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Making GoPro Hero Camera Into A SUPER Hero

The GoPro camera offers users a stunning array of shooting options and features at a competitive price. However anyone using a GoPro camera will know that there is one major factor holding it back from being a powerful little production camera.

The GoPro has an extreme wide-angle lens giving the picture a very noticeable distortion; it also has a fixed focus and aperture. These features make the GoPro camera unwieldy in the professional environment; nevertheless it still remains incredibly popular, and one broadcaster recently made a complete programme using the GoPro style of cameras – though the studio shots were of course NOT GoPro!

Here at Take One we have used the GoPro as an additional camera for a wide shot on several projects where the wide-angle is acceptable, and it has provided useful footage for the editor to jump too in conjunction with other After Effects input! Also for ‘making of…’ style materials the GoPro can be a useful adjunct in our kitbag since once set it can be left to run with someone monitoring stock usage.

The issue of the wide-angle does have some resolution though using the Ribcage from Back-Bone and available from SeeSense, the miniature camera specialists. Using Ribcage you can fit C-mount, CS-mount and micro M12 lenses directly on to a Hero3 or Hero3+ Black camera. You can also connect larger format optics using widely available C-mount adapters such as Canon EF mount lenses with Stop control and retaining the lens’ image stabilisation features. The GoPro can now be easily fitted to other devices including telescopes and endoscopes which can be a valuable asset on medical video productions and perhaps one of the areas of real value.

Using interchangeable lenses will benefit your shots as they will appear more cinematic, a popular style at the moment though no doubt that will change in time when the DSLR phase moves on. A range of megapixel prime, optical zoom, macro and other specialist optics are also available. Not to forget the high quality verifocal lenses – technology which can help you achieve stunning shots, but don’t expect it to be a quick fix, there is no such thing as just point and shoot, everything that looks “instant” is planned and processed! The GoPro camera is a great asset to any kitbag, but it’s an adjunct and not the main source provider – unless you’re scaling Mount Everest perhaps and it would be kinder to let the crew stay in the comfort and warmth of the village below!


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