Life Style

A Useful Accessory For Vloggers And More

Action cams are great. I love the idea of having a tiny camera that can fit in my pocket that’s ready to go no matter what the adventure. In the case of the Hero9 Black, that also includes excellent image stabilization and surprisingly good image quality. There are a few situations where it needs a bit of help, and that’s where the Media Mod comes in. 

The Media Mod is a plastic case that wraps around your Hero9. They also have a version for the Hero8. On it there are two cold shoe mounts, a mic input, an HDMI output, and USB-C since the Hero9’s own is now covered. Most importantly, there’s a built-in mic.

Here’s a closer look.

Moddin’ 

The Media Mod snaps onto the Hero9 securely, after you remove the camera’s battery door. The bottom of the case is open, leaving revealed the fold-away mounts of the Hero9. Rubber buttons on the top and side press the corresponding buttons on the camera. There’s an included wind shield for the microphone. The plastic feels fairly sturdy, but not nearly as strong as the Hero9 itself feels. 

The main test, of course, is for the built-in mic. This is going to vary a bit depending on your surroundings, but in my testing I found the Media Mod mic to highlight my voice better from the background, though with a bit less heft than the camera’s own mics. You can hear what I mean roughly 4:10 in the above video. The difference is fairly subtle, though, and one isn’t significantly worse than the other.

What is more noticeable is the effect of the windshield. I didn’t have a particularly windy day during my testing, but there was enough that it was audible in the footage recorded with just the camera’s built-in microphones. It was far less apparent on the Media Mod mic with its foam windshield attached. 

Accessories for the accessory

The Media Mod has two of its own accessories. The first is the tiny $50 Light Mod, which has 10 LEDs and comes with a rubber diffusion cover. It’s very bright for its size. The light is a little on the cool side for my tastes, but there are 3rd party companies that sell color filters for it. Alternately, you can get pretty much any LED light you want since the cold shoe on the Media Mod is a standard size. I do like the size of the Light Mod, however, since it doesn’t add too much to the overall bulk of the Hero9.

The other main accessory is the $80 Display Mod front-facing screen. This is a 2-inch flip-up screen that connects to the HDMI output on the back of the Media Mod. Since the Hero9 already has a front-facing color LCD, I don’t think this is quite as useful as it would be with the Hero8, but it certainly gives you a better view of what the camera is actually seeing. It also frees up the camera’s built-in screen to display more easily-readable info about your footage.

Final Thoughts

The Media Mod isn’t for everyone. The microphones on the Hero9 are quite good, so the built-in mic isn’t crucial in most situations. Low-light performance is good, for an action cam, so the light might not be vital for everyone either, especially if you have a phone on hand and can use its flashlight. 

That said, the Media Mod is definitely useful in many situations. The mic can help if there’s a lot of ambient noise or excessive wind. In extreme cases, you can always connect a wireless mic to the mic input. For situations where you don’t have a phone, or need a free hand or two, being able to mount a light is very, shall we say, handy.

So in the end I feel, like I do with most GoPro products, it’s a little more expensive than it should be, but quite useful and well thought out. 

Check out my video above (also linked here) for how the mic sounds compared to some others.

Media Mod: $80 

GoPro.com


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