by Graham Sheldon | 18th August 2016
GoPro accessories tend to range from instantly breakable to never-leave home-without-it quality, and figuring out which is which is not always easy. I’ve chosen to go with the most useful GoPro accessories in a variety of circumstances and I’ve steered clear from the new GoProVR Rig and your favorite GoPro-carrying drones. Here are my picks for the top six GoPro accessories that you need to have in your kit right now: 1. Manfrotto Super Clamp + Articulating Arm Combo I always use these three accessories together, so I’m squishing this all into number 1. This is my go-to car/vehicle mount for speed and reliability using the GoPro. In the picture above, you can see the GoPro 4 Silver, ¼-20 GoPro adapter, Manfrotto Super Clamp and a Red Cinema branded articulating arm attached to the front rail of a truck during a documentary pilot shoot in Texas recently. I’ve used some basic string to give me a little more peace of mind, but I have to say the entire rig didn’t budge once while going 65mph on a highway in the midst of a heat wave of over 100F in the summer. All the accessories here cost me around $220.00 USD, but you can save some money if you don’t go with this particular articulating arm. Cost: $220.00 EU – AVAILABLE HERE with Manfrotto Super clamp HERE. US – AVAILABLE HERE with Manfrotto Super clamp HERE. 2. GoPro Brand Waterproof Housing This one, for me, seems like a bit of a no brainer, but you 100% need to have the GoPro waterproof housing in your kit and not just for water use. I keep the GoPro in the waterproof housing most of the time and never use any of the housings that leave your GoPro – and more importantly, its lens – fully exposed to the outside elements. For some reason, multiple mounts are made that allow the GoPro to get “improved audio” by removing all or part of the protection that the waterproof housing affords. My argument is this: why are you capturing audio with your GoPro? The GoPro is meant to give you images from dangerous and hard to reach places, and its audio capture has never been great. If you want quality audio out of your camera, I would capture externally to a Zoom or Tascam, or add a Rode microphone to the top of your favorite DSLR. Keep the GoPro in the waterproof case or in a protective metal case and don’t risk denting your lens, or scratching up the camera. Cost: $59.93, but included with most GoPro Packages from your favorite retailer. EU – AVAILABLE HERE US – AVAILABLE HERE 3. GoPro Scenelapse 360 Time-Lapse Device For documentary and reality, I tend to shoot lots of time-lapse with the GoPro. Why? Because usually I’m using the other cameras to follow the action and the GoPro is always ready to go and sitting in my camera case. Why do a simple time-lapse, when you can do a motion time-lapse? The GoPro Scenelapse 360 Time-Lapse device is cheap and it works. Over the course of an hour, this device travels a full 360 degrees to give you a great motion time-lapse of the world around you. No, there aren’t any options to customize the speed or direction of the rotation, but for the cost and results straight out of the box, you can’t beat it. Cost: $17.84 EU – AVAILABLE HERE US – AVAILABLE HERE 4. GoPro Floaty Is it the sexiest of the accessories for the GoPro? Perhaps not, but the aptly named GoPro Floaty is a must have for water filming with any of the Go Pro generations, with the exception of the smaller GoPro Session (new model for Session in the EU found here). Simply attach to the back of the waterproof housing and presto, you now have a GoPro that will float in water saving you valuable time you’d otherwise spend to retrieve it. Cost: $19.99 EU – AVAILABLE HERE US – AVAILABLE HERE 5. Aluminum Alloy Protective Case for the GoPro Note: While this is listed as working with the GoPro Hero 3+, I’ve tried this case with the GoPro 4 Silver and experienced no issues with sizing. If you are using your GoPro in a scenario where it might be considered a “crash cam” then this is the perfect case for you. One of the reasons I love using this camera in the first place is the fact that if it dies, on larger shoots, production can easily replace it. However, sometimes you just want your little GoPro to make it back to the studio in one piece and this protective case helps it make the journey home. I also love that the area around the lens protrudes a bit, keeping the lens from being the first thing to make contact with the ground if it falls. However, I will mention that this case still leaves the fragile lens exposed to a well-placed rock hit. US/EU – AVAILABLE HERE 6. Feiyu G4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal I am a proponent of using the GoPro as a “C” and “D” etc. camera, and not attempting to actually cover scenes with it, so take this gimbal with a grain of salt. There are certainly specialized moments where this gimbal could be used on many modern documentary and reality productions, but when your budget allows, you are going to want to mount your B cam on a Movi, Ronin or Steadicam for truly precise coverage. That being said, if you are looking for the best GoPro gimbal I’ve found out there, then look no further then the Feiyu G4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal. The setup is made a little tricky based on a manual that gets confusing at times, but once setup is complete it works great. Cost: $209.00 US – AVAILABLE HERE EU – AVAILABLE HERE One of the best parts of the GoPro ecosystem is the extraordinarily diverse amount of accessories that are out there. Consider the above a solid starting point and have fun safely mounting your GoPro to anything and everything. Did I miss any? Tell me your favorite GoPro accessories in the comments below.Read more
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