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Anyone with camcorder in hand, or action cam on head, has the chance to capture some pretty remarkable footage, maybe even something that could become a viral Web sensation. But there are lots of accessories available that make capturing great action footage even easier. If you’re an avid action-cam user, or know someone who is, these accessories are worth taking a look at. Some of them, such as the mounting accessories made by Flymount, can even turn a conventional camcorder into an action cam.
If you don’t have an action cam just yet but would like one, you might want to invest in one that comes with lots of accessories right out of the box. The Swann Freestyle HD is a good example. If you already have an action cam, there are many accessories available that can enhance its functionality.
The Aiptek Bike Mount uses a standard ¼-inch tripod mount to attach to any video camera or digital camera—anything that has a tripod mount can be accommodated. The device clamps securely to a bike’s handlebars, and can be aimed precisely before tightening. The next time you go for a bike ride, why not capture the sights and sounds of your journey?
|Aiptek Bike Mount||Aiptek Windshield Mount|
If you want to capture a driver’s-eye view of your road trips, whether in a race car or on a daily drive, the Aiptek Windshield Mount will document your travels. The device mounts to your windshield with a tenacious suction grip, and a flexible gooseneck with a ¼-inch tripod mount lets you position the camera as necessary. The mount will stick to any smooth, hard surface, so it’s not restricted to windshields.
If you want to capture footage from inside a vehicle but don’t want anything stuck to your windshield, the CruiseCam Short Bar Headrest Camera Mount might be exactly what you need. The device clamps onto the twin posts of car-seat headrests to capture footage from any angle. You can use this to capture a view of the road or the occupants of the vehicle, perhaps for recording part of your own reality show.
Delkin Devices makes the neat WingmanHD Waterproof 3.0 Ounce Action Camera, as well as some neat mounting devices for use with iPads. If you want to use an iPad in your vehicle, either to capture video and stills, to review clips you’ve captured, to run various programs while you drive or perhaps for a passenger to enjoy a movie, the Delkin Devices Fat Gecko Mini Camera Mount & iPad 1 Mount B&H Kit is the way to go. The device consists of a camera stand and a mounting bracket for the original iPad. The camera stand has a suction-cup mount that sticks to all flat non-porous surfaces, and a tripod-mounting screw on top. The iPad bracket attaches to the stand, basically forming a suction cup iPad stand. If you have an iPad 2, you’ll need the Delkin Devices Fat Gecko Mini Camera Mount & iPad 2 Mount B&H Kit.
The Midland XTC-100 Wearable Action Camera is typically worn on a helmet and can be used to capture the scenery you encounter as you race along. But the camera is also useful as a stationary mount. Trees don’t move much, but sometimes the paths of wildlife, intruders, skiers, ATV riders, hunters and gatherers cross in front of trees. The Midland XTA-106 Tree Mount is exactly what you need to mount any small camera with a tripod mount on a tree. One end screws into the tree trunk and the other end attaches to a camera’s tripod mount to capture all the action in your neck of the woods.
Also offered is the Midland XTA-108 Bow Mount, a bit of hardware that allows you to mount a camera on a bow to capture archery competition or bow-hunting video from the archer’s point of view. One end of the device screws into a bow's standard 5/16"-24 stabilizer bar thread and the other end screws into a camera’s tripod mount. There’s also a Midland Action Cam Accessory Kit that includes the tree mount, the bow mount and a visor mount for the brim of your cap. There’s also a Midland Helmet Mount Kit and a Midland Suction Cup Mount Kit. While all of these mounting accessories are designed to work with Midland’s XTC-100 and XTC-150 action cams, they will also work with anything else that has a tripod-mounting socket.
Contour makes some great action cams, including the Contour GPS HD Helmet Camera, and they also make some helpful accessories. If you like to wear baseball caps, the Contour Hat Mount makes it easy to mount a Contour action cam on the brim of your favorite cap. The Contour Roll Bar Mount is a fast and easy way to mount Contour action cams to vehicle roll bars. Of course, there’s also a Contour Windshield Mount and a Contour Flex Strap Mount that allows mounting on pipes, handlebars, tree branches and other cylindrical supports. If it so happens that a nasty fall damages your Contour camera’s lenses, you can replace them inexpensively with the Contour Lens Kit.
GoPro makes some of the most popular actions cams on the market, including the GoPro HD Motorsports HERO, the GoPro HD Helmet HERO, the HD Hero Naked, the HD Surf HERO and the newer HD HERO2 models. Of course there are some awesome accessories to go with the GoPro action cams.
Considering that many folks will use their HERO camcorder in or near water, an ideal feature would allow the camera to float when knocked from its perch, rather than being lost at sea. Fortunately HEROs can float if you affix the Floaty Backdoor to the waterproof housing. “Backdoor Float” would actually be a better name for the accessory, as it’s really just a rectangular float that you affix to the back door of the waterproof housing using strong 3M adhesive strips. The Floaty Backdoor comes with an extra back door for the waterproof housing so you can put the float on the new door and use the assembly when you need to prevent sinking, and use your original back door without the float when sinking isn’t a concern.
You never know where you might end up using your HERO camcorder because it is so versatile, and you’ll always be thinking up new ways to use it. That’s why you never know what kind of mounting accessory you might need. The GoPro Grab Bag of Extra HERO Parts contains all sorts of mounting accessories so you’ll never find yourself unprepared. The grab bag includes flat and curved adhesive mounts, buckles, assorted hardware and more.
When you want to capture the scenery you take in as you see it while doing your thing, you need a helmet cam, or at least a helmet mount for your action cam. The GoPro Helmet Front Mount can keep your camera facing forward like a headlamp, or you can turn the camera on yourself to capture your facial expressions as you rip and ride. If you want to mount your GoPro HERO on any hard, smooth surface, you need the GoPro Suction Cup Mount. It’s the same mount that comes with the Motorsports HERO kit, so if you bought a different kit this mount would let you attach the HERO cam to boats, surfboards, snowboards, car fenders, ATVs and other sport-related vehicles. It retains its grip at speeds up to 150 mph, so you’re sure to capture some intense footage. Just remember to always play it safe.
In order to make them as light as possible, the GoPro cameras don’t have built-in monitors. But for people who want one, a monitor can be added as an accessory. The GoPro LCD BacPac is a display designed for use with 1080p HD HERO cameras. It lets you frame scenes, check lighting and view recorded footage. It features a built-in speaker and controls for volume and fast forward/reverse.
The last thing you want to happen is to complete an epic stunt only to learn that your GoPro batteries went dead on you and none of it was recorded. If you’re worried about running out of juice in the field, the GoPro Battery BacPac can double your record time and let you charge spare GoPro batteries from any USB charging source. The Battery BacPac attaches to the back of the camera, and an LED indicates its power status.
If the types of activities you’re into keep fogging up the inside of your GoPro housing, you’ll definitely want to try out the GoPro Anti-Fog Inserts. Like magnets for humidity, the GoPro Anti-Fog Inserts prevent fogging in cold, humid environments. Three sets of anti-fog inserts are included in the package, and each set is good for four to five uses. They can be reused after being dried in an oven for three minutes.
The GoPro cameras are typically used to capture risky activities. Hopefully you won’t get hurt, and hopefully the camera won’t either. If you do get hurt you should seek medical assistance, but if your GoPro lens cover gets scratched or cracked there is a solution. The GoPro Lens Replacement Kit is compatible with all wide-angle HERO housings, and it includes two wide-angle glass lens covers, two rubber O-rings, six screws and a screwdriver. It’s basically everything you need to replace the lens cover twice.
If you’re a fan of the V.I.O. POV.HD helmet camera, you might be interested in some of the accessories B&H has for it. For example, the Ultra Clamp makes it easy to attach the camera to a variety of objects, and it’s compatible with the 6-inch and 12-inch flex mounts. If you’re not sure what kind of mounts you'll need, you might want to invest in the V.I.O. POV Mount Kit, which includes a nice assortment of mounting hardware for the POV.HD. The kit includes three camera clamps, one goggle mount, one pipe mount, one tripod plate, one star mount, one mini rail and four cable guides.
If you’re a fan of any of the veho Muvi camcorders, B&H has some cool accessories for you, too. There are veho waterproof housings that will keep the camcorders dry when the going gets wet. A Universal Surface Suction Mount will secure the Muvi HD camcorder to any hard, flat surface. Then there’s the Atom Pro Handlebar Mount to attach the tiny Atom camcorder to handlebars or other cylindrical objects and the Pro Handle Bar Mount made for the larger Muvi camcorders. And if you’re looking for an assortment of mounting hardware for the Muvi camcorders, you’ll want to invest in the veho Muvi Extreme Sports Pack.
If the Drift HD is your preferred action camera, there are some useful accessories you’ll want to check out. As an example, say Captain Kirk is using a Drift HD to capture some hand-to-hand combat when he yells out to Scotty that he needs more power. In this scenario Scotty could try to cobble something together or he could simply hand Kirk a Drift External Power Pack. Basically a self-contained Li-ion battery and charger, the device can power a Drift HD camera for up to 20 hours on a single charge. In addition, bundled adapters let you charge cell phones, MP3 players, handheld game consoles and more, although they probably won’t power the Captain’s phaser.
If hunting, paintballing, airsoft battles or other forms of gun play are your interest, you might also want to capture your exploits in video. The Drift Picatinny Rail Mount lets you mount a Drift HD camera on any standard Picatinny rail or tactical rail on a gun or rifle. A Picatinny rail is a standard type of rail system used to mount accessories such as scopes, lights, cameras and more on guns of all kinds. The Picatinny Rail Mount also features standard 1/4"-20 threading, so it will work with other cameras as well as the Drift HD.
If you’re not into guns but do dig motorsports, the Drift Suction Cup Mount allows you to mount the camera on any non-porous, flat surface such as car windshields or fenders. Standard 1/4"-20 threading allows the mount to be used with other cameras. The suction-cup mount is also good for use with surfboards and boats, but of course you’ll need the Drift Waterproof Case for Drift HD170 / X170 Cameras if you’re going anywhere near the water. The case protects the camera from mud, dust and water as deep as 9.8 feet.
If you crack, scratch or chip the lens on your Drift HD camera out in the field, it’s a snap to replace it—provided you’ve brought along a Drift HD Lens Changing Kit. The kit contains two spare lenses and everything you need to swap them out, including mounting hardware and an Allen wrench.
Oregon Scientific makes a rugged waterproof video camera, the ATC9K All Terrain Video Camera, as well as a couple of neat accessories to go with it. There’s the essential Oregon Scientific Suction Cup Mount, which secures the camera to any smooth, flat surface. And then there’s the Oregon Scientific ATC9K GPS Module, which allows the ATC9K camera to map location, speed and distance traveled, as well as display the information on Google Maps or Google Earth.
If you’re the proud owner of an Epic Action Video Cam, you’re in luck—if you need mounting accessories for it. There’s the simple Epic STC-EPCHBM Handle Bar Tube Mount and Epic Adhesive Helmet Mount 2-Pack, both self-explanatory; and the Epic Elbow Mount, which mates with and adds articulation to other Epic mounts, thus allowing you to position the camera more flexibly. If you want a display for your Epic action cam, your best bet is the Epic Viewer, a 2-inch LCD monitor that connects to Epic HD and Epic HD 1080 cameras. The monitor has adjustments for brightness, contrast and volume, and LED indicators for Low Battery and Power. Last, but not least, you’ll need the Epic HD Waterproof Camera Casing if you want to take your Epic HD camera underwater to depths of 20 feet.
Looxcie lovers will not be overlooked in this roundup. If you have a Looxcie 2 Wearable Camcorder, you have several accessories to choose from. Those would include the Car Visor Mount, the Helmet Strap Mount, the Table Top Tripod, the Tripod Head, the Vented Helmet Mount, the Windshield Mount and the Ball Cap Clip.
The last item worth mentioning is useful for all users of action cams, regardless of brand, especially if you use your action cam in cold weather. The Porta Brace PHP-1 Polar Heat Pack is a package of 10 disposable equipment/hand warmers. Popular with skiers and hunters, the Polar Heat Packs are pouches that contain iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and wood fiber, and they come in airtight packages. When you open the package the mixture gets exposed to air and heats up to 130 degrees, and it stays hot for up to 6 hours.
If you have any questions about these myriad action-cam accessories, please post them in the Comments section below. And be careful out there as you ride, climb, pedal and dive.