I'm working on a video for a client and they are wanting to tell a story in video shot entirely in POV.

My initial thoughts were GoPro but i think it doesn't give the same quality as a DSLR. I'm thinking about using a helmet mount what are your thoughts on this?

Is there anything i need to consider when filming POV footage for example

Which lens should i use for POV? (i have a canon mark 5d III) Is there a particular camera set up or filming techniques should i use to get the most of the POV footage? How should i instruct my actors who will be wearing the camera?

Or is it just as simple as mounting a camera to your head?

  • Have you considered how you're going to edit it? If you're shooting all POV, then the usual continuity editing rules won't apply.
    – stib
    Jul 5, 2018 at 13:05
  • Yes i was planning on fast turning the camera in and out of each shot to give that motion blur transition between shots. but i'm open to advice as i havent done it before
    – iamlukeyb
    Jul 5, 2018 at 16:05
  • Have you done a test? You could do a test with a phone or whatever to see how it goes. I'd imagine that you'd want to choreograph the actors fairly well to give you good dynamic movement to obviate the need for cuts, because I reckon that too many whip pans would sart to annoy your audience. Here's a high bar to aim for: youtu.be/OJEEVtqXdK8
    – stib
    Jul 6, 2018 at 2:03
  • This is great advice thanks shockingly i havent seen goodfellas yet. Only issue i might have is that some of the filming will be at a live football game so i might not have complete control over the subjects/people in shot the idea is to walk with fans and then head up to hospitality. i suppose in many ways similar to the example you gave but i think i'll struggle to do a long take but this has certainly given me something to think about
    – iamlukeyb
    Jul 6, 2018 at 8:19
  • Getting some extras to walk in front of the camera for cuts might help. That's used a lot, basically you can sneak a dissolve/wipe in when someone in dark clothes walks past close to the camera. I'm interested to see the result now.
    – stib
    Jul 7, 2018 at 2:00

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't mount a camera to your head - that might result in a) really nausea-inducingly wobbly footage that's much higher than the average eye-height and b) a sore neck. Instead, I'd go for a shoulder rig (something like this: http://amzn.eu/ixifFeM - DISCLAIMER: I haven't got one of these or used this model so this is not an endorsement, just an example). I've shot a POV film before and this was absolutely the best way we found to do it and gave great results (make sure your operator is of average height, though, otherwise you'll be looking up/down at the scene, unless, of course, that's the look you're going for - don't mean to be mean, just something to consider).

You'll get the camera to eye-height and will have much more stability and the ability to capture some excellent shots without having to stretch up with a gimbal or whatever.

The best thing about this is that you can use whatever body/lens combo you'd like (within reason :P).

Remember, though, that humans do have selective focus so you'll need a focus puller and some way for them to operate.

  • 1
    Oh, one other thing - don't get the actors to operate the camera. If they have speaking parts, have them stand behind or off to the side of the camera to deliver their lines. Jul 4, 2018 at 13:05
  • 1
    Also, use a wide lens–on a 5DIII, a 20mm or thereabouts will give you more stable looking shots, and a better approximation of POV.
    – stib
    Jul 5, 2018 at 13:06
  • Thanks for this very useful. Quick question how will a shoulder rig work if i need to interact with people whilst using it. For example if i walk into a room and need to shake someones hand etc
    – iamlukeyb
    Jul 5, 2018 at 16:07
  • If you're performing actions, you basically have the actor sort of reach around the operator or stand in front of the operator and shoot on a physically longer lens, then cheat the shot a little bit so that you're not seeing too much of the POV character's hand/arm. You also need to be creative with when you cut so that you can get the next POV character in place before cutting to their POV with the camera positioned so that you can see them typing or whatever. Jul 6, 2018 at 10:47
  • (For this example your 1 would be POV of Character A showing Char B sitting down at the desk then you cut to POV of Char B already sat down with hands cheated into the shot.) Jul 6, 2018 at 10:47

I'm working on a video for a client and they are wanting to tell a story in video shot entirely in POV. My initial thoughts were GoPro but i think it doesn't give the same quality as a DSLR. I'm thinking about using a helmet mount what are your thoughts on this?

Use a lightweight 360° Camera. You can edit the footage to provide a normal (non-360°) video from multiple angles and pan smoothly sideways or up and down. Stabilization isn't so much of a problem because you have the edges and somewhere to pull into your shot. You can jump (instead of smooth pan) too, of course.

If you have several skiers or skateboarders you'll have more footage than you know what to do with. You'll have all the angles covered and always get the shot. Read the reviews for specific suggestions to meet your budget and level of quality desired. A motorcycle helmet will accept a heavier camera comfortably without worries about losing your hat.

360° Hat

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