I’m willing to bet that there’s a must-have accessory list for every GoPro user out there. CEO and founder Nicholas Woodman had a vision – or rather a passion – to capture experiences through video and photos in the most flexible and convenient manner possible. And although GoPro makes several accessories for their action cameras, I found a few handy-to-haves that have made a home alongside my stable of mounts, chargers, and housings.
I’ll start with GoPro’s own Wall Charger (US $40; CDN $35 via Best Buy Canada online). I don’t always travel with my laptop, and the standard way to charge a GoPro is via a cable and USB port. This handy charger has dual USB ports that can charge two cameras at once, or a camera and the wifi remote. You can also record video or take photos while it’s charging, and the four included AC plugs will work in North America, UK, EU, and Australia.
The charger will also work with most USB-charging devices, so I can avoid having to bring along my iPhone charger as well. In two hours, the camera will be charged 100% (in 1.5 hours, 80%). The charger and adaptors all have a nice, soft matte texture as well.
Once open, the case lays flat and items are easy to locate in the main compartment with a velcro-winged adjustable divider.
The smaller AVC 1 is shown here, unloaded and loaded. A removable panel with elastic straps for holding mounts, cables, wifi remote, etc. is hidden away by a velcro tab, and the case has a built-in carrying handle. Here’s what will fit inside an AVC 2:
I like that the AVC 1 is small enough to tuck right into the back area of my Passport Sling so that both DSLR and GoPro will travel with me. It’s a Lowepro for the GoPro!
AVC 1 external dimensions: 20.8 x 9.3 x 13.7 cm (8.19 x 3.66 x 5.39 in)
AVC 2 external dimensions: 21.6 x 9.3 x 21.6 cm (8.50 x 3.66 x 8.50 in)
Both sizes come in Galaxy Blue and Black and are available in Canada via Future Shop. The AVC 1 retails for CDN $50 while its big brother costs CDN $60.
GoPole makes several poles and grips for the GoPro. I found a favourite in the Grenade Grip (US/CDN $24.99), a compact hand grip with wrist strap to move through crowds, conduct interviews, and shoot some action. If you’re into shooting video out on the water, there’s a floating version called The Bobber for $29.99 that acts as a floatation device should you drop your GoPro into the water.
Although the Grenade Grip photo on the website shows a removable bottom with both wrist strap and carabiner attachments (as well as a thumbscrew), the version I bought in Vancouver was simply the grip and a wrist strap that attaches above near the mount area. I’ve tried to contact GoPole repeatedly to ask why one version is online and another is in the stores, but I’ve yet to hear back from them.
Joby’s no stranger to the tripod world. They’ve got a GorillaPod (CDN $40 at London Drugs) made just for the GoPro, featuring a bubble level (handy for making sure your shot will be level, as without a GoPro BacPac, it’s hard to know what you’ll get without an LCD screen), two quick-release plates (one’s good for standard tripods weighing up to 1 kg/2.2 lbs.), and the famous bendy legs to get just about any angle for your shots.
The GorillaPod will wrap around tree branches, benches, street poles and the like.
The GoPro mount can be used on any tripod (including all GorillaPods) by screwing your tripod’s quick-release plate into the ¼-20 tripod mount in the bottom of Joby’s GoPro Tripod mount. Attach your GoPro to the mount, place it on your tripod and you’re set.
An optional GripTight mount will allow you to set up an iPhone or Android smartphone onto the GorillaPod.
I like the integrated aluminum ballhead that tilts in all manner of directions, panning 360 degrees. Couple that with the bendy legs and a 90-degree tilt knob for both portrait and landscape modes, and shooting options are unlimited.
Here’s a quick time-lapse of a sunset taken at Jericho Beach, Vancouver.