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Official GoPro Accessories Versus Similar 3rd Party Gear

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I thought It would be fun to compare official GoPro accessories versus generic accessories of similar design and style from 3rd party manufacturers. The first thing that comes to mind when looking at these accessories is that they seem to be identical. Now I don’t fully know all the legal aspects but you would think there would be some kind of patent protecting these designs as some appear to be exact copies. Maybe there are royalties paid or licensing … who knows! Now I just want to mention I am not affiliated with GoPro or Sublimeware in any way. These are my own personal opinions on the products I use every day.

Well lets get right into it.  I will be using the official “Jaws Clamp Mount” and the “3-Way” by GoPro and comparing them to similar items from a company called Sublimeware. Now this is just one company selling these generic accessories, a quick search on amazon brings up many others selling similar items. I was curious to the usability and quality of these products as they seemed to be priced at 1/3 of the cost or lower compared to the official GoPro accessories.

GoPro Jaws Clamp Comparison

The first mount we are comparing is the Jaws Clamp.  Upon first inspection both items appear to very similar in both design and dimensions. The GoPro mount does appear to be made of a higher quality material. Now one problem I experienced right away with the Sublimeware clamp is that it would not open. The rubber at the end of the clamp had fused together (which cheap rubber can do). I had to use a screw driver and pry the end with quite a bit of force to get it to open. This could be a recurring problem if the mounts sits for extended periods without being used. As for tension on the clamp both units seemed to have similar griping force. The GoPro brand has a rubber layer on the clamps handle which is nice, the Sublimeware version was plastic only. The other main difference was the rubber strap located on the inside of the clamp. The GoPro clamp allows for adjustment to help grip around tubular poles of different dimensions were as the Sublimeware’s rubber strap was fixed and could not be adjusted, this means a secure connection around smaller poles might be difficult.

GoPro Jaws Clamp on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ptkXYc

Sublimeware Jaws Clamp on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pt83JA

A visual comparison of the GoPro Jaws Clamp versus a 3rd party.

Both units come with a goose neck extender to help you get more reach and position flexibility. Both had a similar build and tension when moved. The Sublimeware is about 1 – 1/2 inches longer. There was a manufacturing flaw with the Sublimeware goose neck. The buckle wound not slide fully into the receiver on the clamp. It appears as the molding was made a little to large in one spot. Whether this is a problem with all units or just the one I was testing is unclear at this point. This makes the goose neck unusable as I would not trust my GoPro to stay in place.

Sublimeware jaws defect. Goose neck buckle will not slide fully into receiver.

All in all the GoPro Jaws mount is a better purchase in my opinion in both usability, design and quality.

 

GoPro 3-Way Grip / Reacher Comparison

The GoPro 3-Way is probably one of my most used accessories and I was really curious to see how the Sublimeware 3-Way would hold up against the Official GoPro 3-Way. Visually they are both very similar, but it was quite apparent upon opening the package the sublimeware was not constructed with the same high quality material as the official GoPro one. It did feel quite flimsy in the hand. A few quick tests proved that the Sublimeware unit did performed similar to the official GoPro 3-way. One thing I did notice is the tripod that is hidden in the Sublimeware handle doesn’t screw into the handle as nice as the GoPro version. It tended to bind up. It also did not lock the tripod in as nicely as the GoPro version. I did like the fact that Sublimeware included a nice wrist strap with their unit and I wish GoPro would as well.

All in all the Sublimeware’s performance was not bad and was quite usable and a fraction of the cost of the GoPro unit. As for durability I feel the GoPro 3-way would have better longevity. But that is only a guess.

GoPro 3 Way on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p5qUba

GoPro 3-Way compared to Sublimeware generic 3-Way. (GoPro Left, Sublimeware Right).

My Final Thoughts on Generic GoPro Accessories

After thoroughly comparing both GoPro accessories I would have to say the GoPro Official mounts is a much better buy. GoPro has a quality that you can count on and with 3rd party mounts it can be a gamble on what you get. Now this may not apply to every accessory because I have used plenty of 3rd party thumb screws and sticky mounts that work great, however some items the lower cost of the products becomes very apparent. Its like the old saying “you get what you pay for”. With that said 3rd party accessories do function and are maybe a good option if you are just starting out and don’t want to break the bank. I do feel that some official GoPro accessories are a little over priced, while others I feel are a good value. Because of the quality, I feel that my Official GoPro accessories will last me a lifetime. That makes them a great value, I have yet to break a GoPro mount and some of the generic accessories seem to lack in durability. In the long run it makes for a better investment. Just my thoughts!

I’d like to hear your thoughts as well, please leave a comment and let me know what your think.

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GoPro Gear / Accessories

iSteady Pro Gimbal Review | Budget GoPro Gimbal For Under $100

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In this review we are taking a closer look at the iSteady Pro, a budget GoPro gimbal that you can pick up for under $100. Before I even get into the review of this new gimbal by Hohem, I want to point out how nice it is to see more competition of GoPro gimbals popping up on the market. Competition fuels innovation and improvements and not to mention forces more competitive pricing. We seen this happen with smart phone gimbals. A few years back DJI release the Osmo Mobile with a price tag of $299. Soon afterwards we seen third-party gimbals launching with prices as low as $99. This caused DJI to lower its price when they launched the Osmo Mobile 2 earlier this year to $129.99.

The Hohem iSteady pro is a simplistic GoPro gimbal that comes packaged in a nice case and even includes a mini tripod for those times when you want your gimbal resting on a suitable surface to create time-lapses. Also included with the kit is a micro USB cable for charging up the unit. I found the gimbal to be very comfortable to hold with its molded hand grip. It is a nice compact gimbal and very light to hold. First impression are good, it is a little plasticky but what do you expect from a $99 gimbal. All in all it does look to be well constructed and even includes a joystick for nice smooth movements.

The Good: The handle features a full-sized USB slot that can act as a power bank to charge any device that can be charged via USB. It also has a micro USB port near the camera mount that can be used to charge your GoPro while using the gimbal. Now this only works for cameras that you mount where the battery door is not blocked by the motor. I found the footage I shot with the iSteady Pro to be quite smooth and was pleasantly surprised. Like all gimbals there is some slight motor vibration noise, however I did find it to be of an acceptable level. Hohem has a nice little app for the iSteady pro that allows you to control the gimbal remotely and make some adjustments to how the gimbal behaves when in use. A very basic app but a nice touch for the price.

The Bad: I did find the gimbal handle would knock the camera on occasion when doing extreme moves/angles, so you have to pay attention to the angle at all times. I also found the horizon a little tilted when doing fast panning, it would correct it self but could be annoying to some film makers while other may like the fluid more natural motion.

All in all I found this to be a nice little gimbal for the price. If you’re looking for a low-cost gimbal you might just want take a look at the Hohem iSteady pro, I am sure you will be satisfied with the purchase. Watch our full in-depth review on YouTube.

iSteady Pro (USA) https://amzn.to/2L5wclP
iSteady Pro (CAN) https://amzn.to/2NUUIUN

 

 

Hohem iSteady Pro packaging.

Hohem iSteady Pro includes a nice case for transporting and protecting your gimbal.

 

The Hohem iSteady Pro includes a micro USB cable for charging and a small mini tripod.

 

Hohem iSteady Pro.

 

The iSteady Pro has nice simple controls including a joystick.

 

Hohem has a nice app to allow you to control and adjust settings of the iSteady Pro.

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GoPro Gear / Accessories

New Updated GoPro Seeker Backpack

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A few weeks ago GoPro quietly updated the GoPro seeker backpack with a few small changes. The first change is they have made the back pack slightly larger and increased its capacity from a 16 liters to a 18 liters. Upon visual inspection this did not significantly increase the overall size of the backpack. When doing a side by side comparison it’s very difficult to see any size changes. The other feature that have added is a new laptop sleeve located in the back compartment beside the water bladder compartment that is now capable of holding a 15″ laptop. This was one complaint that many had with the original GoPro seeker and has now been addressed.

Another nice thing is that GoPro has dropped the price of the seeker backpack. For a long time the seeker backpack retailed at $169.99 U.S however the new price of the updated GoPro seeker backpack is $149 U.S. You can still purchase the original seeker backpack on amazon for under $120. The big question is … is it worth the upgrade if you already own the original GoPro Seeker Backpack. Personally I would have to say no, to me the changes are not significant enough to justify the cost. However if you are looking to get a new backpack, now is the time with the new low-cost and updated model. The seeker is a high quality GoPro backpack that is super comfortable to wear for long periods of time and can hold of ton of gear. I highly recommend it.

Updated Seeker Backpack: https://amzn.to/2L8Z9cA
Old Seeker Backpack: https://amzn.to/2NLJrWO

 

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