My GoPro Camera Setup

I get asked about my camera setup often enough that I decided to create a GoPro Resource Page.  I remember when I first started shooting video, I’d spend hours reading reviews and pausing on snippets of other videographers as they walked by mirrors to figure out what kind of setup they were using.  The more I learned, the more daunting it became.  I remember thinking, “I just want to shoot some video – what kind of gear should I buy?!”

What should I get?

As with any gear, it turns out that there’s no right or wrong answer. Instead, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What am shooting?
  2. What will get the most use?

I looked at DSLR’s, point-and-shoots, and even just using my iPhone.  My journey with each will be covered in a future blogpost, but I’m currently using a GoPro setup for 3 main reasons:

  1. Minimalist setup: compact, light, rugged (goes straight into my bag)
  2. Versatility: useful for static shots and action shots/on the move
  3. Price point: fits my budget and can be replaced if needed

GoPro Hero 4 Black, GoPro Hero 4 SilverGoPro Hero 4 Session, GoPro Hero 4 Battery

Start Here

Here is the current setup I’m using with my GoPro gear:

Disclosure:  Please note that the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.   Please understand that I’ve had extensive personal experience with all the products and I only recommend them because they are helpful and useful to me.  

GoPro HERO4 Black 4K Camera/ Music Edition 

The new Hero 4 Black shoots in 4K and does significantly better in low light settings than the previous Hero 3+ Black.  There’s a GoPro App that you can use to turn your smart phone into a remote and viewfinder.  The Music Bundle comes with the Frame housing instead of the clear, plastic Waterproof housing, which will noticeably affect your audio if you plan on using the sound from the camera.  It also comes with removable instruments mounts and a mic stand adapter, which I’ve found especially useful for overhead shots.

GoPro Jaw Clamp

GoPro Jaw Clamp

This tool is KEY.  Perfect for clamping to music stands, chairs, car dashboards, cabinets, almost anything.  It can also act as a selfie-stick when filming yourself and provides some additional reach in combination with the wide-angle view.

SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB microSDXC

You’ll need a micro SD card for your GoPro – and you’ll run out of space faster than you think, so get a 64GB or even 128GB card depending on your budget.  The different between the Extreme and Extreme PLUS is the speed, and from what I’ve read, you’ll want the PLUS if you plan on shooting in 4K. (For a full listing of SD cards compatible with GoPro’s, click here)

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

Any external hard drive will work.  Just don’t plan on housing much video on your machine or you’ll run out of space before you know it.  I use this 2TB to work off of when I’m editing, but only after I’ve backed up the original footage on a 4TB of the same model.  I then immediately reformat my SD card so I’m not figuring out what can be saved or deleted in the future.  I’ve had both for over a year now and they are working great.  Very light and compact.

If you start with the four items above, you’ll be ready to rock as you begin learning how to use the gear.  If you’re looking to expand your toolkit, here are the accessories I’ve since picked up that have been REALLY helpful in a variety of scenarios.

Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger PowerCore

Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger.png

The GoPro battery lasts about an hour, so if you plan on using it while you travel, or you just don’t want to stress of running out of juice while you’re practicing or shooting a concert, I plug my GoPro into this battery pack via mini USB to USB and rest easy knowing I won’t need to switch batteries.

Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Dual Charger for GoPro HERO4

You can buy the GoPro proprietary batteries or you can save about $30 with these.  Best of all, you can also plug the dual charger into your Anker Charger and charge your mini-batteries as well.

Feiyu Tech G4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for GoPro Hero4/3+/3

A bit pricey, but really smooths out the filming if you’re trying to get a fluid shot or plan on walking around and filming.  INCREDIBLE value for the price considering camera gimbals that can cost thousands of dollars.  There is a bit of a learning curve with this piece equipment, something that I continue to work experiment with and improve.

GoPro HERO 4 Session

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 4.48.43 PM

The least expensive of the GoPro’s, and a camera I originally purchased while waiting on a replacement Hero 4 Black to ship.  I ended deciding to keep it because of it’s QuickCapture function which allows you to record immediately as it powers on.  I also chose to keep it because of it’s all black profile and shape which makes for less of a distraction, as well as it being waterproof.  This is also the camera I clip onto the Jaw Clamp in more hazardous scenarios so I won’t be totally heart broken if the camera doesn’t survive.

And that’s it!

If you have any questions that you think I can help answer, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media channels at the bottom of the page @hueiyuanpan.  Or just shoot me a line and say hello – I especially appreciate it when people let me know if something I created is helpful. It’s great encouragement to keep creating the content that I do.

Twitter, Facebook, and email links below to share this page, thanks 🙂 -Huei