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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 lightweight, 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 utilized 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 into 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 it’s 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

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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