What’s in my 360VR shooting support kit

So you’ve got the GoPros and the array, and you are absolutely jonesing to use it every chance you possibly can.  Or perhaps a Theta S or Samsung Gear360 or two.  

But that is only the beginning, what happens when the cards are full, the batteries are drained and that sunset is just a short drive away and you are SO sure its gonna be a beauty… 

Ok, so more batteries?  Sure, but then you have to pull your cameras out of the array and that takes time.   And about all those wee cards? 

Never fear, there are beautiful, well, elegant, hmm… ok, there are Solutions that work very well.  These are not the only solutions out there, just the ones that I’ve found work well for my adventures. 

First up, charging… all the charm in the world won’t charge your batteries for you, and there are never enough outlets.

[Upgraded Version] Anker USB 3.0 SuperSpeed 10-Port Hub Including a BC 1.2 Charging Port with 60W (12V / 5A) Power Adapter [VIA VL812-B2 Chipset and updated Firmware 9081] AH231

This bad boy will take care of all your charging needs, but you’ll need some cables to make the connection.  

StarTech.com Mini USB Cable – A to Right Angle Mini B – 6 Feet

Take a look at the right angle on these, they will make plugging in your charger to your GoPros while they remain in the array a snap, and they have a secondary purpose, they can help you create that 6 hour timelapse of the milky way if you connect them to these: 

HAME 20000 mAh 5 USB Ports Portable Power Bank External Battery Charging Station for Smartphones and Tablets 

With these and your 6′ cables you can also charge the GoPros on the drive between shoots which is can be super helpful. 

With regards to battery chargers… nice 3 channel chargers will do the trick but remember you’ll need a spare if you have a 10 camera rig.  Splurge a little, get the higher capacity batteries if you can. 

now on to the bag.  It need to be big enough to carry all these goodies, but carry-able in case you are hiking in to capture that perfect sunset.  

Currently i’m a big fan of the Kata HB-207 or similar.  Big enough for all the toys and comfortable to hike with. 

For keeping your wee cards organized, for around 5 bucks (or free at some trade shows) my favorites these days are the credit card sized SDcardholders that can hold 10 microSD cards plus your adaptor.  This way you can organize your cards easily by day and never have that sinking feeling “did i load the right card, did i just format over all my hard work?”.  

Now, another tool that can be fantastic, even if you have that big fancy GoPro kit, is a Theta S or Samsung Gear 360.  I use the Theta S because i have an iPhone but either will work to do both test shots and live view.  It has made my 360 video much much better (usually because it shows me I need to get closer). The video from the Theta S leaves much to be desired and it is a bit unstable due to overheating but its timelapse is actually very very nice, loads of user controls via the phone app,  minus the fact that 8 second intervals are the shortest you can get.  The Samsung Gear360 video is for sure usable, not a GoPro array, but usable, and it is better for timelapse in it’s own way (has shorter intervals, 2 second work quite well) Now if only it didn’t self assemble and down res the timelapse internally.  Basically if EITHER company (Ricoh or Samsung) combined the features and functionality of both cameras, they’d knock it out of the park on the high end consumer/prosumer level 😉  

Speaking of the Theta S  and Gear360, I also keep a handful of the little USB charger sticks as they word swimmingly for both charging and longer duration shoots. 

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