10 best GoPro accessories 2016

From quadcopters to panoramas, from time lapse to GPS tracking, we've got it covered

Action cameras enable you to capture the world in a way that no other device can. The small size and unique mounting options enable cameras such as the GoPro Hero4 Black to be attached to almost anything. GoPro is still the go-to brand for action cameras, and it's easy to see why, as the simple mount design created by the company is at the heart of the action camera revolution – so much so that it has now been adopted as the standard across the majority of brands.

This makes buying additional mounts and accessories for action cams exceptionally easy, and there's plenty of options out there. And to get you started, here are our top ten GoPro-compatible goodies.

Trace Action sports tracker

1. Trace Action Sports Tracker

Brilliantly simple GPS and motion data tracker for your GoPro

Simple to use
Cuts time consuming editing
Currently Mac-only
Mainly for snow and surf

If there's one device you need to buy for your GoPro then the Trace is it. There's really little to it, but it can still revolutionise the way you use your action camera. You can stick it to your surfboard or ski and the Trace will record motion and GPS data. Then, when it comes to editing the footage, all you do is link the Trace to your computer, open the Trace Video App and the footage will automatically be edited ready for you to upload. This all enables you to get back out on the trail or back in the surf rather than spending hours editing your videos.

3DR Solo

2. 3DR Solo

Robust, well-made drone with smart flight features

Reliable auto flight features
Compatible with GoPro Hero4
Subject to GoPro design changes
Expensive compared to rivals

Drones have become big news in the last year or so and the 3DR SOLO is definitely one for the GoPro user to checkout. An optional gimbal enables a GoPro to be attached to the base of the drone and then a clear live view feed direct from the drone to your mobile device on the ground can be made through a strong Wi-Fi link. Intelligent flight features such as Orbit, Cable Cam and Follow Me can be activated using the touch-screen app on an iOS or Android mobile device. The drone is incredibly well made and robust, and the Follow Me feature is perfect for capturing action from a distance.

Birdie GoPro accessory

3. Birdie

Over sized shuttlecock for your GoPro

Easy to fit GoPro
Decent flight and fun footage
Relatively expensive
Only works with GoPro sized cameras

The Birdie is the perfect beach accessory quickly converting your GoPro into an oversized shuttlecock. A small internal mount enables you to bolt your camera in with the lens facing forward. Then just start recording and throw. The simple design works extremely well and the weight of the GoPro at the front just balances the birdie perfectly. It may be a simple design but if you're looking for an accessory that will capture the action in a new way and is great fun to use then the birdie is well worth checking out.


TurnsPro Time Lapse Camera

4. TurnsPro Time Lapse Camera

Get perfectly controlled 360-degree pans with this clever motorized mount

Easy to setup and use
Control over speed and rotation
No app connectivity
Needs 4 AAs (no internal battery)

This innovative motorised device enables you to capture panning time-lapse sequences or motion video with your GoPro. The simple design enables it to be used as a standalone device or mounted on a tripod for added stability. The controls on the front enable you to adjust the direction of rotation, degrees of camera rotation from 15 to 360 and the time it takes to make the rotation, from 20 seconds to 10 hours. The TurnsPro is small and simple in design but is an ideal tool if you want to capture motion time-lapse sequences.

K Edge Go Big GoPro Saddle Rail Mount

5. K-Edge Go Big GoPro Saddle Rail Mount

No nonsense under-seat bike mount

Solid bike mount
Simple no fuss design
No adjustment – it fits or it doesn't
Go Pro footage needs flipping before editing

An ultra solid GoPro mount makes a huge difference to the quality of video when shooting from a bike, and the K-Edge couldn't be more secure. The all metal design is as simple as they come and clamps directly to the rails under your seat where it bolts on tight. The only issue is that the GoPro once attached sits upside down so all footage needs flipping when it comes to editing.

PanoPro actioncam360

6. PanoPro actioncam360

360-degree panoramas with a regular GoPro – clever!

360 degree video with a single GoPro
Compact go-anywhere design
Incredibly expensive
Software looks a little dated

360 degree video is impressive but incredibly difficult to shoot and edit – however this ingenious device enables you to shoot stunning 360 video with just one regular GoPro. The GoPro simply sits in the waterproof housing beneath the PanoPro and films the convex mirror above, in effect capturing a video donut. This footage then needs to be taken into the PanoPro software and exported. When played back you can scroll around the moving footage in true 360 degree vision.

Samsung 64GB Pro

7. Samsung 64GB Pro+

A card that can keep up with the fastest 4K lifestyle

30mb/s minimum write speed
Huge capacity ideal for 4K
Expensive for a microSD card
Color difficult to see when dropped!

The memory card you choose will make a dramatic difference to how your action camera functions, as the greater part of all action camera problems are due to under-performing MicroSD cards. The Samsung 64GB Pro+ isn't cheap but has one of the fastest write times of any card on the market. Quoted at 95mb/s read and 90mb/s write the card is fast and rates as a Class 10 and U3 – the U3 rating means that it has a minimum write speed of 30mb/s, a speed which out-performs many cards' maximum write speeds. This makes it an ideal choice for 4K video and high speed video capture.

Eachshot Z1 Rider

8. Eachshot Z1-Rider

Gyroscopic GoPro stabilizer that lives up to its claims

Easy to setup for use with GoPro
Incredibly smooth footage
Cable between sections can get in the way
Holding bolts are small and fiddly

Image stabilization can vastly improve the quality and professionalism of your video, but despite there being several GoPro stabilizers on the market, few either live up to their stability claims and many take far too long to learn. The Z1 gimbal is a true 3-axis motorised gimbal, and despite the complexity of the design when first unboxed, it only takes a couple of minutes to actually setup and configure. The all-metal design gives it an air of quality and this is reflected in the incredibly smooth footage that it enables you to capture.

Thule Legend GoPro Backpack

9. Thule Legend GoPro Backpack

Versatile backpack designed by an extreme sports legend

Two easy GoPro mounting positions
Plenty of space for GoPro and other kit
Very expensive for its size
Extra shoulder strap mount would have been good

Matthias Giraud is known for his extreme sports, so when it comes to designing a backpack designed for GoPro it's no surprise that he was asked for inspiration. The resulting collaboration is a lightweight ultra comfortable pack with two GoPro mounting positions, one on the back and the other as a chest mount. The back also features an integrated hard case to hold three GoPros with a further section above for quick access to accessories and kit. In addition to the GoPro features, the main zipped section is large enough for plenty of supplies or a laptop and camera if you're not on the slopes.

Manfrotto Off Road ThrilLED LED Light Kit

10. Manfrotto Off Road ThrilLED LED Light Kit

Go-anywhere lighting for your GoPro

Three power settings
Fits around other accessories
Fitting feels a little too snug
Only one mounting option above the GoPro

There are a few GoPro light accessories on the market, but while many of these are bright, few seem to have taken on the GoPro design principles – mainly that the GoPro is designed to go anywhere. But this light attaches with a discrete metal bracket to the standard GoPro mount and then the lamp sits on top of the waterproof housing. The fit is snug around the camera and the light bar can be tilted slightly to direct the light where you want. The light is bright enough to help illuminate people and boost image quality in low light conditions, but don't expect it to be a bike light replacement, as the light is designed to illuminate a broad area rather than throw the light over a distance.

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Imaging Lab Manager

Ali Jennings is the imaging lab manager for Future Publishing's Photography portfolio. Using Imatest Master and DxO Analyser he produces the image quality tests for all new cameras and lenses review in TechRadar's cameras channel. Ali has been shooting digital since the early nineties and joined Future's Photography portfolio back in 2003.