Skip to main content

This DIY mod turns a GoPro Hero into an interchangeable lens camera

GoPro’s cameras are a hit with consumers, but a once unlikely group has also embraced the action camcorder: filmmakers. With a compact size that’s easy to mount anywhere, high-resolution HD (2K/4K in some models) video capture, and a cheap price that makes it practically disposable, the GoPro Hero has become a handy and popular secondary camera for many cinematographers. But they’re restricted to using a single wide-angle fixed lens that’s not useful for non-action footages. For those who are comfortable with performing some tech surgery, a Canadian company called Back-Bone is offering the Ribcage, an accessory that modifies a GoPro Hero3 or Hero3+ Black to accept interchangeable lenses.

Currently available as a pre-order, the Ribcage can be purchased as a DIY kit for $200 or fully configured with a GoPro camera for $799. It’s a substantial price difference, but it’s an option for those not too keen on taking apart something. The Ribcage lets you attach any C-mount lens, which are used 16mm movie cameras and CCTV cameras (adapters are available for attaching other mount types to the C-mount). With different lenses the user can take control of zooming, focusing, depth of field, and aperture. The accessory also includes an IR filter for infrared photography.

Because the GoPro camera uses a 1/2.3-inch sensor, simply attaching a lens would result in a big 35mm-equivalent crop factor. With the Ribcage’s C-mount, Back-Bone says very little cropping will occur. They’re also looking into focal reducers to further decrease the crop factor.

Check out the videos below to see how the modification is done, and how well it works.

Our review of the GoPro Hero 3 noted that since its launch in 2004, the GoPro has quickly become one of the most aspirational camcorders ever produced. Never has a camera encouraged more people to try more things than the Hero series action, point-of-view camcorders – even though the sector had existed prior to GoPro’s arrival. Some would argue that GoPro has done more to change the way we view action sports than any other camera manufacturer ever.

The GoPro Hero3 is a small camera that’s designed to shoot high-resolution videos and be easy to use. But for users new to GoPro, it’s not exactly as simple as Felix Baumgartner jumping back to Earth.

(Via Pop Photo)

Editors' Recommendations