I own a few different DSLR and mirrorless cameras which I use for different purpose (Nikon D7000, D750, EOS M3). Recently I have decided to purchase a Gopro to make some videos as I've watched a few footages and Gopro videos seems to be very very nice. On the other hand, when I was reviewing the features of Gopro Hero 5 I came across this new Raw photography features which seems to be very cool. However, I could not find any sample over the internet to see how good it performs in respect of dynamic range, ISO, etc.

Considering that Hero 5 is inherently waterproof (although to 10M only), I have been thinking if could ignore my pro gears and spend sometime with that Gopro when in a boat or at the beach while being still able to shoot pro photographs with a near quality as I can get with an APS-C such as D7100 or EOS M. I know that the sensor size is a disadvantage affecting the ISO noise, etc, and I only want to know to what extent I can rely on the photos taken by Gopro.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Besides from all things quality: As far as i know, the gopros have a fixed lense with an also fixed and quite small focal length, also fisheye distortion..? If that is true, that would really reduce the number of usecases for photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – smow
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smow: Action cams are quite fish-eyey. Their purpose is to capture the Action. When shooting stills it is hard to not capture your fingers holding the camera. ActionCams are not replacement for DSLR; they are another option to shoot what/where DSLR cannot shoot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crowley
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smow: The fish-eye effect is good for shooting landscapes and architecture (it creates weired perspectives), actually I enjoy it as I even use super side lenses (non-fish-eye but with perspective distortion) such as 8mm to 16mm by Sigma when shooting landscapes. Actually forgot to mention in the question but that is why I asked the question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 2:25

1 Answer 1


After having tested Hero 5, the conclusion is that "No, Gopro is by no means fit for being compared with a DSLR".

Although the video performance of Gopro is impressive, the bad low light performance due to the small sensor size of the camera is very tangible. Hero 5 has a very good dynamic range though and I can say that the dynamic range can be match to Nikon D750 as I could recover darkest shadows and a bit of highlights. However the ISO performance is a downside which is very poor (Max good ISO is 400).

The fish-eye effect as expressed in the comments has also been an issue which is hard to recover. However, I think that the camera can be useful for taking shots that cannot be taken using DSLR and the output would be acceptable.


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