Go Pro Hero 3 - Depth Perception

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Go Pro Hero 3 - Depth Perception
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Posted: Jun 1, 2013 at 3:59 Quote
Me and a friend recently bought a Go Pro Hero 3 Black edition...and to be honest, we're pretty disappointed.

I've done a bit of googleing and I'm very surprised that no-one seems to mention the Go Pro's awful perception of depth.

Now, I'm more than aware that cameras do not perceive things such as hills correctly, and they always make them look a lot more shallow than they really are - but I've never come across anything so amazingly terrible for this as the Go Pro. Pretty much everything looks completely flat - very steep gradients looks like gentle slopes, fast downhill trails look flat and boring.

Does anyone know of any tricks, or settings which give the go pro a better perception of depth?

Posted: Jun 3, 2013 at 7:54 Quote
Try shooting in 4:3 aspect ratio. 1440 or 960. Otherwise you lose 12.5% off the top and bottom & this can cause what you are describing.

Posted: Jun 3, 2013 at 10:15 Quote
nstagge wrote:
Try shooting in 4:3 aspect ratio. 1440 or 960. Otherwise you lose 12.5% off the top and bottom & this can cause what you are describing.

Hmmm. But 4:3 looks awful when you try to make a video out of it. I guess what I'm really asking it why the GroPro perceives depth so poorly compared to any normal HD camcorder. We usually use a Sony Handycam, and although the depth it perceives is obviously nothing like real life, it's miles better than the GoPro.

O+
Posted: Aug 27, 2013 at 10:50 Quote
its only because of the huge wide angle, its like 170 degree field of view, you can choose 'medium' or 'narrow' fields of view even, if you like that more.

O+
Posted: Sep 25, 2013 at 10:27 Quote
You'll never get what you're referring to as "good depth perception" because, like boostmaster said, its an insanely wide FOV. Even when you switch it to medium or narrow, the lens is still stupid wide/fisheyed. It might look a little better though. I think GoPros are really only useful for POV and angles that you maybe cant fit a fullsize or DSLR cam in... my $0.02, and I know someone will piss and moan about it.

Posted: Sep 26, 2013 at 22:49 Quote
This has to do with the perspective of the lens on the GoPro and the bad news is that using the medium and narrow FOV settings does not alleviate the problem as they're simply crops from the same 170 degree lens with the same perspective.

This is why photographers like to talk about 50mm lenses as 'natural' because their perspective is about the same as the human eye.

If you want to put thing like big hills and features into perspective you have to use telephoto lenses to squish your subject down compared to the backdrop. No amount of GoPro cropping will achieve this.

Here is a good little comparison http://www.photozone.de/focal-length-and-perspective

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