GoPro used for a huge building jump
While having your GoPro mounted on a pole normally produces much nicer (smoother) footage, there is a little tip to help smooth it out even more.
If you have a simple mount like this one, a couple of tiny changes can make a good improvement to your footage. If you turn the pole around, so that the camera is mounted under the pole, you eliminate some of the left to right rotation that you get from a top mounted GoPro on a pole.
This is because the weight of the GoPro under the pole helps slow its own movement, in a much simpler way than a proper stabilizer works.
Of course, this will mean that your footage will be upside down, but there are some simple options to fix that in the GoPro settings.
Go to the settings, and cycle through the options until you get to the Up settings. In there you can change it to upside down, which will mean that your video will be up the right way around, as soon as you import it onto your computer.
Depending on which model GoPro you have, you will need a different type of SD card.
The GoPro 960 version uses SD cards.
GoPro HD Hero
The original HD Hero uses SD cards, and I have had no problems with using as low as a Class 6 SD Card.
GoPro HD Hero 2
With the HD Hero 2, and the new larger photos that can be shot in burst modes, it needs a faster SD Card. Stick with at least a Class 10 SD Card.
GoPro HD Hero 3
For all the GoPro Hero 3 models, you will need a MicroSD card that is at least Class 10.
I have a couple of cards that are 32gb each, but even that size is a bit of overkill. You will be draining the battery on the camera way before you come close to filling up a 32gb card.
With the recent price drops for the Hero 2, it is no surprise that the new GoPro Hero 3 is coming out.
Apparently is is going to be a much smaller, lighter and will come in 3 different models, with the top end having some crazy video features. Officially being announced tonight, it looks like I might be will get to start a whole new set of experiments when I get my hands on one.
One of the best things about a pole mounted GoPro is the quality of the footage it produces. Rather than the standard POV helmet mounted view, a pole mounted GoPro lets you film smooth footage, and get close to your subject so you can really take advantage of the wide angle lens.
There are a few options for mounting your GoPro on a pole, after making lots of different versions for people I have found the easiest and strongest way.
Grab an old ski pole, if you don’t have one try asking around at a ski hill, rental and repair shops normally have lots of odd ones lying around that they can give you.
The length is up to you, the longer the pole, the smoother the footage and the closer you can get to the person you are filming without risking being hit by them. The shorter the pole, the more convenient it is to carry around and is a little bit less annoying.
I like to keep the weight of the camera as close to the end of the pole as I can, so if you buy the Tripod Mount, it is the simplest way to connect the mount to the pole.
You need to find a screw that will fit the thread size of the tripod mount, which is a little thicker than most screws, but should not be hard to find. If you wanted to get professional looking, you could buy something like this - D Shaft D-ring Screw 1/4-Inch Camera Tripod Qr Stainless Steel -2 pack.
Depending on the length of your screw, you might have to squash the end of the pole a little. If you have an aluminium pole, you can use a rubber hammer to slowly flatten the end. Be careful, if you hammer it too hard/fast, it can crack, so take your time.
Drill a hole through the end of the pole, and then put the screw through the pole to the mount and tighten it. Easy pole cam.
One of the reasons that I like this setup is that as long as you put the tripod mount right near the end, it will allow you to jam the pole in the snow, and flip the camera so you can use it like a simple monopod. Can be handy for filming features in the park.
Another one of the mounts that I have made, that has been quite useful is my ski pole handle mount.
I took a handle off an old ski pole, by letting it soak in hot water for a few minutes to let the handle soften up, then pulled it off the pole.
The top of the handle is round, which isn’t ideal for mounting any of the standard GoPro mounts on, so I used a hacksaw to chop a layer off and make it flat as I could. To give it a little bit of grip, I used a coarse grit sandpaper to make roughen the top of the handle up.
After sticking on one of the normal mounts, I mixed up a 2 part epoxy (This would be fine) and also added a bit of black ink to the mixture. I put lots of this on around the bottom on the mount, and used some masking tape to seal it in while the epoxy dried.
After that had set (12 hours) I also put in a large wood screw in a countersunk hole in the mount. As it turned out, that was complete overkill, as the epoxy was more than strong enough to hold the weight of a GoPro easily.
After taking off the tape, I used a file to get rid of the excess glue, and although it is not a particularly pretty join, it is very strong.
Why I like this mount so much
Although filming using this handle is not as smooth as using a pole, it does a better job than just holding the camera. If you use the J mount on the GoPro to connect it to the handle, it gives you lots of options for filming. Also I can fit the whole lot into my jacket pocket.
Adjusted like this, the handle gives you a good grip for filming other people, or using it as a follow cam.
Folding the camera up, it lets you mount the camera forwards, which I found most useful if I jam the handle in the snow, using it as a little monopod.
If you fold the camera around a little more, it is set up for filming yourself.
After watching a friend lose their Gopro from their helmet on a deep powder day, I tried to work out a way to secure mine in a way that would never come off.
The 3m adhesive that is on the back of the mounts is quite strong, and put on a clean surface should stick quite well, but I was still a little hesitant. If you don’t have the rounded mount, or the J shaped part, you can get them in the GoPro Grab Bag of Mounts.
I have watched a few people knock their go pros (and mounts) straight off their helmets when they hit hit a branch while snowboarding through trees, which was another thing I wanted to avoid.
Rather than mount the Gopro on the very top of the helmet, where it is more likely to hit something, I decided to mount it on the front of the helmet, and then secure the mount in a way that will never come off.
I was not worried about modifying my helmet, and as happy to have the mount permanently stuck there.
I drilled two holes in the mount, then used a large drill bit to countersink, so that the screws would sit flush with the mount, and cause no problems sliding the Gopro on or off.
I cut a little of the polystyrene out from the back of the helmet, then used two of these things (apparently called t-nuts) which give a good wide grip on the polystyrene, and still allowed me to do them up tight.
Combined with the vertical j mount, this setup seems to work quite well. I prefer having the weight of the Gopro over the front on the helmet rather than the top.
One weakness is that you might not be able to fit a Gopro case with the screen, or the battery backpack.