Buy a Few Gifts for Your Action Camera this Holiday Season

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You've been recording with your great new action camera—maybe a GoPro, Osmo Action, or one of the many action cameras available—but the included accessories may not be very helpful as you try to enhance your production. The good news is: there is a ridiculous number of accessories you can purchase. The bad news is: there may be too many to choose from. While you can probably find basic accessories from the manufacturer of your camera, there are many third-party manufacturers making creative and useful accessories for action cameras. Let's look at what's available to get the most out of your action camera and give it a holiday gift.

Mounts, Housings, and Skins

Mounting your action camera in creative ways is part of their fun and charm. POV, low-angle, high-angle, speeding in a car, in the water, on a pet—there are so many ways to mount your camera for interesting shots. But when you're being creative, consider protecting your investment so it stays secure and doesn't get damaged. One choice is to add a skin or housing, which will be molded to fit your particular camera. Be sure your model is supported so you get the right fit and access to your camera controls. The housing or skin may have a built-in universal mount or just a lanyard to hold around your wrist or neck, so you'll have to decide how you want to use your camera for just the right fit.

If you're using a GoPro, you can't go wrong protecting your investment with a hard frame such as GoPro's The Frame. It allows you to protect your camera and add different mounting options. If you need some accessories mounted on your GoPro for vlogging, try the Ulanzi vlog cage, which includes a shoe mount and a platform for a light, mic, or another accessory.

Soft silicone cases are also popular and price effective if you need to protect your camera from scratches or dents, and many also provide a lanyard to carry your camera safely. Protect your DJI Osmo Pocket with the DigitalFoto Silicone Case, or if you're using the Nikon KeyMission 360 Action camera, you may want to protect it with a Silicone jacket. Or maybe your DJI Osmo Action camera could use the Silicone case from PGYTECH for protection. Add a screen protector or a lens cover to ensure your lens is protected as well.

There are countless types of mounts designed for any situation, so there's no excuse not to secure your camera when it's in motion. There are custom mounts for cars, boats, bike handlebars, surfboards, helmets, body-worn mounts, tripods, underwater floating grips, snorkel goggle mounts, mounts that you hold in your mouth, and even mounts you can put on your pet. When choosing a mount for your camera, finding the proper size with a secure hold is important. Many cameras come with an adhesive mount, which can be fairly secure, but if you want to move your camera, adhesive is for one-time use and will have to be replaced. If you're using your camera on a car with a smooth glass or metal surface, a suction-cup mount may be enough to secure it. Or, you can try a magnetic mount on a metal surface, a dual mount for two cameras if you're planning a 180 or 360-degree production. A simple selfie stick, grip or handle, ball head, or articulating extension arm can provide easy adjustment and stability when on the move. If you're working underwater, you'll definitely want to add a waterproof housing, even if your camera is rated waterproof, to provide extra protection.

Stabilizing Motion

Not all action cameras have internal stabilization features like the GoPro HERO8 Black or the DJI Osmo Action, so it may be necessary to add a motorized gimbal stabilizer to your setup if you're doing a lot of handheld work that needs a steady hand. The market for handheld stabilizers is steadily growing with a wide range of gimbals such as the Zhiyun Crane-M2, Feiyu G6, or the FreeVision VILTA. There are also tripod and tabletop stabilizers that keep your camera steady while on a surface, such as the KumbaCam stabilizer or Feiyu WG2. There are numerous stabilizer choices out there that may support different cameras but include an action camera mount, so take a look at the finer specs if they are the right gimbal for you.

Audio and Visual

Since action cameras have wide lenses and apertures, they let a lot of light into the camera, which can leave your images washed out from too much light. Attaching a filter to the lens, such as a neutral density filter, can help cut that light a few stops so you can better capture the colors and contrast of your landscape. There are numerous choices for your action camera, such as the Freewell 4-filter Neutral Density Set for GoPro HERO cameras, Polar Pro ND Filter Set for the Sony RX0 camera, or the Drama polarizer filter for DJI Osmo Action cameras to enhance your footage. Add a wide-angle lens such as the DigitalFoto wide-angle lens for the DJI Osmo Pocket if the built-in wide lens isn't wide enough. If you're using your camera underwater, you may want to check out some underwater filters to correct color and prevent reflection.

But if you're not in sunlight, shooting an interview, or your scene needs some extra illumination, compact lights such as the Sidekick LED light for GoPro, GoPole FLARE waterproof light, or the Dual Lume Cube kit can illuminate the area you need.

Though you probably won't be recording high-end audio while recording with your action camera, you may want to consider an external microphone for simple interviews or ambient sound, or for a backup while recording with another microphone. The built-in mic on your camera likely only records in a wide omnidirectional pattern, which picks up everything around, so a more directional approach may be required. For example, if the cameras are set up inside a car with two people talking with lavalier mics (à la Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), adding a backup on your multi-angle action cams would be close to your subject and pick up quality sync sound. The GoPro Pro mic adapter or DJI Osmo Pocket mic adapter allow you to add a 3.5mm mic, or you can use a windscreen to filter out extra wind noise with GoPro's WindSlayer if you're recording an exterior moving shot. Or, if you want to go all out and record with a shotgun, as well as a lavalier directly connected to the GoPro, try Polsen's Production Mic Kit. Your 3D action camera footage may benefit from a 3D mic that records in binaural and/or stereo to match the wide field of action such as the Roland WEARPRO.

Those Things You Forget About

Last but not least, don't forget the spare parts. The keyword is action, and when you're on the go you're bound to need something extra or lose something along the way. Be sure to pack up extra accessories such as screws, extenders, adapters, remote controls, cases, and cables. And don't forget those extra batteries and power adapters! And finally, if you want to add some style in cold conditions, put on a TuXSedo jacket!

Let us know what about your action camera rig and its accessories, and be sure to check out all the available action camera accessories on the B&H website or try them out in person at the B&H SuperStore when you’re in New York City.

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