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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, let’s get right into it.  I will be using the official “Jaws Clamp Mount” and the “3-Way” by GoPro and will be 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 about 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 screwdriver 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 gooseneck 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 gooseneck. 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 gooseneck unusable as I would not trust my GoPro to stay in place.

Sublimeware jaws defect. Gooseneck buckle will not slide fully into the 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 perform similarly 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. It’s 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 overpriced, 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 you think.

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GoPro Gear / Accessories

When And Why To Use A Polarizing Filter With Your GoPro

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Ever wonder what a polarizing filter is and what it does? In this video, we are taking a look at a couple of polarization filters also knows as CPL’s for the GoPro Hero 5 Black and Hero 6 Black. These will also be compatible with the GoPro Hero 7 Black which will be released later this fall.

What Is A Polarizing Filter For Your GoPro

A polarizing filter is a filter that attaches to your GoPro and its purpose is to cut back reflections from shiny surfaces such as water, metallic surfaces, glass, even plants, and paved roads. When reflections are minimized your GoPro can capture deeper more true to life colors with more saturation and vibrancy. Filming on water is a perfect scenario. The glare from water can really desaturate the video or photo you take. By adding a polarizing filter the camera can record richer blues in the sky and the water itself. It can also in some situation make the water more transparent so you can film what lies beneath. Another good example is when filming yourself driving with your GoPro. If you have a GoPro mounted on a car on a bright day, the asphalt can be quite shiny. Using a CPL will cut back the glare on both the vehicle and the road leaving you with a beautiful video with deep vibrant colors. Myself I even use one when taking photos of my garden. Plant leaves can have a sheen on them. Using a CPL allows me to capture all the beautiful colors of the flowers easily.

TIP: In order to use a polarizing filter you must use it 90 degrees to the sun. So filming with the sun directly in front of you or behind you will have no polarization advantages when using a CPL with your GoPro.

What CPL Filter Is Right For You & Your GoPro

There are many CPL filters on the market for your GoPro, In this video a take a look at two. The first filter is by SandMarc which has a rotating dial that sets the polarization. The second one by Telesin has to be removed and rotated to set the desired polarization. I have used both extensively and I have found that both provide similar results with the quality of footage that is produced. The SandMarc filter is easier to use as you can just dial and rotate the filter to get the appropriate polarization, whereas the Telesin CPL must be removed and rotated manually. There is a large price difference between the two the SandMarc CPL runs about $39 and the Telesin comes in at $12. Even though its cheaper the Telesin polarizer filter also includes a lens cap to help protect the lens for smudges and scratches. One other nice feature the Telesin brand has is the ability to lock the lens on the GoPro via an Allen key and screw. This is important as the large lenses have been known to fly off when being used at high rates of speed, the wind velocity can work the lens off. There is no way to tighten the SandMarc polarizer filter. Just keep in mind over tightening the screw can leave marks on the GoPros finish.

Watch our demonstration video where we show you how to use and install these polarizing filters on your GoPro. We also include some sample footage showing you the difference of using a polarizing filter and not using one.

Currently, the Sandmarc CPLS are on Backorder I will add a link to it when it’s available.

Telesin CPL for Hero 5/6 Black: https://amzn.to/2xsAf2j

 

SandMarc CPL polarizing filter for your GoPro Hero 5/6 Black.

 

Telesin CPL polarizing filter for your GoPro Hero 5/6 Black.

 

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GoPro Gear / Accessories

Affordable YouTube Studio Lighting | FalconEyes SO-48TD Review

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If you are in the market for affordable lighting for you home YouTube studio you may just want to take a look at the FalconEyes SO-48TD, a high-quality light without a big price tag. If you are just starting out with creating YouTube content one of the most important thing besides your camera is lighting. If your filming outside this is not so much of an issue, but if your creating an indoor studio lighting is a crucial part of your setup.

There is a lot to choose from when it comes to lighting, some really cheap options, and some really expensive ones as well. If you’re just starting out you may want to choose some on the cheaper side, especially if you are just doing YouTube as a hobby and don’t want to invest a lot of money. I strongly recommend the FalconEyes SO-48TD. They can produce stunning results without breaking the bank. This series of lights come in 3 output sizes, a 28 watts, 48 watts and 68wattst. Anyone of these light would do the trick. There are many ways to set up the lights. Traditionally you would want at least one main key light and a second light for accenting.

The FalconEyes SO-48TD lights can be connected to one another wirelessly if you so choose. The benefits of this are allowing you to adjust all your lighting together. You can make an adjustment of color temperature or brightness on one and all connected lights will be adjusted automatically. The lights can be powered by both batteries and a wall socket. This makes the light very versatile if you would like to take it to a location where it can not be plugged into a wall. The unit has a nice touchscreen for controlling the brightness and temperature. The temperature range is from 3000K to 5600K and the brightness can be adjusted in 1% increments.

Another key feature of this light is that it replicates the use of a softbox and provides nice even soft lighting. This is achieved by a ring of LED lights around the outside of the fixture that point inward. The light is then reflected back out through a diffuser providing nice soft light without the bulk of big light boxes.

I think this is a great light for anyone looking to set up a YouTube studio in their home. The kit includes a nice travel case, however, you will need to purchase some light stands as they are not included in the package. I will include some links to the ones I use. They are good and solid and at an affordable price as well.

Three sizes of lights to choose from
FalconEyes SO-28TD: https://amzn.to/2Myhctr
FalconEyes SO-48TD: https://amzn.to/2vuzW6P
FalconEyes SO-68TD: https://amzn.to/2AY23QR

Neewer Light Stands: https://amzn.to/2OZSjsn

Batteries (2 different styles)
NP-F750/970: https://amzn.to/2vFx3jJ
or you can use the Sony V Mount style without an adapter
https://amzn.to/2ntBUQA

 


FalconEyes SO-48TD

 

FalconEyes SO-48TD

 

The removable wireless antenna of the FalconEyes SO-48TD.

 

V-Mount adapter of the FalconEyes SO-48TD

 

The touchscreen of the FalconEyes SO-48TD.

 

Removable battery adapter for the FalconEyes SO-48TD. When removed it reveals a V-Mount connector that can be used with Sony V-Mount batteries as well.

 

Back view of the FalconEyes SO-48TD.

 

FalconEyes SO-48TD

 

The FalconEyes SO-48TD comes with a nice carrying case.

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