GoPro Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is right around the corner and I know GoPro and the related items are going to be a hot topic this season.  I made up a list of the items I use most when I’m out filming to help in the aid of getting great christmas gifts that don’t set you back too much $$.

To start things off, let’s chat about the GoPro camera offerings available at the moment online – HERO4 Black, HERO4 Silver, HERO3+ Black, and original HERO.

h4black HERO4 Black Edition – $499.99
Main Features: 4K Video, Night Photo/Lapse, WiFi, Waterproof HousingThis is for the serious GoPro video enthusiast.  

It’s pretty spendy, but for someone that knows video in and out, this is the camera for them.  If you don’t think your gift recipient is all that video savvy, I suggest looking at other camera models.  To really make use of the highest-end modes this camera features, you generally have to know what you’re doing in the editing room.  This model is compatible with all GoPro accessories from older models, except the HERO3+ battery. *Requires a micro SD card (not included).

h4silver HERO4 Silver Edition – $399.99
Main Features: 2.7K Video, Night Photo/Lapse, Touch Screen LCD, WiFi, Waterproof Housing

This is my go-to holiday gift item this season – it touts the same video modes and stunning image quality that the flagship predecessor had – the HERO3+ Black Edition; however, this model includes a built in touch screen on the back.  The touch screen is great for introducing GoPro to people that have never used it before, since you can use it to see what you’re shooting, review footage, and set all the video settings.  If someone already owns a GoPro, this is a great addition to the line – it’s fully compatible with all previous mounts and accessories, including housings, WiFi remote, and more. The one thing that is different this time around is the battery. Also with the built in WiFi, you can utilize the GoPro App to connect and control the camera, review photos & video, and download to your phone! *Requires a micro SD card (not included).

h3silver HERO3+ Silver Edition – $299.99
Main Features: 1080-60 Video, WiFi, Battery Life, Waterproof Housing

This is last years’ model, but it features excellent video quality, WiFi, and a waterproof housing.  This camera doesn’t have some of the higher resolution, high quality video modes as the HERO4 camera line, but it still is great quality for anyone that wants to get into filmmaking. Also with the built in WiFi, you can utilize the GoPro App to connect and control the camera, review photos, and download to your phone! Compared with the newer HERO4 models, it features a bit better battery life. *Requires a micro SD card (not included).

hero HERO – $129.99
Main Features: 1080-30 Video, Waterproof Housing

This is a new entry-level model from GoPro for the budding videographer or family member that wants to start recording those life moments! It comes built into the waterproof housing with an integrated battery.  It features high quality HD video (1080P at 30FPS and 720P at 60FPS), burst photo modes (5 photos in 1 second), and time lapse photo mode (up to 2 photos per second).  Things to keep in mind – it does not have WiFi for remote app control, does not have HDMI out, and does not have video out support over USB.  *Requires a micro SD card (not included).

Abe’s Top 10 Accessories to go with a GoPro

Now that you are familiar with the camera models, the following is my top 10 gifts to be included with a GoPro (or to any GoPro enthusiasts collection).  The only item I have omitted from my routine film trips is the micro-SD card which is required.  Be sure to look up the proper Micro-SD card speed ratings and purchase a card that is recommended by GoPro.

  1. 1battery GoPro HERO4 Dual Battery Charger w/ Included Battery – $49.99 – or Single Extra HERO4 Battery – $19.99
    Main Features: Give yourself backup juice for those extended adventure days! (Must-have)

    This is a must for any serious GoPro user – you can never have too many batteries.  The HERO4 dual charger comes with 1 extra HERO4 battery and can charge up to 2 batteries at a time.  It’s super convenient and easy to use with your computer’s USB or any basic USB wall plug (iPhone).  Anytime I’m skiing I bring up 2 extra batteries in my pocket to make sure I’m able to capture every moment I want!  Tip – To save juice, remove the battery from your GoPro when you travel – they like to turn on inside bags and pockets when not in use.

  2. 2caps GoPro Protective Lens + Covers – $19.99
    Main Features: Protect the various lenses of your GoPro!

    Any real GoPro enthusiast will be stoked to receive this little set.  As simple as it seems, these little caps make you feel great about tossing your gear into a bag for all those ski trips without thinking about it.  I always travel with the little round lens cap on my naked GoPro.  If you’re using a frame, it comes with an included glass cover to protect the lens.  Lastly, it’s got a cover for your HERO3+ or HERO4 housing which also blocks the power button so the camera won’t turn on in your bag! (note, it’s not compatible with the larger HERO3 housing).

  3. 3suction GoPro Suction Cup – $39.99
    Main Features: Extremely versatile! Use it for more than just auto shots, but the auto shots are awesome too!

    Even though I’m not really a car guy, I find myself using this mount all the time!  It has a ton of options and configurations so it works great for a bunch of different uses.  I use it on my car all the time for cool long exposure freeway lapses, on the inside of airplane windows to film rad aerial shots, at my house on my windows for sunset time lapses, etc. Record funny moments on road trips looking back into the car, or get some unique travel shots from back windows looking forward!

  4. 4tripod Manfrotto Mini Tripod (709 Digi Tabletop) – $49.99 + GoPro Tripod Mount – $9.99
    Main Features: Tiny & durable – use it for awesome static shots or long exposure photos.

    I take this tiny tripod everywhere I go.  It’s super burly and rock solid, it’s tiny, and it’s strong enough to hold a DSLR.  Anytime I’m doing a time lapse or a static shot out in the wild I use this tripod because it’s so sturdy.  The legs are solid metal so it feels solid and weighs itself down but still fits in the tiny side pocket of my backpack.  The ball-head is solid as well so you can get any angle, including straight up or sideways for vertical photos.  Having a good tripod is essential for getting good long exposure shots with the new night mode in the HERO4.  I also use this tripod for all of my long exposure photos with my DSLR as well.  When I’m cruising back from the mountains and I see a good night sky I can pull over and whip this out in a couple seconds for my GoPro or DSLR!

  5. 5handlebar GoPro Handlebar/Seat-post/Pole Mount – $19.99
    Main Features: Quick & easy solution to mounting to a ski pole!

    This is mostly a suggestion for the skiers out there – 70% of the time this is the only mount I bring with me when skiing, other than the quick release buckle for my head mount.  It comes with a little rubber gasket so I can pull the camera and mount out of my pocket and have it fixed to the end of my ski pole in a couple seconds.  You can use it pointed away from you for a great follow-cam pole, or mount it looking back at you for the ultimate skiing selfie stick.  If your gift recipient is a skier, get this for them.  Tip – when you’re taking selfies, turn the camera sideways to get awesome vertical photos that gets the pole out of the middle of the shot!

  6. 6jaws Jaws: Flex Clamp – $49.99
    Main Features: Clamp this to anything to satisfy the shot-lists of any budding filmmaker.

    This item is for anyone who seems to be taking an interest in filmmaking.  It’s easily the best mount to keep with you during your film adventures to get exactly the angle you want.  It can clamp to just about anything and be flexed to point in any direction.  The flex neck can be removed from the clamp so you can mount directly to the clamp OR use the flex neck for unique shots off your helmet or other mounts without the clamp.  It’s like 2 mounts in 1!

  7. 7smartremote GoPro Smart Remote – $79.99
    Main Features: Control your GoPro remotely up to 600′ away with fully waterproof/weatherproof remote.

    If you’re getting a HERO4, this smart remote is a rad tool to have with you.  You can remotely control your GoPro up to almost a football field’s length away.  You can do similar things with your smart phone and GoPro app; however you’re very limited on distance with that.  Also the GoPro remote is waterproof and durable.  I use mine skiing every day to take burst photos while I’m doing tricks!  I’ll hold the remote in one hand and the GoPro in the other and fire off 30 photos in 3 seconds during a jump or a rail.  It’s not a must-have, but it’ll definitely improve your GoPro action photos!

  8. 8frame GoPro Frame Mount – $39.99
    Main Features: Make your GoPro more lightweight with this housing (if you don’t need waterproofing).

    I use the GoPro frame at all times my GoPro isn’t in the water – it makes it lighter, the audio is clearer, and there’s no elements of glass in front of the main camera lens.  You can decide how cautious you want to be with your camera, I have found it is resilient in the frame even when it gets slightly wet from snow.  For most applications indoors or not around water or high impact zones, the frame is the perfect way to mount the GoPro.

  9. 9gimbal Feiyu 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal – $289.99
    Main Features: Stabilize your footage with a professional 3-axis gimbal.

    This is similar to the 3-Axis self stabilizing gimbals you may have seen attached to quad-copters; however this one is built to be handheld!  I’ve filmed with this attached to the end of a long pole while skiing and it creates incredibly smooth results.  You can get the equivalent of jib shots, slider shots, or drone-like shots with a single tool! The included batteries are rechargeable and last over an hour.  This is compatible with HERO3, HERO3+, and HERO4 models.

  10. 10drone DJI Phantom 2 with H3-3D (3-Axis) Gimbal – $959.00
    Main Features: Create incredibly dynamic & smooth aerial shots with this popular drone with the included 3-axis gimbal.

    If you’re feeling generous this Christmas, the DJI Phantom 2+ is the ultimate filmmaker’s fantasy! The Phantom 2 is straight forward to fly out of the box with built in GPS mode, and the included 3-axis gimbal produces incredibly smooth results.  This is the standard quad that GoPro uses for all of our high-end productions.  The gimbal is compatible with HERO3, HERO3+, and HERO4 models.  *Note – the newest version of the Phantom 2 with the USB video port on the gimbal is compatible with HERO4 cameras.

  11. 11goproguide Bonus must-have Item! GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking – $27.99
    Main Features: Get the inside scoop about everything related to filmmaking with GoPro, straight from the source – GoPro’s Creative Director, Bradford Schmidt

    GoPro’s Creative Director, Bradford Schmidt, and one of our earliest editors, Brandon Thompson, decided to cull together all of the ideas that have formulated here at GoPro’s media headquarters over the last 5-6 years and put it into writing for all to learn from! This is a must have book for anyone that aspires to work heavily with GoPro footage or become a good story teller.  It’s also got an awesome bit of history about the early days of GoPro, how it formed, and even some tips from different experts in the fields of social media.  You’ll even see a little section from me!

 

 

Related

GoPro Photo Shooting Tips

Insider’s Guide to GoPro HERO4

GoPro – Getting Started