Got a new GoPro and wondering what other gear will work best alongside it? We’ve set out our top ten favourite GoPro accessories below:
The GoPro 3-way combines 3 useful functions into one handy unit – a “selfie stick” type pole (articulated to enabled shots to be taken without the stick intruding into the shot too much), a grip for holding the camera, and a mini tripod built into the grip. At $70 it’s on the pricey side, and you could replicate all its functions using 3 separate bits of kit for less (for example this selfie stick, this tripod and this grip) but there is no denying it is a clever and neat solution and a great accessory for most GoPro users. Check out our full review here, or Click here to buy from Amazon!
Spare batteries and charger
It’s well documented that GoPro batteries don’t last long, and the higher the resolution and framerate you’re shooting at, the faster the GoPro munches through its power reserves. At its top 4K resolution, the Hero 4 Black only lasts just over an hour in test lab conditions, and in the cold and with stop-start filming, that time will only diminish further. As such, it’s almost essential to pack some spare batteries. The official GoPro ones are relatively pricey but Wasabi Power manufacture some excellent alternatives for both the Hero 3 and and Hero 4 ranges, and which included a separate wall charger to juice them up again at the end of a long day shooting. Click here to see it on Amazon!
Even with plenty of spare batteries, you’ve still got to stop filming, take the GoPro out of its waterproof case and fiddle around to swap out an exhausted battery – and depending on the circumstances, that might not be ideal. Enter the Brunton All Day for GoPro Hero 3+ cameras – an extended battery pack which attaches to the back of the GoPro, and provides 4x times the power of a standard battery – enough to power a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver for 12 hours at 1080p30. It mates with the front section of the waterproof case to create a weatherproof (though not watertight) seal. The only downside is it it prevents the use of some mounts where there is limited space behind the camera. Click here to see it on Amazon!
This is an oldie, but a goodie! The Chesty mount as been around since the early days of the GoPro range, but it remains our favourite mount for capturing FPV footage in a variety of settings – skiing, biking, running – really any activity where your body is facing in the direction of the action. The lower positioning of the camera compared to a head mount means you also capture what your hands and feet are doing, and the footage is generally smoother than that from a head mount, as you don’t tend to move your body as much as your head! It is also a bit subtler than wearing a GoPro on your head, and if you put the harness on under a jacket, you can actually easily cover up the camera just by doing up the jacket. Check it out in Amazon here.
This is something that should be in every GoPro user’s kit bag. It’s simply an adapter which fits onto the GoPro one one end, and has a female 1/4 inch standard tripod mount thread on the other. This allows the GoPro to be mounted on an used with any bit of kit that features a tripod mount – and this in turn frees you from having to use GoPro-specific equipment, which is often more expensive and less versatile. All in all it’s a must-have (and extremely cheap) accessory.
Time lapse clockwork timer
One of the great but often under-utilised features of the GoPro is its ability to take a series of time lapse pictures. The user can set the interval between each shot, from 1 second up to 2 minutes, and the GoPro then fires away automatically until you tell it to stop or the battery or memory card run out of capacity. The resulting series of photos can the easily be turned into a time lapse video on a computer or, with the most recent firmware on the Hero 4 models, on the GoPro camera itself. However, time lapse footage can sometimes look a bit static when the camera is in a fixed position. You will often see that more creative edits have the camera moving very slowly during the time lapse, so the resulting footage has a smooth pan or glide to it. The Veho MUVI X-Lapse 360 is a cost effective way of achieving this with a GoPro, as well as with any other camera and also smartphones too, using the clip holder it comes with. Although pictured to the left with a smartphone, it easily adapts to a GoPro using the tripod mount discussed above. It also comes with flip out feet which add stability when being used with a heavier camera or on rough ground. The Veho rotates through 90 degrees anti-clockwise every 15 minutes – it’s basically a clockwork egg timer mechanism which has been adapted to hold a camera! But the resulting smooth pan from right to left really adds interest to time lapse shots.Well worth getting if time lapse photography is of any interest.
GoPros are pretty rugged, but like any camera equipment, it’s best to protect them when not in use, and particularly when transporting it from one place to the other. In addition to which, once you get a few mounts and accessories, it’s very convenient to have a single place to store them, so you can be assured of having all your GoPro kit in one place. Enter the Smatree SmaCase, one of a number of GoPro kit bags available on the market. The SmaCase features a shaped foam interior which can hold a single GoPro in its housing – there is a removable bit of foam which allows the space to accommodate either the earlier larger GoPros (Hero / Hero 2 / Hero 3) and also the current Hero 3+ and 4 models. There are also spaces which can be used variousy for spare batteries, remote control, other backdoors, and a larger space which could take a GoPro Floaty or a battery charger. On the other side of the case there is a zipped mesh section which is useful for a USB cable and for storing some spare memory cards. You can check out the SmaCase (and other similar cases) on Amazon here.
GoPro clamp mount
The GoPro clamp mount is a relatively new addition to the GoPro mount range. It effectively comprises of two elements – a large plastic spring-operated claim which can be used to grip onto any object from 0.25″ up to 2”, and a flexible 7” neck which attaches to the clamp. The GoPro can either be attached directly to the clamp portion, or onto the end of the flexible neck. In use, the key advantage of the camp mount is that it can be quickly and easily put in place and removed again, so it is perfect for shots which you want to get quickly and then move on to something else. In addition the clamp is able to grip onto a wide variety of objects that might not work so well with other mounting solution such as the seat post mount or a suction mount. While there are other mounts that are more secure, the clamp mount is nevertheless strong enough to hold the GoPro in position in a wide range of scenarios where the camera is not subject to extreme movements. Check out further details on the clamp mount here!
Another oldie here, the GoPro floaty is a must-have for any GoPro user who spends a significant amount of time on the water. While GoPros are so rugged and waterproof they can (and do) sometimes turn up months after being lost at sea, for every success story that makes the news there must be hundreds that are consigned to a watery grave. The Floaty helps to stop yours becoming one of the fallen! Affixed to the rear door (you get a new one for the purpose) it provides enough buoyancy to stop the GoPro from sinking, plus it’s bright orange colour means you’re more likely to spot it in the water. At only $10, it’s a small price to protect your GoPro investment.
GoPro the tool
Gopro’s “The Tool” was released alongside the 3-Way in 2014. It’s extremely simply, and cheap, but solves an annoying problem – what to do when the thumb screw on the GoPro mount has got so tight that you can’t undo it, and conversely, how to do it up tight enough so that the camera won’t move? The Tool is basically a spanner for the mounting screw – that bit of extra leverage gives you just want you need. Plus, the other end is a bottle opener! What more do you need for $5?!