Have a GoPro Hero3?

The new version of the  ‘look at me on YouTube’ action camera for wingsuiters, snowboarders and assorted ‘extreme’ sports enthusiasts is out now. The new lightweight wonder is under test by Wind Watcher and he has generously posted some sample images  of its still frame performance to check out. As ever the width of view is spectacular and the exposure very well balanced. The image is a 12Mpx, 7mb file generated from a 18 x13 mm (I think..GoPro are very shy about this!)  sensor:

The resolution can be judged from this 100% size screen dump of the centre third of the image after the spherical distortion is removed in lightroom:pretty good for a 76g camera!  Sadly the rest of the image is almost useless:

So the effective image area is:

Despite the lightweight, impressive frame rate and remarkable auto exposure control of the HDGpoPro Hero3 I cannot consider it as a high resolution KAP camera despite the HD format.

Wind Watchers test shots are here:

KAP discussion forum here


About billboyheritagesurvey

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6 Responses to Have a GoPro Hero3?

  1. Jasja Dekker says:

    I don’t fully agree with you on this, because I have a different starting point maybe. The images even of the older GoPro are quite nice in their own right, as long as you don’t un-fisheye them. I am sure that if I took my Nikon SLR and my 10 mm lens, and then undistort and crop it, I might arrive with the same result…

    • My start point in all of this is image resolution: if you want fisheyed shots at minimum weight the GoPro is second to none! If you want to map from the images- forget it! I do get better results with the Nikkor 10mm fish eye than from the GoPro at the expense of a 1.4Kg payload. The edge distortion is still there but the effective image area is much greater. I suspect this is because the D5100 I use it on has a bigger sensor and consequently the angular shifts in the correction are not as great as those for the Go Pro.

      • Jasja Dekker says:

        Yes, I agree totally, for mapping it is not usefull at all. Tried it a few times for sport. Interesting that you do get better results with the nikon fisheye. Thanks!

  2. Tom Benedict says:

    I’m not sure I would’ve considered the GoPro for mapping, anyway. Ideally what you’d want for mapping is a completely rectilinear lens. That’s almost impossible to find these days, especially at the wide end. But that used to be one of the primary measures of a lens back in the day.

    But at the same time I’m not sure I’d consider super wide angle lenses for traditional mapping in the first place. By the time you get out to the edge of the field of view, it’s so oblique orthorectification may be next to impossible. Of course this changes with SFM software, which can use that to its advantage.

    Have you tried sending GoPro data straight into something like Agisoft PhotoScan without removing the fisheye distortion? I’m curious what it would do with it.

    • I don’t have a GoPro camera as I consider it something of a distraction but I have put uncorrected Nikon 10mm fisheye stuff through Photoscan with mixed results.

      In general I have found the software can achieve alignment and process a surface in some cases but most of the time it fails.

      Last week I saw a vaulted ceiling (I’ll be writing this up soon!) mapped with the same lens with some success but the orthophoto generated had some serious projection problems. I am now pushing through a mix of images through and it might just work: the wide stuff gets the cover (for the surface) and 35mm strip cover gets the resolution.

      The KAP issue is that at 50-60m stand I’m still looking for the width and the resolving power power of a lens/ camera to get ‘economic’ coverage!

      The GoPro is clearly a great fun camera: if only there was a ‘prime’ lens option!


  3. Pingback: Never mind the width- feel the quality! De-Fish in Lightroom | Billboyheritagesurvey's Blog

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