I love my GoPro. Between being tiny, powerful, virtually shockproof, and able to be mounted on anything, anywhere, it rocks.
There are a number of other action cameras on the market, but for me it’s the accessories that make the GoPro (and its clones) a better investment. Here are five of my personal favorites.
A Tripod Mount
Simply put, this tripod mount is so critical it should come in the box when you first buy a GoPro. Since it doesn’t, pick one up and attach it to any standard monopod or tripod you already have.
No need to up the kludge factor when spending less than $10 will attach it properly and easily.
An Extension Pole
If you don’t already have a tripod or monopod, this single-purpose pole has plenty of uses. Plenty of cheap knockoffs abound, but it’s worth spending a little extra on a model that's more stable and durable.
Extending between 17 and 50 inches, the three-pronged GoPro mount is already part of the pole. All you need is the waterproof case (or The Frame, if you’re not going anywhere near the water) and you’re golden.
A Head Strap Mount
Ideal for those helmet shots or documenting whatever you’re staring at, the Head Mount ends up being surprisingly comfortable and fits fine, even over a motorcycle helmet.
The Sticky Mounts
These sticky mounts are dangerously addictive. They’ll stick once and remove cleanly, but they’ll go fast! The 3M adhesive sticks best to a clean, dry, surface. Clean the object off first, then apply using some pressure between the mount and object.
Note that GoPro sells a kit of curved and flat mounts, but other kinds with different adhesives are also available. Get the surfboard ones for the strongest connections, the regular mounts for average strength, and the instruments ones for a more easily removed tab.
Reuse the plastic mount, not the sticky part (that’s one-time-use only, sorry)
Perhaps the most boringly-named accessory of all, this piece of plastic securely attaches the GoPro to whatever mount you choose. Unlike the waterproof case or the skeleton backdoor, there’s no loss of sound quality or concern about the case fogging up when using The Frame.
I didn’t realize this when I bought it, but there are actually two Frames inside the box: one for the GoPro without an LCD backpack, and one with. As a little bonus, there’s also a lens cap inside. Perhaps it should have been in the original box, but still, it’s a nice touch here.
Of course, not every accessory is ideal for every person or situation. While most of the extras I’ve bought for my GoPro have been useful, there are at least three that I won’t be bothering with again.
Yeah, it’s officially made and licensed, but I’ve yet to see a video using this chest mount I wanted to watch. Think about how much your torso bounces when doing anything active.
You need to cinch it up really tight to ensure it doesn’t flop around, which means either A: chafing, B: limited range of motion, or C: you’re always fiddling with it. The rig isn’t heavy, but look at the camera-to-rig ratio for crying out loud… the bulk isn’t great for travelers.
The Wrist Mount
The problem with this mount is that your angles are limited to what your wrist can do, which isn’t a whole lot. Right now, hold out an arm and try to point the top of your hand forward. Go on, try it.
You either have to drop your wrist forward (which strains the forearm and makes it difficult to hold anything in the hand) or twist your arm around, like you’re showing your watch to someone else.
If you’re using this wrist mount to get your reactions, it might be OK — as long as you don’t need your hands for anything…
A Cheap Selfie Stick
Electronics markets across Southeast Asia (and presumably the world) are full of super-cheap selfie sticks that come in two pieces: the pole and the tension cradle, for want of a better term.
The markets display them as being useful for GoPro, but don’t fall for it! They’re actually meant for phones or compact digital cameras, and don’t work nearly as well if your GoPro is in any sort of case.
Cheaply made, the ones I’ve used have a tendency to come loose when you least expect it. There’s no way I’d trust my expensive GoPro (or phone, for that matter) to one of these things again!
Want to take kick-ass photos with your GoPro? Read our detailed guide to doing just that!
Photo credit: Gordon Tarpley (main image)