Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Decent hobbyist gear - but stay out of dust.
on December 2, 2014
I have to admit, I did "cheat" and read some of the posted reviews for this product before testing it myself. As a "Vine" reviewer, I don't usually peak ahead. That said, I found that the GoPole seems like a decent product.
* Nicely finished and seems like it is reasonably sturdy, but not heavy in weight. That is not to say I would ever confuse it with a "pro" grade mini boom. It's not that. But it is just fine for my Hero 3.
* Rubber grip feels secure in the hand.
* Included lanyard fits into a convenient 1/4" receptacle which is the same thread type as a standard tripod head for cameras.
* The Hero 3 fit into the GoPro compatible fixture at the end of the pole just fine.
* The cap nut on the camera fixture is secured instead of being loose. This is more or less just like the GoPro fixtures.
* Once mounted, the camera still has the same range of motion as the OEM mounts.
* I was able to extend and retract it just fine.
* You would never mistake this for true professional gear because the telescoping action is far from smooth enough. In part, I think this is because the locking mechanism for the segments is similar to that found on lightweight telescoping poles like household dusters and such vs. photo equipment. There are no turnbuckles or locks, you just twist the segments to lock or unlock. This works fine when the unit is new and clean, and I did not test to see if grit would hurt the action because it just seems like a definite "yes" on that account. A photo tripod or monopod locking mechanism would allow for a bit more clearance between the nested tubes and a more easy sliding of the segments for extension and retraction. This may seem like I am being equivocal, and I know I am. The thing is, it is working now, but I think it will be sticky later. Some reviewers have had their GoPole get scratched up and seize due to grit getting stuck in the segments and I can believe it. In fact, I had to mess with it a while when I first opened the package in order to get it to move smoothly. A bit of time locking, unlocking, and moving the segments in and out did the trick. I may also use some "Pledge" furniture polish or similar to make sure it stays smooth and able to move.
* It would be nice if a more articulated camera mount joint was available. The standard GoPro forward and back tilt is fine for a typical application on top of a helmet, car, etc. Since this is a hand held pole, I would like to be able to hold it at an angle out a passenger window of a car. I'd like to be able to do that without having my whole arm outside the car. If the mount allowed a side tilt, I would be able to do that. Instead, I have to hold my arm out to the side and have the pole straight up. Alternately, I can hold it out of the sunroof if one is available, but that is a different shot than the street level I would like to have.
I think this is an economical and serviceable GoPro accessory. It is not pro grade, but it does not have a pro price, either. It is probably fine for the casual user and would, in my opinion, work best in environments without a lot of dust or sand.