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An action camera is great for stills photography... if you know how to use it!

Action cameras

(Image credit: Future)

How to use a GoPro Hero10 to shoot stills

We tried out the GoPro Hero 10 Black (opens in new tab) in a few different shooting scenarios, and while it obviously can't beat one of the best professional cameras (opens in new tab) for resolution or image quality, it proves that action cameras are much better for stills photography than you'd imagine they would be.

Cinematic stills
If you want the GoPro to work in full auto mode, turn on SuperPhoto, which chooses from either High Dynamic Range (HDR), Local Tone Mapping, Multi-Frame Noise Reduction or No Processing. You can also turn on HDR mode yourself for landscapes with high contrasts between shadows and highlights.

action cameras

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

While not exactly top of the list for portrait shooters, the GoPro Hero 10 can shoot faces. Switch the view to Narrow Lens (27mm) for a more natural field of view. To capture group shots or selfies, mount your GoPro at the right height, switch to SuperPhoto and use a Photo Timer so you have time to get in the shot. 

action cameras

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Low light scenes
For night sky shooting or cityscapes, switch to the GoPro NightPhoto preset, which adjusts the shutter speed to let in more light for your scene. Mount the GoPro on a mini tripod or lay it down somewhere stable to avoid motion blur. It’s best to change the output to RAW to maintain detail for post-processing.

action cameras

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Action and activity
Switching to Burst preset enables you to capture up to 25 photos per second, which makes it perfect for action and sports shots. Alternatively, LiveBurst will take shots both 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after the shutter is pressed. You can customize these presets by tapping the pencil icon.

action cameras

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Read more

GoPro Hero 10 review (opens in new tab)
The best 360 cameras (opens in new tab)
The best slow motion camera (opens in new tab)

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Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 

An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)

In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography. 

With contributions from