wrong. There are also variations of this accessory in tandem with other mounts, as is the case with the GoPro Bite Mount Floaty.

The second includes accessories such as GoPro The Handler or SP Section Pole Set – in addition to their main role, they also serve as selfie sticks designed to facilitate underwater shooting. It is believed that such floats are more reliable, as they have adjustable safety straps that will help keep the monopod in your hand even in an emergency. But even if something happens to the strap and the float accidentally falls out of your hands, the monopods are equipped with orange tips, which again makes it easier to find them on the surface of the water.

Another option is to secure the device to your arm with the GoPro Hand + Wrist Strap or GoPro Sleeve + Lanyard. Of course, this won’t make the device unsinkable, but at least it will be securely attached to you, making it less likely to end up on the sea floor.

Lock Orientation

When you swim or dive with your GoPro, it rarely stays locked in one position. If you also enable automatic orientation rotation, you may get a different result than you want. For ease of shooting, viewing, and post-production, it is recommended that you set landscape lock. To do this, swipe down to open the Control Panel, tap Settings => Touch Screen => Landscape Lock.

Lock the touch screen

Everyone knows that the GoPro screen does not work underwater. But, as practice shows, at a depth of up to one meter, and also immediately after surfacing in the presence of water drops, the sensor can “fail” and give false signals, due to which important shooting can suddenly stop, or long and carefully adjusted settings are imperceptible to you change. An important function saves from such troubles – screenlock. You can activate it by opening the control panel (swipe down) and clicking on the padlock icon. Don’t forget that the device buttons and voice control work even when the screen is off.

Also, GPS and Wi-Fi don’t work underwater, so you won’t be able to control the camera with the GoPro Smart Remote or your smartphone. Based on the foregoing, it is advisable to set the shooting settings even before you dive into the water – it will be difficult or almost impossible to do this in water.

Using the GoPro on the surface of the water

The following tips are for swimmers, kayakers, surfers, and those who frequently shoot in the rain.

Don’t forget to take the hemisphere dome with you

In this article, we explained in detail what the hemisphere dome is and what kind of pictures you can take with it. If you want to get the same cool shots in the cut of water and air, be sure to take this accessory with you!

What to do with water drops on the lens?

Even the smallest drops of water on the lens of the lens can ruin a great picture. And this trouble arises only when shooting on a section of water and air environments – you will not encounter such a problem underwater.

There are several ways to prevent dripping:

1. Lick the protective lens. Yes, you got it right. This is an old and well-known trick for diving enthusiasts that saved their masks from fogging: spit on the glass, rub saliva on the surface and rinse the mask in water. The method is fast, free and effective, but it may seem vile to someone – it is for these people that industrial water-repellent products exist.

2. Use special anti-fog sprays. Water-repellent spray will prevent water droplets from sticking to the lens surface. This method is usually more effective than the previous one, since industrial sprays last longer than saliva.

There are many different hydrophobic products, from the famous RainX you may have applied to your car windshield, to sprays designed and marketed for use only with action cameras. Since it is quite difficult to compare such products in practice, the general advice would be to choose a hypoallergenic colorless spray or odorless gel made from natural ingredients.

3. Hydrophobic filters. You can also find small films on sale that are glued to the lens or attached like ordinary filters and act as a hydrophobic spray. This is the most highly specialized and probably the most expensive method of all described, but at the same time, the longest-playing: if 30 ml of spray is enough for 200 injections, then filters under proper storage and operation conditions can be used for years.

Another subtlety that you need to be aware of when shooting in sea water: after the device dries, a salty coating remains on the protective lens of the lens, which will blur the frame or unpleasantly reflect direct incident light during subsequent shooting. Such distortion is not always noticeable on a small touch screen, so it is necessary to monitor the condition of the lens, wipe it with a microfiber cloth or rinse it with fresh water in time, so as not to be upset by the result of the shooting when you open materials on a large screen.

GoPro Tip: If you immerse your GoPro in sea water without a housing, make it a habit to rinse the GoPro in running fresh water immediately after use. This will extend the life of your device.

Using the GoPro underwater


The angle of view is narrower underwater than it is above water

When viewing footage captured underwater in SuperView mode, you will find that ultra-wide angle shots in water and air are different – water, like a denser medium refracts light more, which narrows the camera’s field of view. Keep this knowledge in mind when shooting.

Use underwater filters

Have you noticed in your underwater shots that the blues and greens are oversaturated, which only increases with depth? The reasons for this phenomenon are described in detail in our article. In short, the long wavelengths of the color spectrum – these are red, orange and yellow colors – pass through the water column worse, unlike short waves. At greater depths, this results in only shades of blue remaining in the image.

This is where color filters come to the aid of divers: when they are used, the colors in the image look more natural and colorful, in other words, color reproduction is improved. Light filters are red, pink, purple and less often – yellow. Each of them has its own scope, so before purchasing them, we recommend that you read this article in detail. General advice before buying filters: be sure to pay attention to their compatibility with your GoPro model, as well as the way they are mounted – some filters are installed on the aquabox, while others are installed directly on the camera body.

It is impossible not to talk about such a useful accessory as a macro filter. This lens shortens the camera’s focal length, allowing you to capture amazingly detailed footage from the smallest possible distance. In our opinion, this is a real must-have for every adept in underwater photography and videography.

GoPro Tip: do not use filters close to the water surface (>1 meter), where there is already enough sunlight. In this case, your materials will give off a pink and unnatural tint, which will be difficult to remove even in post-processing.

For deep diving, use the Aquabox

Most current GoPro models are waterproof up to 10 meters (Fusion and MAX up to 5 meters). This depth is perfect for surface lovers and surfers. But if you are scuba diving, you need a completely different approach, because great depths are no less dangerous than high altitudes. Reliable equipment, responsible preparation for diving, the shoulder of a friend and your own experience – these moments can play a key role in a critical situation underwater.

The camera also needs equipment that will protect it from the enormous pressure of water at great depths and will not let it leak. For these purposes, it is recommended to use the original Super Suit underwater box. They differ for HERO8 Black, HERO7/6/5 Black, and HERO7 Silver/White due to lens design, so make sure the box is compatible with your version of the camera before purchasing. Separately, we note that due to the same design features, there are no original aqua boxes for the GoPro Fusion and GoPro MAX cameras.

Another significant advantage that the pressure box provides to divers is that it drains the battery more slowly. The aquabox is small, but retains the heat generated by the camera, and it is especially relevant when immersed in water, the temperature of which is close to 0 ° C.

Before diving, do not be lazy and check the tightness of the accessory: place a dry cloth or tissue inside, close the box and dip it into the water. If the rag is not wet, everything is in order with the box. Sometimes a simple precaution can save both the camera and valuable footage.

What you need to know about fogging

Lens fogging is another issue that any operator shooting in or underwater will encounter sooner or later. This is only possible under a certain combination of temperature and humidity conditions, but the classic case of fogging occurs when the camera is immersed in an aqueous environment whose temperature is much lower than the ambient temperature. Fogging is also facilitated by the ingress of moist air or moisture into the space between the lens and the protective lens or the lens and the waterproof case.

The problem is that under water it is impossible to remove drops of condensate from the inside of the protective lens or aquabox – you will definitely have to come up and wipe the fogged area, otherwise you will get blurry shots. And even in this case, there is no guarantee that you will not linger on the surface, and the situation will not repeat itself due to the temperature difference. Therefore, it is better to prepare for such a nuisance even before you dive into the water for the first time.

There are currently two known ways to prevent GoPro from fogging, and both assume that the device will be used underwater in a hermetic box. The first is to use special thin reusable anti-fogging inserts. The anti-fogs will absorb moisture from the small amount of air that enters the waterproof box when the camera is installed in it. If there is no such accessory at hand, then the second method will suit you: place the device in the aquabox not on the coast, where the air is oversaturated with moisture, but in advance, in a car or in a room with dry and cool air. Air conditioning will help create such conditions – it not only regulates the temperature in the room, but also reduces humidity.

Use your battery wisely

Unfortunately, the official replacements for the new Battery BacPac, considered one of the best and most essential accessories in the GoPro HERO3 and HERO4 line of models, have not yet been released for the new line of cameras. Therefore, any diver is faced with the issue of rational battery consumption when shooting underwater.

We will not reinvent the wheel, and will only repeat the advice that we voiced earlier in other articles:

  • Turn the camera off when not taking pictures. Before that, do not forget to activate the QuikCapture mode so that you can turn on the camera with one button and start shooting so as not to miss a valuable shot;
  • Update the firmware to the latest version;
  • Turn off Wi-Fi, voice control and GPS – they still do not work under water, but they consume a lot of battery;
  • If necessary, reduce screen brightness to the lowest possible level;
  • In cold water, use a hermetic box – with it the camera discharges more slowly;

If you plan on shooting for a long time, you can’t do without additional batteries. You can leave them to charge on the surface with a power bank and dual battery charger.

Choose a high-capacity memory card

Battery life isn’t the only thing to keep an eye on when diving. 4K and 2.7K modes, which you really want to capture the beauty of the underwater world, give the maximum bitrate for GoPro (up to 100 Mbps), so for diving, stock up on high-speed cards of the maximum volume – from 128GB and above.

Use underwater stabilizers

Traditional electronic steadicams that we are used to using in the air do not work underwater. But there is a solution – and this is a manual underwater stabilizer.

First of all, this accessory, thanks to two widely spaced grips, provides smoother movement of the camera and gives you more control over shooting and a certain stabilization effect. Secondly, the slower you move the GoPro, the better the information received by the matrix is ​​processed by the processor, the best exposure, focus, white balance and other parameters are selected – which means that at the output you will get close to professional frames. Thirdly, the stabilizer can be equipped with all the accessories necessary for divers, from floats to LED lights. Convenient and practical!

A flashlight is a diver’s best friend

The use of flashlights underwater is a topic for a separate article, but we will try to cover it as concisely as possible in a couple of paragraphs. It should be remembered that flashlights will give you an advantage if you shoot a certain object at close range (for example, macro photography of an algae). They will also help you capture the sea floor dynamically, again at close range. However, even with a powerful flashlight, it is not recommended to simply swim and shoot everything around horizontally, illuminating everything with a light source. There are several reasons for this, and they are mainly related to the optical properties of the aquatic environment – water is 770 times denser than air, and even optically pure, approximately 1000 times stronger than air, attenuates visible light. What’s more, in muddy water, you may encounter small particles of silt or bubbles, which will cause not only light scattering, but also reflection of the light emitted by your flashlight, from those same microparticles into the GoPro lens. Is it worth talking about high-quality shots after such a shoot?

Underwater lighting is one of those things that you need to delve into carefully and gradually. If you are just learning the basics of underwater photography, at first it is recommended to shoot with one flashlight, preferably placed under the camera. The SP POV Light 2.0 adjustable power LED light and the SP POV Dive Buoy in tandem with a GoPro are a great starter setup for beginners. With more experience, you can install a second light source, mount them on extension cords, and replace them with brighter, more powerful LED bulbs.

Instead of a Conclusion

GoPro cameras are built for underwater use, and with the right skill, minimal equipment, and more or less constant practice, you can get amazing footage to proudly hang in the Hall of Fame of your finest photographs. Yes, they are not enough for many hours of shooting, and without a powerful flashlight you can only count on a modest result. But with the right lighting, GoPro has little to no competition in terms of photo quality, convenience and ease of use, not to mention the fun of shooting underwater with an action camera.

GoPro 9 Charger Tips and Tricks – Technics

GoPro cameras, like many other modern gadgets, are equipped with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries do not require special maintenance.

However, if you follow the tips in this article, you can significantly extend their life.

Helpful Hints for GoPro Owners

The GoPro camera manufacturer guarantees that the batteries last at least 2 years. However, depending on many different factors, it can be reduced or increased. By following the tips below, you can significantly increase battery life, so you can use your camera for longer:

  • Pay attention to the condition of the cables and wires used to recharge the battery. It is undesirable that they have any damage. It is recommended that you use only cables that are manufactured by the GoPro manufacturer.
  • The electrical parameters of the cables and wires must be taken into account. It is not recommended to use accessories with a current strength exceeding 1A and a voltage of 5V to recharge the batteries. Otherwise, there is a possibility of a decrease in battery capacity and even its failure.
  • Some GoPro models (for example, HERO5 Black) are recommended to be charged using 2A cables. GoPro 9 charger charges very quickly. But if you are not in a hurry, then it is better to use cables with a lower current strength – 1A. In this case, the charging process will take noticeably longer. However, due to the reduced current, the battery will last much longer, which is an important advantage of using a 1A cable.
  • Exposure to high temperatures has an extremely negative effect on the battery. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to use it in the heat, not to heat up to +50 degrees, not to leave it in the car in direct sunlight, and so on. If you can’t go to a cool place, just remove the battery to cool down the camera.
  • Low temperatures have less negative impact on the battery. If it is discharged in the cold, it is best to warm it up in a warm room or in a jacket pocket.