GoPro Volta vs Custom Vlogging Setup

Today we will discuss why one of these is the hands down better choice, and why! Click on image below to watch video on YouTube.

GoPro Volta Hero 9 10 Vic Stah Milien Compare

At its core these two setups are pretty simular in functionality, but one has the obvious advantage of being adaptable to fit each unique requirement of its user, its modular.


OVERVIEW | VOLTA + MEDIA MOD + LIGHT MOD SETUP

On one hand the Volta setup is streamlined and once setup is pretty much a run and gun operation for the constant vlogger. I believe GoPro had good reason to believe these items working together would be a top seller. You can change all the functions from the onboard remote, extend battery (shoot longer videos), it has a tripod built in, and it is pretty small when completely assembled. With the media mod as part of this setup you add some more capabilities like shotgun style mic (can record to the front or the rear), add a monitor, record audio from external mic source.


PROS

  • Compact

  • Extended Battery

  • Ability to use External Mic (3.5mm)

  • Ability to use External Monitor (Micro HDMI)

  • Built in Shotgun Mic with Windscreen

  • Two Cold-Shoe Mounts

  • Light Mod Works Very Well

  • Has 1/4-20 threads on bottom

  • Camera can be rotated

CONS

  • It is What it Is (No Further Expansion)

  • Bluetooth has to be Constantly Re-paired (Volta)

  • Mic only Works if you are Close to Camera

  • Connection Cord is Always in the Way

  • Handle is uncomfortable to hold


OVERVIEW | MAX GRIP + SMALL RIG + LIGHT MOD + EXTERNAL MIC SETUP

This is my personal setup even though I own both rigs. I prefer this setup for multiple reasons as shown in the Pros & Cons below. I am a longtime GoPro user and still have tons of the older cameras laying around. GoPro has been probably one of the key equipment purchases that helped me grow my business, so I am biased as a longtime user and supporter of the company to use as much of their proprietary gear as possible.


In this specific case however, the Volta just doesn't work for me at all. I actually hate it even though the Pros list above is larger than the Cons list. This is a great example of how something can be spot on for one user and hated by another simply because of a missing feature or bad design per users taste. This is why the custom setup wins overall. It is customizable in every way. Choose the mic best suited for the situation. Extend the handle for more interesting visuals. Mount all kinds of accessories with provided mounting solutions built in. Rugged easy to use cage.


The GoPro remote works very well and allows me to control the unit when the handle is extended for unique perspective shots. I don't always use the remote though. In fact, I typically just hit record on the top of the Hero 10. I also prefer a wireless mic like the Rode Wireless Go II so audio is where I am no matter where the camera may be. With the wireless mic and remote you can create shots where you are further away and walking towards the camera. This is yet another creative aspect to great video making.


PROS

  • Still Very Compact

  • Use Rode Wireless Go II

  • Extendable Handle

  • Comfortable Handle

  • Converts to Tripod

  • Multiple attachment areas

  • Easy access to port, buttons, and battery

  • Light Mod Works Very Well

  • Two audio sources captured

  • Pairs faster and responds quicker

CONS

  • NO 1/4-20 Threads

  • Camera can not be rotate without rotating entire handle

  • Remote attached prevents tripod use

  • Audio has to be synced up in post

  • Light Mod requires tape to secure in cold-shoe

  • No extended battery time


Well, there you have it. I use the custom rig and I love it. The only way to make me switch at this point is to make the Volta out of the Max Grip. I want it to be round ad have the 1/4-20 in the bottom of the grip. I want the remote to connect automatically and work faster. The cable needs to be USB-C type and removable on both ends so user can choose style and length.




Reference Links:

GoPro

Small Rig

Record Internally to Rode Wireless Go II