Budget Video Podcast Setup with a GoPro Hero kit

by Samuele Lilliu | 26 December 2020

How to get better video and audio quality from your guests when recording a remote podcast by using a budget Video Podcast Setup with GoPro Hero 9.

Here is another idea for getting better video and audio quality from your guests when recording a remote podcast. What I’m suggesting is that you send your guest a Pelicase containing the following:

  • A GoPro Hero 9 with the Media Mod and a mini SD card
  • A mini tripod
  • A lape’l microphone
  • A small LED light
  • And a USB power bank with two USB C cables.

You can rent this from us by following the links under gear. The total investment for this is less than £700 or $900. There are many good points of using a GoPro: the small size and the fact that your guest doesn’t need to configure anything. With the Media Mod you can mount the LED on top of the camera and connect a lapel mic to your camera.

You’ll need to do some test before your send the equipment to your guest.

Some of the settings I use are: 4k resolution, 24 fps, ISO 100, and flat color profile. There’s nothing you can do with focus and aperture because those cannot be changed. The aperture is f/2.8 for a Gopro.

You’ll need to adjust the distance between the subject and the camera. A good distance is about 50cm from the subject. You can adjust the light intensity until you get the exposure right using a light meter. I’m using the LUMU light meter with an iPhone. For this particular LED I’ve set the light intensity to 50%.

I’ve set the colour temperature of my light source to 4300 kelvin, which is the same color temperature I have for the lights in my studio.

I then take a test shot with a Colour Chart. The colours coming out of the GoPro, in particular the skin tones, are rubbish and you’ll need to do some processing in Davinci Resolve in order to get the colours right.

You can then send your guest a sort of guide on how to assemble the setup and record, which is what the following is about. First of all, make sure your laptop is at eye level. You can use books or a box to bring the laptop up. You’ll need to use earbuds or a headset during our conversation, so that I do not hear my own voice from your side.

You’ll get this tiny Pelicase box. Open it and remove its content.

Start from the tripod. The tripod consists of two parts. Legs and top part. Open the legs and mount the top part.

Now take the camera and mount the LED light on top of it. Tighten the screw so that it the LED doesn’t move.

Mount the camera on the tripod.

Connect the lapel mic and the USB C cable to the camera.

Now connect the USB C cable to the LED light.

Place the camera at about half a metre from you, on your right side, and at an angle of 24 degrees. You can help yourself by using A4 paper in this way.

Connect the USB cables to the USB charger.

Firmly press the camera power button to turn the camera on until you hear the camera beeping. Then press the LED light power button to turn the LED light on.

Adjust the camera height so that it’s at your eye level. If you need to bring the camera up, push it up and the tripod will extend, rotate the tripod to fasten it in that position.

Orient the camera so that, when you look at the laptop, your right eye is in the square I’ve drawn in the front screen of the camera. Make sure the camera is levelled. You can use the ball head for that. Note that you might need to reorient the tripod in order to tilt the camera with the ball head.

Now you are ready to record. To record press the record button on top of the camera. When the camera is recording it will show a red light.

When we are done recording press again the record button to stop recording, power the camera off, power the light off, and pack everything.

For those interested in technical details and colour grading the GoPro footage or matching it with other cameras please get in touch.