GoPro as a camera
While the GoPro is well-known as a fantastic multi-purpose video camera, few people acknowledge that it can also deliver fairly decent photographs. As a matter of fact, I mostly use my GoPro HERO4 for taking photos while biking and running (I call it runography & bikeography, respectively). Due to my job I get to travel to some amazing places and I therefore always take my GoPro on virtually every run that I do. There are just too many nice things you see while on the road.
GoPro Photo Quality
Let’s get this out of the way: the GoPro will never be able to compete with a decent camera. However, if used in the right circumstances (light, angle etc.) you can get some surprising results. Take a look at the photograph below. I took this on my usual morning run a few days ago. There was a layer of fog building up over the fields as the sun came out. The atmosphere was mind-blowing and I was super happy to have my trusted GoPro with me:
The colours and the level of detail are quite amazing for such a tiny thing (can you spot the church tower?)
The scenery around me got even more stunning as I approached the town at the end of the trail. Take a look. This is probably one of my favourite photos of recent times. When I posted it on 500px, it jumped to ‘Popular’ within just three minutes. Never had that happen before.
To get a bit geeky – here is a crop from the photo above – surprisingly decent:
No doubt, one of my Fuji cameras would have delivered even better results. But when it comes to photo quality in relation to size and weight, this is cool. All photos were loaded and tweaked in Lightroom. (Visit the gallery to see more photos taken with the GoPro)
A few tips
Here are a few tips for using the GoPro HERO4 as a camera:
- Try to get the best possible light – high ISO is not that great
- Try to get the horizon right in the middle of the frame to minimise the fish-eye effect
- Keep the glass in front of the lease clean (it tends to collect finger prints etc.)
- Do use Lightroom to get the most of the files
Last but not least, having a water-proof camera offers some fun options. This is one of my favourite family photos of recent times.