GoPro is such an attractive brand not just because of the quality of their cameras, but also the abundance of accessories and mounts. Two of the new ones that I find particularly attractive are the HERO5 Black external microphone adapter and the large tube mount.
The external microphone adapter connects to the HERO5 Black via its USB-C interface and comes equipped with an internal 106dB stereo analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and a USB-C passthrough connection. I tried this accessory with a Rode Videomic Pro mounted on a small tripod. The audio quality is considerably better than without — despite the HERO5’s internal mic capable of capturing good quality sound. The external option promises quality as good as a Videomic Pro hooked up to a Zoom H4n recorder. What is even better is that you can still power your HERO5 from an external battery, using the USB-C passthrough connector.
The adapter itself is well-designed. The ADC is housed in a USB-stick sized rubberised enclosure. Given the fact that it is home to an analogue to digital signal converter its form factor is as small as it possibly can be. The stiffness of the USB-C cable prevents breakage and the USB-C connector sits at a 90° angle while allowing for connecting either way.
I found that when you mount the HERO5 on a tripod you can keep it out of the way by mounting it with the ADC stick hanging down from the USB port. When you mount it on a slider, however, I saw the best way to mount it is with the ADC stick pointing upward so it stays clear from the carriage. Of course, an external mic does require you to remove the ports door, exposing the connectors, but that’s an inevitable compromise if you want to obtain sound from an external capturing source.
The large tube mount is another accessory that caught my attention. It’s a clamp with a screw that allows you to mount your HERO5 (and in this case your HERO3, 3+ or 4 as well) on tube shaped objects ranging from 3.5 to 6.35 cm in diameter. This mount has a hinged, non-slip design. The non-slip silicon can be removed to grab the bigger sized objects. The integrated base rotates 360° with 16 secure positions to let you capture shots from any angle and there’s a special Vertical Mounting Buckle included.
I tried the new clamp by mounting a HERO5 on a panorama pole extending a full 3m and 4.3cm wide and it worked like a charm. The design incorporates a screw with which you can really fasten the clamp securely. I was actually more relaxed with this design than I am using the GoPro Jaws clamp. That one relies on a strong spring. Besides being designed for thinner tubes and more irregular shaped objects, the spring might at some point in its life give way. That’s simply impossible with the large tube mount.
Both the accessories are available from GoPro’s online store.