As a piece of product design the GoPro is a winner, a high quality light-weight device with ruggedised casing and super wide lens- the perfect action cam.
Before the GoPro getting first person viewpoint video of surfing, snowboarding, parachuting, scuba diving, down hill biking, wing suit flying or base jumping was a difficult, specialist art. The advent of the ‘action cam’ has changed that for good. Everyone can be the star of their own show now.
For many the idea of an unbreakable, wearable camera is irresistible. Footage of your experience of the world in motion is easy and posting it on social media is as natural as a friendly wave to a stranger : we are living in an age of instant capture of both the mundane and extreme of human experience and, with this camera, you are at the centre of the the action in your own movie.
Once the novelty has worn off (after all there are only so many versions your selfie movie you can take) it’s a cute device gathering dust. The cost is forgotten but it’s just too expensive to throw away and selling it might rob you of the chance to use it again…but, pick up the tiny shiny cube and wonder: what is it for?
This was posted to a user group of 52,065 ‘Heroes’
Like many gopro users, mine sits in a closet 99% of the time. I’m 36 and a dad so you won’t catch me doing sweet skateboard tricks or jumping off cliffs. Most of the times I use it to take videos or pics at the beach/pool with my family. I wish I could get more use out of it because it will or is already obsolete (Silver 3) and I don’t want to eventually get rid of it knowing I barely got any use out of it.
That being said, what are some practical uses for my gopro? I thought about using it as a car dashboard camera to capture accidents on the road, etc. I dunno, that’s just one idea. Anyone have any other practical uses they’d like to share?
One answer is to fly it from a kite and take a look at the world from up there: after all the money is spent- the camera now costs you nothing, right?
It’s cheap because I already owned a GoPro and therefore my outlay was on kites.
…there must be thousands of these just waiting to find a new purpose…
We’ve decided to just go for a GoPro as one of our members has one lying around
…being only 72g lifting it by kite is easy…
My old GoPro was $199 and I banged it around on a motorcycle for a couple years before I got the idea to hang it from a kite
Getting to grips with the wide view takes a bit of practice…
and the tumbling perpectives can be enthralling…
In using a fisheye (above image is taken with a Nikkor 10mm 1:2.8 GED perspective corrected ) I found low viewpoints work best, distant horizons are curved and detail is blurred- the drama of the close up perspective is where the super wide view pays off:
Nadir shots work well too, a strong central feature helps lead the eye from the bent-out-of -shape edges…
All the bits you need to fly it can be found here: www.KAPshop.com
De-fishing is explored here: https://billboyheritagesurvey.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/never-mind-the-width-feel-the-quality-de-fish-in-lightroom/
It’s just possible, if you can get high enough and have the patience to run some serious distortion correction, to map with it. Paul Illsley shows us how.
So wait for the wind and see what that little £300 lump can do… because by the time you are bored with it it’s cost to you is zero.
Personally I think it works best as low KAP camera…and for mapping I have only found one worse – a tiltshift lens will render a camera inoperable as a photogrammetic tool.