If you need to run your GoPro with external power or to access the memory card easily, a minimalist frame might be just what you need.
The waterproof housing that comes standard with the GoPro HERO3+ is a very useful accessory. It does what it’s designed to do very well, providing a lot of protection for the camera against bumps, dust, and water. It also provides a way to attach the camera to other things like tripods, suction cups, helmets, or all sorts of other mounts. All without having a major negative effect on handling or image quality.
But there are times the all-around waterproof housing isn’t the ideal solution. If you’re using the HERO3+ in dry conditions or places you don’t need the protection offered by the standard housing, you might want to minimize the bulk. Or maybe you need to attach an external battery or charger, or power supply, so that you’re not restricted to the battery life of a single battery. Maybe you want the built-in microphones to catch sound with less obstruction. Or maybe you need to be able to change the memory card without unclipping the housing and taking the camera completely out. There are, in other words, all sorts of reasons that the standard waterproof housing might not be the best fit for what you’re trying to do.
GoPro has a new deal for Fourth of July, with $100 off the HERO8 Black. They're also throwing in a free extra battery, 32GB microSD card, and two-day shipping, all for $299.99. You can find the deal at GoPro.com.
And they also have a great deal with $150 off a bundle that includes the HERO8 Black, Shorty Grip, Head Strap, an extra battery, and a 32GB microSD card, all for $349.99. You can find the deal here. The deals end July 7.
For all of these, a GoPro Frame might be a better option. It creates a secure, minimalist cradle for the camera to attach to the usual range of GoPro mounts, but otherwise offers maximum accessibility to the camera’s controls and sockets.
GoPro offers one of these skeleton frame housings themselves. It’s called, oddly enough, The Frame. It works well. It supports the LCD Touch BacPac or Battery BacPac (which the Moonshuttle doesn’t), and it includes a glass lens protector.
So why wouldn’t you just go with the official GoPro one if you need a Frame? Price. At a recommended retail price of $39.99, it’s significantly more expensive than some of the third-party after-market options.
Moonshuttle frame. It doesn’t have all the features of the official GoPro-branded Frame, but it might have all the features you need.
You get the frame itself (center), a flexible plastic lens cap (left), and a tripod mount.
The frame is made of semi-flexible plastic, which makes it easy to attach to the camera. Once you attach the screw and socket to the bottom it locks on tight and provides a very secure fit.
When installed, it fits the GoPro HERO3+ snugly and securely.
It provides convenient access to the memory card, so you don’t need to remove the camera from the housing to get at it.
It provides easy access to the mini-USB socket, but it blocks the HDMI socket (at right).
The GoPro HERO3+ has a microphone on the top and another on the side. For the top microphone, there’s a small ridge to help wind keep from blowing directly onto the microphone.
The wifi button is easily accessible.
As is the battery compartment, so you can change batteries without removing the camera from the frame.
With the lens cap attached.
The Moonshuttle Standard Frame is billed as being compatible with the GoPro HERO3, but there’s an important qualification. The frame fits well over a GoPro HERO3 and provides easy access to the buttons, lights, USB socket, and memory card socket. But the mics on a GoPro HERO3 are in a different place than on a GoPro HERO3+, so with this frame, they’re covered over. So if you’re using the onboard microphones to capture sound, this isn’t going to be a good option.
Other than the mic issue, it works fine with a GoPro HERO3.
The frame fits snuggly around the HERO3 and gives a secure fit.
Functionally, the only difference on a GoPro HERO3 is that because the mics are in different places, they’re covered by the frame.
Yes, it’s a snug, secure fit. There’s really no way for it to come loose out of the frame.
None, really, aside from providing a secure mount. But it’s not at all designed for protection. The front and the back of the camera are exposed. The frame itself is light and thin plastic. It does not offer any protection from water.
Yes, very. And quick.
On the GoPro HERO3+ there doesn’t appear to be any negative impact. There’s even a nifty little shield for the top microphone designed to help with the wind coming from head-on (as it would when the camera itself is moving).
On the GoPro HERO3, the microphones are obscured, so yes it does affect the mic recording sound.
Yes, although both mics are obscured on a GoPro HERO3.
Yes. It comes with a tripod mount attachment, but it uses the usual GoPro attachment system.
No. If you need that feature you’re better off paying a bit extra and going with the official GoPro frame, which has a swinging arm to accommodate those.
Yes, the microSD card is easily accessible without removing the camera from the frame.
No, it’s partly blocked by the frame. If you need access to the HDMI socket, go with the official GoPro Frame.
Yes, there are small holes cut out so that you can still see them.
No, just the GoPro HERO3+ and GoPro HERO3 (see above about mic issue on the GoPro Hero 3).
You can find them at Amazon.
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This post was last modified on July 10, 2019 10:53 am