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Solar Charger for Your GoPro | Anker PowerPort Solar Review

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If you are like me, there are some adventures you plan where hydro will not be available but you still need a way to keep your GoPro’s and gear powered while off the Grid. Power banks are your best solution but they don’t last forever and can add a lot of weight to your backpack or camera bag which is not ideal if you will be doing a lot of hiking.

The best solution in this scenario is a solar charger for your GoPro. Anker makes the PowerPort solar and it is a light weight, compact and durable solar charger for your GoPro that performs very well even in cool and cloudy conditions. During my testing on an overcast 1 degree (-3 with windchill) Canadian winter day I could get about a 23% charge every 30 minutes. You can achieve a full charge of your GoPro’s battery in about 2 hours on a cold overcast winter day, that is pretty impressive. I haven’t been able to test it on a bright sunny day yet, but even at 2 hours for a charge I am extremely pleased with. Charging on a bright sunny day will only achieve even better results. The 3 panel unit outputs 2.4 amps per port or 3 amps overall in ideal conditions. Like all Anker chargers it utilizes its IQ technology delivering the fastest charge your device will handle so you do not have to worry about damaging what every you are charging. It also has short-circuit and surge protection built in to keep your devices safe.

The Anker PowerPort Solar comes in two configurations with about a $10 U.S. price difference between the two. There is a 3 panel version and a 2 panel version. When folded both models occupy the same small footprint, they are extremely light (14.7 oz) and will not take up much room or add a lot of weight to your pack.

PowerPort Solar 3 Panel
U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nwUaq7
Canadian Amazon: http://amzn.to/2n1jLuG

PowerPort Solar 2 Panel
U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mSEYXe
Canadian Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nlYTvy

3 Panel Anker solar charger for GoPro

The Anker GoPro solar charger can be utilised in many different ways. You can lay it out on a flat surface or it can be hung on a backpack so you can charge your equipment while you are on the move. It can also be draped over rocks or hung from a tree to keep it out of your way. There is a handy Velcro pocket that contains the USB charging ports. This pocket can also be used to store your devices while charging.

Velcro pocket and charging ports on the Anker GoPro Solar Charger.

All in all I am very happy with the unit and it has now made its way in to my top 10 must have GoPro accessories. This Anker solar charger is not only great at charging GoPro’s but it can charge any device that is capable of being charged via USB like smartphones, drones or tablets. In addition this unit can be used with dual chargers to charge multiple batteries at once and when all your batteries are charged you can plug in your power banks and top them off as well. Think of the possibilities. With the Anker PowerPort solar you don’t have to worry about running out of power when on the go.

Update: The sun finally made an appearance were I live and I was able to conduct some tests on a partly sunny day. I found I could get an average of about a 38% charge in 30 minutes in my tests. Just amazing for an inexpensive solar panel. With these results its easy to conclude that you could easily charge your GoPro in an hour on a sunny day.

You can watch our YouTube video review below.

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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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