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Go Pro 3 or 3+ Mod


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#1 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:45 PM

Just want to share with the Forum a very interesting mod I did with a Go Pro 3 (or 3+).

 

Ever wonder what if millions of those Go-Pro out there could change their lenses? No more fixed aperture, curve or fisheye  looking images. 

 

I know there is a mod by Novo Camera a year ago but that system costs far too high and only few were made. Plus they only rent it out. Also for a cheap POV camera one would wonder why mod it in the first place and why spend crazy amount of money to do it. Well in the spirit of enterprise and human ingenuity there is always a way to do so cost effectively.    

 

There is this start-up company called Back Bone (http://www.back-bone.ca/) and they make this kit that could completely transform your Go Pro 3 into an interchangeable lens camera using the M12, CS mount or C-mount system. They come in fully assembled camera based on Go Pro 3+(including the Go pro) or self-assemble kit. Being a glutton  for punishment I opt for the kit. Actually I was on my way in becoming their dealer so I thought better try one out. My experience in this particular DIY  is like walking on a cliff edge with a gammy leg and blind folded. 

 

Here is a link to their installation video. Watch it and you know its not for the faith hearted to go D I Y.

 

 

 

I will post some of my picture in the next post

 

 

 


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#2 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:58 PM

Although the instruction is clear enough and the PDF version lists out all the parts there is this "what is going on moments" when parts simply does not fit. I had a few of those.  Also finding the right double sided tape or losing tiny screws in the carpet are the masochistic "fun" of doing this type of mod. Here is the fruits of my labour:

 

 

Attached Images

  • GoProKowa7WP.jpg
  • GoProKowa6WP.jpg

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#3 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:07 PM

Back-bone did say that the sensor in the camera is best suited to M12, CS or C mount lenses. There are simply thousands of used 16mm bolex lenses and CCTV lenses that is compatible with this mod. I choose a Kowa 5 megapixel lens. I also tried a Nikkor AF 20mm with an adapter. With the sensor crop of 5+ its not really effective. The image colour turned out to be off. It could well be the flange distance and the lack of precise alignment of all the adapter and rings. All in all the C-mount lenses worked well and I manage to get good and sharp digital stills and video out.

 

 

Attached Images

  • GoProKowa5WP.jpg
  • GoProKowa1wp.jpg
  • GoProKowa4wp.jpg

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#4 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:15 PM

Here are some images taken with the mod. Additing a Go-Pro back monitor with touch screen really helps with the focusing (duh!) and the controls. There is no AF and with some CCTV lenses there is no aperture scale. In case you are wondering are the Nudibrachs real ? No. These are made in Japan by a very skillful artist.

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • GoProKowa3wp.jpg
  • G0050181wp.jpg
  • G0030100wp.jpg
  • GOPR0039wp.jpg

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#5 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:32 PM

Well thanks for reading this far. I plan to put the modded GP H3/ lens in a custom Go Pro housing. Also some topside aerial test footage is in order with my friend's Cinestar multicopter. Possibly even on a side by side 3D rig. What this mode does is really open up more possibilities for small and controllable POV camera shots in any situation imaginable. Looking forward to other possibilities. From what I read some bright sparks may hack the Go-pro firmware and enable controls of the exposure. I wish Go-pro would do that itself.

 

Caveat: - This is just a few days of my experience with the Back-Bone Go-Pro mod kit and I know  it is not everyone's cup of tea.  I am sure there are better ways to spend one's time and there are better camcorders. Goodness - I shoot quite a few myself. This is just my experience with is this particular niche of camera that I would like to share. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers

David

Attached Images

  • GoPro2wp.jpg

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#6 peterbkk

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:49 AM

I bet you loved every minute of it...



As long as you never ask yourself, "why am I doing this?"  :)



#7 CheungyDiver

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:09 AM

Peter,

 

there is a reason behind my apparent Go-pro mod madness. Here is a clue...10 Go-pros bullet time............

 

Any Palau movies yet?


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#8 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 12:30 AM

there is a reason behind my apparent Go-pro mod madness. Here is a clue...10 Go-pros bullet time............

 

Cool, I'll be intrigued to know how you get on and what methods you used for triggering. We had a simple play here with ours using the wireless remote as the trigger, results were OK, although we need a decent project on the books before we invest any serious time into it ;)


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Visit Black Flag TV Ltd if you'd like to hire me or any of our cameras.

#9 CheungyDiver

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:48 AM

Try Cam-Do.com

 

The hard bit is sealing the casing

 

cheers

David


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#10 thani

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:02 AM

David,

Thanks for sharing the experience. You are a heck of an engineer. I am sure I will not be able to put it back together if I manage to an wreck it correctly.

How do you plan to house it?
Can you still fly it for aerial with bigger lenses?
Best Regards,
Thani

#11 CheungyDiver

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:48 PM

Hi Thani For aerial work I will use a shorter C mount lens. Actually will need two of them side by side for 3d. GoPro is small enough to allow for wider interaxial distance and also on a gimbal. For underwater I mod an existing housing and use a flat port. Ultimately I want a housing with interchangeable ports. Cheers

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#12 thani

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:09 PM

David,

When doing aerial can you still have a view/monitor what your camera is shooting so you can compose your shots properly or is it just a wild guess?

;) I know this is an underwater forum but your topic is quite an interesting one :)

Actually sometime I believe having an areal shot of some dive sites like rock formations and/or small islands can make a good story telling for your underwater video.
Best Regards,
Thani

#13 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:10 AM

Thani, there's quite a few options out there to provide a live link from UAV down to the camera operator.... It just depends on how much you want to spend ;)
Visit bottlefish.net for my personal web site.
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#14 CheungyDiver

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:12 AM

There is a Wi Fi BacPac which allows you to remotely control and view the video on the iPad or iPhone. Range is somewhat limited to 180m. Probably less than than in the field. 

 

I have not tried it yet but could be useful for short range.

 

cheers


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/