Review: GoPro Hero 11 Black

If you line up a GoPro 9, 10 and 11 side by side, I challenge anyone to see an immediate difference, because as far as I can tell, there isn’t one.

Resolution and Other Techie Stuff

But under the bonnet, things are very different. The biggest single change is the new sensor which has grown in size to 1/1.9 inches and now has available an 8:7 aspect ratio for shooting, and ups the ante for resolution increasing to 27.13MP up from 23MP.

Now of course this aspect ratio means you can shoot almost square still images in high resolution, but there is another bigger benefit if you are a TikTok’er YouTube’er or Instagram’er. If you shoot video at 8:7, you have the option to crop in editing to 1:1, 4:3, 16:9 or even 9:16 for these platforms. If you use the GoPro Quik app, these presets are already there (assuming you don’t mind smartphone editing of course). It also means you can shoot stabilised 4:3 video with a Superview (GoPro’s widest lens setting).

Another change is you can now shoot 5.3K and 4K at 120Mbps bit rate, an increase of 20% over the Hero 10.

And with the Hero 11, GoPro has opted to go the 10bit colour rate for the very first time. If that is pure gobbledygook to you it simply relates to the number of colours the camera can record, in this case it is 1billion, up from the 16.7 million of the Hero 10.

This means that in shots of the sky with a brilliant sunset say, the gradient between the colours will be considerably smoother and colour definition overall much better.


Also scoring a makeover is GoPro’s already impressive stabilisation I mentioned earlier. There is a new mode they call AutoBoost which basically means the camera has ‘smarts’ and can detect any shake automatically and switch on the Hypersmooth system.

Shot on GoPro Hero 11 Black in  Supervidei 2.7K Handheld

In conjunction with the stabilisation, like the Hero 10, the Hero 11 has a horizon lock system which basically means as the camera is taken off the horizontal plane (tilted) it will keep the horizon straight in the image. The Hero 10 allowed this up to 27° but the 11 covers a full 360° which means there is a hell of a lot of image processing going on in that sensor which is very impressive indeed.

The other big difference here is that the Hero 11 does all this out of the box whereas the Hero 10 needs the Max Lens Mod.

There is a minor limitation though, in that the maximum frame rate / aspect ratio pair when running at 5.3K is 30fps and 16:9. If you need a faster frame rate, you need to drop the resolution to 4K.

Showing the Horizon Lock

New Imaging Modes

There are three new imaging modes built in: Light Painting, Vehicle Light Trails and Star Trails.

An example of Light Painting is being in a dark room and waving a torch about. The camera shutter will stay open, and the Hero 11 creates a short video clip giving the impression of electronic brush strokes created by the light. Vehicle Lights Trails are similar but used to create the same thing from the lights of moving vehicles. Finally, Star Trails creates star lines caused by an open shutter and the rotation of the Earth.


Sometime back GoPro launched the Enduro battery as an option, but now it ships with the Hero 11. This is said to give you up to 80 minutes of shooting time. GoPro says the Enduro is more efficient when the camera is in “idle” mode.

The Enduro battery is also said to be more efficient in extreme cold.


If you are one of those that just want the minimum off fuss to get your stills or video, the Hero 11 now has two modes, Easy Mode and Pro Mode.

Easy Mode simply gives you less options to choose from, letting you basically point and shoot. If you switch to Pro Mode, you get access to all functions and settings of the camera to tweak and experiment to your heart’s content.

The Downside

All these new features are of course very welcome, but there a few things most users wish GoPro would address. The biggest of these by reading through various Facebook Groups is an overheating issue which many say has been a curse since the GoPro Hero 8. I have an 8, 9 and 10 and have never had this issue personally. A number of observers have suggested a lot of people have every function turned in the camera – many of them superfluous to the current operation – and this will not only cause overheating but also minimise battery life, so this is worth checking.

Another solution, and one I often employ, is to remove the battery altogether and use a PowerBank connected via the USB-C. The drawback to this is of course you’ll lose the full portability, but if you have a GoPro mounted on a car, boat, trailbike etc it is a worthwhile option. You need to remove the battery door, sure, but GoPro do also sell a “pass through” door for this very purpose.

The second gripe is the low light usability. There was hope the larger sensor might have knocked this issue on the head but sadly not. Again of course GoPro do make an add on option, the Light Mod, but this needs a shoe to sit in. The easiest way to get this is via the Media Mod (which I have on my 9 and 10 permanently). Why? Because I prefer to have external audio from a Sennheiser MKE200 as against the on-board mics or the mic in the m Media Mod.

I can also use the Hollyland Lark C1 if the situation calls for wireless mic capability.


The GoPro Hero 11 retails at $549.98, but much to many dealer’s chagrin I’d venture, you can buy through the GoPro online store with a “subscription” and save $200.

The subscription model offers a few extras, the most notable being automatic Unlimited Cloud Storage. Also included is the GoPro Quik app getting some extra features such as the Speed Tool for slo-mo effects, filters for snow and water and some themes and original music to add to your videos.

You also get offered discounts on GoPro accessories purchased from the site.


The GoPro is without question the de-facto “standard” in action cameras. I wrote a few years back that many others – Nikon, Canon, Sony included – tried to muscle in on the market but none really took off (despite the Sony offerings being very, very good).

DJI is still hanging in there of course, although with the Action 2, I feel they went slightly off the rails and thus brought out the Action 3 which is more conformist, and is in some ways, I think, superior to the GoPro.

But if it’s an action camera you want, then the Hero 11 has all the things you need with the caveat of the low light and potential overheating issues.

But I have to say at this point, a GoPro is not designed as a “Swiss Knife” camera. There are some things it is just not designed for. I have seen users ask questions about using the GoPro for wedding photography for example …

I suggest a good maxim is the one used by a popular outdoor store. The GoPro is for “BCF-ing fun!”

You can get more information from the GoPro website at

With its stabilisation can a GoPro benefit from a gimbal? Absolutely. Here’s why.

There was a question in one of the Facebook GoPro forums today. Someone asked which gimbal they should / could get that would suit a GoPro 10.

Various options were mentioned (my recommendation having tried it is the Zhiyun Crane M2S), but a couple of members scoffed at the thought.

Their reasoning was that the in-camera electronic stabilisation of the current GoPro is more than enough, and a gimbal would offer no advantages.

This is plainly not true if you think further than simple stabilisation.

A gimbal is also incredibly useful to get into tight places and still retain that stability. Think low down or high above your head shots, especially in a fast-moving environment. You get a much firmer “hold” of the camera than handheld will offer.

Another example is the “around the corner” type of shot where the camera is poked around a corner to reveal something. This is very hard to do handheld or even with a selfie stick and retain stability.

(I am guessing this is why Zhiyun use the “crane” moniker by the way as the gimbal is acting as a pseudo crane in many cases).

In low light, you retain stability even if the shutter speed has been slowed and the aperture opened, again giving better stability than in-camera will usually give.

Depending on the model, you can easily add other devices such as mics or lights, thus giving more flexibility (the M2S has a built-in video light complete with magnetic add on colour filters and other Zhiyun models even have a decent built-in mic).

So as you see, a gimbal can be a bit more than a glorified Selfie stick!

Not one but THREE new GoPros

Not to be outdone by DJI announcing the OSMO Action 3, GoPro has countered with not one but three versions of the GoPro 11 – the Hero11 Black, Hero11 Creator Edition and Black Mini.

According to the company all three share:

  • Emmy Award®-winning HyperSmooth 5.0 technology with in-camera 360-degree Horizon Lock to keep your footage steady even if your camera rotates a full 360 degrees during capture.
  • New hyper-immersive HyperView digital lens delivers the widest angle 16:9 shot ever produced natively in a HERO camera. It’s for high-action point-of-view capture. Plus, GoPro’s signature SuperView is now available in 5.3K60 and 4K120.
  • Three new Night Effect Time Lapse presets that make capturing pro-quality Star Trails, Light Painting and Vehicle Light Trails easy.
  • TimeWarp 3.0 now captures at 5.3K, an impressive 91% leap in resolution from 4K, and an incredible 665% more than 1080p.
  • Simpler camera control with Easy and Pro modes. Easy Controls make it easier than ever to record in the best setting for any situation, while Pro Controls unlock every aspect of your HERO11 camera for maximum creative control.
  • Enduro Battery dramatically improves camera performance in cold and moderate temperatures, extending recording times up to 38% in HERO11 Black. Enduro comes in-box with HERO11 Black and HERO11 Black Creator Edition and as a built-in Enduro battery in HERO11 Black Mini.

In addition, the Creator Edition  has a long lasting battery grip with built in buttons for single handed control, 4 hours of 4K recording per battery charge external mic input, an HDMI port, LED light and a pair of cold shoe mounts. In other words, they have incorporated the old Media Mod into the system it seems.

The Mini on the other is a smaller, lighter version of the standard Black with a simple single button design.

The new sensor is larger then its predecessor enabling 8:7 aspect ratio video which means it can now be used vertically for TikTok 9:16 videos. Colour resolution is now 10 bit.

GoPro says the HERO11 Black is available globally today at $649.95 (AUD) for GoPro Subscribers and $799.95 MSRP. HERO11 Black Creator Edition is also available globally today at $929.95 for GoPro Subscribers and $1099.95 MSRP. HERO11 Black Mini will be available at on Oct. 25 for $499.95 for GoPro Subscribers and $649.95 MSRP, rolling out to retailers globally thereafter.


Interview: Steve Starling

Anyone who has ever thrown a fishing line into the briny more than once will have heard of Steve Starling.

Starting out in the 80s with a program called “Go Fish Australia” on the ABC, Steve later leapt to prominence on the hugely popular Rex Hunt Fishing Show, and has been a regular on many fishing oriented TV programs ever since.

Recently he started his own project, “Fishtopia” that as well as a comprehensive website, has its very own YouTube channel, “Starlo Gets Reel“.

I caught up with Starlo for a chat about how he started, how the show is put together, what gear he uses and other behind the scenes info. Starlo was generous with his answers and also offered some tips for budding fishing videographers.

AV: At what point did you decide to go video as against simply writing stories with photography?

Starlo: I’ve dabbled with some YouTube content for around seven years now, but have become much more serious about it in the last year or two. With the ongoing demise of print media, I see YouTube and vlogs as the way of the future, and a means for me to continue my 45-year career as a recreational fishing communicator, presenter and educator.

AV: You have appeared on many successful TV shows, starting as I recall with the original TV fishing program hosted by Rex Hunt. Did you get any training or experience in that process that assisted you in the transition to what you are doing now?

Starlo: No formal training, but I got to watch a lot of very good camera operators and editors at work over the years, and I learnt quite a bit in the process. I’ve always been very interested in that side of the process. In particular, sitting in edit suites with editors for hours on end as a fishing advisor and story researcher has given me a feel for the shots that are required to adequately tell a story. This actually began even before the Rex Hunt show: way back in the days of the ABC series “Go Fish Australia”, during the 1980s!

AV: What camera(s) are you using to shoot your videos?

Starlo: I’m currently running three cameras: a Sony AX33 4K Handycam, a GoPro 7 Black and a GoPro 9 Black with a Media Mod. I also have a DJI Mavic Mini drone, but don’t get to use it as much as I’d like, being a “one man show”.

AV: Any add-ons to the camera used (eg ND filters)

Starlo: As mentioned, the GoPro 9 Black has a Media Mod and I also have an underwater dome housing for the GoPro 7 Black. I’ve recently taken to running polarising filters on both GoPros most of the time and fit them with custom lens hoods that my son Tom made for me on his 3D printer. The hoods are designed to fit over the polarising filters without causing any vignetting of the images.

AV: How is audio obtained? If external mic(s) which ones?

Starlo: I run a Rode Video Mic on my Sony AX33. However, I’m more and more coming to rely on the audio from the Media Mod on the GoPro 9 Black, as it tends to be quite good, even in a bit of breeze, whereas the Rode is rather susceptible to wind, even with the dead cat fitted.

AV: Is voice audio obtained different to ambient? Eg on camera mic v a radio lav?

Starlo: I rely on the Rode or the GoPro Media Mod for both ambient and voice recording in the field, then use a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder for my voice over recording back in the home “studio”.

AV: Do you use any external stabilisation (eg DJI Ronin gimbals) or is it all basically handheld and tripod based?

Starlo: Because I’m typically working alone, I rely a lot on tripods and various mounts. The Sony AX33 is almost always either on a tripod or a Camzilla clamp mount (often in the boat). I tend to wear one GoPro in a chest mount and vary the other GoPro between a selfie stick and a mount in the boat or on the kayak. I have no gimbals or other stabilisation. I shoot everything in 4K so that I can crop images if necessary.

AV: Do you have any specific workflow process from start to finish?

Starlo: I’m very much self-taught in all of this, and I’m sure my work flow could be a lot better and more professional! As soon as possible after I return from a shoot I try to review all of my footage and, while doing so, I select and trim the clips I know I’ll need to put a story together (using QuickTime). I’ll name and number these clips in a way that makes sense to me (eg: 4_Cast before first hook-up, or 6_ Good ambient audio with birds, etc) and save them to an external Seagate Drive.

AV: Which editing package is used (eg Premiere, Resolve, Vegas, FCP etc)

Starlo: Believe it or not, I still do all my editing, after trimming those initial clips in QuickTime, in the free iMovie program that came with my Mac notebook! iMovie has its limitations, but I find it very intuitive and easy to use, and I’ve become quite adept at milking the most from it! My biggest struggle is the limited memory and RAM of my ageing computer. Things can become very clunky and glitchy if I have too much 4K footage imported into the timeline. I’ve overcome this by editing my videos in relatively short “chapters” of just a few minutes each, before saving these to the external hard drive (still in 4K) and then deleting the working files from iMovie. Once all my chapters are cut, I pull them all together again on iMovie. It works for me! I’d love to switch to Resolve (after researching it a little), but haven’t yet found the time to make the change and learn a whole new system… I’m a creature of habit! If it ain’t broke…

AV: Any effects software or plug ins used

Starlo: No.

AV: Is audio sweetened outside the video editor (eg with Sound Forge, Audition, Audacity etc)

Starlo: No. Audio remains my greatest weakness and I really need to address this.

AV: Do you have assistance or is it essentially a “one man” process to make the show and you script, shoot, edit, narrate/present and produce the whole shebang?

Starlo: In the early days, my wife Jo (who’s much more tech savvy than me) helped me a lot and did most of my editing (she’s mastered at least the basics of Premiere). But these days I’ve taken it all on myself and I’m a total one-man show: from shooting and scripting to editing and voice overs.

AV: Where can it be viewed?

Starlo: My YouTube channel is called “Starlo Gets Reel”.

AV: Do you charge a subscription?

Starlo: It’s all free at this point.

AV: Any plans for expansion say to subscription TV or even free-to-air?

Starlo: I had quite lengthy discussions with Uscreen in the US and was seriously considering the subscription path at one point, but it was all too hard and too expensive in the end. I’ve decided at this point to stick with free access to my work via YouTube, and to attempt leverage and monetise that through sponsorships, partnerships and the very meagre earnings generated by Google ads. I’m also on Buy Me A Coffee (, so fans can support me in that way, too! But at the moment, it’s a break-even exercise, at best.

AV: Any really memorable moments you have captured while shooting?

Starlo: Capturing on video my good fishing mate and much-loved Aussie screen icon, Garry McDonald, (aka Norman Gunston and Arthur Beare) falling into the icy Tumut River while trying to net a trout for me was pretty memorable, and very funny! I’ve also had the odd magic session on the water where everything just comes together seamlessly, and the weather, fish and cameras all do what it said they would in the script I had in my head! Those times are rare, but they seem to make it all worthwhile.

AV: Any major mishaps that made you approach things in the future differently when shooting (or editing)?

Starlo: So far (touch wood) I’ve been fairly lucky. My worst stuff ups have been arriving on location to find that I’ve forgotten to put SD cards back into my cameras or drone, and that they’re still sitting on the desk at home! You tend to only do that once.

AV: Any suggestions for budding fishing videographers?

Starlo: Have a system and a plan and try to be organised. Do your best to make things as easy for yourself as you possibly can, otherwise you’ll constantly find excuses NOT to take the camera gear or NOT to set it up… and that’s sure to be the day when the fish bite like crazy! Oh, and carry more spare batteries and SD cards than you think you’ll need.

AV: Any other thing worth talking about?

Starlo: Keep it real and be yourself. A video camera has a way of cutting through any “masks” and showing the real you, anyway. If you try to be something you aren’t, viewers will immediately spot the deception. Embrace your stuff-ups and be honest.

And when it comes to voice overs (which are important in many of my vids), the BIG trick is to make it sound like you’re NOT reading them! Stand up rather than sit to record them. Read a line or two in your head, memorise it, then look up from the script and deliver it to the recording device as if you’re actually talking to someone standing there: complete with facial expressions and hand gestures… It makes a huge difference to the finished product.

You can also follow Steve Starling on his Facebook page Starlos Fishtopia


“I didn’t know it did that”…

Every year or so for the last umpteen years I have written an article that broadly speaking, has had the same substance each time.

“Read the manual”.

It has never been an intention to chide anyone who has a problem and can’t simply be bothered to look up the documentation and see if there is a solution in an FAQ or whatever.

Instead, I try and exhort people to see what other hidden gems that piece of software or gadget can do. Whenever I sit down and simply peruse a manual, I nearly always find something I did not know, and this started way back in the early 90s with a Sharp PDA that I suddenly discovered could have its fields mapped to Microsoft Outlook and the data transferred via a serial cable, thus effectively synching my PDA and my computer.

Wonderful stuff at the time.

Today though, things are a bit different aren’t they? We no longer have “paper” manuals, just small Quick Starts with miniscule writing – and we are often lucky to get that!

Which leads me to …

Over the last few weeks I have done a number of stories on GoPro cameras and the DJI Pocket 2 gimbal camera.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up with an idea to shoot some stuff inside a light box that was lit by the recently reviewed Zhiyun Fiveray using different colours, and for a giggle, a smoke machine, using the DJI Pocket 2.

The concept was to try and mimic those superb Top Gear shots where they pan very close to the contours of a car under lighting, with smoke and other effects, and gradually tease out what this new brand or model is.

Before I started however, I thought I’d just go through a few online tutorials to see if there was anything about the Pocket 2, despite intensive playing with it, that I maybe had missed.


Turns out there is lots, much tucked away in menus I didn’t even know existed! So my shooting has been a tad delayed, but all being well, will be all the better for it.

After that, I’ll go back and look at the GoPro Hero 10 Black, my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, the Loupedeck CT, the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, DaVinci Speed Editor, Air2S drone – the list is endless. If these are par for the course, I am probably only using about 30% of capacity!

But hey, if you spend the money, you may as well extract as much as you can, right?

So what apps, gadgets or software do you have that is worth another look?

Like me, lots I’ll wager.

GoPro Hero 10 or DJI Pocket 2? Dilemmas, dilemmas

If you have bitten the bullet and decided to lash out and buy a small, portable camera that takes video and stills and is versatile, you may be tossing up between a GoPro Hero 10 or a DJI Pocket 2.

Or perhaps you have never even heard of the DJI Pocket 2?

And some may say “Why not compare the Hero 10 to the DJI Action 2”?

As for the second, the major reason is that both the Hero 10 and the Pocket 2 are self-contained units. They do not need add-ons to function and therefore are, to my mind, more similar than a Hero 10 and Action 2.


The form factors of the two cameras could not be more different. The GoPro Hero 10 follows the tried-and-true method employed by GoPro since the inception of the range, albeit the body is now bulkier than earlier models, and the ubiquitous GoPro mounting brackets, or fingers as they are known, are now incorporated into the body and foldable.

There are two LCDs – one front and one rear, a single shutter button on the top and a function button on the side.

A hatch on the side covers the battery, SD card slot and USB-C port. This hatch is removable allowing cage mounts to be used as well as the Media Mod. Despite its appearance, this cover is waterproof allowing the Hero 10 be submerged up to 10 metres, although anecdotally, some have had issues with water leakage and therefore it is recommended the underwater housing be used.

The lens, which is really a lens protector, is removable so that the Lens Mod accessory can be easily added. The majority of functions on the Hero 10 are performed by a combination of swipes and on-screen menus.

There is a single on-board mic.

Unless you have a “cage”, there is little way of adding accessories to the Hero 10. Everything is done via the finger mounts.

The DJI Pocket 2 by comparison has a long upright body and the major party trick of this camera is the fact the lens is gimbal mounted on the top. The rear houses a small LCD screen that allows commands and menus to be access via tapping and swiping.

Under the LCD are 2 button controls. One selects between video and still shots and the other is record on/off. Above this is a “universal port”, which as the name suggests allows the addition various options. For example, out of the box the Pocket 2 comes with USB-C or Lightning adaptors that slide onto the universal port.

Another supplied adaptor allows more control over the gimbal and its functionality as against using screen swipes and menus.

One side of the Pocket 2 has a power button and other contains the SD card slot. The base has a single USB-C port for charging or adding other peripherals. Audio is captured via 4 on-board mics with built in wind noise reduction.

The Pocket 2 by itself is NOT waterproof by the way, you need the optional housing for that. And like the Hero 10, apart from the universal port, you cannot add any external devices to the Pocket 2 without special DJI adaptors.


The Hero 10 is capable of up to 23 megapixel photos and 4K 120 frame per second video making it ideal for slo-mo purposes up to 8x. Video stabilisation is built in via GoPro’s HyperSmooth technology now at version 4 and works extremely well. Additional functions include TimeWarp 3.0 for time lapse plus a special night mode, HindSight to get 30 seconds of recording before pressing the shutter, Scheduled and Duration Capture and Live Burst.

You also get live streaming capability at 1080p, auto upload to the cloud options and voice control.

Standard battery life is rated at around 2 hours. Heavier duty batteries are available.

A complete description of all these is available in my review here.

The DJI Pocket 2 camera has a whopping 64 megapixel sensor. Photos can be up to this size and maximum video is 4K Ultra at up to 60 frames per second. Similar to the Hero 10 you also get Timelapse and Hyperlapse modes, with an additional MotionLapse which is like Timelapse, but the gimbal allows the following of a subject while shooting.

There is also HDR shooting available in the Pocket 2.

As mentioned, you get 60fps / second at 4K slo-mo, but if you drop down to 1080p, this ups to 120fps.

The inbuilt battery and non-replaceable is rated at 140 minutes.

Of course, the inclusion of the gimbal gives the Pocket 2 a wide range of functionality with panorama shooting and ActiveTrack (following a subject automatically) being the standouts. Indeed, in conjunction with the stabilization, the obtainable results are quite stunning.

The design of the Pocket 2 is also well thought it allowing single handed use in many circumstances.


GoPro has revamped its Quik app and I’ll have a separate review of that very shortly. In short, you get the basic necessities for editing your footage such as trim, colour controls, cropping and video speed options. A clip management system is included, and you can also auto-sync edits to music with the app.

A similar system is available for the Pocket 2 via the Mimo app, with camera movement, transitions and allowing the inclusion of music.

Both apps are quite capable in what they intend, but there is no substitute for a proper editing program and in both cases, I recommend DaVinci Resolve It’s free, available for Mac, Windows and LINUX and as basic or as comprehensive as you want it to be.

I have a couple of tutorials including an intro to the program and how to organise your footage plus a beginners editing tutorial aimed specifically at action cam and drone users. You can see these here and here.


The GoPro range has spawned a whole world of accessories, and the finger mounting system is now the de facto standard for the majority of this style of camera. Any number of mounts and add-ons are available from GoPro and 3rd parties. I have a box with probably 30 different types of mounts, then there are waterproof housings and the aforementioned Lens Mod and Media Mod in addition to a Display Mod (add on screen) and LightMod (waterproof LED light).

3rd parties have not jumped at the DJI Pocket 2 with the same enthusiasm sadly, but from DJI itself you can get a range of add-ons including a “Doo-It-All handle, microphone transmitter, wide angle lens, waterproof housing and much more.

Of all these, I highly recommend getting the Do-It-All handle as this give you a built-in wireless module, Bluetooth, wireless mic receiver and a ¼” tripod mount all in a single unit the main camera simply slots into.


So how do they compare?

The truth is that there is room for both in the serious outdoors camera bag. If you want a versatile camera for mounting on a surfboard, mountain bike, motor vehicle, rock climbing helmet or even your dog, then the Hero 10 wins hands down.

If however you want a camera for hand held work, then I recommend the Pocket 2. The addition of the gimbal especially with ActiveTrack gives it an edge in many situations the GoPro cannot emulate.

In short, I’d say the Pocket 2 is the more versatile camera if you want a hand held but the wide range of accessories for the GoPro is hard to beat for a situation mounted unit.

If it were me, and I only had a choice of one, for what I do the DJI Pocket 2 is the better choice. Your mileage will no doubt vary, and I suggest you write down your expected needs and wants and weigh them up against each camera’s capabilities and options before purchasing.


The GoPro Hero 10 is available for $749 in its basic form. The DJI Pocket 2 is $599 so slightly better in pricing (we got our numbers from Melbourne based Videoguys).

It’s hard to suggest essential accessories as everyone’s needs vary, but at the very least I’d recommend for the GoPro you get the protective housing ($89 and for the Pocket 2, as I said, the Do-It-All-Handle ($159).


Is the GoPro a ‘Proper’ camera. You bet. And more than you may know! Unlock some secrets here.

I had a look at the manual for my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K this morning. And as you’d expect for such a complex piece of gear, it is a goodly size.

155 pages to exact

So how many pages do you think the “humble” little GoPro 10 camera has. I mean, it’s only a so called “action cam” so doesn’t need a lot, right?

Well it might surprise you that the little GoPro manual is itself 153 pages!

So what might you have been missing?

I know many people have GoPros of all model numbers and variations, and without to much of an exaggeration, it is safe to say, that just as many users do with “standard” camcorders or cameras, and indeed smartphones, most put it in “A” for “Automatic” and leave it there.  Which is a shame as they are then missing out on some gems of capability that would raise the level of their photography and videos and add capability found in more expensive and supposedly “sophisticated” camera and camcorders..


The first thing you might want to do is create some of your own presets. A preset lets you create a series of settings and save them for use in particular situations. A simple example might be ‘wide angle at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second’. Once saved under a name, you can quickly recall it and save having to go through the manual setup, saving enormous amounts of time when you need that specific setting to get the perfect shot.

Once you understand more of video / photography and your GoPro, you can then also go into the ProTune mode and play around with advanced settings such as Colour Profile, White Balance, ISO, shutter speed and more.

Gosh, just like a REAL camera hey?

Power Tools

The next thing to be aware of are the inbuilt Power Tools in the latest GoPros. These are a suite of smart capture settings such as Hindsight (which records up to 30 seconds of video before you press the shutter button. This means you’ll have less chance of missing the perfect shot, especially useful in situations such as sporting events, or fireworks displays say.

You’ll want to make sure you have all your capture settings in place though before starting HindSight, as you cannot change them once it is on. Also be aware that Hindsight will use up battery juice faster than normal use.

Another goodie is Liveburst which captures a burst of shots both 1.5 seconds before and after the shutter is pressed. Again great for sport and fireworks as examples.

If you know a particular event is going to happen but cannot be there, another PowerTool, Scheduled Capture, allows you to set the GoPro to automatically turn on and capture a shot any time up to 24 hours in advance. In conjunction with software like PhotoPills that will tell you the exact time of sunrise / sunset, moon rise / moon set, golden hour / blue hour etc according to your location by latitude and longtitude, this mode is brilliant to get shots where you cannot be bothered getting up or can’t be there for some other reason.

A variation on this is Duration where you tell the GoPro how long to record for before it stops. You can set increments from between 15 seconds to 3 hours (you might need an external battery for that). You can if you wish, set a ‘No Limit’ which will continuously record until out of memory or battery, whichever comes first.


In QuikCapture mode, simply pressing the shutter button will start the GoPro recording without the need to turn the camera on. QuikCapture is on by default by the way, but if you want to turn it off, you do it from the GoPro Dashboard (the Rabbit symbol).

HiLight Tags

If you want to mark a spot when recording to make it easy to navigate to that during playback, when recording press the Mode button. But a much sexier way is to take advantage of the GoPro’s Voice Control system.

When you are recording and want to mark a HiLight, simply say ‘GoPro, HiLight’!

Additionally if you edit with the GoPro Quik app, it uses HiLights to make sure it includes the highlights in the video.


Did you know the GoPro can record in Landscape and Portrait mode and once you are in a specific orientation you can lock it so it stays in that mode? Even upside down (useful when mounted on a car windscreen).

Time Lapse

As the name suggests, this lets you take a series of frames of video at set intervals. Additionaly, you can “speed up” time with the TimeWarp mode. In Time Lapse mode, this uses the fantastic stabilisation ability of the GoPro in conjunction with Time Lapse to get super smooth video whilst on the go. This is how they get those shots of clouds moving quickly overhead for example.

Live Stream

If you want to share you video in real time with others, your GoPro can act as a webcam.  This requires a bit of setup and I’ll go through this in another article, but if you are anxious to get started, go to www,

Exposure Controls

In simple terms, exposure is how much light is being used in a photograph or video and is dependent on such things as shutter speed and aperture settings. Your GoPro can set these automatically based on the scene, but for creative purposes, you can override any of these settings – and more – to get just the effect you want.

To do this, tap and hold on the view screen until a set of brackets appears. Once they do, drag them around the screen and the exposure will be set based on the area inside the brackets. If shooting on snow or over water, it is almost a given you will do this to make sure you do not overexpose an image.

Voice Control

As I mentioned earlier the GoPro has a fabulous built in voice control system letting you perform a whole bunch of actions just by telling it to. These include ‘GoPro start recording’ and then of course, ‘GoPro stop recording’. But you can also change modes from video to photo to time lapse or any combination of these. There are more too, so have a look at your manual or on the web to get a complete list.


If you really want to get into the engine compartment of your GoPro, check out the ProTune settings where you can get right into setting the very basics of your camera in terms of its image capture. I alluded earlier to these with shutter speed, aperture and ISO, but you also have colour settings and bit rates, frames / second, exposure compensation, sharpness, audio settings, wind noise reduction and more you can play with.

The Manual

The manual for your GoPro contains detailed information on everything I have touched on here, and if you don’t have it yet, you can get one from the web. The one I have is for the GoPro 10 and is at as a PDF you can download.


So, the next time a photographer or videographer with a big flash camera or camcorder sneers at your “little” GoPro, rest assured that technically, most of what they can do, so can you. And it fits in your pocket.

Better yet, ask them if their super-dooper model45 whizzbang can go underwater?

(If they mention zoom lenses they will have you there however. Just tell ‘em you’ll get closer to the subject.

But whilst not a zoom, you might like to check out the GoPro Lens Mod).

By the way, for our GoPro camera, lenses and accessories, we like Videoguys in Melbourne. Their service and pricing is excellent and you can order online.


GoPro? Drone? Other “action cam”? Here are the basics for editing your videos (Part 2)

Welcome to my 2nd tutorial on using DaVinci Resolve. The aim of these tutorials is not to turn you into a Steven Spielberg or George Lucas, but instead to get beginners used to the basics of editing footage you may have taken on your GoPro or DJI drone. You can get DaVinci Resolve for free from Blackmagic Design by clicking here.

If you missed Part 1, you can see it here.

My thinking is you don’t want to be a fully fledged paid up video editor, but you DO want to make good looking videos out of your material.

You can read the first of these which is an introduction to the basics of the workflow of editing here. This second tutorial goes to the next stage of actually cutting up your footage, adding titles, transitions, fades and a lower 3rd.

And do please let me know what you think in the comments below. They are all anonymous. You might also like to sign up for my weekly e-Magazine sent out to all subscribers. That is also free and all you have to do is enter your email address into the popup on this page (or email me at

Editing Basics – DaVinci Resolve (Part 2)

Now you have an overview of the editing process from Part 1, let’s put together a very simple project from scratch.

For the purpose I am going to use a single clip shot with my DJI Air2S at Whalebone Beach in the northwest of Western Australia near the tourist spot of Monkey Mia, famous worldwide for its dolphins.

Once we have the clip cut the way we want it, we’ll then add some transitions, a title graphic and a lower third overlay image. Finally we’ll render it out for distribution.

This is a frame from the final result.

As per Part 1, I’ll be using Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve for this project. This editor, which whilst easy to learn the basics, is very powerful in its capabilities. Better yet, its free and available for Windows, iOS and LINUX. You can get it here.

With the latest version of DaVinci Resolve, you have the option of working in full editor mode or alternatively, in a special mode called ‘the Cut Page’. In this tutorial we’ll be using the full editor mode.

Start by launching DaVinci Resolve. Along the bottom of the main window, you’ll see a row of icons. The one to click to use the Editor mode is the third from the left.

Click this and you’ll enter the Full Editor mode (Resolve may open at this automatically). The other icons are used for other functions within Resolve such as audio editing, colour correction and media management.

You’ll notice on the left there is a gray message saying there are no clips in the media pool. To load the clip we want to work with, click File and then Import and select Media from the flyout menu. You can now navigate to the location of your video file to be used in this project and load it into the Media Pool.

At this point, you may get a message asking to Change Project Frame Rate. There are times when you won’t want to for various reasons, but for now just click Change.

Editing Clips

We now want to go through this clip and select the portions we want in the final output. To this, double click the clip and it will load into the editing window.

The next step is to mark the in and out points of the segments of this clip and add them one by one to the timeline. The timeline is the area underneath the editing window where the clips will be assembled on a track. More complex projects will usually involve a number of tracks, sometimes dozens, there are separate track types for video, audio, titles, effects and so on.

To mark the first segment you wish to add, play the clip and when you find what looks like a good starting point, press ‘I’ on your keyboard to mark the “in” point of that segment. You can start and stop the playback with the on-screen buttons, or alternatively use the space bar.

Once you have an In point marked start playing the clip again to find the end of the segment you want on the timeline and press “O” key to mark the Outpoint.

Your editing window should show the two points.

To add this segment to your timeline, simply press the F12 key. This key is the Append command and will add the clip to the end of any other clips on the timeline. As this is the first, it will simply place it at the beginning.

Of course, there are other ways of adding clips to specific parts of the timeline such as between two clips, to fit a specific amount of time on the timeline, fit to fill and more. These options will be covered in a later tutorial.

Once you have pressed F12, the clip will appear on a track in the timeline. You’ll also notice there is now an extra item in the Media Poll, that of the Timeline. Resolve allows you to create timelines and then assemble them together. This is very useful when you have a complex project and want to break it up into manageable chunks.

The editing window has now changed and is instead showing the contents of the timeline.

To select the In and Out points of your next segment, double clip the original clip in the Media Pool again. You can see the In and Out points of the first segment are still there. You can scroll through the clip and mark another In and Out point and Append this in exactly the way did the first segment.

This image shows three clips have been marked and Appended to the timeline. If you press the Home key, the cursor on the timeline will move to the start of the video. You can now press the Space bar to play through it to the end.

When you have finished, press Home again to go back to the start.


You’ll have noticed when the timeline switches from one clip to the next, the transition between the two is immediate. This is called a Straight Cut. You can add different ways for this transition to occur.

To the left of the Timeline you should see a window marked Toolbox and inside the Toolbox is an entry called Video Transitions. Clicking this will then open all the transition types available to you.

The most common to use after a straight cut is a Cross Dissolve. If you click on this and drag it on the line between two clips you should see a small white rectangle appear between those two clips. I have expanded the timeline here so you can see it better (expanding or shrinking the timeline is done by holding the ALT key and using the scroll wheel on your mouse).

If you now play the timeline, you’ll see between those two clips we now have a cross dissolve.

Now look at the panel in the top right. This is called the Inspector and contains all the parameters for objects in the Timeline. If you click the Transition tab, making sure the transition is still highlighted in the timeline, all the parameters for your transition can be seen. To change one, simply change the current value.

For example, if you change the Duration from 1 to 3 seconds, it will take longer for the cross dissolve to occur between the two clips. This will also show by the transition box in the timeline getting bigger.

There are many parameters you can change and the best way to learn what they can do is simply experiment. Just about any object you may place on the timeline will have these parameters by the way such as clips themselves, titles, audio and so on.

If you change a parameter but don’t like the result, simply put it back to its original value or Press CTRL+Z to undo it.

To add exactly the same transition to the next clip, select the first, Press CTRL+V to copy it, hover the mouse pointer over the next transition, right click and choose Paste from the menu.

Adding Titles

In DaVinci Resolve there are many types of titles from static ones like we’ll be doing in a second to complex ones like you see at the end of movies.

For this tutorial I am simply going to add a text overlay that describes the location of this video and place it in the top left of the screen.

If you look back on the Toolbox, underneath the Video Transitions entry there is one marked Titles. Click this, and similar to the list of available Video Transitions, you’ll see a list of Title types available to you.

We are going to use the one called Text.

Make sure your timeline cursor is at the start of the timeline by pressing Home or dragging it there with the mouse (you need to drag the cursor in the Time Ruler above the clip tracks in the timeline).

Next, click and drag the Text heading in the Toolbox ABOVE the track holding the clips you have edited. Resolve will automatically create a new track and place the title clip on it and you will see this in the editing window in the dead centre of the screen with the words Basic Title.

To change its content, if you look in the Inspector, you can see you have a text box where can change the text plus many other parameters such as font style, size, colour, location and much more.

In this shot you can see how I have modified the text, changed the font and size and added a shadow. Note that you can select just parts of the text and change those parameters. Here for example, the top line is in Impact 96 font / size and the next line is Impact 48.

Another parameter you can change is the position of the text. At present it is at X 960 and Y 540. By changing those values you can place the text anywhere on screen as you can see.

(Quick Tip: By placing the mouse pointer over a value in the Inspector, holding down the right mouse button and dragging left or right will change the values and you can see the titles in this case move as you change those numbers. Alternatively, you can of course just type the new values into the boxes).

Right. The only thing left to do with our title is drag the right edge of the clip on the timeline to match the length of the clips in the track below.

(Quick Tip: if you don’t want the title to last the whole clip, but gradually fade out, if you hover the mouse over the top right corner of the title clip you’ll see white dot appear. Drag this to the left and you’ll create a fade out like you see here. You can do this to just about any clip type)

Lower 3rd

A lower 3rd is a graphic element that displays across the bottom of the screen They are very common in news items and documentaries and used to pass on further information about the clip. This might be the name of the person speaking, a location, news flash or in the case of the one I am about to add, a company logo, company name and website.

I created this lower third graphic in Adobe Photoshop, but any graphics package that allows you to add transparency should be suitable. If you want to know the technique for creating this transparency, shoot me a quick email at

First, I need to add the lower 3rd graphic to the Media Poll. Make sure the timeline cursor is at the beginning of the timeline. Adding the image file is done in exactly the same way we did with our video clip. Click File -> Import Media and navigate to the file to load it.

Next, click the file and drag it ABOVE the title track we added earlier. As soon as you release the mouse button, Resolve will create a new track to contain the lower 3rd graphic and you’ll see it appear in the editing window.

All you need to do now is drag the right edge of the clip to the place where you want the lower 3rd to finish. Here I have dragged it to make it the same length of the video clip duration. That is, it will stay on the screen from the start of the video until the very end.

Of course you can select the lower 3rd clip and investigate changes its parameters in the Inspector if you wish.


Now that we have added clips, titles and a lower 3rd, the final step is to render the video out to a single file so that it can be distributed. This could be via a USB stick, SD card, on a portable hard disk or posting it to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for example.

Each of these mediums require different parameters and DaVinci Resolve makes it easy for some of them by having presets you can use. For now, we’ll just create a simple MP4 file that you could manually post to say Facebook or YouTube.

If you look at the bottom of the DaVinci Resolve window (where at the start you selected the Edit mode), the last option is Deliver. If you click this, Resolve will switch into the mode where we can render our clip.

At left are the parameters we can set for the final output such as format, codec, resolution and so on. The only one we need to change is the format. Click the drop down and change it to MP4. At the top, add a filename and choose a location on your hard drive to save the completed clip.

At the bottom of this panel is a button labelled Add to render Queue. Click this and Resolve will add this project to a queue ready for rendering. You’ll see the queue at the top right. You can render it now by clicking the Render All button or wait until later after you may have created some more projects.

If you click Render All now, Resolve will render the file. Depending on the size, length, amount of complexity (effects, transitions, audio, music etc) this can take from minutes to hours. Your computer’s specifications also have a huge bearing on this.


Congratulations! You have successfully edited, added titles and a lower 3rd to your video. Of course there is a lot more functionality in DaVinci Resolve and here we have just scratched the basics.

I urge you to go and download the full PDF manual and by all means, just have a play. DaVinci Resolve is a non-destructive editor so your original clips will always be intact as long as you don’t delete them.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at