Kit for cams.
Got an action camera? Ready to film your first big adventure? Whoa there, horsie. Sure, your cam might be the bee's knees, but how are you going to hold it, mount it, and keep it safe? Every good camera needs some accessories, and we were sent a few awesome bits and bobs from XSories (get it? X - S - ories). These will do nicely.
XSories do some great mobile and action photography gadgets, and in fact we've already reviewed their powerful pocket light, the XShine. This time 'round we were sent a case of goodies designed for action cams and other types of cameras in extreme situations. They were...
Remember the GorillaPod we reviewed as part of the Action Base Kit from Joby? This is basically the same, but slightly smaller and constructed from tough yet flexible metal wire inside those three legs. The Bendy can function just a like a normal small tripod, holding your action cam aloft thanks to the conventional screw mount on top, adjustable ball head and three strong legs that can be easily straightened out, while it can also be wrapped around the likes of poles, railings, and branches to get your cam into interesting positions.
The Bendy is a lot lighter and slimmer than the aforementioned GorillaPod, making it ideal for stuffing into your pocket or bag (or even the small carry case your action cam might have shipped with) to whip out when you need it. We found the thinner, shorter legs, which are also covered by a soft rubber padding, to be perfect for wrapping around bike handlebars and frames; so no scratches left behind once you've finished filming. Win.
Taking that waterproof action cam anywhere near water? Of course you are; it's waterproof for crying out loud! However, it is also pretty dense, so the moment you lose your grip in the sea, the river, or the lake, that expensive cam will sink like a rock. The U-Float can help there, being a chunky grip with a tripod screw on top, and nice big bulbous body which will float and keep your cam from visiting Davy Jones' Locker.
Not only is the U-Float comfortable to grip, it features an adjustable stretchy strap to make sure that even if your fingers let go, it will keep the camera stuck to your hand. And, obviously, should you drop it while in water, it actually does float very well, with the attached camera dipping below the surface while the bright orange grip bobs about above. If you're planning on capturing some boating, surfing, or even some extreme duck pond action, get this.
The U-Shot is a telescopic camera pole with a tripod screw at on end, and a soft grip at the other. All packed up the U-Shot is just 18cm in length, but when the action calls for a higher shot (or indeed a selfie) is can be pulled out to 50cm.
Unlike many selfie sticks, the U-Shot is made from tough aluminium and features an adjustable ball head at the business end. It also ca be locked closed and open, meaning it won't suddenly spring out in your bag, nor will it collapse under the weight of your GoPro. Uniquely it can also lock at each stage of the telescope, meaning it actually has four different secure lengths from which to film.
Oh, and it also features a screw port in the base, meaning it can be combined with the likes of the Bendy to add a few more inches of reach and grip, and also the U-Float for floatability, of course. It can also be combined with other accessories like suction cup mounts or weights. We really like the feel of it in our hand, and that included carabiner is bloody useful as well.
The above goodies were shipped to us in something that is also very important for fans of action cams: a decent carry case. The Universal Capxule is a tough yet flexible case designed to carry everything you need on action-capturing adventure. Not only can the above gadgets fit comfortably in there (held securely by the elasticated straps) but you can also stuff a couple of cams in, as well as the other bits you'll need. Like your lunch.
The Universal Capxule features a zip closure, a mesh storage compartment in the lid, and also a carry handle. The elastic ties used to keep everything secure and in place can actually be removed in two chunks, being held down with Velcro. We assume this means you can remove them altogether should you wish, and maybe also swap them with other types of impact protection like moulded foam. This is a good case with loads of room and a good level of protection for your kit.
So some great offerings from XSories for action cam users, all of which weigh in at very reasonable prices. Check out their full range at https://xsories.eu/