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GoPro Hero 5 Black for Wedding Videography

We've always used Canon and NIkon DSLRs for our wedding photography and due to their excellent video capabilities, especially on the Canon 5D Mark III, we've used the same cameras for all our wedding videos. Personally, I'm a Canon guy, but a couple of our photographers came on board already with a kit full of Nikon gear so we use a mix of both at our shoots.

I was on the verge of purchasing a Canon 5D Mark IV, specifically for its continuous autofocus while shooting video, and in fact, I did buy it.  Well, I thought I did for about half an hour, until the camera salesperson called to tell me my credit card had been declined. It was Christmas a few days ago and the holiday season meant that the banks hadn't processed my Visa bill payment made a week ago, and the $4K Mark IV bumped me over my credit limit.

So now I was faced with a chance to rethink my Mark IV purchase while I waited for my payment to go through. And in that time I had this perplexing thought - I could buy TEN GoPro Hero 5's for the price of ONE Canon 5D4. Imagine ten GoPro's recording a wedding ceremony from ten different angles.  I could put one on the registry table, at the altar, in the bridal bouquet, one in the best man's pocket - you get the idea.

But GoPro's aren't traditionally associated with wedding videography. It's a waterproof action camera and we don't normally see much action or water at a wedding. It does shoot 4K video at 60fps though, which is very handy. I didn't buy ten GoPro's.  I bought two, along with a FeiYu Tech G5 Gimbal Stabilizer and a Dual battery charger.

First Impressions

Having never used a GoPro before, I found a few simple things confusing, instructions that weren't clear or were missing completely, like how to remove the Hero 5 Black form it's housing. Simple I know, once you've done it. The instructions also made no mention of how to charge the GoPro. You'd think that was important. One resource on the GoPro website said use a 5V 1A transformer, anything higher and it could cause damage. Another page in the same support section stated "a 5V 2A transformer works best". This is roughly the range between the transformers that are supplied with iPhones and iPads, so I guess I'll use either and it should be ok.

Once I was ready to start playing with the GoPro I found the menus on the touchscreen easy to navigate. Swipe up, down and left for various settings, and swipe right to view saved files. Easy. Video quality and options for an action camera shooting 4K was great but as you'd expect, low light performance was sketchy, lots of noise and the auto white balance was all over the place.  It's no DSLR and won't be suitable for indoor wedding reception footage, but it will provide for some creative points of view for those outdoor moments.

With the FeiYu Tech G5 Gimbal, I captured some ultra smooth footage, great for following a bride down the aisle. Using the GoPro Chesty Harness, a groomsman could get some fun first person clips. These GoPro Hero 5 Black cameras are simply fun, so portable and stir up creativity, allowing wedding videographers to think outside their normal processes.

I'll post some footage of how we use them at our next wedding shortly, but for now, I'm excited at the new opportunities these GoPro's provide us. We currently use stabilizers and sliders with our DSLR's and to have something so portable and unobtrusive that we can place virtually anywhere will add a greater variety of footage and flare to our wedding videos. We'll just have to use them outdoors.