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6 GoPro Accessories You Need That You Didn't Know Exist

6 GoPro Accessories You Need That You Didnt Know Exist

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

Action cameras such as the GoPro series are very useful for photography and videography. They allow imaging or filming in locations and situations that would put a serious strain on regular digital cameras. The top GoPro accessories give us even more options for these amazing tools.

One of the best examples of the action cam is the GoPro HERO 8 rugged waterproof digital still and video camera. This is one of the most advanced action cams currently available.

GoPro HERO 8 

gopro hero 8

The GoPro HERO 8 is the latest in the popular line of GoPro cameras. It has a 12MP sensor and can record in 4K video in a range of aspect ratios from TV to cinematic. Time lapse, HDR, zoom, and RAW image files are a few of the extra and improved features over previous models.

The GoPro HERO 8 is well protected against falls, impact, rough use, and is also waterproof down to 33 feet. Image stabilization helps smooth out video and allows low light capture of still and video. There is even a smartphone app for controlling the camera.

As amazing as this camera is, there are some unique gopro accessories that enable you to take full advantage of the camera’s features and capabilities. With action cameras, the camera is merely the centerpiece, part of an entire system designed for action photography and videography.

Top GoPro Accessories

The top accessories for GoPro cameras include mounts, stabilizers, lights, video monitors, microphones, straps, and cases. Let’s take a look at 6 great unique GoPro accessories.

OctoPad Camera Mount

octopad gopro

Tripods and monopods are great for a lot of cameras and situations, but the OctoPad adds usefulness for action cams and versatility in placement.

How is the OctoPad different? The OctoPad does not use tripod feet or a suction cup to provide a stable base for the camera. It has a weighted foot that can be placed on virtually any surface to hold up the camera. There is also a clip grommet and a cable tuck that adds to the versatility of this unique camera mount.

octopad 2

The foot, or base, of the OctoPad is very wide compared to small cameras, and is made with non-slip material on the bottom. It can be placed on smooth or rough surfaces and will stay in place on 45 degree angle perches. These features make it one of the top GoPro accessories for video.

To attach the camera, you use a ball and socket head or an extension with some sort of head on top. Multi-angle arms are another option that will add a whole lot of versatility to this camera mount. Primarily it provides excellent stability for video or still pictures.

HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount

handlepod

Different from a base support like the OctoPad is the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount. This is a combination handle and mount that is best used for hand held video. 

If you’re not mounting your GoPro on a bracket, or a mount, or strapping or bolting it to something, they’re kind of small and hard to hold steady. This mount is similar in shape and orientation to a gimbal, but it’s not a gimbal.

handlepod 2

What it excels at is giving you a big handle to hold on to so you can steady your hand held video. You can also attach other items such as a light to this grip/handle/mount. Really, videography is the application most likely to benefit from this. Since many people use their action cams for video, this is a great choice for top GoPro accessories. 

Outside of hand holding, you can also put this to use as a small stand. It is stable enough for anything not moving. If what you’re filming from is moving, attach it to a pole or rail with the strapping cord. 

Learn More:

LitraTorch 2.0

litratorch 2.0

Whenever you find yourself asking if you need light for your video, you probably need more light. Though the GoPro series of action cams has excellent low light performance, adding an external light source will increase the performance as regards image quality and color rendition in many conditions.

The LitraTorch 2.0 is a small but very bright battery powered LED compact video light. It can also be used for still imaging, but it was designed with videography in mind, making it among the best GoPro accessories for video. 

Small enough to fit on the HandlePod listed above, it can sit right next to the GoPro HERO 8 action cam on the bracket. It is a cube 1 ½ inches per side and weighs only 3 ¼ ounces. 

litratorch 2.0 2

Other amazing features of this tiny video light are it is charged by means of a USB cord, battery life is up to 4 hours of continuous light output, and it is waterproof down to 60 feet. 

Being waterproof opens up some great opportunities for GoPro videography and still imaging. Underwater, lighting is crucial for amazing results. Relying on surface sunlight only, just a few feet down is all you can shoot with good color rendition. Adding a waterproof video light will all those beautiful colors pop out at viewers of your videos.

SImply making use of the LitraTorch 2.0 above water, you get a good punch for your accessories budget’s dollars. The 16 LED lights provide daylight balanced light with a CRI rating of 90. (The higher the CRI rating, the truer the color rendition of the light is.)

GoPro Media Mod for Hero8

gopro media mod

What is a media mod? The GoPro Media Mod is a wrap around modification for the HERO 8 that adds extra capability for video recording. The most important capability is the extended range shotgun microphone.  

In practice, it goes on the GoPro like an ever ready case or as a second skin. This second skin adds a little extra bulk, several mounting points, and the microphone. It cannot go underwater with the camera, though. 

GoPro Smart Remote

gopro smart remote

When you have your GoPro mounted on a helmet, wrist strap, or some other part of your activewear or gear, you need a way to operate it easily. The GoPro Smart Remote is how you do that.

This remote is wireless and allows control of most camera functions. It has an LCD display of what you’re operating, too. Additionally, the remote is waterproof down to 33 feet just like the camera itself. 

Waterproof Housing

gopro waterproof housing

Wait a minute? Isn’t the GoPro already waterproof? Yes it most certainly, but only to 33 feet. That’s more than enough for recreational diving, but some commercial needs or sporting excursions may require deeper operation. The GoPro Protective Housing adds extra capability for down to almost 200 feet.  

Some kit purchase options include this protective housing. If you’re looking into your first GoPro HERO purchase, you might consider these kits as they make this camera uniquely special. 

Unique GoPro Accessories

Other fine accessories for GoPros include filters, stabilization gimbals, and a wide variety of straps for mounting to almost anything. The GoPro HERO 8 is a fantastic action camera. With the addition of some top GoPro accessories, you can extend the capabilities to be able to accomplish many fun and exciting things. 

Learn More:

 



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9 GoPro MAX Tips You Need to Know

9 gopro max tips you need to know

As far as action cams go, it’s hard to beat the GoPro MAX for features, capabilities, and pure usefulness. It is also one of the most fun cameras to use for either photography or videography.

GoPro MAX OvervieW

gopro max overview

What makes the GoPro MAX such an outstanding action camera? Take a new GoPro HERO 8 with all of its single lens features and functions and then add a full 360 imaging capability to it. 

There really isn’t anything else quite like an immersive 360 degree video to thrill your viewers with the action or area you’re filming. Anything you could imagine doing, or have already done, with single lens HERO style action cam, just think of the WOW factor of showing that as a 360 degree video or image.

GoPro MAX can record in high-quality video, single lens or 360, has excellent audio and can dive underwater with you (or your dog) to 33 feet. It stitches in-camera for panoramic video or stills. All the other regular action features from the GoPro HERO apply as well. Quite an awesome action cam!

Table of Contents

GoPro MAX Tips for Photos and Video

With all that this camera can do, you find yourself asking for ideas and tips for exactly how to accomplish all of those things. Let’s examine some ideas for how to use a GoPro MAX for photography and some video tips for GoPro MAX.

GoPro MAX Camera Settings

gopro max camera settings

First off, you will need to set your new action cam to make the videos or images you are imagining in your head. Almost everything in the camera is accessed by means of a menu on a touch screen. The touch screen doubles as a view screen.

From the touch screen, you select whether you are in 360 or HERO mode, what type of lens you want, switching between still imaging or video, and deeper features. Which brings us right away to the second of our GoPro MAX tips.

octopad 2

Editor’s Tip: Need to use your GoPro for capturing B-roll? Pair the GoPro Hero MAX with the Octopus.Camera Octopad, and you’ll have the perfect setup! Its weighted anti-slip mat keeps it right where you want it, even if you’ve got it on a smooth or uneven surface. It has a built-in ¼-20 threaded male bolt for attaching your GoPro (or any number of other accessories, for that matter). When you need to be hands-free, Octopad is a great helper!

Use Voice Control

9 GoPro MAX Tips You Need to Know 1

photo by metamorworks via iStock 

Lots of action cams have remote control capability, and the GoPro MAX has voice control. From the touch screen menu, choose the voice control option. Now, your action cam can start and stop video recording with simple vocal commands. 

Some of the commands are start and stop video recording, take a still picture, highlighting a part of the recording for finding it easily later (tagging), switching between video, photo, burst, and time lapse mode, powering down the camera, and a few other functions. 

The camera can be set to recognize English, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and a few others. A funny thing to me was that there are separate language files for certain accents of languages, such as Australian or UK for English. So, Mad Max can easily control his GoPro MAX.

Composition Ideas for Photographs

gopro max 1

photo by lzf via iStock 

Many photographers and videographers learn the “rules” of composition early on. Action cams require a slightly different set of parameters.  

Most action cams use a fairly wide angle lens, the GoPro MAX adds 360 degree filming, so those old rules are good as a starting point, but you should take into consideration the unique aspects of action cams.

If you previsualize what results you want, you pretty much have a no-brainer for how to compose your photos and videos. One video tip for GoPro MAX use is to include a reference point for viewers to know what the point of view is. In other words, sometimes it’s okay to show part of the mounting bracket or whatever your camera is attached too. 

Learn More:

Make Use of HERO Mode

gopro max tips 2

photo byOnfokus via iStock

The deciding factor for many purchasers of the GoPro MAX over the GoPro HERO is the 360 dual lens feature of the MAX. However, you don’t want to limit yourself to only 360. The HERO single lens style of action cam is a very versatile and extremely useful camera for both video and still imaging. 

Play with the different lens choices available in HERO mode. The lenses are Narrow, distortion-free Linear, Wide, and Max SuperView, which is an extremely wide-angle view. 

In HERO mode, you have the ability to shoot video or take still photographs.

Take Advantage of 360 Mode

gopro max tips 3

photo by FluxFactory via iStock 

One of the most amazing features of the GoPro MAX is the ability to shoot video and take pics in 360 degrees. There is also a panoramic mode that creates a special still image that covers 270 degrees of the view. 

Truth be told, there are a number of modes and features that use the two superwide lenses. Some of them are accessed with the GoPro smartphone app.

Once you start filming or taking pictures in the 360 degree mode, you will wonder how you so long without that option. It adds an extra dimension that many find fascinating. Take some time to properly orient your camera and frame your view before you start filming. In fact, try out some previsualization exercises without even taking out your camera.

litratorch 2.0 

Editor’s Tip: Whether you’re using your GoPro Hero MAX for photos or videos, sometimes you need a little extra light, and for that, the Litratorch 2.0 is an excellent option. It has 16 LEDs that give you several different lumen settings depending on what you need. It’s rugged, waterproof, and at 3.17 ounces and barely more than 1.5 inches square, it’s an accessory you can slip in your pocket and easily take anywhere!

Get the GoPro App for Your Smartphone

how to use a gopro max for photography 4

 photo by semenovp via iStock

So many things can be done with this app. The GoPro MAX tips above list several options available to you in regards to 360 imaging or single lens imaging. Using the smartphone app for GoPro, you can take a 360 degrees video and use the ReFrame tool in the app to adapt that footage into traditional photos and videos. 

What this does is it allows you to shoot in one mode and show it in three modes. Since you are immersed in your action footage, there is no reason to get sidetracked by taking still images to show also. Just use the app!

Use Horizon Leveling

how to use a gopro max for photography 5

photo by cihatatceken via iStock 

One of the best video tips for GoPro MAX filming is to watch that horizon. The reason is because a slightly tilted view during extreme wide angle recording can be quite annoying to viewers when played back. 

Thankfully, GoPro MAX cameras have a tool to level the horizon for both still and video, in single lens or 360 mode. 

Anytime you shoot with extreme wide angle lenses, regardless of camera or format, being level adds to the quality of the results. By the same token, not being level degrades the perceived quality because it exaggerates the distortion that wide angle already has.

360-Degree Sound

how to use a gopro max for photography 6

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

When using the GoPro MAX for 360 videos, you can also record sound in the full 360 degrees around you. The MAX has 6 microphones that capture a sphere of sound.  

Since you can record sound all around you, you will need to stay aware of all of the sound happening around you. You have the option of turning off 360-degree sound and using stereo sound or even directional audio. 

Using directional audio while recording visuals in 360 will allow you to diminish engine noise or other distracting noise. Staying aware of audio is one of the more important video tips for GoPro MAX since excess audio feed can make the video difficult to enjoy without major audio editing.

Edit In-Camera or with App

video tips for gopro max 7

Photo by Jye B on Unsplash 

A great feature of the GoPro MAX is the ability it gives you of editing your videos and images right in the camera or in the full featured smartphone app. After editing, use the smartphone app to upload your video or images directly to your social media feeds or other online applications. 

That’s right! You can post your vacation or your project right there from the field. No need to wait to get to a computer for advanced editing, you’re doing it on the go.

Editing is an essential skill for videographers. While some still images may seem to look just fine straight out of the camera, it’s been my experience that few videos do. Some editing is always needed for a smooth finished product.

How Much Can You Do?

how to use a gopro max for photography 8

photo by kyonntravia iStock 

How much can you find to do with your new GoPro MAX 360 action cam? We have barely covered the tip of the iceberg with GoPro tips for videos and still imaging. Some of the capabilities of the GoPro MAX aren’t readily apparent when you first start using it. 

Take a little time before you go out with your GoPro MAX and familiarize yourself with the functions, features, and capabilities. The Instruction manual is your most valuable first tool in mastering action cam videography and photography.

Keep up with GoPro online, too. The nature of this fantastic camera allows for features to be updated without GoPro even touching your camera. An update to features can come at any time, all you have to do is download it and apply it to the camera when it comes. 

The GoPro MAX is not the perfect action cam, but it’s close. Enjoy  getting to know all you can accomplish with yours.

Learn More:

 



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Getting Started in Vlogging - What You Need and Best Practices

Getting Started in Vlogging What You Need and Best Practices

photo byjacoblund via iStock

So, you’re thinking about vlogging and you’re wondering if you really need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on your equipment.  

No. You don’t. You just need the basics. But, you’ll want to make sure your vlogging gear will still last you a long time. 

Here’s a list of everything a vlogger can’t live without. 

Camera: GoPro

getting started in vlogging 1

Photo by Arindam Raha from Pexels

You’re definitely not going to get very far as a vlogger without the most basic of vlogging gear: a good camera. 

I think the most important thing when purchasing a camera is to remember that it’s 2020 and most cameras are going to be more than enough for your new vlog. Don’t overspend here and not be able to purchase the other vlogging gear essentials.

getting started in vlogging 2

While you can use just about any DSLR or mirrorless camera out there, I’d recommend purchasing a GoPro because GoPros are definitely the easiest vlogging camera for traveling and shooting outside of a studio. 

They’re rugged, easily portable, and packed with features that make them a well-rounded camera. Besides, you can get a GoPro Hero 8 Black for $400, which is a great price for all the functionalities you get: 

  • 12MP sensor
  • 4K video at 60p or 1080p video at 240p
  • 8x Slo-Mo video
  • HyperSmooth 2.0
  • TimeWarp 2.0
  • Live Streaming
  • LiveBurst
  • SuperPhoto + HDR

You may not be planning to shoot anywhere other than your house, but if the need arises, you’ll have wished you went with a GoPro!

vlogging tips 3

Quick Tip: You’ll want to invest in a quality external microphone to go with your GoPro. I’ve used the RODE VideoMicro and loved its sound quality and compact size. It’s a perfect addition to a GoPro because it’s rugged and portable, just like the GoPro! And at just $59, it’s budget-friendly too!

 

Recommended Videography Books:

 

Light: LitraPro 

vlogging tips 4

You’ll want to use natural lighting for your vlog as often as possible, but sometimes it’s not. In these times, you’ll want a natural-looking light to ensure your face doesn’t have any awkward shadows. 

I use the LitraPro because it is 100% dimmable, has adjustable color temperature, can run for up to 10 hours on one charge and is waterproof up to 90 feet. 

You can use it in your studio, on that epic surfing trip you’ve been planning, or on your trip to Machu Picchu and points in between.

It’s hard to find a light that is this bright, this rugged, and this portable. You can purchase a Litra Torch LitraPro on Adorama for $220. 

Learn More:

Tripod: Octopad

vlogging tips 5 

People who write about vlogging best practices will always recommend getting a tripod, but I’ve found something just a little bit better. 

The Octopad does everything a tripod can’t through its patent-pending technology. It doesn’t slip or slide, it doesn’t cave under weight and it never loses suction - because it doesn’t use suction!

It’s weighted bottom keeps your GoPro, LitraPro, microphone, and other vlogging accessories perfectly stable, even on uneven surfaces. Heck, I often use my GoPro and Octopad as a dashcam setup - I set the Octopad on the dash, hit record on the GoPro, and we’re off.  

As soon as you buy this, you’ll have wished you had it in your camera bag over the years because it makes taking video and photos so much easier.  

The Octopad is available for only $27 on Adorama. 

Handheld Mount: HandlePod

how to start vlogging 6

Finally, before getting started in vlogging you’ll need a handheld mount. 

I chose the HandlePod because it works with GoPros, and you can use it in a variety of ways.

I typically use it as a handheld mount, but you can also use it as a tabletop mount or even mount it to a stable object, like a tree or a fencepost. 

Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty and weighs just 4 oz so you can take it everywhere. 

This camera stabilizer is available for less than $30 on Adorama.  

Pro Vlogging Tips

vlogging best practices 7

photo by NoSystem images via iStock 

Now that you’ve got all the equipment you might need, you’ll need some information about getting started in vlogging. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is establish the “why” behind your vlog. Are you getting started in vlogging to educate your audience? Do you want to entertain them? Are you just looking to make some extra cash to take your family on vacation every year?

Once you have your “why,” other parts of your vlog will come more easily, like your story outlines, your purpose, and your filming dates. 

Next, you’ll need to get really good at editing, like Matti Haapoja.

Most people stop watching videos within the first two minutes, so you need to prove to your audience that your material is worth sticking around for. That means editing the crap out of your vlogs.  

Anything that isn’t 100% necessary to fulfill the purpose of the vlog needs to get cut. As a beginner vlogger, you should be aiming for videos that are no longer than 5 minutes. 

Finally, you should be doing a ton of market research. Watch other vlogs, both those who you consider your competitors and those who aren’t. Figure out what you love about watching vlogs and then try and emulate that. 

Learn More:

 



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Getting the Most From Your 360-Degree Camera

Getting the Most From Your 360 Degree Camera

 photo byMorgan Somers via iStock

You’re the proud owner of a new GoPro MAX. Congratulations! The GoPro MAX is a fantastic action cam with 360-degree camera capability in video and still imaging modes. With all that this camera can do, you want to be sure that you know how to get the most out of it. 

We’ve put together some tips for GoPro MAX and some ideas of situations, techniques, and even some accessories that can assist you to do just that.

 Get Used to 360-Degree Shooting

gopro max 1

Photo by Don Stone on Unsplash

One of the hardest things for us to think about when we start using a 360-degree camera is just how much shows in the camera’s point of view (POV). You, your boat, your motorcycle, your trained monkey, your drone, whatever you have yo attached to will be in the action camera’s POV, showing up in the viewed video.

gopro max 2

Regular action cameras tend to have very wide angle lens options, but you can get behind even a 180-degree fish-eye lens. Not so with 360-degree cameras. You, or the item you mounted it on are going to be seen. So make sure to take that into account as you set up for filming.

Viewers of 360-degree camera video and still images are used to this already. It’s us photographers and videographers that need this advice. It’s not really a technique, more like a mindset. 

 

Recommended Videography Books:

 

Get a Good Handheld Mount 

gopro max 3

Photo by li xianan on Unsplash 

One way or the other, you will most likely be mounting your GoPro MAX to something. The two basic options are hands-free and handheld.

If you are going to try to hold the camera with your hands alone, you quickly find out that it’s not really a practical alternative for action cams or a 360-degree camera. The cameras are small and your hands will take up way too much of the view when in 360-degree camera mode.

360 degree camera 4

One of the better grips I’ve found for the GoPro MAX is the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Camera Mount from Adorama. It is a multi-use tool that can operate as a tabletop base, be lashed to a pole, post, or arm, or be gripped like a pistol grip.

It really comes in handy as a handheld grip for these small cameras. It’s lightweight but sturdy, and it is a comfortable way to hold the GoPro MAX plus an accessory or two like a light or a microphone.  

Learn More:

Hit the Action Hard With a Hands-Free Mount

360 degree camera 5

If you are really hitting the action hard, then holding the GoPro MAX in your hands, even with a great grip like the HandlePod, simply isn’t a desirable option. You will want to use a hands-free mount of some sort.

There are a lot of methods that can be employed for mounting. Suction cups are a valid method to attach to a windshield of a vehicle, strap mounts can allow you to put the camera on your head, arm, or leg for interesting views.

A traditional tripod can be used, but that is actually a bit of an overkill for most action cams. Another usable style of mount is a weighted stabilizer mount such as the OctoPod camera mount.

360 degree camera 6 

The OctoPod is a small camera mount that features a non-slip bottom coupled with a weighted, flexible pad that can stabilize on virtually any type of surface including angled surfaces up to 45 degrees.  It can hold your GoPro Max stable in all but the most extreme of uses.

tips for gopro max

Photo by Kamil Pietrzak on Unsplash 

Making use of a stabilizer mount such as the OctoPod really helps open up your shooting style for action, both in HERO mode and in 360-degree camera mode.

You’re still probably going to show up in the final image or video, but you won’t be as noticeable. Handheld and hands-free are both great for action cams.

Light It Up

gopro max tutorial 7 

One of the best tips for GoPro MAX users is not to neglect the HERO mode. HERO mode is a great way to get the most out of your GoPro MAX 360-degree camera. In HERO mode, adding a light source can sometimes turn a difficult exposure situation into an amazing video or photo shoot. 

Of course, with the compactness of action cams being one of their best features, any light you do add will need to be small as well. The Litra Torch 2.0 becomes an excellent choice for many GoPro MAX users.

A battery powered LED continuous light, the Litra Torch 2.0 matches well with the GoPro MAX. Small enough that you can add it to the HandlePod for a lightweight all in one videography rig, it adds very little weight to the package.

gopro max tutorial 8

A high CRI (color rendition index) means you will get natural looking colors of your subject and surroundings. Since the light is small, it can’t be too powerful, but you will be surprised at how bright it is.  

If you want to shoot with a light in 360-degree camera mode, you will either have to deal with only about half of your view being lit up, or use multiple lights. Since the Litra Torch 2.0 is very small and quite budget friendly, having two lights on at once becomes a viable alternative. Try it out for yourself.

Learn More:

Choose the Right Settings

tips for gopro max 9

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels 

Whenever you start using a new camera, a learning session before going out into the field is a good idea. There are some excellent videos on YouTube that can be used as a GoPro MAX tutorial.

Here is one short tutorial from The 360 Guy that you might find interesting:

Avoid shooting with the idea that you will “fix it in post.” I like to recommend avoiding that train of thought in general in all of my photography and videography.

Post processing and editing should be used to enhance footage and images, not save them. Unless that poor footage is all you have of a special event, only use your best raw footage for editing into a finished product.

The Rule Is: There are No Rules!

tips for gopro max 10

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels 

Break free from any thoughts or habits that hold back creativity. Action cameras such as the GoPro MAX with 360-degree camera capability are meant to push the limits.  

I’m sure you had some amazing things in mind when you first thought about getting an action cam. Now that you have yours, find a way to do those things! And share the results.

 



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GoPro Hero 8 Released

gopro hero 8

Well, GoPro fans, today is the day we've been waiting for...

The GoPro Hero 8 was officially released today, and I have to say, it looks absolutely awesome, as you can see in the video below:

And that's without a single major new feature, as previous GoPros have boasted.

If you think about it, the Hero 7 debuted incredible image stabilization. The Hero 5 featured waterproofing. The Hero 4 was the first to have 4K/30fps video.

But the Hero 8 bucks the trend and incorporates a ton of small adjustments, which, together make it a giant improvement over its predecessors.

Editor's Tip: Get the most out of your GoPro Hero 8 with a killer mount that gives you tons of flexibility and ease of use. I use the OctoPad, a weighted, non-slip mount that keeps my GoPro steady and stable, even on the dashboard of my car! You can use it to support lights, your phone, and even a small camera. It's a go-anywhere alternative to mini tripods that you can use to get better shots. Check it out and see for yourself!

What's New in the GoPro Hero 8

gopro hero 8 black

Below is a partial list of new or updated features in the Hero 8:

  • Built-in mounting pins, which negates the need for a frame to connect the camera to accessories
  • New non-removable lens cover that's twice as strong as previous ones
  • Even better image stabilization in HyperSmooth 2.0
  • Upgraded TimeWarp features with an auto mode that uses sensors to detect motion and adjust the recording speed
  • Digital lenses offer multiple field of view settings (SuperView, Linear, Wide, and Narrow)
  • Capture presets for popular types of recording with the ability to create and save your own
  • LiveBurst photo mode takes 1.5-second images before and after the shutter button is depressed (think Live Photos on iPhones)
  • SuperPhoto, GoPro's version of HDR, gets improved image quality
  • Face detection, smile detection, and blink detection
  • Built-in GPS and motion sensors
  • Livestreaming at 1080p
  • 4K video footage at 60fps or 1080p/240fps at up to a 100Mbps bitrate
  • A collection of mod accessories that make the camera even more usable and user-friendly

gopro hero 8 features

It's worth mentioning the HyperSmooth 2.0 is available for all resolutions and frame rates, which was not the case in the Hero 7.

What's more, it now features "boost mode" that gives you even more stabilized shots than the default setting. Boost mode does crop the image a little more, but in some cases it might be a worthy trade-off.

See the GoPro Hero 8 Black in action in the video below by Adorama:

TimeWarp's upgrade is also worth mentioning because the auto feature means you no longer have to guess what speed to record the video.

In the Hero 7, for example, I have to set a speed (i.e., 5x), record some footage, and see how it looks. But with this auto feature, the camera handles speed adjustments.

GoPro also incorporated a "real-time" button that allows you to move from TimeWarp into regular video that results in having a slow-motion sequence amidst a regular-speed video.

gopro hero 8 price

One of the most exciting features isn't even about the GoPro itself, but the new accessories available for it.

As mentioned above, GoPro has created a variety of mod accessories that extend the usefulness of the Hero 8.

At this time, these accessories include:

  • A 200 lumen light mod
  • A display mod with a fold-out screen
  • A media mod with a built-in shotgun mic, two cold shoes, a 3.5mm audio jack, and HDMI connectivity

gopro media mod

I'm certain more mods are to come, but if you ask me, the best of the bunch is the media mod.

Before, you had to buy tons of different accessories to equal the same functionality as this single mod, so that one in particular will be a popular must-have for GoPro 8 owners.

I'll be testing the GoPro 8 in earnest in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for a comprehensive review.

gopro hero 8 specs

In the meantime, I think GoPro has made a huge step forward toward making the Hero line much more than an action camera.

Particularly with their new mods, it's now an even better option for vlogging and creating other video content. It's easier to use to boot, which should draw in more people that heretofore have stayed away from GoPro.

Time will tell just how good the Hero 8 is, but first impressions are that it is well worth the $399.99 price tag.

gopro max 1

If you're looking for something a little different, GoPro also released the GoPro MAX today, a lightweight action camera the gives you basically three cameras in one body.

Not only can you capture videos and photos, but you can also take 360-degree videos.

It has six microphones built into its body that give you premium 360-degree audio to go with it.

gopro max 2

There's a front-facing screen for easy vlogging, a large touchscreen LCD just like on the Hero 8, and is waterproof up to 16 feet.

You'll find the same digital lenses, GPS, motion sensors, HyperSmooth, TimeWarp, and scene detection features as on the Hero 8 as well.

But on the MAX, HyperSmooth takes it up a notch because it uses 180-degree capture as a buffer. The result is MAX HyperSmooth, which gives you even better image stabilization than in the Hero 8. Now that's impressive!

gopro max 3

The GoPro MAX has other interesting tools and features as well:

  • Horizon leveling, so you can get level, smooth footage whether the camera is upright, upside down, or sideways
  • PowerPano, which creates distortion-free 270-degree panoramic photos
  • 360-degree video in 5.6K/30fps
  • 16.6-megapixel 360-degree photos

So, again, it seems GoPro is trying to position itself not just as an action camera company, but one that offers cameras that can go anywhere, do anything, and appeal to a very broad base of users.

It seems that whichever of these cameras you choose (the MAX is $499.99), you'll have a lot of fun features to play with that will help boost the creativity of your photos and videos.

Via Engadget and Adorama



We Recommend


Portable Lighting Tips

Portable Lighting Tips

Photo by Gabriela Palai from Pexels

The GoPro Hero 8 action cameras are amazing tools for regular still imaging and video in addition to their obvious usage for action endeavors. Add some of the new ultra compact portable lighting equipment and you have a complete A/V photo rig that could quite literally fit in your pocket. 

Well, if the pockets are a little oversized and heavy duty...like the ones on my favorite pair of cargo shorts that I’ve been wearing so often lately. Yes, besides being a world class photographer and videographer, I am also a fashion maven. 

Portable Lighting For Photography and Videography

photography lighting gear

As you start using your GoPro Hero 8 action camera for projects other than surfing, bull riding, and hang gliding, you will quickly run into a need for portable lighting to enable you to get the best quality videos and images. Or you may want to employ some advanced lighting techniques you’ve already learned to do with your regular photography lighting gear.

An issue with much of my regular photography lighting gear being used with my GoPro Hero 8 is the size of the lights and stands. Plus, the fact several of them must be plugged into a power outlet.

That simply won’t do with the reason I’m using the GoPro for some things in the first place. I take out my GoPro for those photo or video shoots where I don’t want to lug around a lot of extra gear due to their size and weight. So, truly portable photography lighting gear is in order.

 

Recommended Portrait Lighting Reading:

 

LitraPro Ultra Portable Lighting 

portable lighting

LitraPro battery powered LED light from Litra is an ultra portable solution for your portable photography lighting needs. 

The light is controllable via bluetooth on Apple or Android, so you can adjust as you need remotely, just like you already can control the GoPro Hero 8 with the GoPro smartphone app. This makes for a highly portable and versatile camera and lighting rig.

LitraPro is an LED light, very cool operating and extremely power efficient. Battery charge lasts for up to an hour on full power, and an incredible 10 hours on the lowest power setting. Recharges quickly with the supplied micro-USB power charger/adapter that can also be used as a power cord.

portable photography lighting 1

 photo by subman via iStock 

It is rugged, too, just like you want in order to pair it as portable lighting for photography with the GoPro Hero 8 action cam. Shockproof and waterproof to 27 meters or 90 feet. It meets the military specs 810G MIL SPECS for extreme use. So you can use it in conditions that you may put your GoPro Hero 8 in for photography or video. 

The color temperature is adjustable from warm to cool, 3000K to 6000K. That’s a function you can control remotely, so you can balance it to the ambient lighting of the scene. It is pretty bright, too, 1200 lumen. A lot brighter than its small size would lead you to believe at first. 

There are multiple mounting options to attach the LitraPro to a variety of cameras, mounts, or stands. 

Learn More:

OctoPad Camera and Accessory Mounting System

photography lighting 1

Ever since I found the OctoPad camera and accessory mount, I can’t stop talking about it. Yeah, I’m that guy in the camera club. But it really is one of the neatest small and inexpensive items in my camera gear bag.

What is OctoPad? It is a weighted semi soft pad that sticks to most surfaces via friction alone. No clamps, no suction cups. It won’t slide on an angle of up to 45 degrees. A ¼-20 thread on top allows for adding a photographic gear item directly to it or you can add a ball and socket head or adjustable arm to it for more versatility. 

The OctoPad is small enough and cheap enough to keep two or three on hand anywhere. I have a couple in my car as well as some in with my other GoPro gear and portable lighting.

The Ultimate Portable Video and Photography Rig

photography lighting 2

There you have it. A combined weight less than my latest DSLR camera and lens upgrade. Extremely rugged and also waterproof. Controllable remotely from smartphone apps. This is an amazingly versatile compact set up for portable lighting to accompany your GoPro Hero 8 to use for still imaging and videography.

portable lighting for photography 2

 photo by marekuliasz via iStock 

Once you try out this rig, you’ll be that person in the camera club, too. As an alternative to carrying around your regular photography gear for some projects, it’s hard to beat. 

Show us what you have captured with your GoPro Hero 8 and the LitraPro plus OctoPad portable lighting gear. 

Learn More:

 



We Recommend


Selecting the Right Camera for Shooting Video

Selecting the Right Camera for Shooting Video

Photo by Jakub Gorajek on Unsplash

The first time I picked out a camera for shooting video I had no idea what I was looking for. Most cameras aren’t marketed for videographers, which means there’s much less information out there for us. 

While I appreciate the many ways a camera can be used for still photos, sometimes I’d like to know more about a camera’s video capabilities than what it can do for stills. 

Plus, it seems the most expensive cameras are always marketed for videographers, which means if I’m in the market for a budget camera for shooting video, there’s truly no info out there. 

As such, I’ve compiled a list of a wide range of the best cameras for vlogging, from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. 

Panasonic Lumix G7 (Best Inexpensive Option)

panasonic 1

The Panasonic Lumix G7 is 4 years old, which means its price has significantly decreased to where it now sits (less than $500), but it isn’t yet so out-of-date that it isn’t extremely useful.

The Lumix G7 features a 3” touchscreen that is fully articulated for those of us who aren’t just vlogging behind a computer desk. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and an external microphone port.

The Lumix G7 can also be controlled remotely with your smartphone, which is helpful for one-man video operations. This is truly why it is one of the best cameras for vlogging on the market, even 4 years after it dropped. 

Of course, it can’t shoot 4K video due to its age and price point, but it still features a high video bit rate of 100mbps. 

Plus, while it’s a great beginner camera, it can also function for those of us who are more advanced in our careers, i.e. it isn’t frustrating for a seasoned pro. 

panasonic 2

Pros of Panasonic Lumix G7:

  • 3840 x 2160 video resolution
  • 3” fully articulated screen
  • Lightweight at less than 1 lb
  • Built-in Wi-Fi 

Cons of Panasonic Lumix G7:

  • Can’t shoot 4K video
  • No image stabilization
  • Short battery life (especially with video)

You can buy a Panasonic Lumix G7 for only $450 here.  

Sony A7 III (Best Advanced Camera)

sony 1

If you’re in the market for mirrorless cameras for video, then look no further.  

The Sony A7 III is a full frame mirrorless with in-body image stabilization. But, most importantly, it features 4K video capabilities, a microphone jack, Real Time Eye Autofocus (for vloggers), and it stores video clips of up to 29 minutes. 

Beyond that, you can choose from two different 4K bitrates (24p and 30p) at either 100MBPS or 60MBPS, S-Log includes, and excellent ISO performance. Plus, the full frame sensor is a huge bonus at this price point, so you don’t have to worry about that pesky crop for video like other cameras in this price range have.

sony 2

Pros of Sony A7 III:

  • 4K video
  • Microphone/headphone inputs
  • Large battery life
  • In-body image stabilization 

Cons of Sony A7 III:

  • 3” screen isn’t fully articulated and has limited touchscreen capabilities
  • Not weather-resistant

You can purchase the Sony A7 III on Samys Camera for $1,800. 

Learn More:

GoPro HERO 8 Black (Best Rugged Option) 

gopro 1

We all know what this camera for shooting video is known for - image stabilization. 

But, the latest GoPro edition has a surprising amount of features, including 4K video capabilities, accessories called “Mods,” which include a mini shotgun microphone connection, a selfie-screen, and a video light connection, and an incredibly easy-to-use interface. 

It’s clear to see that GoPro can now be used as an all-around camera for shooting video, instead of being forced into the action niche as it was for so long.

gopro 2

Pros of GoPro HERO 8:

  • 4K video capabilities at up to 60fps
  • Incredible image stabilization
  • One of the best vlogging cameras due to new selfie-screen 

Cons of GoPro HERO 8:

  • Not for still photographers
  • Can’t perform well in low-light situations

You can get a GoPro HERO 8 BlacK for just $350 on Samys Camera, and the best part is it’s a GoPro kit which includes a tripod, a head strap for insane outdoor activities (skydiving, anyone?), and an extra battery!

If this informs you of anything, it’s that there are plenty of options - and varied ones at that - for investing in a high-quality camera for shooting video without busting your budget.

Whether you’re on a strict budget, want an affordable full fram option, or need something rugged to take with you on your adventures, any one of these cameras can fulfill your needs while keeping more money in your bank account.

What’s not to like about that?!

Learn More:

No Matter the Camera, You Need a Great Light...

top on camera video lights

Whether you opt for a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or action cam for your video recording, you need to have a top-quality light to help you get the best results.

Personally, I use the Litra Torch LitraPro, which I reviewed a few months ago.

The LitraPro is mid-range in terms of price, ringing in at $220, but top-shelf in terms of its capabilities.

Each LitraPro is comprised of 60 individual LED lights, which is pretty impressive considering the overall size of 2.75 x 2 x 1.2 inches. 

You can also adjust the color temperature between 3000K and 6000K and it has 1200 lumens of output.

One of my favorite qualities on the LitraPro is that it's waterproof up to 90 feet. It also has dual industry-standard 1/4 20 mounts.

If you run the LitraPro for an hour at max output, the battery will last you one hour. But, if you run it at min output, that extends to 10 hours.

The LitraPro comes with full dimming capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity too. 

Litra products are built like you're heading into a warzone, which I really appreciate. The LitraPro is no different. This on-camera video light has been MIL-SPEC 810 tested, and for those of you who don't know, this test is used by the U.S. military to determine whether a product is ready to be shocked, thrown, dropped and put into extreme temperatures.

The 1200 lumens on this light extend up to 9.5 feet. It also features a 70-degree beam angle, which means it provides flicker-free light at any angle. 

In other words, this is the ideal little light for your video production needs!

Learn More About Litra Torch LitraPro



We Recommend


Shooting Video in the Field: Top GoPro Video Tips

Shooting Video in the Field Top GoPro Video Tips

photo bywundervisuals via iStock

Your new GoPro HERO 8 is an extremely versatile action camera for still imaging and video. Shooting video is a new practice for many new action cam users, here are some tips for shooting video with GoPro cameras. 

Some of the GoPro video tips cover the different camera modes, other tips for shooting video will list some helpful GoPro HERO 8 accessories and a few methods and techniques that I have found useful for anyone shooting video for the first time. 

GoPro Video Modes

gopro video tips 1

photo byDavid Arment via iStock

A lot of vital extra instruction and GoPro video tips can be found on the GoPro community pages. This is a fantastic resource for beginners and experienced users alike, I wish more camera manufacturers had something like this. 

A few of the video modes of the GoPro HERO 8 are Quick Capture, Timelapse, and Video Presets. 

Quick Capture is the simplest mode there is. One press of the shutter button will power up the camera and start recording with whatever settings you last used. No lost footage of swiftly appearing video subjects, just pick up the camera and shoot. 

gopro video tips 2

photo byRene Jansen via iStock

Timelapse is a whole lot of fun for me. This allows you to capture a short video of things that may take a while to unfold. Some beautiful videos I’ve seen from others are of nature trails, sunrises and sunsets, and ocean views.  

The 4 preset video modes for the GoPro are Standard, which records 1080p at 60 fps with the lens in Wide. Activity, 2.7K at 60 fps with SuperView lens, an ultra wide view. Cinematic, the highest quality mode with 4K at 30 fps and the Linear lens. Finally Slo-Mo, 1080p at 240 fps which captures motion 8 times slower.

Even though there is  mode labeled Standard, I find myself using Activity and Cinematic most often. Activity because it gives the GoPro look and ultra wide SuperView lens. Cinematic because it provides the absolute best quality video available. 

 

Recommended Videography Reading:

 

Keep It Steady 

shooting video 3

photo by swissmediavision via iStock 

Let me be perfectly honest here. Even though the GoPro HERO 8 is an action cam, and is designed to be used in motion, shaky camera footage will take me right out of viewing a video, even my own videos.

You can capture motion smoothly, without that shakiness in so many videos. Camera mounts are the key. Here are two I found useful.

OctoPad Camera and Accessory Mount

OctoPad

One of the most useful and inexpensive camera accessories for shooting video with GoPro I have is the OctoPad Camera and Accessory Mount. It is a weighted semi rigid pad with a non-slip bottom and an accessory mount on top. I usually use mine with a small ball and socket head, an articulated arm is another idea.

The mount simply sits where you place it. No suction cups, no clamps, no extending legs. It stays put on surfaces of many types and at angles of up to 45 degrees. You can use it to hold the camera, a microphone, or video lighting. 

Learn More:

HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount

HandlePod 3 Axis Action Cam Mount

Sometimes shooting video, you just have to hold the camera in your hands. The HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount can be used in a variety of ways but I like it as a hand grip.

The GoPro cameras and other action cams are small and kind of oddly shaped compared to our regular cameras such as a DSLR or mirrorless camera. This makes them a little difficult to hold in our hands.

One of the configurations for the HandlePod is similar to a pistol grip, so this puts the camera and us in a very comfortable position to hand hold. 

Light It Up

Litra Torch 2.0

A primary consideration for any video production, regardless of camera, is exposure and lighting. For a good looking GoPro video, you will do the same as you would for another video you shoot. Sometimes that will mean adding a video light. 

Since the GoPro is portable and versatile, you want a lamp with similar characteristics. Litra makes a portable, battery powered, rugged LED video light that fits those requirements. The Litra Torch 2.0 is also very small and lightweight, another plus for pairing with your GoPro HERO 8 accessories.

Other GoPro Video Tips

shooting video with gopro 4

photo by lzf via iStock 

Shooting video with a GoPro action cam will open up your creative thoughts. That will result in videos that viewers will enjoy. They will want to see more from you, so you might want to think about creating your own YouTube channel. 

Basic video production methods and ideas will work with your GoPro camera. You will want to compose your videos in a way that is viewable. Since shooting video with GoPro cameras already gives you awesome features such as SuperView, use that to your advantage.

The Cinematic mode is super high quality. Use it as your prime footage or add it to your video from other cameras as B-Roll footage. You can even shoot your B-Roll at the same time you're filming A-Roll. 

A tried and true method that really makes for good videos whether or not you’re adding in B-Roll is storyboarding. A storyboard is an outline, more or less, of what you’re going to shoot and in what order you will be shooting video. 

shooting video with gopro 5

photo by smolaw11 via iStock 

In your storyboard, plan out all your shots, close ups, establishing shots, A-Roll and B-Roll, so that when it’s time to start actually shooting video, you can do so efficiently. This will also save you time when it’s time for editing.

Keep Your GoPro Ready All The Time

gopro hero 8 accessories 6

photo by DaveLongMedia via iStock 

A great feature of the GoPro cameras and the GoPro HERO 8 accessories is that they are small and simple. They can be ready to shoot in a moment, and that video is very high quality. 

Keep your GoPro and the accessories charged up, with media ready to record, and you will be shooting video that others will want to see again and again. 

Learn More: 

 



We Recommend


The 14 Best GoPro Accessories in 2019

best accessories for goproPhoto by AleksandarNakic via iStock

One of the best features of a GoPro is its portability and its functionality as a still camera and video camera is off the charts.

But if you want to extract every ounce of potential out of your GoPro, you need to add a few accessories to your GoPro kit.

This list offers a look at some of the best GoPro accessories you can get your hands on in 2019.

Best GoPro Accessories - Spare Batteries

gopro battery

When you're out adventuring and filming for hours on end, the batteries in your GoPro drain rather quickly.

Thus the need for a spare battery...

Actually, pick up a couple of spare batteries so you're never without juice!

Learn more about the GoPro Rechargeable Battery

Best GoPro Accessories -  HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount

The great thing about the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount is that you can use it in a variety of ways, depending on what the situation calls for.

It's a fantastic grip for shooting handheld video, but it also deploys as a stand to act like a mini tripod (as shown above). It even comes with an elastic cord for lashing it to objects like trees or fenceposts.

So whether you're indoors or out, stationary or on the move, the HandlePod can help you get steady and stable video with your GoPro.

Learn more about the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Camera Mount

Best GoPro Accessories - Litra Torch LitraPro

One of the keys to making great videos is having great lighting, and when it comes to that, look no further than the Litra Torch LitraPro.

This little guy has 60 LEDs that put out 1200 lumens of light. Not only that, but the light is bi-color and adjustable from 3000 to 6000 Kelvin.

It's only 2.75 x 2 x 1.2 inches and weighs just 6 ounces, too, so it's a perfect accessory for a GoPro!

Learn more about the Litra Torch LitraPro

Best GoPro Accessories - RODE VideoMicro

Alongside great lighting, you need great audio to really make your GoPro videos shine.

There's no better accessory to do that than the RODE VideoMicro.

This tiny shotgun mic is compact and lightweight, yet the quality of the audio it records is clear and crisp. Often, when you're out shooting, there's a ton of peripheral noise, but with this little gadget's directional mic, you'll get the focused audio you want from your primary subject.

Learn more about the RODE VideoMicro

Top GoPro Accessories - GoPro Adventure Kit

gopro adventure kit

This kit has everything you need for taking your GoPro on land, in the air, or on the water.

There's a floating handgrip, a head strap, and a quick clip for attaching it to a hat.

What more could you want from an action cam accessory?!

Learn more about the GoPro Adventure Kit

Best GoPro Accessories - GoPro Suction Cup Mount

gopro suction cup mount 

Having a suction cup allows you to place your GoPro on all sorts of surfaces, like your car or boat.

This thing is industrial-strength, too, with the ability to remain mounted at speeds up to 150 mph.

The adjustable arm allows for compact mounting and the quick release base means you can easily remove it, too.

Learn more about the GoPro Suction Cup Mount

Best GoPro Accessories - GoPro Floating Hand Grip

gopro floating hand grip

If you plan to spend any time in the water with your GoPro, a floating hand grip like the one shown above is a must-have.

Not only does it give you a solid grip on your GoPro, but its quick-release base makes switching between mounts super easy and fast, too.

The bright orange end of the handle makes for spotting it on the surface of the water an easy task as well.

Learn more about the GoPro Floating Hand Grip

Best GoPro Accessories - GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter

A downer about the GoPro is that you have to have one of these adapters if you want to use an external mic.

And as I mentioned earlier, you need an external mic to get good audio.

So, this is a must-have accessory not because it's especially cool, but you really can't create videos with epic sound without one!

Learn more about the GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter

BEST GOPRO ACCESSORIES - GOPRO DUAL BATTERY CHARGER

Having a spare battery isn't good enough. Instead, you need a quick charger so you can keep your batteries charged up and ready to rock.

This unit allows you to charge two batteries at once, and gives you charging options via a USB port or a GoPro Supercharger

Learn more about the GoPro Dual Battery Charger

Best GoPro Accessories - Ulanzi V2 Vlog Protective Housing Case

This case is a must for having a microphone with your GoPro.

Not only does this case have a cold-shoe mount for the mic, but it also has a spot to hold the 3.5mm microphone adapter nicely tucked directly beneath the GoPro.

This rig is compatible with GoPro HERO 7, 6, and 5, and you can mount the case in a number of different ways, from your bike helmet to a chest belt to a monopod or selfie stick.

It's lightweight, portable, and fits the GoPro like a glove, so you don't have to worry about a clunky case getting in the way of your fun.

Learn more about the Ulanzi V2 Vlog Protective Housing Case

Best GoPro Accessories - Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card

A fast memory card is a must for shooting GoPro videos, and the Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I certainly doesn't disappoint.

It's got plenty of storage, that's for sure, and with lightning-fast read/write speeds of up to 100MB/s, you won't have to sit around and wait for it to do its thing.

In fact, it'll transfer a 3GB video to your computer in 38 seconds. Nice!

This card is also waterproof, temperature resistant, X-ray proof, and has a 10-year warranty. Not bad, right?

Learn more about the Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card

Best GoPro Accessories - GoPro Chesty Mount

gopro chesty mount

When you're hiking, biking, or otherwise need your hands free, a GoPro chesty mount is the way to get awesome footage.

This mount is made of lightweight and breathable fabric, so it won't bog you down or make you sweat as you adventure around.

There's a quick-release buckle for easy on and off, and with an adjustable strap, it can accommodate just about any body type.

Learn more about the GoPro Chesty Mount

Best Accessories for GoPro - GoPro Fetch

gopro fetch 

For those of you that adventure with your dog, a GoPro Fetch is certainly one of the best accessories money can buy.

With options to mount on your dog's back or chest, you can get footage from a dog's point of view that adds unique flair to your videos.

It's comfortable, won't inhibit Fido's ability to move, and is machine washable.

Learn more about the GoPro Fetch

Best GoPro Accessories - GoPro Smart Remote

gopro smart remote

Though a variety of GoPros can be controlled with your phone, your phone isn't exactly built for the rough-and-tumble adventure lifestyle.

Instead, if you want a remote that's wearable, rugged, and waterproof, pick up the GoPro Smart Remote.

Heck, this thing will control up to 50 GoPros at once from up to 180 meters away, so you can make some truly incredible videos!

Learn more about the GoPro Smart Remote



We Recommend


Top 10 GoPro Accessories for Video Creators

top gopro accessories for video creators

I just picked up a GoPro HERO 7 Black not that long ago, and after taking it on a recent trip to Death Valley, I'm all in on the action camera thing.

I had so much fun shooting video with this thing - particularly the TimeWarp feature.

Anyway, in the weeks since I got my new GoPro, I've been testing out some accessories for it and wanted to share my thoughts on the to p10 GoPro accessories I've been able to get my hands on thus far.

Let's get started!

Table of Contents

Top GoPro Accessories: RODE VideoMicro ($59.00)

top accessories for gopro videomicro

This tiny shotgun microphone is perfect for a GoPro.

It's compact and lightweight, but audio quality isn't sacrificed. In fact, it has a high-quality cardioid condenser mic capsule so you can get clear, crisp audio.

And since it's a directional mic, it minimizes sounds from the periphery so your video has focused audio from the subject.

Add to that a thermoplastic suspension structure for minimizing vibrations as you adventure around with your GoPro, and you have the ideal audio companion for the best adventura camera on the market!

Learn more about the RODE VideoMicro

Top GoPro Accessories: RODE WS9 Windshield ($25.00)

top accessories for gopro windshield

There's no point in investing in a better microphone if all it picks up is the sound of the wind rushing by...

The WS9 is inexpensive, but packs a solid punch for ensuring you get the best quality audio.

With an open-cell foam enclosure covered with synthetic fur, this sucker does its job to perfection. After all, that's why it's one of my picks for the best GoPro accessories on the market today.

Learn more about the RODE WS9 Windshield

Top GoPro Accessories: Ulanzi V2 Vlog Protective Housing Case ($15.95)

top accessories for gopro ulanzi protective case

This case is a must for having a microphone with your GoPro.

Not only does this case have a cold-shoe mount for the mic, but it also has a spot to hold the 3.5mm microphone adapter nicely tucked directly beneath the GoPro.

This rig is compatible with GoPro HERO 7, 6, and 5, and you can mount the case in a number of different ways, from your bike helmet to a chest belt to a monopod or selfie stick.

It's lightweight, portable, and fits the GoPro like a glove, so you don't have to worry about a clunky case getting in the way of your fun.

Learn more about the Ulanzi V2 Vlog Protective Housing Case

Top GoPro Accessories: GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter ($49.99)

top gopro accessories for video creators 3.5mm adapter

In order to use an external mic with a GoPro, you need one of these things.

Personally, I find it really annoying that you need to shell out $50 bucks for one of these when it would have been better for GoPro just to include the 3.5mm mic port to start with!

But..good luck finding one of these for $50, as they have been out of stock for some time. I had to buy mine from someone on eBay for $106. Yikes!

Learn more about the GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter

Top GoPro Accessories: Andycine Mini Hot-Shoe Stand ($36.99)

best accessories for gopro andycine hot shoe

If you have hot-shoe accessories you want to add to your GoPro, this little stand is a must-have.

Use it to mount a mic, LED lights, flash, or camera monitor to your GoPro...you name it!

It offers a 176-degree viewing angle with a base that rotates 360-degrees for optimal functionality.

Making adjustments is simple with 3 M3 knots and an Allen key to get things just how you want them.

Additionally, since the GoPro has such a wide-angle of view, you need to get your microphone or other accessories out of the way.

This rig puts more distance between your accessories and the GoPro to get them out of frame. 

Learn more about the Andycine Mini Hot-Shoe Stand

Top GoPro Accessories: Litra Torch LitraPro ($220.00)

Yes, the Litra Torch LitraPro is one of the more expensive GoPro accessories on this list, but it is also far and away one of the best GoPro accessories you can get your hands on...

That's because the GoPro has never been good in low-light situations. If you'll be filming without much light, you absolutely must have a light like this.

Just get a load of these specs:

  • 60 LEDs
  • 1200 lumens of output
  • Bi-color with adjustable color temperature
  • 70-degree beam angle
  • 95 CRI
  • Size: 2.75 x 2 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 6 ounces

litra gopro

So, yeah, the LitraPro is a powerhouse despite being so small. But, hey, that small size is precisely what makes it an ideal companion for a GoPro.

This thing puts out so much light, and the fact that it's adjustable from 3000K to 6000K should not be overlooked.

I did a full review on this rig a few weeks ago. Check it out here to see why this is the best light money can buy!

Learn more about the Litra Torch LitraPro

Top GoPro Accessories: HandlePod 3-Axis Action Cam Mount ($29.95)

must have gopro accessories for video creators handlepod

You might have never heard of the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Camera Mount, but I have to tell you it's one of my favorite GoPro Accessories for a couple of reasons.

For starters, it's like a Swiss Army Knife for action cameras. With its 3-axis configuration, I can use it as a grip, as a stand, and even mount it to things like a bicycle or a tree. I can hold onto it in from of me for vlogging, set it atop my desk (as shown above)...you name it!

Secondly, it's inexpensive - about $20.00 less than my beloved GorillaPod.

So, not only is the HandlePod more versatile, it's also far less expensive. What's not to like about that?!

Learn more about the HandlePod 3-Axis Action Camera Mount

Top GoPro Accessories: Joby GorillaPod 3k ($49.88)

must have gopro accessories joby

Another must-have GoPro accessory is the Joby GorillaPod 3K.

This multi-use tripod can support just about any device that weighs less than 6.6 pounds, so if you have a light, microphone, or other accessory, or if you want to use it to support the GoPro itself, this mini tripod is up to the task.

It comes with a Ball Head 3K with a separate pan joint so you can position the camera or accessory just how you need or like. You can also use the GorillaPod 3K as a grip or wrap its legs around sturdy objects for hands-free filming.

Learn more about the Joby GorillaPod 3K

Top GoPro Accessories: GoPro Dual Battery Charger ($49.00)

best gopro accessories battery charger

Not only does this charger enable quick charging of two GoPro batteries, but it also comes with a spare battery in the first place!

You can charge the batteries via a USB port or for up to 45 percent faster charging, you can add a GoPro Supercharger to the equation.

GoPro batteries can drain fast, so having a backup that's fully charged and a means of recharging the batteries quickly is an absolute must.

Learn more about the GoPro Dual Battery Charger

Top GoPro Accessories: Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card ($23.99)

samsung memory card

A fast memory card is a must for shooting GoPro videos, and the Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I certainly doesn't disappoint.

It's got plenty of storage, that's for sure, and with lightning-fast read/write speeds of up to 100MB/s, you won't have to sit around and wait for it to do its thing.

In fact, it'll transfer a 3GB video to your computer in 38 seconds. Nice!

This card is also waterproof, temperature resistant, X-ray proof, and has a 10-year warranty. Not bad, right?

Learn more about the Samsung 128GB EVO UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card

Top GoPro Accessories Honorable Mention: Wiral LITE Cable Cam ($399.00)

wiral cam

I just got this thing, so I haven't had a chance to fully test it.

However, in the little time I've had to play around with it, I can tell it's going to be a rockstar GoPro accessory for me.

It's billed as the world's first easy-to-use cable cam system, and so far, I wholeheartedly agree that it's easy to use.

It's just a simple rope system that takes about three minutes to set up, but it gets your viewers close to the action with smooth, long video sequences that you'd expect from a much bigger and pricier unit.

Check out the video above to see what I mean - this thing is totally awesome!

Learn more about the Wiral LITE Cable Cam



We Recommend


Top Camera Remotes for 2019

top camera remotes foolography 1

It’s incredible how far camera remotes have come. Back in the olden days (aka back in the 90s) all camera remotes were capable of doing was triggering the shutter. 

And while the original camera remotes were designed to perform this simple task, the top camera remotes for 2019 do so much more.

Sure, the top camera remotes lessen the vibrations on a camera to improve sharpness, but they also feature things like automated time-lapse shooting and remote control over camera settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Having a capable camera remote is a Godsend when you’re in the field, whether you need to be in on a family portrait or whether you want to set up a day-to-night timelapse and adjust the camera settings remotely from the comfort of your camp chair. 

So, without further ado, here are PhotographyTalk’s top camera remotes for 2019.

Foolography UNLEASHED

best camera remotes foolography

One of the most important qualities I look for when I’m shopping for wireless camera remotes is whether or not they are accompanied by an app for my phone. 

I’ve used a DSLR camera remote before that wasn’t app compatible, and I’ll never do it again.

The Foolography UNLEASHED camera remote has one of the most streamlined apps I’ve ever used. 

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You can change the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO from the companion app.

You can make timelapse videos (with day-to-night transitions!), from the app too.

You can also shoot long exposures and start and stop video recording from this app.

You can even geotag your photos in-camera.

And the kicker? It works for up to 6 cameras at a time.

Aside from the many ways this camera remote allows you to actually be remote, it also is tiny, which I appreciate given my propensity to bring way too much of my gear with me to each shoot.

Check it out on the UNLEASHED website. 

Hahnel Inspire

top camera remotes hahnel inspire

While I just spent a minute bragging about how all of my top camera remotes have easy to use smartphone apps, the liveview screen on the Hahnel Inspire makes up for its lack of one. 

This DSLR camera remote comes with a 3.5 inch color LCD display that allows you to view your photographs in real time up to 196 feet away. 

Plus, it saves the past 99 images for you to quickly scroll through. 

The Inspire can’t handle quite as many cameras as the UNLEASHED, but it still works with up to 4 cameras at a time. 

Get more details about the Hahnel Inspire for Nikon and Canon

Nikon WR-1

mirrorless camera remotes nikon 

For shooting in highly trafficked areas (think tourist destinations or sports games) you can’t go wrong with the Nikon WR-1. 

While other top camera remotes only have one or two channels, this Nikon WR-1 has 15 so you know you’ll be able to get a clear signal even when other photographers are hogging the space.

It also works up to a whopping 394 feet away, which is helpful for wildlife photographers that need to put some distance between themselves and their subjects.

Plus, this mirrorless camera remote can control 4 cameras at a time and can sync those cameras in order to snap the same moment from different angles (again, a nice quality for wildlife photographers).  

You can also power the Nikon WR-1 directly with the camera, or with 2 AA batteries, so it will be really difficult to run this one out of power!

Learn more about the Nikon WR-1 remote

Sony RM-VPR1

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While the other top camera remotes on this list are incredibly high-tech and powerful, for those of you who like to keep things simple and old school, the Sony RM-VPR1 is for you.

It does exactly what it’s supposed to do and not much else, which is to say it allows you to control the shutter release, optical zoom, digital zoom, and bulb modes on your DSLR.

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It’s cheap and effective, but don’t expect to be hundreds of feet away from your camera while using it because the cord is 31.5 inches long.

Nevertheless, this remote makes our list of the best camera remotes because it offers excellent functionality and the price is hard to beat!

Get more details on the Sony RM-VPR1

GoPro Smart Remote

best camera remotes gopro

I couldn’t write a list of the top camera remotes for 2019 and not give a nod to GoPro, who has been surprisingly killing it with their smart remotes. 

Obviously, you can only use this smart remote with the GoPro line, but they’ve made it incredibly easy to do so. This camera remote controls all GoPro functions. 

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You can wear this smart remote as a watch, which works well with their branding and for you. You can also control an incredible 50 cameras at one time, each of which can be placed up to 600 feet from you.  

It’s also waterproof up to 33 feet.  

For the price, I think it’s foolish to own a GoPro without it!

See pricing and more details on the GoPro Smart Remote

Learn More:

 



We Recommend


Top Cameras for Video

Top Cameras for Video

Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash

The top cameras for video look very different depending on what you’re trying to shoot.  

If you’re trying to shoot action footage you’re going to need a very different camera than if you’re trying to shoot a vlog. 

As such, this article is broken down into the most popular videography categories, so you can easily see the top cameras for video for you.  

Top Cameras for Video: Action Cams

best cameras for video 1

The best action cam for video is typically the GoPro because it’s cheap, effective and versatile. I bought my first GoPro around 5 years ago and never looked back. 

The best thing about videos for action is that they’re simple. Typically the top cameras for video are chock full of different features; this is not so for the best action cam for video. It needs to be ready to go at the touch of a button.

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But, I truly think the most important feature of a camera meant for action is that it’s durable. There’s no point in buying a camera for action if it isn’t going to be able to take in all of that action, so it should be waterproof, drop-resistant and have a good battery life.

As HowToUsePOVcameras explains in the video above, the GoPro HERO8 Black has all of these features and more. It can last between 1 and 3 hours on a single charge, it shoots 4K video, it’s waterproof up to 30 feet and I’ve accidentally thrown my fair share of GoPros down mountains.

 

 

Top Cameras for Video: Drones 

best drones for videos 3 

Drones are another category in the “top cameras for video” debate where I see a lot of people buying a lot of equipment they don’t need. Drones are expensive enough as is, there’s no need to purchase the most expensive one you can find because oftentimes the best drones for videos for most people are the mid-level ones.

In a way, the best drones for videos are basically only a step up from an action camera. 

One of the best drones for videos on the market right now is the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. 

best drones for videos 4 

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is on the more expensive side, but this is a drone you can grow into. It shoots incredible 4K video, weighs just 2 lbs and has a whopping 5-mile range. I think the 5-mile range alone puts the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom in the running to be one of the best drones for videos.

But, as I said it is expensive at around $1,300 new, so you’ll definitely want to check MPB to see if you can’t snag a used one to save some cash.  

Get a complete introduction to the Mavic 2 Zoom in the video above by Evan Thomas.

 

 

Learn More:

Top Cameras for Video: Vlogging

Top Cameras for Video 5 

Whether you’re looking for the best video camera for YouTube or you simply want to start making videos to put on your social media sites, there’s one place to start and that’s with the Canon PowerShot G7 X III. 

This camera features 4K video without any crop, a selfie-screen so you know you’re always 

getting the best shot, and a microphone input so you can livestream straight online.

 

 

Top Cameras for Video 6

Canon doesn’t have all of the top cameras for video, though, so you can also look to the Sony Alpha A6400 for all of your vlogging needs. 

This camera als features 4K video and a selfie screen, but my favorite quality about the Sony Alpha A6400, the quality that I think makes it the best mirrorless camera for video, is the fact that it features Sony's incredible AF system. You can use the Eye-AF mode to ensure your video is well focused.

 

 

Top Cameras for Video: Filmmaking 

best video camera for youtube 7

If you’ve been in the videography world for a while, or if you have clients that expect the absolute best of the best, then you may need one of the top cameras for video professionals.

One of the best cameras for video professionals on the market today is the Fujifilm X-T3.

It features 4K video at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24p (it can also capture Cinema 4K footage at the same speeds). It can capture 10-bit video internally as well. Get more specs on this camera in the video below by Max Yuryev

The only thing that this camera doesn’t feature is in-body image stabilization, which is going to be coming out with the Fujifilm X-T4. But, if you’re like us then you can view this as a positive too. As soon as the Fujifilm X-T4 drops, the price on the X-T3 is going to plummet.

You can pick up a Fujifilm X-T3 on MPB for as low as $925 right now, which at just $100 more than the Sony Alpha A6400 is an absolute steal. 

 

 

Learn More:

 



We Recommend


Top GoPro Accessories for Traveling

Top GoPro Accessories for Traveling

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Editor's Note: This article was written before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, travel right now is difficult, if not impossible. Let these suggestions for GoPro gear be advice for future travels. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.

As someone who purchased the very first GoPro ages ago, the amount of GoPro accessories currently available on the market is shocking.  

And as someone who travels frequently, all of my GoPro accessories for traveling are lifesavers. They ensure my more expensive photography gear isn’t stolen, while ensuring I also put out the same quality content my followers expect.

Here are my top GoPro accessories for 2020. 

Camera: GoPro HERO 8 Black

gopro accessories 1

There’s no point in purchasing GoPro accessories if you don’t already have a GoPro... 

I need to upgrade my GoPro every couple of years to ensure my footage is as crisp as possible, and honestly, I feel like the GoPro HERO 8 is the most improved GoPro to date.

First of all, it features 4K video, which is extremely impressive for something this small.

gopro accessories 2

Second, the inclusion of digital lenses allows you to vary your looks, from narrow to SuperView and points in between.

Third, Hypersmooth is now updated with a 2.0 version that does a better job of stabilizing your footage, even if you’re recording as you ride down a bumpy mountain biking trail.

Additionally, its low-light capabilities are nearly unprecedented. Of course, you get the same go-anywhere, do-anything ruggedness you expect.

Plus, it’s only $350, which is also unheard of in the photography gear industry. 

 

Recommended Photography Reading

 

Light: LitraPro

gopro for traveling 3

When shopping for GoPro accessories, especially if you’re planning on taking them traveling, the most important thing is portability. Is this accessory going to weigh you down? 

With the LitraPro, this isn’t an issue. First, the LitraPro only weighs 6oz, which is the equivalent of a hockey puck. It’s really, really tiny. 

However, that doesn’t mean it can’t perform. The LitraPro lasts for up to 10 hours on a single charge, is 100% dimmable, and features 1,200 lumens. That’s enough to easily light a space of up to 10 feet.

gopro for traveling 4 

It’s 2.8 x 2 x 1.2 inches, is drop resistant and waterproof up to 90 feet, and can mount directly to your GoPro. 

Plus, I’ve used my LitraPro for everything from underwater photography to light painting to portraits and everything in between. It’s extremely versatile! 

You can pick up yours for $220. 

Tripod: Octopad

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While the Octopad isn’t technically a tripod, it does work better than any tripod I’ve ever bought for under $30. 

The Octopad, like the rest of our GoPro accessories, is incredibly lightweight at 1.6 lbs and small at 6.5” across. 

You can use the Octopad as a mount for your GoPro or your lighting or your microphone because it doesn’t buckle under weight or slip on uneven surfaces due to its anti-slip technology. 

gopro accessories for traveling 6

When looking for travel photography accessories, you’re also looking for accessories that are cheap because the chances of getting your photography gear stolen or lost during travel is much higher. 

In this case, you’ll be happy to know that the Octopad is just $27, so if someone absconds with it, you can replace it on the cheap.

Learn More:

Handheld Mount: HandlePod

travel photography accessories 7

While shopping for GoPro accessories, make sure you purchase a mount to keep your videography stable.

I use the HandlePod for its $35 price tag, its portability (it fits in your pocket at just 4oz!), and its lifetime warranty.

 travel photography accessories 8

My favorite thing about the HandlePod is that it functions just like a more expensive handheld mount. It rotates 360 degrees, it doesn’t slip in your hand, and it's big enough to have a comfortable grip without being unwieldy.  

Plus, it can be used as a tabletop tripod when need be, and it can be lashed to things like trees or fence posts when you’re out filming and you need to work hands-free.

GoPro Floating Grip

travel photography accessories 9

I’m not frequently shooting in water, but when I am, I always wish I had the necessary GoPro accessories to make that shoot as easy as possible.

The GoPro floating grip allows me to shoot in water for the low price of $30, while maintaining stability in the choppiest of waters. 

It comes with a wrist strap, so you’re always sure you’re never going to lose your GoPro, and neon coloring just in case you do. 

Extra Batteries

travel photography accessories 10 

There’s no point in purchasing GoPro accessories if your actual GoPro runs out of steam.

For just $20, make sure you purchase extra GoPro batteries. 

Battery Charger

travel photography accessories 11

Just in case you forgot to purchase your extra GoPro batteries, the GoPro Dual Battery Charger charges up to 2 GoPro batteries at once to ensure you’re always ready to shoot.  

It’s only $50 and comes with a 1 year warranty. What’s not to love? 

Learn More:

 



We Recommend


Top Software and Gear Updates That Rocked 2019

Top Software and Gear Updates That Rocked 2019

photo byzeljkosantrac via iStock

It was a great year for photography, particularly on the software and gear fronts.

From camera accessories to post-processing software, camera bags to lighting gear, we saw tons of new, updated, and innovative products and services come to market in 2019.

It would be impossible to review everything that rocked the photography world this year, so we’ve done the next best thing and outlined more than a dozen of our favorite updates below. 

Luminar 4

skylum top software ai sky replacement 

I’ve been a big fan of Luminar going back to when it was called Luminar 2018. And when Luminar 3 came out, I got my copy and began enjoying it immediately.

Now Luminar 4 is here, and with a host of improvements and expanded capabilities, it is the best Luminar yet. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Luminar, let me give you a quick overview… 

It’s chock-full of revolutionary tools that help you create better photos, faster.

That’s thanks in large part to artificial intelligence that drives easy-to-use tools that streamline your workflow yet still give you pinpoint control over how your images look.

Joining tools like the Accent AI Filter and the AI Sky Enhancer from Luminar 3 is a suite of new AI-powered tools that take image editing to a whole new level.

skylum top software ai skin enhancer

For portrait enthusiasts, the AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer tools will revolutionize the way photo editing is done.

Using human-aware technology, the AI Skin Enhancer detects all the skin in a photo, smooths it out, removes blemishes, and does so while preserving the texture of the skin, pores, and hair.

It takes just one click to apply the Skin Enhancers edits, and then with a single slider you can adjust its strength for a picture-perfect result.

The AI Portrait Enhancer gives you a host of tools to quickly and easily make detailed changes to portraits, like whitening teeth and eyes, removing dark circles under eyes, and removing red eye, just to name a few. 

In all, the Portrait Enhancer includes twelve revolutionary tools that turn editing portraits into a process that takes a minute or less!

Luminar 4 has some goodies for landscape photographers as well. 

Primary among them is the AI Sky Replacement tool. 

As its name suggests, this tool replaces the sky in your photos automatically - there’s no masking or selections to be made on your part. 

The selection algorithms work so well, in fact, that it knows to exclude leaves, grass, and animals from the sky selection.

skylum top software sky replacement

Not only that, but this tool relights the entire image, that way the foreground matches the brightness of the new sky.

It’s advancements like this that make Luminar 4 one of the most powerful, easy-to-use editing programs on the planet today.

Need more convincing? Get Luminar 4 today and see for yourself!

Hakutatz Pocket Size RGB+AW LED Light

Gone are the days when you have to lug around huge lights to get the key light or fill light you need for awesome portraits.

Instead, companies like Hakutatz have developed powerful pocket-sized LED lights that give you the power to customize the type of lighting to your specific needs.

This particular light has RGB, amber, and white LEDs, so you can add accent colors to your photos and videos or dial in the ideal white balance by using the amber or white lights.

This light is completely adjustable, with controls for saturation, brightness, and color temperature. Better still, you can adjust the light’s settings via a well-designed and user-friendly smartphone app.

That means that with a simple touch or a swipe of your finger, you can fine-tune everything from the RGB color to special effects. You can even control multiple lights at the same time right from the app. No wonder their Kickstarter campaign was such a huge success!

hakutatz 3

Hakutatz literally puts the power to dial in complex lighting schemes in the palm of your hand, and does so in a way that’s clean, simple, and super functional. That’s by this little light rocked the photography world in 2019!

Be on the lookout for Hakutatz’ online store to have these lights in stock in December!

Learn more about the Hakutatz Pocket Size RGB+AW LED Light

Hazard 4® Cyclone™

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Framing shots with your action cam in direct sun can be frustrating; glare in your eyes and the camera’s tiny, reflective screen are really fatiguing. Blowing sand, water or snow don’t help. But the best action is shot outside - Cyclone™ is the first real solution.

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This patent-pending optic blocks the sun, but it’s lens also magnifies the screen and protects it. You effectively add mirrorless camera style composition and review to your tiny affordable GoPro or DJI action cam that survive where real mirrorless can’t. Better still, the viewfinder mounts to your action cam’s bottom screw in seconds, so there is no fumbling. But you’ll probably choose to keep it on since this little guy doubles as a tiltable handle - keeping fingers out of frame and for extension. With cheap additional hardware you can even head mount it for hands-free composition while biking, paragliding etc, and it tilts out of the way at will. 

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hazard 4 4

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The simple, waterproof, tough, design accordions flat for easy portability and flattened can be a selfie mini tripod. It has diopter focus - even helping out ageing eyes. The high-vis cap self closes to protect the lens. And you get a tether loop action cams don’t include.

hazard 4 6

Hazard 4® has a reputation for innovating outdoor photo accessories; the Cyclone™ is no exception. As usual they have gone above and beyond to design a multi-functional, easy to use bombproof solution to a common video shooter problem. Perhaps this may push GoPro® or DJI® to finally up the resolution on their LCD’s under magnification and drive the mirrorless wars into the action cam space. Either way, you don’t have to rely on the wide angle lens for your framing anymore- you can actually compose like a pro.

This device is currently on Kickstarter, with a fund date of January 7, 2020. Head over to Kickstarter now to learn more about this device.

The Camera Pack by Nomatic and Peter McKinnon

nomatic camera pack 1

Billed as a “functional camera pack for all types of travelers,” the Camera Pack by Nomatic and Peter McKinnon is certainly worthy of inclusion on this list. 

The Kickstarter campaign to fund this pack had a goal of $100,000. It raised nearly $2.3 million. That speaks to the reputation of Nomatic and Peter McKinnon! 

This bag is ridiculously well designed and has a functionality level that’s off the charts.

It’s designed to cure the woes of travel photographers who have to have one bag for their gear and another bag for their personal items.

nomatic camera pack 2

The Camera Pack solves this problem by having a clothing side and a gear side which are separated by an interior panel. This keeps everything neat and tidy so you aren’t rifling through the entire back when you need something. 

Better still, the bag has a “Cube Pack” inside, which serves as the ideal organizational module within the interior ecosystem. However, as the gif below shows, the Cube Pack converts to a daypack, so if you need to run and gun a little, you don’t have to take the larger Camera Pack with you. Ingenious!

nomatic camera pack 3

Overall, the Camera Pack can hold 35 liters of gear, but can be expanded to accommodate up to 42 liters of gear. That’s a lot of stuff! And with a full clamshell opening, you can see all the gear you’ve stowed away with ease. 

And everything is neatly organized thanks to a main camera compartment with moveable interior dividers. There’s a sleeve for your tablet, pockets for your camera accessories, and quick side access for easy retrieval of gear, too.

nomatic camera pack 4 

On the clothing side, there’s compression cubes for your clothes, compression straps to keep everything where it should be, and more pockets for smaller items.

This is just a really well designed and impeccably built backpack. And with the input of a photography expert like Peter McKinnon, you know that it’s been designed with photography needs in mind. 

Learn more about the Camera Pack by Nomatic and Peter McKinnon

GearFocus.com

gearfocus top software and gear updates 1 

If you buy and sell your used photography gear on places like Craigslist, you’re doing it all wrong. 

That’s because there are much better alternatives that take the hassle out of buying and selling used gear. GearFocus.com is certainly one of the best.

One of the top reasons GearFocus makes our list of the Top Software and Gear Updates is because they focused on building a community where people like you and I can buy quality used gear and get fair market value for stuff we sell.

Unlike other used gear sites, GearFocus doesn’t take a giant chunk of your profits when you sell your gear. Instead, they offer the lowest seller fees among B2C and C2C marketplaces, which means more money in your pocket when your item sells.

Additionally, GearFocus ensures each transaction is safe and secure by screening and monitoring every single post and transaction. Gear Focus was made by creatives, for creatives and they’ve been in this business long enough to be able to spot suspicious listings and red flags from a mile away. Without scammers creating fake listings, the buying and selling experience is enhanced so you can get the best deal on used gear and the most money for the items you sell.

Heck, they’ll even intervene on your behalf if something goes wrong! Having that kind of peace of mind alone is enough to land these guys on this list!

It’s not often that you find companies like this that prioritize community building and supporting one another over making a buck. That focus on customer service is just the icing on the cake for patrons of GearFocus. They are here to help FEED YOUR PASSION! 

Learn more about GearFocus.com

Litra Studio 

To say that the Litra Studio is powerful is an understatement. 

Weighing in at just 33.5 ounces and measuring 5.5" x 3.9" x 2.9", the Litra Studio is certainly easily transported without taking up a ton of space in your camera bag.

But don’t let its small size fool you - this light can produce over one million unique colors that will help you light up your portraits and videos.

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The Litra Studio can produce up to 3,000 lumens of continuous light and up to 6,00 lumens of flash. In CCT mode, you get 2,000-10,00K adjustable bi-color lighting with green and magenta color shift controls to allow for tunable blue and green screen optimization.

On top of that, this light is fully tunable and dimmable, and offers CCT, HSI, RGBWW, gel presets, flash modes, and effects, too.

The light it produces is clean and flicker-free at all shutter angles. The CRI and TLCI of 97 speak to its impeccable color accuracy.

Litra even made sure this light is rugged and durable. It’s waterproof, has highly efficient passive thermal management, and offers up to 20 hours of battery life on the low setting.

That makes this a go-anywhere, do-anything light that made huge waves in the photography world this year.

Learn more about the Litra Studio

GoPro HERO 8

While the GoPro HERO 8 doesn’t boast any major updates, it does represent a culmination of a wide range of smaller updates that, taken together, make it the best GoPro thus far.

In fact, I’d say this is the most innovative and user-friendly GoPro yet. 

It has built-in mounting pins so you can directly mount the camera to accessories rather than needing a frame to do so.

There are built-in digital lenses for multiple field of view settings from Narrow and Wide to Linear and Superview. The camera’s physical lens cover is not not removable and it twice as strong as those found in older models.

Also on the ease-of-use front are numerous capture presets that allow you to create and save popular types of videos. SuperPhoto, which is GoPro’s version of HDR, gets a refresh that results in improved image quality as well. 

The GoPro HERO 7 debuted incredible image stabilization with HyperSmooth, and the HERO 8 builds on that with even better results with HyperSmooth 2.0.

The HERO 8 also gets upgraded TimeWarp features, including an auto mode that uses sensor to detect motion and adjust the recording speed accordingly.

The camera also has improved photo-taking capabilities with face detection, smile detection, and blink detection functions, as well as LiveBurst mode for taking 1.5-second-long images before and after the shutter button is depressed. 

Add in built-in GPS, motion sensors, live streaming capabilities at 1080p, 4K video at 60fps, and a host of mod accessories to expand the camera’s capabilities, and it’s no wonder that this rig set the photography world on fire in 2019! 

Learn more about the GoPro HERO 8

Aputure 120D II

As far as studio lights go, it’s tough to beat the quality lights that Aputure puts out. 

And at the top of their lineup is the 120d II, a light I reviewed earlier this year and was very impressed with.

This light is 1000-watt tungsten equivalent, so you get plenty of brightness for your studio work. It’s fully dimmable, too, and has a CRI and TLCI of 97+. That kind of quality light is a must-have for discerning photographers. 

Aputure also included a variety of built-in lighting effects so you can dial in custom looks for your images. With this light, there’s nothing stopping your creativity!

But what’s really impressive about the 120d II is what’s “behind the scenes.”

It has an integrated power and control box, which keeps clutter to a minimum in the studio. Any studio photographer will appreciate that!

What’s more, it has an 18dB quiet fan, which keeps that annoying “whooshing” sound to a minimum so you can concentrate more thoroughly on getting killer shots.

Add in the fact that this light is 25 percent brighter than its predecessor and that it has DMX controls, a wireless remote, and excellent portability, and you have the makings of a top light for your photography studio. 

Learn more about the Aputure 120d II

Exposure X5

Exposure X5 is yet another software update that sent shockwaves through the photography world in 2019.

Its predecessor, Exposure X4, was highly functional, user-friendly, and super powerful, so it was hard to imagine how the folks at Exposure could make X5 better. But they did.

For starters, Exposure X5 has custom camera profiles that allow you to control how the software interprets color from RAW files. These profiles (created by X-Rite, among others) can be applied automatically by matching the serial number of your camera or by using the camera model. Furthermore, these profiles can be matched to a specific lens or ISO range.

You get advanced chromatic aberration correction in X5 too. This allows you to remove unwanted artifacts using lens profiles, or you can remove them by making manual adjustments if you prefer. 

There’s also a new fringe removal tool, so X5 makes getting rid of chromatic aberrations easier than ever before.

There are a host of other new features too.

Exposure X5 includes new complementary color presets, new season-inspired looks, and new light and airy presets that give you expanded creative potential when editing your photos.

There are more black and white film options than ever before, support for grayscale TIFF and JPEG images, and new image flip options too. Exposure X5 also has multiple language options, including English, German, and French. 

But for me, the best new feature in Exposure X5 is 3D color masking.

Basically, you can use this tool to make incredibly precise selections for applying adjustments to your photos. You can see it at work in the video above. 

This fine level of control is made possible by using specific color characteristics (hue, saturation, and luminance) to define the adjustment areas.

What this means is that you can quickly and easily target specific areas for color masking, like the sky in a landscape photo or skin tones in a portrait. This is all done with just a few clicks.

Exposure X5 is powerful, easy to use, and incorporates tons of new features that make it the best Exposure software to date. If you’ve never tried exposure, give it a test-drive for free

Learn more about Exposure X5

Holdfast Tanker Belt

I’ve been a Holdfast customer for a long time, and what initially drew me to them was the absolutely outstanding build quality of their products.

They use only the finest materials - things like full-grain leather and stainless steel - so when you buy a camera strap or harness or bag, you get something that is durable and will last you for years. 

But as the years have gone by, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the sheer innovation that these guys display when developing new products. That being the case, I had to include Holdfast on this list of the best gear updates of the year.

One of Holdfast’s latest products is the Tanker Belt, which changes the way you carry your gear.

It’s actually two belts in one, the first of which cinches around your waist like a normal belt and the second, outer belt, which forms loops for attaching your gear.

This ingenious design means the belt stays put (as do your pants) while maximizing the amount of gear you can carry around your waist.

There are three D-rings on the belt for attaching things like your keys or a wallet, and the D-rings are moveable, so you can customize precisely where your items hang on your waist. 

And, as you’d expect with Holdfast, this belt looks and feels like a million bucks - it's gorgeous handmade leather is something to behold! 

Better still, the Tanker Belt was designed with functionality in mind, so it’s compatible with a wide range of Holdfast products.

You can attach the Ranger Leash to the belt and take Fido for a hands-free walk, or you can add a cell phone pouch and keep your smartphone safe and secure and out of the elements.

Add a lens pouch or two (small, medium, or large) so you have extra glass for your next shoot too!

With sizes from 28-inches up to 44-inches and multiple colors (black, tan, chestnut, and burgandy), you can customize the Tanker Belt to your specific needs and tastes. 

Learn more about the Holdfast Tanker Belt

Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 Lens

I picked up a Panasonic GH5 earlier this year, and it quickly won me over with its astonishing video capabilities.

It wasn’t until recently, though, that I got to test out the Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 lens, and I have to say, I wish I would’ve gotten my hands on it a lot sooner! This is a fantastic lens, to say the least.

You can get some of my thoughts on this lens in the video above, but I want to expound on its features a little bit more. 

Make no mistake - this is a gigantic lens, especially for a micro four-thirds camera. Fortunately, it’s not hard to handle at all, and despite its footprint, it’s actually not all that heavy.

panasonic 10 25mm 1

But it’s massive size means that Panasonic was able to cram lots of goodies inside to help you get superb images.

This lens is supremely sharp, beautifully responsive, and gets you clean, crisp images each and every time. Its bokeh is buttery smooth and there’s wonderful brightness throughout its aperture range.

It has 17 elements in 12 groups, including three aspherical lenses and four extra-low dispersion elements which work to all but eliminate spherical aberration, distortion, and chromatic aberration. The result is images with impressive quality. 

But where this lens was a game-changer in 2019 was in its video capabilities…

panasonic 10 25mm 2

It’s compatible with up to 240fps high-speed sensor drives and offers silent operation thanks to the inner focus drive system and the de-clicked aperture ring.

The focus clutch is a nice touch as well, as it enables instant switching between autofocus and manual focus as well as improved accuracy when manually focusing.

With next to zero focus breathing, a micro-step drive system that accommodates brightness changes when panning and zooming, and Leica build quality, this lens certainly doesn’t disappoint! 

Learn more about the Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 lens

Sony a7R IV

When the Sony a7R IV was announced earlier this year, it set the internet on fire with news of its massive 61-megapixel sensor. And while the sensor is impressive, it’s just the beginning of the impressive specs of this camera.

Paired with a BIONZ X image processor, the a7R IV’s back-illuminated sensor is capable of rendering images that are beautifully crisp.

You get an eyeful of all that beauty with the brand-new UXGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, which has a whopping 5.76-million dots of resolution for a clean, bright, detailed look at what you’ve framed up in the shot.

This camera has a native ISO range of 100-32000 for low-light shooting, and with 15-stops of dynamic range rendering, you’ll have no problem getting tons of details in the shadows and the highlights. 

Of course, the a7R IV carries on the Sony tradition of excellent autofocusing, with an ultra-fast hybrid AF system that has 567 phase-detect AF points to give you quick and accurate autofocus tracking. 

Throw in UHD 4K video at 30p, Real-Time Eye AF tracking, 10fps shooting, and a bevy of other features, and you can see why the Sony a7R IV was one of the best gear updates of 2019.

Learn more about the Sony a7R IV

Haida M10 Filter System

The Haida M10 filter system is something I’ve been testing as of late, and I have to say that I’m impressed with this system.

Like the other products and services on this list, I’ve found numerous innovative and unique features that compelled me to include this product on this list.

Haida is a great value for the money with well-built components that show an attention to quality and detail that many filter companies just can’t match.

I have multiple components in my kit - the M10 filter holder, a circular polarizer, a couple of solid ND filters, and a soft-edge grad (shown above) - but you can also buy complete kits of varying sizes, including their Master Filter Kit, their Professional Kit, and their Enthusiast Kit, if you’d rather go that route. 

Either way, I think you’ll find, as I have, that the Haida system is one that enhances your ability to get quality shots.

The aluminum alloy filter holder can accommodate two 100mm filters, but it can expand to include a third slot if needed. The Haida filters are made of shock-resistant optical glass and features 10 layers of anti-reflective nano coating and 10 layers of scratch and water resistant coatings.

The holder rotates a full 360-degrees, which is enormously helpful for getting just the right positioning when using graduated ND filters.

I also like the fact that Haida incorporated gaskets in the filter slots to help prevent light leaks. They even include a “dummy” filter housing that can be dropped into the filter if you’re shooting without the circular polarizer in place. Again, this helps prevent light leaks so you get a cleaner exposure. 

The pinch and pull system for adding and removing filters make using this system super easy, as do the rounded edges of the rectangular filters - they’re much easier to slide into the filter holder without sharp edges.

This is just a well thought out system for beginners and enthusiasts alike!

Learn more about the Haida M10 filter system

Sony a6600

Though the Sony a7R IV probably got more attention, the Sony a6600 is certainly not something to forget about…

With a much smaller price tag than the a7R IV and more applicability for more photographers, the a6600 rocked our world this year by bringing many flagship features to a mid-range camera.

Its 24.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor is ideal for capturing beautifully resolute images while the native ISO range of 100-32000 gives you excellent low-light shooting capabilities with reduced noise.

As I get more into video creation, I appreciate the fact that this camera sports UHD 4K video capabilities that can be internally recorded in XAVC S format.

The five-axis image stabilization is a dream, giving you five full stops of stabilization, while the weather-sealed construction means you can head out in adverse weather with less worry about what will happen to your camera.

With additional features like a beautiful XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, a tiltable LCD monitor, 11 fps continuous shooting, and much more, this camera is certainly worthy of the title of gear that rocked 2019!

Learn more about the Sony a6600

RODE Wireless GO 

rode wireless go

A final product I wanted to mention on this list of the top software and gear updates is this handy little guy, the RODE Wireless GO.

This wireless system automatically pairs in just three seconds and transmits via RODE’s new Series III digital transmission system. It’s a 2.4GHz system that’s optimized for short-range operation, particularly in environments in which there is a lot of RF and Wi-Fi interference. It also offers line-of-sight range of up to 70 meters.

You also get broadcast-grade audio thanks to the built-in condenser mic’s superb isolation and transparency. Alternatively, you can use it with a lavalier mic using the 3.5mm TRS input.

Additionally, the Wireless GO system operates up to seven hours on a full charge, and since the unit is so small and compact, it’s super lightweight and portable. 

You can even use up to eight systems in one location if you have the need!

If you’ve ever used a ROD mic before, you know they’re some of the best in the business. The RODE Wireless GO is certainly no exception!

Learn more about the RODE Wireless GO

 



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Tricks for Shooting B-Roll Solo

Tricks for Shooting B Roll Solo

Photo by Kyle Loftus from Pexels

If you’re reading this article, you must be wondering how best to capture B-roll. Especially if you are a one-man production team, shooting B-roll solo may seem to be a bit challenging.  

There is a very simple method that can be used when shooting B-roll solo to ensure you have viable footage that can be edited in later to your production. Two methods, actually. 

We’ll talk about the two I consider the most useful, and how to shoot B-roll with both methods. 

What Is B-Roll?

shooting b roll 1

Photo by Kyle Loftus from Pexels

First off, let’s quickly review what B-Roll is and why it is an important concept for video projects.  

The sole purpose of shooting B-Roll is to add to the story already being told by your primary video footage. B-roll by itself isn’t capable of fully telling the story. But adding it to A-roll, whatever story you are telling is fleshed out, enhanced, and made more clear. 

B-Roll makes your videos more viewable. If you were to look on YouTube right now for videos of the subject you are wanting to film yourself, you will see many videos shot from a very basic, one camera perspective. Which is fine, especially if that one camera point of view is properly lit, steady, in focus…

Shooting B-Roll footage to add in makes the final video more appealing in many cases. It’s what people are used to seeing on TV, even in short commercials, so your film having B-Roll makes an impression of being shot by a professional. In the long run, this can give your YouTube channel more subscriptions and each video more views.

 

Recommended Videography Reading:

 

Method One - Shoot It Later 

shooting b roll 2

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels 

The easiest way to gather B-Roll is to simply shoot your B-Roll right after you film your primary footage. 

A benefit of this method is that it doesn’t require any additional gear. Disadvantages of this method include the fact that things move, people get antsy and don’t want to stick around, and lighting conditions, especially if outside, can change significantly. 

This is a valid method, though. It can give you workable B-Roll many times, but you really do need to work at keeping it fresh if you're filming other people. 

Learn More:

Method Two - Shooting B-Roll At the Same Time

Tricks for Shooting B Roll Solo 1

 photo by castenoid via iStock 

Well, how are you going to do this with one camera? You won’t, this method requires a second camera. However, you don’t have to have a movie studio budget to shoot with two or more cameras. Many photographers already have multiple cameras, but we tend to gravitate toward using our newest or best camera for shooting video. 

Think about this: you may still have the entry-level camera you started with in your gear bag. Maybe you held onto it as a backup camera. Well, this is a good opportunity to dig it out of the bottom of your bag and make use of whatever video mode it has.

shooting b roll solo 3

 photo by Dmitrii Guldin via iStock 

Perhaps the perfect camera for shooting B-Roll is your action cam. Advantages of shooting B-Roll with GoPro or other brands of action cam include the already excellent video capabilities of the GoPro, the small size of action cams, and that they are usually simple to set up for remote use. 

You could probably just open your gear kit and set up for shooting B-Roll right now. All the GoPro video tips you’ve already learned apply to using your action cam for shooting B-Roll video.

Simple B-Roll Video Gear

shooting b roll with gopro 4

As an example of what gear you need to start shooting B-Roll with GoPro style cameras, check out this idea of a simple rig you may already own.

An excellent camera choice for anyone looking for an action cam is the GoPro HERO 8 Black. It is one of the most full-featured GoPro cameras and it is very easy to capture high-quality video remotely. If you don’t already own this action camera, it’s budget-friendly and simple to set up and use.  

gopro video tips 5

For your lighting, the LitraTorch LitraPro battery-powered LED continuous light is usable either on camera, paired with a GoPro on a small bracket, or used separately. It has the ability to be controlled from a smartphone app and the battery lasts from 1 hour on high to up to 10 hours on low for extended shooting.  

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Well, that’s the camera and lighting, now how do we use these to capture B-Roll as we’re engaged in our primary filming?

OctoPad to the rescue! The OctoPad camera and accessory mounting system is one of my favorite new tools in my gear bag. I use it for virtually all the styles of photography and videography I do. 

The combination of the GoPro HERO 8, LitraTorch LitraPro, and Octopad and make it virtually effortless to get great footage when shooting B-Roll solo because these are all very small, quite easy to use, and extremely functional.

B-Roll is How We Roll

how to shoot b roll 7

Gathering B-Roll is one of the biggest things you can do as a videographer to improve your finished video productions. Of course, you also want to learn about lighting techniques, camera supports, editing programs, and advanced camera operations.

Editing is going to be a key skill for finishing your videos in a way that results in a project that looks like a professionally made film. Shooting B-Roll with GoPro type action cams is another key factor in creating videos and vlogs that people will enjoy and will come back for more. 

You don’t need to hire out for additional people - you can do it all yourself. Shooting B-Roll solo and adding that footage to your finished productions will result in fantastic videos. Try it out for yourself! 

Learn More:

 



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