Here are 14 tips for shooting GoPro baseball footage, including settings, protune and composition. I've also included the best GoPro accessories for baseball.
GoPro Baseball Guide: Tips, Settings and Accessories
Baseball is the perfect sport to film with a GoPro. It’s fast paced and full of action so you can really make the most of your GoPro’s abilities. Whether you’re filming your own team, or just watching and recording a game, there are plenty of ways to record a great film with nothing but your GoPro.
But there are so many different angles, actions and settings to try that it can be hard to know where to start. So here are 14 tips for capturing the best footage of baseball games with your GoPro. We’ll cover the best GoPro to use for this kind of filming, as well as the settings and accessories you should be using.
What type of footage can you expect? Here's the type of footage you can capture with a body-mounted GoPro camera. With the following tips – and a bit of practice – you'll be shooting GoPro baseball videos like this in no time.
14 GoPro Baseball Tips and Settings
1. Find the right GoPro for the job
First off, let’s start with which GoPro is going to be the best for filming baseball games. If you’re planning on capturing some footage from a stationary perspective, you may want a GoPro that can zoom.
The Hero6 is the first GoPro with a touch zoom feature, however it is a digital zoom, rather than the preferred optical zoom. This basically means that if you plan on zooming, you can expect to lose out on quality, which isn’t ideal. But still, any zoom is better than no zoom.
It’s also one of the latest GoPro cameras, so it’s going to fit with any of the latest mounts and accessories. Plus, like the GoPro Hero5, it doesn’t need any extra case. It’s even waterproof up to 10m, so even if you’re filming a game on a rainy day, it’s going to cope just fine without any case.
But is the quality any different compared to the other GoPro models? The short answer: yes.
Like most other GoPro models, the Hero6 can film in up to 4K resolution. Then when you start looking at the fps (frames per second), the GoPro Hero6 takes it to the next level. It can film in 4K at 60fps, which means that films look much more realistic and there’s less jitteriness in the footage. It’s also the best GoPro so far for filming in slow motion.
2. Plan some slow motion shots
Slow motion shots can really emphasise key points in the baseball game you’re filming. Slowing down the most dramatic moments of the game can glorify wins and create a much more suspense-filled video.
But to capture a good slow motion shot, you need to be prepared for it. Make sure your GoPro is ready and in the right position. Visualise the kind of shots you’re hoping for, so that you can find the right position and test it out before the game starts.
3. Choose the right GoPro field of view (FOV)
GoPro cameras offer a few different field of view options, and it’s a setting that many experienced GoPro users often forget about, or don’t know about! But if you want your footage to look as professional as possible, you’ll need to decide what field of view setting you need to film your baseball game.
GoPros have 3 different field of view settings. The older GoPros offer ultra-wide, medium and narrow, while the Hero5 and Hero6 offer: wide, superview, and linear.
Wide and superview are the best options for filming action sports, especially if you’re hoping to film the entire sports field. Both of these fields of view have a fisheye appearance though, which is where linear comes in. The linear setting reduces the fisheye bulge, making footage seem a bit more normal.
FOV wide is your best bet for filming in high quality, as this is the field of view that enables you to film in up to 4K. Superview can also film with a 4K resolution, but only when using certain frame rates. Linear is much more limited in terms of quality, so if you want 4K footage, or freedom of frame rates (which you’ll need when filming action sports), it’s safer to film in wide or superview.
4. Get close to the action if you can
The fisheye effect of GoPro lenses means that you can fit a lot more into a frame, but it also means that a lot of the background is shrunk down quite a bit. So you’ll probably notice that any players that aren’t in the immediate foreground look tiny.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but more often than not, you want footage that’s a bit clearer, with more of a focus. So our advice is, get as close to the action as you can.
Obviously this isn’t always possible if you’re just spectating, but if you’re playing, or have access to the field during a small-time game or training session, you might be able to mount your GoPro a little closer.
5. Decide on your angles before the game starts
If the game starts and you haven’t planned ahead at all, you won’t be able to keep up with the game and ultimately your footage won’t be as great as it could be.
This is especially important if you’re hoping to try out as many different angles as possible. Plan ahead, and you should be able to fit in all of your desired angles.
If you have access to the sports field, you can quickly adjust your GoPro’s position or change mounts when the teams switch over.
6. Capture lots of different angles: fence and point of view
When filming with a GoPro, it’s easy to mount it on a head mount and think no more about it. Head mounts are definitely a great choice for filming first-person views, but try and be creative with where you film from.
If you’re just a spectator and you’re watching through a fence, obviously your angle options will be fairly limited. But still you can try out POV (point of view) shots throughout the stadium and from your seat, or mount your GoPro on a fence mount.
But if you’re part of a baseball team, there are so many different angles you can try. The following video is a good example of how good POV GoPro videos can look when mounted on a head mount when you play:
When filming an individual sport like kayaking or snowboarding, a first person view from a head mount is perfect for capturing every manoeuvre. But with team sports like baseball, you want to see the game from more than just one player’s perspective.
Even if you’re only using one GoPro, swap it around so you can capture batting, baserunning, pitching and fielding footage.
GoPro Baseball Tip: You can have different players wear the GoPro on a head mount, or position mounts in different places around the field. Then just swap the GoPro around every now and then.
This way, you’ll capture lots of different angles and perspectives, and have a much more interesting film.
7. Try out some aerial shots
GoPro has always had some pretty amazing capabilities on the ground, but with consumer level drones, you can now take your GoPro to the skies.
An aerial, birds eye shot of the playing field is going to make for some really impressive footage. You’ll also be able to capture the positioning of the whole team, rather than focusing on just one or two players. It’s the perfect way to turn any amateur film into an impressive piece of cinematography – all without breaking the bank! Plus it’s a great way of getting a better view of the game if your seat doesn’t have much of a view.
Even a quick look at the following video will show you exactly the kind of shot you can get by mounting your GoPro on a Karma drone:
If you’re filming a practice game, you could also fly the drone a little closer to the ground. This way, you can fly your GoPro alongside players as they run from base to base.
So putting your GoPro on a drone can result in some amazing and professional looking film footage, but before you take to the skies, make sure you’ve got all the permission you need. The last thing you want is to break any rules or regulations whilst trying to film a baseball game. There are issues regarding safety and the law, so make sure you do everything by the book.
The GoPro Karma drone also includes the Karma grip, which completely stabilises your footage whilst you’re in the sky, and can even be taken out and used on the ground for filming whilst moving.
9. Avoid pointing your GoPro at the sun
One of the best things about baseball is that you get to be outside in the sun. But beautiful sunlight isn’t always a good thing when you’re trying to film.
You might have seen some GoPro videos that go a bit grainy when the quality is lessened by brilliant white light from sunlight, and this is exactly what you want to avoid.
GoPros are pretty good at automatically adjusting exposure, but if it’s a sunny day, try and angle your GoPro slightly lower. That doesn’t mean it should be pointing towards the ground, just don’t angle up at the sun directly so that the sensors are exposed to direct sunlight.
GoPros can handle a lot of different filming conditions, but much like us humans, they struggle to look directly at the sun, and can even sustain permanent damage from doing so.
10. Edit and cut your baseball film
If you’re filming a whole baseball game from a whole load of different angles, you’re going to end up with a really long film. And whilst people do watch baseball games live, it’s probably best to keep your GoPro film short and sweet. This way you’ll keep your audience interested right to the end.
Pick the best moments of the game, and the clips that demonstrate your artistically cinematic GoPro filming abilities the best.
Here are your best choices for GoPro editing software.
11. Grab still photos from your footage
As well as a great baseball film you may also want a few still shots of the game. But rather than spending time trying to capture the perfect image, just use the GoPro app to ‘grab’ stills from your footage.
This way you’ll end up with still photos that are of much higher quality, and you’ll get photos that you might not have been able to capture in photo mode.
12. Shoot using Protune
When filming a sport like baseball, you want to be able to get it right the first time. Otherwise there’ll be plenty of home runs and incredible catches that you miss. So to have complete control of your GoPro, shoot using protune.
With protune you’ll be able to adjust camera settings that you may never have even realised your GoPro had. You can control color and light balance, as well as the resolution, frame rate and field of view.
Your footage may not look better straight off the bat, but after a bit of tweaking with some editing software or even an editing app, you’ll notice how much richer the color is, and how much clearer the video is.
13. Try a timelapse of the game
Whilst slowing things down can make things more dramatic, especially if you’re close to the action, speeding things up with a time lapse of a baseball game can also result in some good footage. This is also a good option if you’re filming a bit farther away from the actual action.
The following video is a good example of a short and sweet time lapse video of a baseball playing field:
Interested to shoot your own? Here's our guide to shooting GoPro timelapse videos.
14. Pack several batteries (and SD cards)
Before you head out to a baseball game, charge up all of your GoPro batteries. This way if you use up one battery, you’ll still be able to catch the end of the game with another.
With baseball, you never know when there’s going to be an amazing moment, so ideally you want to record as much of it as possible. Packing several batteries will enable you to record as much as you want.
Make sure you’ve got enough space left on your SD card to save it all though, otherwise your filming efforts will have gone to waste.
GoPro BaseBall Accessories and Mounts
The Best Accessories for Filming Baseball
So now you know some of the top tips to transform your amateur footage into a piece of sporty cinematic art, but what mounts and accessories can help you achieve the best footage? Here are the best accessories for both spectators and baseball players.
3 Best GoPro Accessories for Baseball Spectators
If you’re going to watch a baseball game and you want to capture as much of it as possible, the right accessories are essential, but what are they?
- Cap mount: Chances are you’re wearing a baseball cap to the game, right? So why not mount your GoPro on your cap with a cap mount. Then you can enjoy the game, without worrying about your GoPro at all. You can film your entire stadium experience from a P.O.V perspective.
- Fence mount: If you want to get some stationary shots that are stable and focused, you’ll want a fence mount. You can attach your GoPro to the fence, and make sure it’s angled properly, and even use the touch zoom feature every now and then if you have a GoPro Hero6.
- Extendable pole mount: This one is kind of like a selfie stick, but even more extendable. So if there are any obstacles you want to raise your GoPro above, or if you just want to try filming from a higher angle, it’s perfect.
Best Accessories for Baseball Players
If you’re filming with your GoPro whilst playing baseball, you’ll need these. Here are some of the best mounts for baseball players.
- Head mount: This is the go-to accessory for P.O.V filming, and it’s perfect for filming baseball. Head mounts are adjustable so they’ll easily fit over baseball helmets.
- Cap mount: The cap mount is also a good one for baseball players. For players who aren’t batting, the GoPro can be mounted on their baseball cap.
- Chest Mount: This will only work if you aren't actually playing a game. But during warmups and practice, this mount will give a pretty nice perspective of game play.
How do you use your GoPro to shoot baseball photos and videos? What mount do you use? Join us in the comments!