View Full Version : GoPro 3 Black edition with neutral desity filter modification.

10-30-2013, 10:09 AM
I recently purchased the latest version of the GoPro 3 video camera. The "Black Edition" comes with a wifi remote control. GoPro's website user manual says it will control up to 10 individual GoPro 3 cameras at once when programed properly. Pretty interesting concept if that works as advertised. My remote works great with one camera so far.

I had to "update" my new camera from GoPro's website http://gopro.com/ to obtain the very latest upgrades in software. The process was straight forward and even I pulled it off without too many hiccups. Look under the subheading titled "Support" or link to it just below. Lots of other useful information under "Support".

Watch the software upgrade video on YouTube here:
HERO3 Camera Software Updates Available (http://gopro.com/support/articles/hero3-product-update-available) .

My very first trial run with the GoPro 3 showed very little of the dreaded "propeller strobe effect". I was kind of excited. Maybe GoPro fixed this problem in their newest offering.:) It was not to be.:(
My first trial was on an overcast day. That is the secret to the camera's shutter. The rolling shutter slows down on lower light environments and thus reduces the propeller strobe effect. Next flight was on a normal Arizona severe clear day and the old prop problem was most apparent.

Lots of searching on the internet and I settled on the route I wanted to take to solve the problem.
Here is a link to a write up that seemed the best solution for me anyway.

It shows the "Phil Boyer" method of resolving the rolling shutter problem.
The updated links show different size neutral density filters and step up ring than Phil's older video. These new items are much easier to locate on line than Phil's suggestions. It links to Amazon to find the needed components. I happened to find mine on Ebay cheaper.

Modifying the GoPro case is needed to mount the step up ring that the filters screw into. Remove the lens cover on the GoPro camera case using a very tiny torx bit. I read T5 on the correct bit size in my Harbor Freight set. It's very small.:eek:

Pay very close attention to which holes the long screws come out of. You will use those screw locations to mount the step up ring to the camera case.

I found a set of very small torx bits and driver at Harbor Freight for $6.00.

Remove all the screws, eight total. Four short screws and 4 long. You will reuse the 4 long screws to attach the step up ring to the GoPro camera case.

The step up ring has to be modified. I ground off the little step on the back of it with my Dremel so it would sit flush on the GoPro case. This step takes about 10 to 15 minutes of careful grinding.

Then using the removed black rectangle lens frame you can transfer the 4 long screw locations to the inside of the step up ring for drilling.

"Caution must be used when positioning the frame on the step up ring so as to use the long screw location holes and not the short screw locations."

Also make sure the step up ring is centered properly so the GoPro 3 camera lens is dead centered in the step ring opening before marking drill holes on the step up ring.
Choose your drill bit wisely as the long screws do not have very large heads. Attach the step up ring to the GoPro camera case using the 4 longer screws.

Do not over tighten the 4 long screws to the camera case. I touched up any grinding marks and the screw heads with a black permanent marker. The 4 short screws are not reused but I kept mine and the black lens frame and lens glass.

The neutral density filter kit is from Tiffen. It contains three (3) 58mm screw in filters. They are 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2. I used the 0.6 and the 0.9 together for a total reading of 1.5. This seemed to work just fine on a bright day. The filters screw on to the others so you can mix and match to the correct requirements.

The 58mm step up ring is about the largest you can use on the GoPro 3 and still see the display screen. You will get just a little vignetting using this set up when you view the raw video or photos taken with this filter installation. The GoPro converting software available to download free from the GoPro site will automatically remove this vignetting from the video so it will not appear if you upload to YouTube. I have not tried to edit a photo yet to remove the vignetting but I read that you can do that.
Below is a photo showing the vignetting. Vignetting is much less pronounced in the video mode.

This is the hole I cut into the camera case to accept the cockpit transmissions recording cable.
GoPro cockpit transmissions redording cable. (http://www.crazedpilot.com/record-aircraft-atc-audio-to-your-gopro-hero-3-camera-hero3-and-gopro3-to-your-intercom/)

Tiffen neutral desity filter kit with 3 screw in filters.
Nice little filter pouch.


It's a pretty easy way to eliminate the strobing propeller effect from your GoPro videos and it's kind of a fun and simple modification.

10-30-2013, 02:23 PM
now, here is a tip for mounting my gopro.
there is a black stand or holding thingy that comes in the box, it holds the gopro when in the box. drill holes in that and screw it onto the tip. remove two screws for the tip and install the plate there. than slide the other base into that and now you have it mounted. I have used this on the rv and had it up to 230mph with no problems.

10-30-2013, 04:31 PM
I have a great mounting kit for the wing of my Kitfox. I purchased it from Kitfox Aircraft. It mounts to the steel tubing that runs between the front and rear strut attach points. Very sturdy. I'll take a couple photos next time I get out to the hangar. You can make it work for forward shots and side ways shots and I guess rearward shots if so inclined. Even mounted there I still get just a bit of the prop in the shot and the previous modification instructions would take care of that too. Also this modification gets rid of the so named "jello" effect that is inherent in the GoPro cameras. The "jello" effect was very noticeable on my GoPro 2.

12-29-2013, 05:45 PM
Update- had a request for photos of the wing mount for the GoPro.



This photo shows the under fuselage mount also
included in the kit.

12-30-2013, 09:53 AM
I just ordered the clip on ND filter. I should get it in the mail here shortly and I will let you know how it compares to your filter.

12-18-2014, 08:33 AM
I have had good working results and use , all flying , with the gopro 3 black . I put on the neutral density filter and got a patch cord for intercom and radio traffic.
I pretty much record all my flights !
I need to find some time to edit and make some short videos.

12-18-2014, 08:47 AM
I have three gopros. They are very good cameras

01-08-2015, 07:47 AM
Is there a Part Number for the camera mount system from Kitfox?


01-08-2015, 09:57 PM
Skot- not sure what the mount kit part number is. Just give Debra a call, she knows everything.:)