Make POV Footage Look Fast

FAST Action Camera Footage: My Setup for Warp Speed Look

After years of riding and recording hundreds of MTB clips for the Suspension Traveler YouTube channel, I fine-tuned my preferred settings for cinematic, fast POV videos – using GoPros and DJI action cameras.

I always get comments asking how I make my videos look so immersive and true-to-life – how they look as intense as it feels when riding.

  • Motion blur: We perceive fast-moving objects as blurry.
  • Stabilization: Let it shake a little to not get unrealistically smooth footage.
  • Point of view: Camera positions closer to the ground look faster.
  • Peripheral vision: The wider the field of view, the more the surroundings are whizzing by.
  • Sound: Crisp, wind noise free audio adds to the immersion.

Camera settings to get fast, intense footage:

  • Framerate: 30 FPS (24p looks even more raw)
  • Shutter: 1/120 to 1/320
  • Stabilization: Medium
  • Field of view (FOV): Widest
  • Wind-noise reduction: “Off” with foam wind-muffler
  • Mounts: Chesty or Chin

Here’s one of my MTB videos of all the above in action:

And I’ll show you exactly how I make my POV action cam footage look fast. Feel free to steal my exact setup for your own videos!

Motion Blur

There are two components to getting natural motion blur: framerate (FPS) and shutter speed.


Stop using 60 fps for action-sports. High frames per second have nothing to do with “action”.

Movies are shot in 24p, 25 or 30p – that’s why they look so realistic and natural. And you can make your videos look cinematic this way.

I always use 30p as it looks the smoothest.
But 25p or 24p work well too.

60p looks unnaturally crisp on the other hand. It’s used for slow-mo shots – to slow down footage to 30p at half the speed. At regular playback speed, 60 fps just looks slow because it lacks any natural blur.

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Chest mount POV at 30p

Shutter Speed

Playing with shutter speeds is more advanced and is a balance with stabilization. Electronic image stabilization requires a fast shutter, but the slower the shutter, the more motion blur you get.

My shutter and ISO settings for ND filters

  • Stabilize anything: Shutter 1/320 and ISO max 1600 with ND4.
  • Sweet spot: 1/240 and ISO max 1600 with ND4 or ND8.
  • Helmet cam: Shutter 1/120 and ISO max 800 with ND8.
  • Smooth rides and helmet mount: 1/60 and ISO max 400 with ND8.

If you want awesome, cinematic motion blur, you need to have your shutter setting fixed at a slow setting. And ND filters allow you to do that without making everything too bright.

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My set of DJI ND filters. Only ND4 gets used regularly.

Stabilization – less is more

More stabilization for smoother footage. But what if your rides aren’t smooth at all?

A little camera shake never hurt nobody. Too much shake and footage gets unwatchable, too little and it looks like a boring drone video.

I found the maximum stabilization settings like Rocksteady+ and Hypersmooth Boost work almost too well.

Instead, I go with regular Rocksteady and Hypersmooth “On” to allow for the occasional bounce when things get rowdy.

It adds to the intensity.

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View from a chin-mounted GoPro. Helmet mounts are very stable, allowing for slower shutters.

Bonus: Higher stabilization settings also reduce the FOV. That’s two reasons to avoid it.

Field of View – more is more

I’m sure you’ve seen those crazy warp-speed MTB videos with extremely distorted FOVs.

With a field of view this wide, you can make anything look fast – by simply catching more of the surroundings blitzing by.

That’s why wide FOV is such a huge selling point for DJI Action cameras and 360 cameras like the GoPro Max and Insta360 X3. The 177° GoPro Lens mod is so popular for that reason as well.

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Helmet, bike, handlebar, hands and even my knee are in the same shot.

Just make sure you angle the camera in a way that it actually shows stuff, not just the sky...

Camera Position & Angle

Surely heard of the GoPro effect: The fisheye lens makes even the hardest trail look smooth and slow.

But you can take the wide field of view to your advantage! By moving the camera closer to the ground, to show it moving past quickly.

One of the biggest mistakes I see most often in POV MTB videos is the camera positioning.

It’s either pointed too far down or half the screen is the sky (or blocked by the hemet visor) – both is hard to watch.

Here are two simple checks you can use:

  • the lower to the ground, the better (chesty > helmet)
  • get as much in the frame as possible: bike, trail and horizon
mtb pov camera angle

An easy way to do this is using the rule of thirds: having interesting stuff in every segment of the picture from the bottom to the top.

This also provides the viewer with visual cues they can relate to – they can see what’s happening. How the bike is moving. How rough or smooth the trail is.

The middle should be where you’d look ahead on the trail as a rider.

Crisp Sound with no wind

Sound is the main issue why it’s hard to feel speed in electric car videos – the familiar sound of a revving engine is missing.

And it’s similar with wind noises drowning the noises from the suspension, hubs buzzing and tires hitting the ground.

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My Gopro with a foam wind muffler

The cameras’ built-in software wind-noise reduction is a first step, but can make the audio sound overly processed and muffled. It also switches to a mono microphone.

Avoid it if you can and rather try out a foam windscreen (“Windslayer“) if you want high-quality wind-free sound. (Check video above for a sample)

MTB POV footage with high-speed effect using an ND4 filter and wind muffler.
This is what shutter 1/120 on a chin mount looks like.

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Julian Mat is a former bike shop owner and editor of Suspension Traveler. He has been riding Downhill MTB and Enduro for over two decades.
Julian has poured all his accumulated knowledge, best-kept secrets, and proven guides into Suspension Traveler, to make it the go-to resource for gravity mountain bikers.

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