Photo: Andreas Kambanis via Flickr
It’s no surprise that GoPro cameras have become ubiquitous among the outdoor set. They pack a lot of punch for a tiny camera. They offer the ultimate in portability and durability for photographers and videographers who want to capture the action. They’re fairly affordably-priced, all things considered. But they don’t always give you the images you envision, straight out of the box. GoPro accessories, though, can extend their functionality and help users to get even better photos and video out of their tiny cameras.
During CreativeLive Photo Week, Colin Smith taught a class called How to Use GoPro for Outdoor Photography and brought in some of his favorite third-party accessories and talked about why he likes them and when you’d want to use them during your GoPro shoot.
The best part? “There is someone sitting somewhere coming up with all these cool accessories.”
Check out Colin’s top five:
Oncore Design Eclipse Lens Hood for GoPro. You get a lot of lens flair on a GoPro, due to the sweeping, almost fisheye, lens – particularly when you use them on a quadcopter. The Oncore Lens Hood, which is produced on a 3D printer, can counter that effect and give you, “sharper more contrast-y images,” by blocking out some of the light.
Formatt HiTech Lens Filters “This one is made by my buddy James Stamps’s company in the UK, what these guys have made is filters,” says Colin. Filters are helpful for improving image quality and, “the neutral density filter is great when you are making video because it darkens it down, it creates better video.” Its also easy to use – just pop them on and shoot.
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter: The Quadcopter itself is a pretty luxurious accessory, but in How to Use GoPro for Outdoor Photography, Colin was especially excited about his new 3-axis gimbal. The new gimbal gives better image stabilization and helps get rid of the jello effect around the edges of your aerial shots.
LCD Touch BacPac: Colin gives this one a ringing endorsement: “If there is one accessory to buy – it’s this.” An obvious feature the GoPro lacks is a viewer. Usually your own option for getting the shot is to aim the camera in the general direction of the subject you hope to capture and count on the wide lens getting the shot. The BacPac changes all of that. Its an LCD screen you snap on to the back of your GoPro so you can actually see what the camera is seeing. It also add touch screen functionality which is great folks with fumbling fingers and difficulty seeing the tiny buttons on the compact GoPro.
Zoom – H4n Handy Recorder The Zoom Handy Recorder allows you to pair the images captured on the Go Pro with the the sounds from the Handy Recorder – which is what Colin does. “I really got this for my DSLR because the audio is awful and a GoPro is just the same,” he explains, “So I’ll just record on my zoom and do audio sync.” Colin doesn’t even bother with a clapper board, he simply claps his hands together and matches the audio at that point.
For more tips on GoPro photo and video, including Colin’s tips on mounts, check out the complete How to Use GoPro for Outdoor Photography class.