DIY Adapter Allows GoPro Cameras to Use Interchangeable Lenses

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GoPro cameras may be ready to migrate from helmets to film schools thanks to the Ribcage, an in-development assembly that allows the tiny action cams to be outfitted with interchangeable lenses.

Under production by Canada-based company Back-Bone, the Ribcage incorporates a mount for a “C” format 16mm camera lens, optics to fit the lens to the GoPro’s image sensor and accompanying circuitry to control the GoPro.

Here’s a quick intro to the Ribcage:

Everything fits into a surprisingly compact housing that works with a Hero3 or Hero3+. (Lenses in other formats can be adapted for C-mount, but the crop factor will be different.)

Advantages of using a separate lens are legion: The shooter gets to control aperture, zoom, focus and more. With the included filter, you can even shoot infrared scenes. Back-Bone sees the Ribcage as particularly useful for action filmmakers who have learned to rely on a GoPro but would like more flexibility for non-action scenes.

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The company is currently taking pre-orders for delivery early next year, and they’re giving buyers two options to choose from: You can either buy the Ribcage as a DIY kit that will work with your existing GoPro for $200, or as a pre-assembled package with a brand new Hero3+ inside for $800.

If you do choose the DIY route, be warned that this is not a simple “slide the camera into the housing” project. You’ll need to be comfortable disassembling the GoPro and putting it back together, following Back-Bone’s installation instructions exactly.


To learn more about the Ribcage or reserve one of the DIY or fully-assembled versions for yourself, head over to the Back-Bone website by clicking here.

(via Digital Trends)

  • Mike

    I don’t understand, do we get a cropped image, in which case the tiny sensor is an idiotic choice IMO, or does that thing work like a Speed Booster?

  • BDWT

    Good question… without any sample footage it’s hard to know for sure.

  • olafs_osh


    i am so sad.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Let me guess: Kickstarter! Right?
    It does look interesting with the ability to mount a Canon supertelephoto L lens on the GoPro.
    But who is going to fly that setup on a quadcopter? Will a quadcopter even manage to lift off with the weight of the lens?

  • Leif Hurst

    I think I just found a good use for the 40mm EF Pancake lens.

  • Dieter

    A crop factor will apply if you use a lens designed for full frame sensor (like most DSLR lenses). However the beauty of the Ribcage kit is that you can use virtually any lens including low distortion M-12 lenses (no crop factor) or CS and C-mount lenses designed for 1/2″ and 2/3″ sensors… which have a very small crop factor.

    In the end it’s a system that allows you to take a GoPro with a fixed wide angle “fish-eye” lens and turn your GoPro into a pretty decent video camera using whatever lenses you have kicking around. A comparable HD machine vision camera could cost you many thousands and they don’t have the range of video settings from 4K to 240 fps and 12MP stills.

    There are now a wide variety of video on Youtube shot with various lenses on teh GoPro including DSLR type lenses… it’s worth checking out. I support this company and love mine.

  • Grive

    The EOS M already looks hilariously tiny alongside them white monsters. I so want to see a GoPro mated to the 600mm f4.