So you're going ziplining? Here's how to film your zipline excursion with your GoPro. These tips cover composition, settings, gear, and mounts. Plus some great GoPro zipline videos.
12 Tips for Using Your GoPro on a Zipline
GoPro cameras are perfect for this excursion. Here's a taste of what your GoPro can capture on a zipline. In this video, watch Marshall Miller zipline in a pretty epic way.
1. Turn on HyperSmooth
This can make the difference between shaky, unwatchable video and smooth, amazing footage.
Hero5 and Hero6 cameras both came with in-camera video stabilization. And while that's okay, it doesn't really compare to HyperSmooth.
The HyperSmooth feature is available in both the Hero7 Black and Hero8 Black. If you want stable footage, make sure to turn this on.
2. The best GoPro for zipline footage
I recommend the Hero8 Black for your zipline excursion.
- Hero8 Black has HyperSmooth 2.0. Image stabilization is pretty important when filming your zipline run.
- It has a built-in mount system – without additional housing. You can easily mount it to your head, chest, or selfie stick.
- It shoots up to 4K video at 60 frames per second. That means that you can shoot at super high resolution and still slow it down. This will make some epic zipline videos.
- Voice commands: Choose from a full set of voice commands to make filming super easy (and hands free). Start and stop filming and easily add a HiLight tag – to find your favorite moments after the event.
If you already own a GoPro, I'm sure you'll get good footage with it. There is no need to upgrade just for this. Especially if you have a Hero6 or Hero7 – they'll give you good results.
3. Shoot in 360 Degrees
If you really want to go big, you might consider GoPro Max – their latest 360 camera. This will capture 360 degree video footage of your trip.
Once you get home, you can choose the angles and perspectives you prefer. Or you can publish the complete immersive video to YouTube and share the full experience.
Now let's consider some tips for better composition.
4. Include yourself in the footage
There are lots of videos (like this) of people zipping through the forests of Costa Rica while filming with their GoPro. The problem is that they forget to include themselves – or anyone else.
While its fine to shoot the cable and the scenery, it's kind of generic. It looks like everyone else's video. The real interest is in the reaction.
Kinda like this video. Now this is a memorable clip.
5. Shoot multiple perspectives
So while it's important to get yourself in the frame, it's good to capture the trip as well. It's the storytelling component that makes a great video.
Try to include the stair climb, getting hooked up, your reaction, the scenery, and some perspective of the height and speed. This combination will capture the feeling and the memories of the trip.
The next two tips will help you do that.
6. Bring two cameras
Like in the opening video, two cameras help to tell a good story.
The waist mounted camera captured his reaction, while the selfie stick showed the height of the zipline and gave some context to the trip.
If you have an older GoPro, you might consider also picking up a newer model to make up your second camera. Adding a second camera adds some depth to your video.
Now, let's look a few mounts to consider.
7. Use the Spivo 360
I'm a big fan of this selfie stick. The Spivo 360 will rotate your GoPro 180-degrees with the click of a button.
This is a super easy way to shoot both perspectives.
Here's a taste of what it can do. The footage in the video isn't fantastic but it gives a good idea about what the rotating selfie stick can do.
8. Use a Selfie Stick
I know, I mentioned this one already. But you don't have to use a rotating selfie stick like the Spivo 360.
Any selfie stick will give good perspective. I recommend using the selfie stick to shoot your reaction and to show where you've been.
Be sure to put your hand inside the wrist strap. I probably don't need to say this, but if it falls – it's probably gone forever.
9. Use a Chest or Helmet Mount
There are some helmet mounts that use straps instead of adhesive – and you could consider those.
But I recommend a chest mount instead. Like this one by AmazonBasics. And this one is best for shooting video for context. It can capture your speed and the beauty of the surroundings.
It can also capture some perspective for the height of the zipline.
Now lets move on to the best settings for GoPro zipline videos.
10. GoPro Settings
Here are the video settings I recommend for shooting your zipline excursion.
- Video Resolution: 4K 60 fps (Wide Lens)
- Video Resolution (for slo mo): 2.7K 120 fps (Wide Lens)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- HyperSmooth: On (for Hero7 or Hero8)
- Protune: Off (unless you want to color edit the footage on your computer)
Shooting at 120fps will allow you to slow your footage to 1/4 of the original speed – and still be crisp. But you can also render this footage at normal speed.
11. Shoot in GoPro TimeWarp
When you want to capture part of the excursion (but it's a little boring) you can shoot in TimeWarp.
TimeWarp is a time lapse video that has HyperSmooth applied. It shows what is happening but in a much more consumable format.
- When walking to the site and climbing the stairs, I recommend a 10x speed. This will render 5 minutes of recording time in 30 seconds.
- If you are biking, you might increase that to 15x (5 minutes in 20 seconds) or even 30x (5 minutes in 10 seconds).
If you want to capture lots of detail on the zipline, make sure to turn off TimeWarp before getting hooked to the cable.
12. GoPro Zipline Videos (Inspiration)
Here are a few videos to inspire you as you plan your excursion.
This first videos is of the Sasquatch Zipline – a 2.2 km long zipline in Whistler, BC. It is the longest zipline in North America. This clip was shot with a Hero5 and a Hero6.
In this video by Jackson Groves, you'll see a great example of storytelling. And of keeping it simple. Just the high points – and some great personality.
This video was filmed at Kualoa Ranch Zipline in Oahu, Hawaii.
How did your GoPro zipline excursion go? Please share a link to your video below. Plus, I would love to hear any tips and suggestions too.