This is probably the most expensive GoPro rig you’ve seen

Aug 9, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This is probably the most expensive GoPro rig you’ve seen

Aug 9, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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GoPro cameras are typically only really used for one thing. Ok, maybe two things after you strip them down to their bare components for FPV drones. But typically, the main intention for the GoPro is to shoot action, not cinema.

They have, of course, been used in cinema – not always in a great way – but it’s not their primary intent. What if it was, though? What if it had interchangeable lenses? And a monitor? Well, let’s see what filmmaker and YouTuber Van Neistat has to say about it.

In his video, Van modifies a GoPro Hero (buy here) to take C mount lenses and builds an entire rig around it, complete with Atomos Shinobi 5″ monitor (buy here) and a custom-made wooden handle.

Van says this project came about because of his love for the GoPro’s slow-motion modes. But, he always felt that the lens was far too wide for his needs. He had the idea to modify it to be an interchangeable lens camera while visiting Mexico. When he got back home, he made the rig,

It’s a fairly simple rig but it’s not just off-the-shelf components. There are a few homemade pieces and definite DIY touches.

Overall, though, his rig was not so budget-friendly.

He even admits at the beginning of the video that he could’ve gotten a Sony A7 IV (buy here) for what his new GoPro rig cost him. The image above shows that it cost $2500, but in the video, we find out that it was a little over $3,000.

If you’re not comfortable doing interchangeable lens conversions to action cameras yourself, there are companies out there who will do it for you. Back-Bone Gear is one company that springs to mind and does conversions on multiple brands of cameras.

Personally, I think it’s a very cool proof of concept and it will definitely have its advantages over more traditional design mirrorless cameras, but I’ll leave this one for others to play with. My action cameras will stay as they are.

Would you do this to your action camera?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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