GoPros are best recognized for their ability to record video, but I’m frequently asked if they can also shoot still photographs. Let’s answer the question: can GoPro take pictures? The answer to your question is “yes,” and they are able to shoot still photographs. They may not approach things in the same manner as more conventional cameras do, but if you play to their strengths rather than trying to combat their eccentricities, you can create some interesting and distinctive photos with them. I have included further examples in a different post.
GoPro’s Formats for Its Still Photographs
There are several still photo modes that do not support the RAW file format. It is not possible to use it in Burst Mode, for example, and the interval setting for time lapse photography must be at least 5 seconds long for it to be available for use with that mode.
Here is a link to a page that goes into greater depth on using the RAW format for images on a GoPro.
GoPro HERO10 Black
GoPro HERO9 Black
GoPro HERO8 Black
GoPro HERO7 Black
GoPro HERO6 Black
GoPro HERO5 Black
GoPro HERO5 Session
GoPros have included a self-timer ever since the release of the HERO7 Black (yes, it really took them that long to incorporate this basic feature). If you have an older model, you can utilize a workaround that involves starting the time-lapse photo mode to capture a continuous sequence of photos. After you are finished, you can simply stop the mode and delete the photos that you do not want to save. This workaround is available for earlier models. Although it lacks elegance, it accomplishes the desired result.
Taking Measures to Reduce the Risk
All GoPro models offer auto exposure. Some of the more expensive versions, namely those that have the Protune feature, also provide the ability to change the ISO and, on some models, the shutter speed. There are a few of them that furthermore include exposure compensation. You are unable to make any adjustments to the exposure on any of them because they all have a fixed aperture.
Some models come equipped with a spot meter, but others, particularly more recent ones, come with an upgraded and more versatile version known as Exposure Control.
Samples of Still Photographs
I’ve included some examples of still photos that I’ve taken using a variety of different GoPro models below. If you’re interested in employing a GoPro in your day-to-day photography, read on for additional information on the benefits and drawbacks of making that choice.
What kind of camera does a GoPro consist of?
To begin, it is necessary to describe what a GoPro is and to discuss the functions that it provides. GoPros are outdoor action cameras designed to record video footage of activities such as extreme sports or adventures, in case you were unaware of this fact beforehand. They are perfect for capturing high-quality action sequences on video.
The versatility of the GoPro camera lies in the fact that it can be carried around easily, that it is resistant to damage, and that it can be submerged in water.
On the other hand, GoPro cameras come equipped with a mode that is solely dedicated to taking pictures. Yet, this does not imply that the camera was created with the intention of taking still photographs.
That brings up the following inquiry for us.
Are the Photos Taken with GoPro Cameras Any Good?
GoPros do not provide the same level of control, lens options, or image quality that DSLR and mirrorless cameras do. But, unless you are a professional photographer or desire to be one, none of these considerations should be given a great deal of weight.
GoPros, on the whole, have a reputation for producing photographs of a satisfactory quality. GoPro cameras have the capability to take photographs in RAW format, beginning with the GoPro HERO5 Black.
The JPG standard file format is more compressed than the RAW photo format, which allows for less compression. In addition, RAW images produce photos of a higher quality and offer more editing freedom than other photo formats.
This indicates that you are able to produce some outstanding photographs with your GoPro if you shoot in the RAW format and then make any necessary adjustments to the photograph using Adobe Lightroom.
Check out this guide written by Chris Rogers if you already own a GoPro and are interested in learning how to produce breathtaking photographs:
What kind of Lens does a GoPro Have?
The “fisheye” lens that comes standard on GoPro cameras is essentially an ultrawide angle lens that captures both horizontal and landscape scenes. Because the GoPro is designed to record activity, the ultrawide angle lens gives you the ability to include as much of the surrounding environment as you like in each frame.
Capturing photographs using a lens that captures an extremely wide angle of view can result in images that are strikingly original and gorgeous.
Have a look at this collection of breathtaking photographs taken with a GoPro:
You have the option of using the ‘Wide’ photography setting on your GoPro; however, you can also select the ‘Linear’ or ‘Narrow’ preset. These settings make use of the built-in software of the camera in an effort to rectify the optical distortion caused by the fisheye lens. Specifically, they seek to straighten lines that would be curved when the camera was set to the ‘Wide’ option.
Which GoPro Models Take the Greatest Pictures?
The amount of megapixels (MP) that a GoPro camera is capable of capturing is a crucial differentiator in selecting which model is the most suitable for taking photographs. The resolution of a camera is measured in megapixels, which are equivalent to the number of pixels that the camera is capable of capturing.
Before getting too technical, it’s important to note that a larger megapixel count usually indicates a higher photo quality. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the case with cameras in general. Additional considerations include things like the size of the sensor, the quality of the lens, picture stabilization, and distortion. These aspects are, for the most part, standardized among GoPro cameras and continue to get better with each new model.
Because of this, the more recent models of GoPro cameras are superior for photography. Let’s have a look at how many megapixels are offered by each of the new GoPro models.
Should I Invest in a GoPro Camera for My Photographic Needs?
The takeaway from this is that you can use a GoPro to shoot high-quality photographs, despite the fact that this is not the primary purpose for which the camera was intended to be used.
If you are interested in pursuing photography as a profession, it is highly recommended that you get a professional camera that is designed specifically for photography, such as a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) or a mirrorless camera.
If you are looking for a portable camera that is capable of taking photographs of a relatively high quality, GoPros can be a good alternative for you. In addition, GoPros are among the most capable cameras for capturing images submerged in water.
Everything boils down to the objectives you have in mind for your photography and the purposes you have in mind for the photographs. Modern smartphones, such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S22, take photographs that are superior to those taken by a GoPro and are much simpler to operate.
When thinking about purchasing a GoPro for photography purposes exclusively, you should keep these considerations in mind. In conclusion, I strongly suggest that you try out a GoPro that a friend has or rent one from a local retailer to determine whether or not it meets the requirements of your photography.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we know that a GoPro can be used to shoot photographs, let’s talk about a few more questions that could have come up in your head since we covered the first one.
Is it possible for the GoPro to snap images while it’s recording?
While you are shooting video with your GoPro, you will not be able to snap any images. You are however able to extract frames from the video and create what are effectively still images from the recorded footage. Launch the GoPro Quik app, upload your video, move the slider to the position where you want your frame to go, and then touch the ‘Save Frame’ button.
Is the GoPro capable of taking images while submerged?
Since the GoPro HERO5 Black, all GoPro cameras have been designed to be waterproof and do not require a protective housing. This allows you to bring your GoPro with you underwater and snap as many photographs as you like while you’re there.
Is it true that the iPhone camera is inferior to that of the GoPro?
The more recent iterations of the iPhone camera feature excellent built-in cameras that, when it comes to basic images, give superior image quality to that of GoPros. It is recommended that you get either the iPhone 13 Pro or the iPhone 13 Pro Max if you are solely interested in taking photographs of regular life and not activity.
Is it true that GoPro is superior to DSLR?
When it comes to image quality, a GoPro will never be able to compete with a DSLR camera. GoPro cameras, on the other hand, are superior than DSLR cameras in terms of their mobility, durability, and ease of use. When going on a daylong hike, do you really want to tote around a heavy DSLR camera? This is when a GoPro comes out on top.
A Few Parting Thoughts
GoPros are most commonly known for their ability to record video, but they are also capable of taking high-quality still photographs. But, photography is a skill, and you’ll need abundant experience with your GoPro before your photographs are really high quality.
Even though I just got the new iPhone 13 Pro, I still prefer to shoot pictures with my GoPro since it just feels more natural to take pictures with a real camera rather than a smartphone.
When I snap pictures using my phone, I am unable to capture a certain feeling that is inherent to the art of photography; as a result, I strive to avoid doing so as much as is humanly possible.
But at this point, I really hope to hear from you!
Are you going to get a GoPro for the sole purpose of taking photographs? Do you have any other inquiries regarding the use of a GoPro to take photographs?
Please share your thoughts with me in the comment box that can be found below.