GoPro have obviously been paying attention to the way in which people are using their cameras and the various third party mounts that are coming onto the market, and they have now launched their own clever contender in this field – the 3-Way. As the name suggest, this mount is intended to offer 3 different mounting solutions – an extension arm, a hand grip and a tripod. We’ve looked at each of these in more detail below, and then considered whether the 3-Way is a must-have accessory for the savvy user!
This is probably the key use for the 3-Way, particularly since it solves a problem that no other product currently does – how to take a “selfie” photo or video without also capturing whatever is holding the camera out in front of you in the shot. The 3-Way achieves this by way of an elbow joint in the extension arm, allowing the mount to be bent below (or above) the field of view, though it is possible that you’ll still see the hand holding it depending on the angle of the camera. The arm extends out to 20 inches – just about the ideal length for this kind of selfie shot if you consider you’ve got your own arm holding it out as well.
It’s also possible to use the extension arm in a concertinaed fashion, allowing it to be used (for example) to hold the GoPro low to the ground and use it as a follow cam. This is also something which has been difficult to achieve until now with previous mounts, and the 3-Way is likely to allow users to get some innovative tracking shots this way.
The second of the 3-Way’s modes is to use it as a camera grip. This is less revolutionary – there are already some good camera grips on the market (for example the Grenade Grip) thought to use most of these with the GoPro you would also need to fit the tripod mount adaptor. Since the 3-Way already has the correct GoPro attachment on it, it is easy to angle the camera just how you want it rather than it being perpendicular to the grip. Overall though, the camera grip’s main utility is in being part of the modular package with the extension arm and tripod.
The third function is hidden away inside the grip handle – a small folding tripod. This also has a standard GoPro attachment on it to allow the camera to be mounted straight onto it; alternatively the grip handle (plus or minus the extension arm) can be screwed on top of the tripod to raise the height of the camera. The tripod is very compact and convenient, but the legs are rigid and non-adjustable, which means that it will only work on fairly flat surfaces – unlike, for example, a Gorillapod mount – but then again, the convenience of having the correct GoPro attachment in place and the tripod neatly stored in the grip means that many will forgive any slight shortcomings.
Conclusion – worth the money?
The 3-Way is on sale for around $70. By any measure, that is steep for what is little more than 3 bits of plastic and some elbow joints. However, GoPro know that having spent money on its cameras, people will always want the mounts to allow them to use them to their full capability. So is it worth it? Well, the extension arm is a bit of a game changer if you’re into using the GoPro to film looking back at yourself. As we commented in our ‘how to’ page for the DIY ski pole mount, this kind of footage is often the most enjoyable to watch, and so if you think you will get good use from the extension arm, then we say go for it.
The case for the grip and the tripod is not quite so clear-cut. Both of these functions are already addressed by existing third party offerings, and so if you don’t need the extension arm functionality, there are cheaper (and possibly better) ways to get a GoPro grip and/or tripod. However, what is clear is that the 3-Way presents an extremely neat, convenient package, and that will be enough for many users.