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My 2 Favorite GoPro Accessories

My 2 Favorite GoPro Accessories

GoPro Accessories - Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Video Below – Scroll down for old fashioned text and photos. 

I’ve been a GoPro user for years – starting with the second version (I have a buddy that has the original tradeshow version (the digital one) that runs on AAA batteries – that thing belongs in a museum). I upgraded along the way – again and again and again, all the while buying all the silly GoPro accessories as I went. All the GoPro mounts, the GoPro handles, the GoPro head mount, I even bought the GoPro Chesty on a whim.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

While I was mostly content with the GoPro accessories, The GoPro camera upgrades always left me wanting more and more. I hated the first version. I hated the second version. I thought the Hero 3 Black was pretty good – for about 20 minutes. Let’s face it, the batteries sucked, the connection to the phone was laggy and wonky, the app was garbage and the audio when it was in the housing was… well, nonexistent. 

Most of that changed with the Hero 5. I know people complain about it too, and it’s far from perfect. There’s the Xiamoi Yi 4K and a host of other sub $100.00 action camera knockoffs available on Amazon. You know what though? I’ve owned a few of them and they’re not really 4K. It’s a crappy interpolation that gets them to 4K. The colors are awful, and the menus are stupid. The Hero5 is miles ahead of them, and, more recently, the GoPro Hero6 is even better. GoPro opted to design and manufacture their own chip for the the Hero6, and the difference is pretty significant. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Connecting to a phone and to the GoPro app (and in turn the GoPro camera) is almost painless – I still have to reboot my phone every time I want to connect to the Session5, but after that it works pretty well. The app itself is a little better than it used to be, and overall I find the battery life improved enough that I really don’t worry about it anymore. I used to carry 7-9 GoPro batteries with me almost everywhere. Now I carry the cable and a small powerbank. I’ve never had a problem. 

Recently I checked in on the GoPro subreddit and found people asking about the GoPro accessories and different stuff to carry or mount the GoPro with. I’ve had some successes (RAM Mounts) and some failures (the chesty – I hate that thing) with mounting the cameras in different configurations, but in the last year or so I’ve managed to settle into a comfortable routine and I’ve found a couple GoPro accessories or mounts I really like. 

The Ultrapod. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The Ultrapod mini tripod is my favorite. It’s small, it’s light, it’s made in the U.S.A and it costs $12.00. The Utrapod was invented in 1982 and it’s changed very little since then. That says just about everything you need to know right there. You can’t go wrong with affordable and versatile piece of equipment. I use this thing all the time. I leave my GoPro on the tiny tripod and slip a DIY fleece bag over it and throw it in my camera bag. It’s protected and it’s ready to go. I use this trail running, driving, shooting reviews in hotel rooms – everywhere I go I have this little guy with me. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The ballhead component is pretty small, but it tightens enough to keep a GoPro upright and it offers enough flexibility and motion to balance out your camera on some pretty uneven terrain.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I use the hook and loop strap (heaven forbid we call it Velcr*, right?) to attach the camera to signposts, trees, and often my hiking poles to in order to kind of fake that drone style shot. It’s awesome. did I mention it’s made in the USA? Did I mention that as of writing this it’s around 12 bucks?! Get one. Of all the GoPro accessories I own, this one gets the most love.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Ultrapod II. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I used the Ultrapod II for a long time. I mean that. I think I ordered this from the Campmor catalog in the early 90’s. Later I used it for my GoPro for a while, and then picked the older, but smaller version above and largely retired this Ultrapod II. I still use it for point and shoot cameras occasionally, but I generally find the smaller, original Ultrapod to be better suited to the GoPro. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Three Way

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I have a love/hate relationship with this Three Way action camera handle. I find it finicky to use, difficult to angle just right, and a little too bulky to carry with me very often. I also feel like it’s large enough to pass for a full-on selfie stick, and I just can’t abide being that jackass with a selfie stick. Having made fun of it and complained about it, it’s great for getting low shots along the ground, and sometimes the reach is just what you need to get the shot. If you’re only buying one GoPro accessory handle thing, you could do worse than this. Just get ready to look like every other “Hero” out there. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


The Shorty

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

The Go Pro Shorty is a rip-off. It’s way too expensive for what it is. As expensive as it is, I’ll admit it’s comfortable to hold. It’s compact and it will slip in and out of your pocket with nothing to catch on it. It’s well-designed. I like the extending feature, even if it’s not all that long.

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Sometimes if you’re filming in “superview” moving the camera just an inch or two away from your face makes a huge difference. This is the GoPro branded one, and as soon as the East catches up, there will be knockoffs of this little guy for $8.00. One thing to note, this is hardmounted for the GoPro adapter. It only takes the GoPro style connectors and only pivots forward and back – not side to side. If you want to be able to use this for anything other than a GoPro style mount, look elsewhere. Unless you really need the extender bits, get the Ultrapod. It’s more versatile. 


The RAM Mount Suction Cup

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I love the suction cup. I love RAM Mounts. I have three of the RAM suction cups, one of the drink-holder auto mounts, I have the phone cradle… I can’t get enough. My dream is to tour the factory and leave with a cart of mounts.

GoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

I use this one for filming anything inside an auto. Usually forward facing time-lapse video to illustrate a roadtrip or travel scenario. My little GoPro Hero Session 5 lives in this thing. It’s pretty bomber. They make a model with three suction cups, and maybe if you were mounting it outside on the hood of the car that may come in handy. I’ve had this thing fail and come crashing down in my lap a couple times, but it’s rare. It seems to work far better in a car or truck than it does in the lightweight, plexiglass, vibration-prone cockpit of a 40 year old Cessna. 

GoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review

Check out the comparison pros/cons below. Thanks. 

GoPro Accessories Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a reviewGoPro Action Camera Mounting Options - a review


Disclosures? Some of my Amazon links are affiliate links – if you buy an item from one of those links I get some pennies. I also (against the advice of everyone) own some stock in GoPro. It’s done me no good, having plummeted faster than Bill Cosby’s career. I thought I bought it when it was low. I guess they showed me, right? It went way lower. I still like the cameras.

While I’m no expert – GoPro tried to do too many things. They wanted their name on stuff more than they wanted to make cameras. If they’d have stuck to simply trying to make the best action camera possible for a competitive price, they’d still be on top. Whatever – Nick Woodman probably isn’t taking advice from idiots like me on the internet. 


We Shot a Bus – Video/Vlog

Video of Jason and I horsing around and photographing a couple buses for the Moab Adventure Center Website. Video shot on a 2005 Casio ExLim Z750  – a crappy, 12 year old digicam that maxes out at 640×480. Pretty low resolution. 

If you don’t already know – YouTube changed it’s rules regarding monetized content. In order to show ads, content creators (that’s me) must now have 4000 hours of videos viewed in the last 12 months and have 1000 subscribers. I have 4800 hours of video watched but only have 275 subscribers. I’m 725 subscribers short. I know it sucks to watch the ads, but it’s nice to get a little money from Google every now and then (I made 200 bucks last year, so it’s far from a fortune). Go to my Strayfoto Youtube page and simply click on “Subscribe”. Thanks.  I may make it yet. 

Ricoh GRII – Off For Cleaning – Deja Vu

Ricoh GRII – Off For Cleaning – Deja Vu


A couple years ago I sent my Ricoh GR off to have a speck of dust removed from the sensor… It was in every photo and it was driving me nuts. Luckily the camera was under warranty and Ricoh (via CRIS Camera) cleaned it up and sent it back no questions asked… This time my Ricoh GRII has a dust spot on the sensor and Ricoh recommends I send it to Precision Camera in Connecticut.


I hate to send it off anywhere. I hate the dust spot too though. I swore when this happened to he first Ricoh GR that I’d only have interchangeable lens cameras from there on out. The Ricoh though… it’s such a cool camera. I’m pretty smitten with it. I’m loyal enough to that little guy that I kept the first one until the GRII came out. Then I immediately ordered it. I sold the first one on Ebay and now I wonder if they fixed it to the point that it won’t get dust in it ever again? Should I have kept it just because it had the warranty repair performed?


You can see the speck of dust on my photos below. Can I clone it out in post? Of course. It’s not even hard. It’s just annoying. With any interchangeable lens camera a user could spot the dust in a series and just pop off the lens and clean the sensor. Not so here. Users are stuck with it. I hate the feeling that I’ll be dealing with this in post for as long as I own the camera – which in the Ricoh’s case would be another year at least. That’s a lot of fixing photos in post. Not impossible, but annoying. I want better dust sealing. I also want better focus during video, and 4K video, and a 24 megapixel sensor (preferably full frame), but that’s a rant for another day.


I boxed up the little guy added some stickers to the mix – maybe the guys at precision camera will be nice to me and get my camera back quickly. I hate to have to jump ship after such a great relationship.   RicohGRII_Cleaning74RicohGRII_Cleaning75

We’ll see in a few weeks…

EVO GP Handheld Gimbal

EVO GP 3 Axis GoPro Gimbal Unboxing and Test

EVO GP 3 Axis GoPro Gimbal Unboxing and Test

EVO GP Gimbal 1

I recently shot and published a short video of a trail run I did on a cloudy Saturday morning. I’ll admit it – it was bouncy and lame. It was overcast and I only have a headmount for my GoPro action camera. I can’t fix the cloudy, but I can fix the shaky. Kind of.

EVO GP Gimbal 2

Enter the EVO GP 3 Axis handheld motorized brushless gimbal. That’s a mouthful. In short and plain English it means an expensive but relatively steady way to hold a GoPro camera. Steady, at least if you’re not running a backcountry trail, because the thing is probably too delicate to survive an hour in a daypack bouncing against trailmix and beating against a water bottle. That, and you can’t really use the EVO GP with the housing on the GoPro, so that’s another minus in the durability department.

EVO GP Gimbal 4

Still, if you want steady video in a controlled or fair-weather environment, the EVO GP might be just the ticket.

EVO GP Gimbal 6

A motorized gimbal is a little battery powered unit that uses three little motors along the axis of motion to control and dampen unwanted movement. It’s like the old compass mounts in ships – anyway the ship pitched in the waves, the compass stayed upright and level. The EVO GP does that to the GoPro, but it uses cute little brushless gimbal motors to do all the steadying. This essentially means that even handheld, your GoPro action footage comes out looking like you’re working with a  J.J. Abrams style budget. Maybe not quite that good. It is much steadier than handholding. A stabilized video is a good video.

EVO GP Gimbal 7

The EVO GP gimbal seems well-built and it comes well-packaged. It’s easy to start and use, and it really does hold the camera steady. Handholding it easy and it’s not too heavy. You can feel the weight of the batteries, but it’s more like a reassuring heft than a heavy weight. I like it. I’ll post some video from the gimbal held GoPro as soon as I get around to it. Check out the video above for the unboxing and inital start up.

And here’s some video I shot with the Gimbal at the recent Moab Easter Jeep Safari event.