Summer is the season for outdoor activities. And for recording all those adventures—at home and on the road—action cams are major players. Finding mounts or stabilizers for an action camera is far from difficult now that the category has matured and a steady aftermarket serves it.
Capturing crisper video at higher resolutions is fine, but keeping it steady and smooth is equally important for videographers. Capturing different angles for added dynamism and impact also usually requires gear to simplify the process. Whether it’s mounting onto a surface or onto one’s own person, the action cam market has options.
GoPro still dominates the field as the measuring stick for all action cams, but other manufacturers have cut their own niches. For retailers, offering value-added accessories to action camera customers is a win-win. Here is a varied sample of an increasing number of add-on items you can promote to elevate your customers’ video creations.
PolarPro ProGrip and StrapMount Set
This combo set includes different ways with which to mount a GoPro action cam. The ProGrip is a handgrip with storage space inside for an extra battery or two. Besides standard handheld shooting, it also floats, making water-based shots easier to pull off.
The StrapMount latches onto any clothing strap, like a backpack, lifejacket or scuba gear, for instance. The simple strapping mechanism keeps a GoPro firmly attached yet uses a quick clasp for removal when ready to shoot.
The GoPro can be attached to the ProGrip and then both can be placed onto the StrapMount, enabling easy transport and even POV (point of view) shooting without requiring a different piece of gear. $49.99. polarprofilters.com
GoPro Karma Grip
This handgrip and stabilizer was specifically made for the GoPro Hero5, but there is also a separately sold harness to accommodate the Hero4 Black and Silver cam models. Users can remove the stabilizer from the grip and attach it to GoPro’s Karma drone, which provides both handheld and aerial shooting options in one setting. Built-in camera controls offer full, easy access. In addition, the internal battery can keep the grip and camera going for almost two hours on a full charge.
GoPro opted not to add any weight to the bottom of the grip, and other accessories can only be used if the grip is unplugged from the camera’s port. $299.99. gopro.com
Glide Gear SYL-1000 Stabilizer
This bow-shaped, handheld stabilizer works with small cameras, GoPros and phones via included adapters. Designed for shooting smooth, shake-free videos, even when running, the stabilizer holds cameras up to two pounds.
Moreover, it can be balanced for each camera using its counterweights. Users can also adjust the camera screw a couple of inches either way to help with balance.
A gimbal joint prevents angular disturbance and shake from passing to the camera. And cushion strips help reduce vibration and keep the camera snug when mounted. In addition, a tracking knob above the gimbal joint lets users control and aim the camera with a thumb while holding the grip. And loosening the 360 nut changes the angle of the handle, permitting a range of motion.
Made from stainless steel and aluminum, a foam grip on the handle adds comfort, especially in cold weather. $49. glidegear.net
DJI Osmo Mobile
Different versions of the Osmo have been released by DJI, but the Osmo Mobile is meant to make it easier to shoot action with smartphones.
The 3-axis gimbal system smooths out video capture, adding stability to improve composition. The handgrip includes controls to record and stop on the fly, rather than having to always use the touch screen. Mounting the Osmo is easy via a thread at the bottom, so not every shot has to be handheld.
In addition, users can record in real time on YouTube Live via the DJI app. A built-in motion time-lapse feature plus a separate panorama function that merges nine photos add versatility to the Osmo’s options. $299.99. dji.com
Joby Action Jib Kit
For angling a GoPro in ways that would otherwise be too difficult, this kit aims to present shots with versatility. Joby says it can attach to any monopod or cylindrical pole with clamps to extend farther out, while the adjustable cord accommodates different cord lengths. A handle grip uses an integrated pulley system to rotate the camera, allowing users to control the speed and angle when panning.
Supported weight is limited to 11.5 ounces, so action cams are really the only option, especially given the short platform of the included mount. An optional Pole Pack adds three aluminum extension poles made for the kit. $79.95; with Pole Pack, $99.95. joby.com
This stabilizer is meant to be highly versatile in that it can handle anything from a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, a camcorder or an action cam.
The standard tripod mount accommodates most cameras, and the overhanging bar allows for up to 4.5 inches in height for the camera to nestle in comfortably. The rubber handle is shockproof and ruggedized yet also offers a firm grip, complete with grooves, for shooting smoothly at low angles and majestic angles.
The included hot shoe attachment enables users to add a video light or flash for more shooting options. The lightweight build and slight flexibility in the handle may make shooting with heavier cameras and lenses more challenging. Action cams, however, are ideally light enough for it. $22.95. opteka.com
This is the official chest mount for GoPro action cameras, manufactured by the same company. It is a bit elaborate, with two suspender straps that link up with the horizontal chest strap bearing the GoPro mount at the front.
The clipping mechanism is very simple to put on or take off. In addition, the adjustable straps leave plenty of room for all body types. It’s made for adults, not children, but it could fit kids above an unspecified age that are big enough for a snugger fit.
The lack of metals used to make the Chesty renders it ideal for water activities, assuming a chest-based view works. Even standard walking tourism could be made easier with something like this. $39.99. gopro.com
Slick GoPro Gimbal
This GoPro stabilizer will reportedly work right out of the box without having to calibrate it, working instantly once turned on. The handgrip also includes controls: two buttons to the right for tilting the pitch axis, and two to the left for power and toggling modes. The fix mode will lock the yaw axis to the same direction it faces when turned on. Furthermore, follow mode turns the yaw arm with the user’s corresponding head movements. As a result, the GoPro would turn left or right in unison.
The Slick is rated for up to two hours of battery life per charge. It is also able to withstand the elements to an unspecified degree. It is also compatible with all GoPro models from the Hero3 to the Hero5. Available for preorder, current orders are set to ship in August, and the price will increase once shipping starts. $299. slick.video
Movo Photo VS01-SP
This handheld video stabilizer system uses a standard handgrip with a stabilizer that protrudes out front. A counterweight at the bottom balances out the camera mounted on top.
The GoPro mount already comes included with it, but it is also designed to handle a variety of smartphones. Handsets up to 3.5 inches wide can fit, so it essentially covers all smartphones as well as phones inside cases.
Lightweight cameras are a must to be able to use this. The stabilizer is not able to handle anything weighing more than three pounds. The stabilizer is not designed for shooting when on a moving object, like a car or boat, for example. $34.95. movophoto.com