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My 6 Favorite Action Cam Accessories I Use Daily

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Virtually every day I use action cams to get shots for all assortment of things: In-Depth reviews, general posts, Strava pics, and even Instagram (ok, I suck at being daily there, The Girl is far better). Over on YouTube I’ve seen a lot of questions on what specific accessories I use often, or even what Micro-SD cards I use.  So I put a bit of a video together primarily for YouTube, but then decided to back it into a post here as well.  The theme is mostly GoPro focused, though the accessories are from a variety of vendors.

And in almost all of the cases they’ll work across the board with any action camera – not just a GoPro.  And not only that, but below I’ve linked a few other variants for people that may have Garmin VIRB or other cameras.

First though, the video:

With that out of the way, here’s my top six action cam goodies.

#1: GoPro 3-Way Pole – $54

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Yes, the price of the ‘three-way’ pole is actually $69.  Who says GoPro doesn’t have a sense of humor?  Now, lest you think I’m a huge fan of overpriced GoPro branded accessories, this is one of the handful of GoPro branded that I’ve bought multiple times.  And, in trying a cheap knock-off of this one, I can at least say the GoPro version is far more stable.

In any case, what it does: It’s part selfie-stick, part-tripod, part thingy you can jab into the snow or sand to get a picture, even underwater.  You’ll find it in my back jersey pocket on almost every bike ride – and it’s been there for years.  For example, this photo from 3 years ago? 3-way:

Or these underwater pics from a few years ago, whereby the 3-way was stuck down in the ground or sitting on an underwater rock using the tripod:

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The unit folds out into basically three core positions – tripod, long/short selfie stick, or stick in the ground.  Plus, you actually get a fourth position which is the secondary tripod that is the base portion removed (middle photo below):

DSC_2844 DSC_2845 DSC_2848

Now, the unit isn’t perfect. The reason I’ve had to buy multiples of them is primarily due to the last feature ‘stick in the ground’. This is designed for snow or sand where you can stick the base of the unit into the sand and have it hold itself up. Works great on a beach or snow. But in order to provide a ‘safety’ so it doesn’t break if you run into it, the unit can quick-release or snap off. This is great if you run into it, but if you grab it in a hurry it might leave the base of the unit in the ground.

In fact, that underwater pic above? I lose the pokey part of the 3-way on that photo – not realizing it till minutes later when the piece was long since buried under the ocean floor.  I think I’m on at least my third one now.  Still, I love it otherwise, and with being on the 3rd one I’m mostly learned my lesson on it.

In any case, it does appear to be on sale on Amazon for $54 right now, some $15 off (I don’t know why). Which basically means you can get a few gallons of ice cream at the grocery store with that cash instead.

#2: Dual Battery Pack with Charger for $21

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I think I have a battery and charging device fetish. I can spend hours on Amazon looking at things like 30-port USB charging stations. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got so many devices to charge, or so much stuff to capture. I’m not certain.

But what I do know is that for years I’ve used this random no-name company’s GoPro knockoff batteries and USB chargers.  What’s great about it is that you get two batteries…plus a dual battery charger all for $21.  Normally GoPro themselves charge $20 a battery, and the dual charger is like a million bucks.  Do note that it charges existing GoPro batteries (Hero 5/6 ones), just fine:

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And even cooler is that it has dual USB-C and micro-USB ports for charging, so you can swing either way and reduce the number of cables you bring.

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Or, you can be like me and just get this nifty multi-cable splitter thingy (2 pack for $11), which chargers almost everything I have except Garmin stuff (it has plugs for 1xUSB-C, 2xMicro-USB, 1xApple Lightning, 1xMini-USB). And it even charges concurrently. I find it great for travel and letting a bunch of stuff (slowly) charge overnight.

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In any case, the batteries work great on both GoPro Hero 5 and Hero 6 stuff, and they make up the bulk of my battery arsenal.  There was a time when the Hero 5 first came out that GoPro was blocking 3rd party batteries, but that time has long since passed (thankfully).

#3: GoPro Shorty – $39

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You know what happens when you take the threesome out of the three-way? You end up with someone getting shorted, or Shorty in this case. Basically, that’s what this is – it removes the bendy part of GoPro’s three-way pole above. It just came out this past fall, and oddly enough I’ve found it my new favorite running and swimming GoPro accessory.

Historically I’ve always just run with a GoPro handheld as-is.  No mount most of the time.  But the shorty is just small enough that it doesn’t add much appreciable weight while also giving me a good place to hold onto it.  And more important, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to wedge in unique places to get shots.  Plus, it allows me to get just a tiny bit more reach for the random selfie.

The unit has a small tripod base, as well as an extendomatic part. The extendo part gets you above the surface that just leaving a GoPro sitting on a table might otherwise capture in the frame.

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I haven’t really figured out any obvious downsides to it, in using it in the last 6 months or so.  I suppose aside from the price, it’s still kinda expensive and overpriced at what it is – but it works well, and I’m constantly taking it on runs.  I suppose if I were to nitpick I’d almost say the overbuilt metal thumb screw is a bit of a pain in the ass to undo compared to a cheap and typical GoPro plastic thumbscrew.  But given you can simply use your existing GoPro thumb screws instead, then it’s really a non-issue.

#4: DeKaSi Seeker Backpack – $66:

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Two summers ago I bought GoPro’s official branded backpack, the GoPro Seeker.  At the time it was heralded as a way to creatively hold a crapton of cameras, including built-on mounts for them, as well as pockets to hold the 3-way up properly.  And by and large it was good, but it was also highly overpriced at $170.  It had space for a hydration bladder…but didn’t bother to include one.

However sometime in the past year a copy-cat came out, the DeKaSi Seeker – for $66.  They even pay on Amazon for sponsored placement if you search for ‘GoPro Seeker’. They copied virtually everything about it (including the name), but actually made it better in a number of ways.  For starters, the zipper on mine didn’t die the very first week like it did on my GoPro bag.  But more importantly, it actually comes with accessories (unlike GoPro) – such as a three-way pole of its own (albeit, not the best one). It even has a random GoPro neck strap lanyard thingy in the bag. It’s like someone basically just threw a grab-bag of GoPro compatible parts in there.

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In any event, you’ll find me using the backpack all the time. It was originally designed to hold the now-defunct GoPro Karma drone, but I’ve put numerous other drones in there without issue.  Heck, this past summer in the Alps I stashed in there both an Airdog ADII drone, a DJI Mavic Pro drone, a full DSLR camera, a pile of action cams, a microphone, and even a full tripod attached to the side….and then I went mountain biking with it.

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The only downside is that the front GoPro mount on the left shoulder strap kinda sucks compared to the GoPro branded model.  With the GoPro Seeker you can also hook the GoPro Karma Grip Gimbal onto there, but the DeKaSi version doesn’t have that same spot with enough strength.  So if you have a Karma Grip and were planning to use these two together, I’d skip it.  For everyone else though, it’s an awesome and relatively slim backpack.

#5: GoPro Quik Adapter – from $9:

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In addition to charging devices, I’m also a sucker for anything that moves data faster. Especially if it fits on my keychain.  When the GoPro Quik adapter was first announced, it was kinda brilliant (and honestly, still is).  Priced from $9 to $29 depending on which port type, it plugs into the bottom of your phone/tablet and lets you transfer over videos super quick, instead of using WiFi.

I find this pretty useful in a few core cases:

A) A pile of big files, or really high resolution files
B) Where cellular service sucks and I’m already on WiFi and don’t want to disconnect from WiFi for a long time to download videos

If you’re only downloading a 20-40 seconds video – WiFi is no biggie.  But if you’re downloading 20-40 minutes worth of 4K footage, that’s beastly long and one little blip in the WiFi and the whole thing has to start over again.

The way this works is that you take your micro-SD card and plop it in the little reader.  Then from there you insert that into your phone.  GoPro makes three port variants: Lightening for iOS devices ($29), USB-C for newer phones ($10), and Micro-USB for older phones ($12). For no particular purpose, I bought all three. Though, I primarily use the iPhone version, which sits on my key chain most of the time.  Also note, those three prices seem to change almost daily on Amazon, plus or minus a few bucks.

The only nitpicking downside here is that you can’t just use this adapter as a general way to import any photos/videos to your camera roll (at least on iOS). It only works with GoPro’s app, but that’s mostly due to the way Apple has port/licensing restrictions.  Also, there are some folks on Android having issues with 4K/60 content and the newer content using the newer HEVC file formats on the Hero 6 Black, because the naming convention changed and GoPro hasn’t yet fixed it. Last communication from GoPro says that they’re working on it.

#6: The MicroSD Cards – from $40:

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I sit in a sea of SD cards.

Or rather, there’s a sea of them next to where I’m sitting. Even on my three month long journey to Australia I had probably 25-30 MicroSD cards sitting to the right of me at my desk.  As a general rule, I rarely re-use Micro-SD cards beyond a given device.  Specifically, I tend to put a 128GB or larger Micro-SD card into a given action cam, and then it ‘stays’ there, with me deleting files only when I get to the end of it.

There’s no logic for this, it’s just the way I’ve always done things.  Micro-SD cards are cheap, even for really good ones.  And for the last few years I’ve had really good results with the SanDisk Ultra UHS-1 128GB cards. It’s my go-to card that I buy piles of each time I’m in the US (cause they’re slightly cheaper there).

Now more recently when shooting on 5.2K/5.7K 360° cameras (Fusion and VIRB 360), I’ve been employing the 200GB variants of that, and even a single 256GB one too.  Why?  I hate running out of space.  And with the 360° cameras burning through about 9GB per minute, it’s easy to do so before ya know it.

Now some people subscribe to the theory of smaller SD cards for redundancy or in case you lose it or something.  But here’s the thing: I’ve only once had a feeling that I had a bad Micro-SD card, but even that was an isolated drone incident on a prototype drone.  So it could have been something caused there.

For me, I’m far more likely to lose SD cards because I’ve got too many.  So I’d rather have everything on one card I can find easily. I then stick a few extra Micro-SD cards inside SD to MicroSD card converters inside my wallet in the little coin holder. Sorta like a college student might with condoms.  I find you never know when you might get yourself in a pickle and need an extra SD or MicroSD card, and this is two birds with one stone.

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In any case – there’s plenty of places around the web that do speed testing and all sorts of things on SD/MicroSD cards, but the dirty truth is no GoPro or Garmin action cam today comes even close to hitting the threshold write speeds for even 4K/60 or 5.7K RAW video.  So I wouldn’t fret too much about that.

In short, here’s the full listing of linkage:

#1: GoPro 3-way Stick: $54
#2: Dual Battery Set with Charger: $21
#3: GoPro Shorty stick: $39
#4: Seeker Backpack: $66
#5: GoPro Quik Adapter: $10-$29
#6: 128GB & 200GB MicroSD Cards: $41+

With that – there ya go – all of the action cam goodness I use daily!  If you want to know more about my more general photography stuff (DSLR camera, sliders, etc…), then hit up my full photo post here, where I get into tons more detail on those pieces.

Thanks for reading!

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59 Comments

  1. gingerneil

    That multi way USB charging cable is awesome! I have mostly micro USB, but the odd C (ie gopro) and Lightning. We use a 6 port charger in the kitchen, but even with 6 ports, have to keep moving things about across different connectors. I’ve ordered a 2 pack – one for home, and one for the bag alongside my power bank. Perfect! 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s an awesome little cable. I had gotten one like it a couple years back at a tech conference sitting in a booth. That one had an old school iPhone/iPad adapter and more (found it! link to amzn.to)

      But this one is perfect – I use it daily, it’s actually sitting off to the side right now charging a few Edge devices. And it’s funny, since it doesn’t support data sync, I actually like that. It means that I can charge things without a gazillion prompts on my laptop for inserted devices.

  2. Olly

    Hi Ray,
    just tried to find the dual charger.
    For me the link leads to an empty page at Amazon Germany.
    From pictures etc. it looks like this one: link to amazon.de
    Some users report poor performance of the batteries. What’s your experience with them?
    Best,
    Olly

    • Looks about the same. I haven’t had any issues with the batteries, in fact, I’d actually say they perform marginally better than the stock GoPro batteries (likely because they are actually have a tiny bit more power in them). I use them interchangeably with whatever is charged. At present in the GoPro I’ll be heading out for a ride this afternoon with, it’s the PowerExtra ones. Yesterday it was the stock GoPro ones.

    • Olly

      Ok, thx!
      I’ll give them a try. Most complaints are about their low temperature performance. Too sad that spring has arrived finally and I can’t test/compare them at 0 °C level 😉

    • Throw them in the freezer overnight, that should give a fair insight in their cold weather performance.

    • Olly

      Well, after a few days and usages I think there’s something wrong with them. After charging is compete I power on my Hero6 and it reports 87-88 % capacity. No matter if charged by their own dual charger or in Hero6. If plugged again charging LEDs lit for a second and then off. So the batteries’ electronic stops cycle too early I guess.
      And they last shorter than original GoPros although due to higher capacity they should last longer. Maybe linked to 87% issue.
      They had several unload/charge cycles already so they should have reached their max. capacity already. Going to send them an email.

  3. Marco

    Hee Ray, do you use any wearable gimbal for the GoPro? Or what would be you’re choice if you would want to use one?

    • Rich

      Hey, I was wondering about this – have you ever tried a gimbal, Ray?

      I finally upgraded my action cam to a GoPro 6 a few months ago to go skiing / snowboarding with (with my family including to one 4 and one 7 year old) and to take to the Swiss Alps when I go there with some friend in June. I’ll probably use it on most bike rides for safety logging, too*.

      But the one accessory I bought was a gimbal and although I don’t have an a/b test I do have some smooth footage of runs and me following my children’s first skiing runs.

      I have previously had a Kodak PlaySport and a bullet cam that attached to my Archos 605 (with actual spinning HDD!) to compare this footage to ann the gimbal-ified footable does look smoother.

      Although am I the only one that misses the bullet cam format for actually wearing on your helmet?

      Cheers
      R

      * I have a friend who recently got car-doored. The charming driver then started to swear at said friend, blaming him for possibly scratching his mirror as there wasn’t near enough space for said drive to try to overtake. I’d like to the video, but it’s currently in the hands of the police…

    • Yup, I do use gimbals – though not generally wearable ones.

      My two main gimbals are:

      Feiyu Tech G5 (primarily use it with the VIRB Ultra 30)
      GoPro Karma Grip (primarily use it with GoPro Hero 6).

      Today for example I was filming some stuff on the bike and used the Hero6+Karma Grip Gimbal.

      Btw, my reviews of both here:

      GoPro Gimbal: link to dcrainmaker.com
      FT G5 Gimbal: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Rich

      Thanks for the reply and.. ah yes, so you do ;).
      For some reason searching failed me, which I suspect was a spelling mistake on my behalf.

    • No worries, I can’t spell the name half the time either.

  4. Amateur

    It’s difficult to choose only 6 favourites accessories. In my opinion the shorty is too short. I prefer the Polarpro Trippler as my go-to pole+tripod. It looks like the Shorty, but it’s as long as the 3-way (from 18 to 70 cm), it has rubberised grip and you can use it with gopros, smarthphones and dslr cameras.

    My favourite list could be:

    1. Polarpro Trippler
    2. Dual battery charger with battery
    3. Chest mount
    4. Bite mount with Floaty
    5. Gopro handlebar/seatpost mount
    6. Roll up case

    Extra: I don’t consider microSD card as an accessory because I only use one.

  5. Ian Marchant

    Hi,

    Anyone got any particular experience with multiport travel USB chargers? Whats currently recommended etc.?

    Just back from hols and we had

    3 Mobiles (One Quick Charge Capable)
    3 Tablets
    Action Camera
    Running Watch

    Kids are now getting to the point that they will have more and I can’t carry enough chargers and lead to keep up with it all next time. I am thinking of perhaps one of the 8 or 10 way units but don’t want to end up with something not worth the money.

    • Mark

      Just the other day I bought a small 4 port charger from ravpower off amazon. It’s not exactly travel – it sits on my desk. It’s maybe 3″ x 4″ x 0.75″ (75x100x15-20mm). It uses a standard power cord – the double rounded end like Sony and Microsoft both use for PS4/XB1, and it’ll take 100-240VAC in so doesn’t need a transformer.

      Charges my Pixel 2 XL in about 30 minutes with a pair of BT headphones plugged in too.

      Was gonna buy an Anker cause I’ve had great luck with their batteries, but this was a good bit cheaper.

    • Mark R.

      I recently bought the Anker 5 PowerPort+ 5 via Amazon link to amazon.co.uk

      Input is 100-240V via a 2 pin socket, taking a standard figure of eight mains cable so great for foreign travel.
      Output is 1x USB type C & 4x 2.4Amp USB PowerIQ ports.
      It’s a little bit heavy (~210 grams) as it has a metal case but so far really like it. I use the Type C for GoPro dual battery charger then standard USB for phone, Garmin and a CamCaddy 2 Universal charger.

      Based on this one I wouldn’t hesitate to get Anker’s 10 port version if I needed to charge more devices.

    • Ian Marchant

      Sounds good. Will take a look

    • Yup, I use the exact same one as Mark as well (US linkage: link to amzn.to). It’s great because it’ll power my MacBook or Windows laptop via USB-C, and then four other random things at full amperage. And it’s super lightweight for travel.

      I bought a few actually. One in the kitchen, one in the office, one for travel.

      I will note that the first batch I got from Amazon France were all bad, the USB-C port wouldn’t power my Macbook or really anything. However, Anker replaced them and all was good.

  6. Joel

    Micro SD to Lightning for the iphone – link to amzn.to

    Direct to camera roll / photostream. Works great. Mainly use it for DJI Spark and Yi Action cam video transfers. Then can always pull the footage into GoPro’s app if needed.

  7. Mark H

    Hi Ray,

    Looking at your underwater selfie, I was wondering if GoPro made any underwater remotes. I figure since they have a mic for voice recognition, a simple clicker would carry pretty well through the water a la clapper. And then dolphins would be able to take selfies too!

    • No, I think the challenge there is RF (Bluetooth primarily) via water doesn’t work more than about 2 inches or so. 🙁

    • Mark H

      That’s why I was thinking something audible to make use of the better sound transmission through water and the on board voice (noise) recognition.

      If worse comes to worse, just have a waterproof loud speaker enunciate “Take a photo” or whatever the GoPro recognizes.

  8. Mark H

    And another question: how do you find the long term durability of the keycain microSD card reader?

    I have two in front of me here that have both died, one that’s working intermittently, and others I’ve long since thrown away. All are different brands, three or four purchased retail, and others freebies that came with an SD card.

  9. Stephan

    Ray, have you had issues with the SanDisk Ultra card you linked? I don’t see it on the “GoPro compatible” list…I had an issue with the Karma Grip a while back (USB connected wouldn’t go away), and GoPro blamed it on my SD card. A non-sanctioned SanDisk, apparently.

    • No problems at all (and I’ve bought more of them than all of my Amazon accounts can count).

      Non-sanctioned cards are a huge issue though in the card world. I’ve even seen some solid fakes come through from various companies that have included MicroSD cards in their products in the past. And even on Amazon, fakes happen quite a bit. It’s a core reason I’ll only buy MicroSD/SD/etc cards on Amazon if fulfilled directly from Amazon without any 3rd party involved.

  10. Ian Marchant

    Sounds good. Will take a look

  11. Nicklas

    On the topic of losing SD cards – I got a couple of these and I love them. Also, thanks for the countless of hours of research you have saved me! Keep it up!

    link to amazon.com

  12. Brad

    I love to know about one other “accessory” – what software you use to edit Go Pro footage? So far I’ve found Go Pro’s editing software for PC frustrating to use, and footage file size too big to run on my iPhone or iPad.

    • I definitely don’t use GoPro’s software on the computer. 😉

      I use Final Cut Pro X, and occasionally Adobe Premier Pro.

      I do however somewhat sparingly use GoPro’s Quik software on the phone for super short sub-30 seconds social media type snippets.

    • Brad

      Thanks!

      I got a Hero 6 based 100% on your reviews (sourced from Clever Training). I tried to get the Go Pro computer software to work and it’s pretty much garbage. I would use iMovie on my iPad, but there’s not enough space for the footage.

    • Thanks for the support Brad!

      Yeah, to be honest, if there’s not enough space for iMovie, then you’ll quickly run into the next problem: Not enough space to transfer the footage over to the iPad (since you have to do that to edit it, you can’t do it on the unit itself).

      Don’t feel bad though, my iPad is in the same conundrum. Every time I have to update it…I’ve gotta find a bunch of stuff to delete before I can move forward. Sigh…

  13. Steven

    For editing videos, what settings do you use for export to YouTube? I end with reduced quality that’s hard to watch.

  14. Maddy

    Minor typo “Dakasi” instead of Dekasi (or DeKaSi). Can’t imagine to have this amount of SD cards, crazy!

  15. Hi Ray

    You say that you stick an SD card in a device and leave it there. Does that mean that you always transfer files using the device usb cable?

    I find that it is so much quicker transferring on USB 3 that I always take the card out of the device and transfer using a USB 3 card reader – so much quicker.

    (this is using Virb Elite and Virb 360 cameras which unfortunately are not USB 3).

    • Most of the time for GoPro cameras I take the SD card out and put it in a reader, transfer to an external drive, and then put it right back in again.*

      For Garmin VIRB cameras, I use the cable because out of habit it ensures all the extra files go along (even though if I did the card they do as well).

      *Wouldn’t it be cool if GoPro allowed you to simply connect USB-C to USB-C an external hard drive and offload that way? Just like Skydio does with their R1?

  16. Gennaro

    I have basically the same as Mark and Ray (1 USB-C and 4 normal USB) but RavPower rather than Anker. It’s awesome, I think the Anker will be as good. I also have several similar blocks (all ravpower), 4 and 6 porta but no usb-c. I have one sitting at work and three in different rooms of the house, all with cables attached. Also one 4 ports in the car with lighter plug. So basically I never need to think about cables.

  17. Nacrim

    Any chance that you know where one can still get the DeKaSi Seeker backpack? It seems like it is gone everywhere in the world o.O, finally legal problems with GoPro?

    • Hmm, you’re right, I can’t seem to find it either. Sometimes things come and go for inventory reasons.

      But in this case, if I look at my Amazon order history, I can’t even click on the specific SKU anymore in the order receipt (usually you can, but it shows as not available). Dang.

  18. Steven Knapp

    Any issues with the UHS-1/C10 cards for >= 4k video?

    I see GoPro recommending UHS-3/V30 for 4k.

    link to gopro.com

    I’ve been using the SanDisk ones you recommend without issue, but I’ve not been recording 4k much.

    • No issues at all, for 4K and higher.

      It’s funny, sometimes I think GoPro is getting kickbacks on those recommendations. Doing the simple math of any of these cards, and even in GoPro’s highest configuration it doesn’t even come within the same country of the max throughput on lower and totally acceptable cards.

      Now, if you were on a DSLR/mirrorless outputting 4K RAW…then we’d be talking something else.

    • Eli

      Because they want overhead to prevent problems like:
      link to community.gopro.com

      So they make lists of what has been tested:
      link to gopro.com

      Because not all are actually fast enough:
      link to havecamerawilltravel.com

      Making things easier on support means just tell people use the faster cards

    • Except it’s all factually untrue. That third link starts right into it with the tried and tired ‘4K resolution requires faster cards’.

      Again, do the math. It’s silly. GoPro can’t come anywhere near the rates required for the cards that many people recommend (because they get affiliate commissions on them, and thus prefer more expensive cards).

      Hell, even GoPro’s Fusion 360* camera still is far short, because they aren’t writing both 4K sides (thus 5.7K) to a single card, rather, two cars. In other words, just another GoPro 4K image.

      The problem most people make (including that 3rd article), is that incorrectly understand the terms “Megabyte” versus “Megabit”. When you do so, you have to remember to divide by 8. So the #1 silly-expensive pro level card that the article recommends has a
      max write speed of 90MB (megabytes/second). The most data any GoPro can pump out in the top configuration possible (4K/60 with ProTune) is 78 Megabits per second.

      So how many megabytes is that then? That’s a whopping 9.75 megabytes. Whoop-de-fudge. One can easily validate this by looking at the size of a GoPro written file.

      For reference – Garmin’s VIRB 360 tops out at 120 Megabits per second, or again a whopping 15MB/s (remember, the card is rated for 90MB/second).

      It’s hilarious overkill.

      Finally, the first link where someone tries to explain why they need a 200MB buffer for 4K video is just wrong. Flat and simple wrong. That’s factually not how it works. And in fact, if that individual stopped half-way through their gigantic post to think about what they wrote, they’d realize saying that you need a 200MB/s buffer and thus why you need 96MB/s cards would be…WTF?

      I have zero issues with GoPro recommending certain cards (I think that’s good). Where I have issues is when they say that in order to hit certain frame rates, you need well beyond the cards capabilities. There’s nothing to support that…other than getting you to buy more expensive cards from them.

    • Sure, when the card is brand new it will be sequential writes to do video but as the card gets reused it won’t be able to do all sequential writes as the file system starts to fragment. Sure, most will be at the faster sequential write speed, but its those few writes that are slower that will cause a stream being written to suffer. These memory cards (especially the lower end cards (think cheap brand, not rated perf) don’t have flat performance profiles. Think of it like 3d gaming performance where you need to keep minimum frame rate above a threshold, sure you may get above 200fps and that is all wasted overkill but if you get below the min framerate you’ll still see stutter or a failure message. That’s what they are trying to avoid. There is a huge difference in average write speed which is of no importance and minimum write speed. Notice how there are 7 cards that are below 9.75 MB/sec in average write speed? Pretty sure those cards were even lower an min write speed during the test. So it could write almost all of the file perfectly fast enough but a few times fail to keep that speed causing stutter in the recording.

      The first link was just to show how some people have issues with cards that were too slow even if their rated performance should have been more then good enough. Who cares what their reasoning was? That has happened to others if you search. For example:
      link to mavicpilots.com

    • I guess in recording a crapton (more than a terabyte) of footage over the years on GoPro’s and drones, I’ve just never seen it be an issue.

      Reasoning matters, because when it’s incorrect, then it’s just perpetuating fake things.

      Even looking at that GoPro table it’s full of inconsistencies. There should never be a line-item where something fails for the Hero 6 Black but works for the Fusion. It’s the same darn sensor at the same bitrates to a given card. But wait, you say that the Hero 6 Black does 4K/60 and the Fusion does 4K/30? Ahh, but that forgets the fact that the H6B does 4K/60 in HEVC, which is dramatically less space. Again, it’s just sloppy on GoPro’s part here.

      The vast majority of the time when people have issues with SD cards it’s because they (unknowningly) bought fakes, which have terribly performance (if that).

    • And how many cheap microsd cards do you use? Sandisk ultra, Samsung Evo, samsung pro, Lexar 633x etc that I see in your picture are not low end cards.

    • This whole post is about the cards I use – and the ones I use the most – which is $17 for a 64GB card. That’s pretty cheap. And it’s not a fancy high-end card.

      I tend to use the 128GB variant, which is currently $35. I just use the 128GB variant simply because I don’t want to deal with swapping cards.

    • Steven Knapp

      Ray, thanks for the empirical data!

      I had purchased the SanDisk cards you listed and have used them without issue. $20 for 128GB today, FYI.

      The only reason started looking into this at all was that Amazon promoted a Samsung 128GB UHS-3 card for less than the SanDisk UHS-1. When I went to look into if the Samsung was “reliable” I came across the card recommendations and noticed that the cards I had previously purchased were not listed.

      I’ve seen amazon reviews that don’t line up with the current product being sold. More so when more than one variant of the product is offered from more than one seller. I wanted to make sure Amazon didn’t swap the specific card (SDSQUAR) under the link you provided. It seems that is not the case. Thanks for clarifying!

    • Steven Knapp

      And to correct myself the Samsung card is UHS-I U3 vs the Sandisk UHS-I U1

      link to amazon.com

      link to amazon.com

    • Ray, I’m referring to the quality of the nand flash and the controller in the card. My reading of what you wroite is there is only a mention a single class 10 sandisk ultra card as your latest favorite but a pic of lots of different cards and the rest of the wording making it sound like it doesn’t really matter what card you pick as they are all good. No mention of needing to avoid anything so if they click on the link and see another card that is bigger and/or cheaper like this $14 128 GB WOERWO card…..

      Steven, Samsung generally makes good quality high speed memory so is generally a safe bet. Samsung EVO Select and EVO plus are the exact same card (EVO Select is Amazon exclusive labeling)

  19. Bernard

    G’day Ray

    Love your work. Interested in the back pack, but fair dinkum when i click on the link Amazon has it listed as $499 !?

    Any other outlets i could try ?

    Cheers

    PS – TDU Willunga yesterday was epic…Richie Porte…Keeps…On…Winning…

    • Yeah, it seems like at some point in the last few months Amazon has pulled the listing for it – so basically the only listings left for that one are random 3rd party sellers. I suspect GoPro protested to Amazon over the duplication there (and I can’t blame them really).

      I don’t know any other places. I looked on Google for it (link to google.com) – but things seemed to dry up. 🙁

    • Graham

      BestBuy have the original GoPro bag for $90.
      Not as good as the $70 Dekasi – but better than the original list price of $170…

      link to bestbuy.com

  20. lynn allen

    I ordered a set of batteries and charger from a highly rated 3rd party company. Then I saw on utube that 3rd party batteries can cause stuttering and blackouts on the videos, and can be made inoperable by go pro software updates. Are any of these things true?