microphone and tripod screw threads and GoPro fixings explained
GoPro, microphone and camera fittings are so ridiculously different, so here are some pointers to help buy the right bits to mount them. In all cases, even a GoPro (below) the device will have the female part of the fitting while the stand or mount you need to fix to will have the male part.
what to know about audio & video 1/4″ 3/8″ and 5/8″fittings
- there are three common thread diameters 1/4″ 3/8″ and 5/8″. There’s also a 1/2″ thread but it’s rare. These sizes don’t mate with the bolts and screws in a hardware store – unless they have these threads per inch: 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 and 5/8-27 threads per inch.
which thread size do I have?
If you have a microphone stand you might need to know the thread size for an adapter. A microphone will usually have a 3/8″ or 5/8″ threaded hole. If you can fit a finger in this hole it’s 5/8″ (just over half an inch).
If you can’t fit your finger in the microphone fitting hole it’s 3/8″. You may find the hole already contains a removable 3/8″ female adaptor (shown below) inside a bigger 5/8″ male thread.
All one really needs to know is this:
- to fit microphone with a 3/8 inch hole on a 5/8″ male end of a microphone stand you’ll need a 3/8″ male to 5/8″ female adaptor.
- to fit a microphone with a larger 5/8 inch hole on a 3/8″ male end of a microphone arm you need a 5/8″ male to 3/8″ female adaptor.
how can I fit a microphone to a camera tripod?
Cameras, halo ring lights and some audio recorders come with a 1/4″ threaded hole which is perfect for a tripod. However, to fit a microphone to a tripod you need to make the microphone’s bigger threaded hole into a small 1/4″ hole to fit on the 1/4″ male bolt of a tripod. You can combine adapters but this is what you need to do the job with one:
- If a microphone has a 5/8″ threaded hole (your finger will fit inside this) you need a 5/8″ male to 1/4″ female adapter to fit a tripod.
- If a microphone has the smaller 3/8″ threaded hole you need a 3/8″ male to 1/4″ female adapter to fit a tripod.
how can I fit a camera or halo light ring to a microphone stand?
Cameras and some lighting gear have a 1/4″ threaded hole. To fit a camera to a microphone stand requires an adaptor to add a larger ‘hole’ to it.
- To fit a camera to a microphone stand with a 3/8″ male bolt would need a 1/4″ male to 3/8″ female adaptor.
- To fit a camera to a microphone stand with a 5/8″ male bolt would need a 1/4″ male to 5/8″ female adaptor.
a way to understand the Go-Pro mount
The Go-Pro camera often has no mounting points but it’ll come with a frame or waterproof case which will give it a two-pronged fitting. I call this two-pronged fitting ‘the female part’ – I call the three pronged part it connects to ‘the male part’. As I said above all devices have female parts so our GoPro will fix to a support with a three-prong part.
A Go-Pro fittings kit will always have (male) supports with three-prongs that the two-prong camera part fixes to. The supports include a chest harness fitting, a head strap, a bicycle clamp, an arm strap, a yellow floating bulb and a helmet fitting.
When you mount a camera on a bike helmet, you’ll often find that your camera doesn’t point in the right direction. To point your camera 90′ in another direction, you add in an extra piece with 2-prongs at one end and three prongs at the other. The 3-prong end always faces the camera and the 2-prong end faces the mount or fixing. Adding yet another piece like this will give you the flexibility to point the camera in any direction.
how can I mount a GoPro on a camera tripod?
You can get a good value set of GoPro mounting pieces eg on Amazon and it ought have a GoPro piece with a 1/4″ female threaded hole to fit on a tripod. This piece will have a 3-prong male to mate with the 2-prong part of the GoPro camera.