GoPro hero 4 Silver for theatre shoots?

earthrisers wrote on 12/2/2015, 11:57 AM
We shoot theatre events with a couple of Sony cams; we deliver on 720x480p DVD, not HD.
We're considering adding a GoPro Hero 4 Silver as a "camera 3", mounted near the front of the stage.
Theatrical lighting varies a lot from scene to scene. None of the GoPro sample clips I've been able to find show this specific situation.
Anyone have experience with this scenario?
Thank ya...


musicvid10 wrote on 12/2/2015, 2:15 PM
I wouldn't want that short focal length for shooting a stage.
You need a good zoom lens, manual exposure, and manual focus.
JanL wrote on 12/2/2015, 2:44 PM
If you want the wide angle picture GoPro gives you, this camera might be a good choice. However, there are some factors to consider. I have used GoPro 2, 3 Black and 4 Black for similar purposes, and my feelings are mixed. There is a very high risk the camera stop working after 30 - 90 minutes continuous shooting, probably due to overheating. Wifi is convenient but will increase heat. Very annoying. The other big issue is exposure. The dynamic range is quite limited so high contrast scenery often results in overexposed highlights. However, when lighting conditions are acceptable, and the camera works, it can give you a different kind of footage you normally not see.
PeterWright wrote on 12/2/2015, 5:24 PM
I just used 5 Sony Action cams, which I prefer to Go Pros, as part of a multi cam shoot of a dance concert in a theatre. I'll be starting a separate thread about this soon. Two of these are 4k, enabling me to zoom in up to 4x without losing HD quality.

I generally put them as close to the stage as I can, including two just about touching the edge of the stage, left and right, pointed diagonally across each other. They occasionally pick up some spectacular shots, depending on the dance action. Generally they adjust to varying lighting pretty well, and obviously if they don't at a particular time, I don't use them. If I want to get rid of the wide angle curvature I use ProDrenalin SW, but I think that look for the cams on the stage edge adds to the quirkiness of that weird angle.
earthrisers wrote on 12/2/2015, 10:47 PM
Thank y'all...
JohnnyRoy wrote on 12/3/2015, 6:37 AM
I've seen this done at dance competitions. There was a stationary wide angle shot of the whole stage from the back of the room, a manned camera that was zooming in on the action, and a GoPro in the front corner of the stage and the resulting video looked great. The GoPro provided just enough variety in the shots that it really added to the production and cut well with the rest of the footage. I would go for it.

earthrisers wrote on 12/3/2015, 10:42 AM
Thanks JR - the scenario you describe matches, just about exactly, what our setup would be.
John222 wrote on 12/3/2015, 3:04 PM
This camera might be of interest.. Basically a GoPro with a 93 degree field of view and a Gimbal.
A few of these in motion for a music video would be really cool.
earthrisers wrote on 12/7/2015, 11:37 AM
Thanks, John 222. That one's a bit out of our price range just now...
This past weekend, I experimented with setting up a little Sony HDR-CX440 that we already had, at the front left corner of the stage, and let it "run itself". (As cam3, in addition to the two semipro cameras we had in the back of the auditorium near the soundboard, and in the balcony.)
The results were surprisingly good. I certainly won't use ALL the footage, but for a few different-angle shots now and then during the show, the footage is going to be quite handy.
And since that camera is currently on sale at BH for a good low price, I am probably going to get a second one, to use at the opposite corner of a stage.
We used to sneer at those little cameras, when Mom&Pop would bring them into a theatre where we were shooting. But now that I see the footage they can produce, I've changed my mind. They don't have nearly enough features, or manual controls, to allow for use as a primary camera, but as auxiliaries 3 & 4, they have a lot of promise.
(We have to keep adding cameras, and/or increasingly sophisticated audio equipment, to stay ahead of Mom&Pop with their handhelds. Most theatres say photography & videography are prohibited [except for us, the "official team"], but more and more people seem to ignore that. We see lots of "screens" in the audience during shows.)
Rory Cooper wrote on 12/8/2015, 7:40 AM
The problem is that angled stuff onto stage is very difficult for theater unless you are doing media call stuff or EPK’s etc
Like this then ok then go for it.

I film a lot of theater stuff and edit etc even with a jib only shoot straight and pan up down. So have used a gopro but only head on…just my experience.
Filmed plenty stuff here head on stage is always the best even close up head on

earthrisers wrote on 12/8/2015, 4:55 PM
Yes... I wouldn't use the "severe-corner" point of view for, say, a drama --- but for dance performances, musical concerts, etc., that point of view will add some nice variety-drama.
Jr. Pascual wrote on 12/25/2015, 1:05 PM
I've done multi-cam videos of dance concerts/recitals & musical theatre for the past 12 or so years and I found the GoPro camera severely lacking for my purposes due to its inability to perform in low lighting conditions; conditions that you would inevitably come across in live theatre productions.

I currently use Sony's CX550V & CX790V camcorders as 'b' cams. My current primary camcorder is the Sony HXR-NX3.

You can check out some of my work at

Jr. Pascual
49 productions
Jedman wrote on 12/26/2015, 7:42 PM
This type of stuff is most of what I do.
A couple of years ago I used a Gopro for centre front but had issues with reliability and quality under changing lighting.
Now use a GH2 with an 11-35mm, at full wide for almost every concert.
Have it on auto iris (Shutter Priority), normally just needs a gamma and saturation adjust to match other cams.
Ive tried full manual over and over, but its just cant cope with the really dark parts compared to the bright bits. Auto Iris while not ideal is the best it gets, YMMV.

This is a recent one where the front cam gets a fair amount of use, the shot near the end where the girl jumps over it is pretty cool-]