I paddle a canoe, and I love a good river with Class II to Class IV rapids. I have paddled Cataract Canyon, the Grand Canyon, the entire Green River (Wy, CO, UT) several times… And Oh my, how I would love to bring what I have seen home. I own two GoPro 3;s and several hand held small Nikon and Panasonics (cheap, waterproof) The GoPros, helmet mounted or post on the canoe, all have the same result. Those , I assume, wide angle lens make the waves look like you are in a kiddie pool. I KNOW the standing wave at House Rock Rapid in the Grand Canyon at high water is about 15 feet tall. Been there, standing along side, paddled it, and the video makes that transit look like the standing wave is a three footer. Put a helmet cam on for Big Drop 3 or Lava Falls, and a 30 foot drop looks like a 2 foot drop. I paddle a 20 foot canoe solo, I know how big that wave was, I was on the upslope of the wave train and it was two canoe lengths to the top, and the camera view was that the bow rose about 3 feet.
Now I HAVE seen a video on YouTube, camera must have been mounted on a stick behind the rower on a raft, That IS the camera I want. It looked just like I saw in real life. But what camera was it? I have been unable to find out. Most action cameras , are GoPros, and most action cameras flatten the view. I don’t want that, so which cameras give a realistic view of the rapids coming at you.
Presumably you already posted your question as a comment on the Youtube video and didn’t get an answer. You could subscribe and see if there is another video where they answer the question.
The “depth” of the view depends on the focal length of the lens.
Most cameras will flatten waves. 2D camera vs 3D eyes.
Have you tried changing your GoPro’s field of view to linear instead of one of the multiple types of wide choices? That probably won’t get you exactly what you want but it might be better than what you are getting now.
I will check that out. I am unsure, 4 years down the road, that my GoPro 3’s have that option. But if that exists in the newer versions, that may be what I am looking for.
The other thought I had was a new type of camera mount. My canoe going through Class III and Class IV rapids, is routinely, just normally, twisted left and right 45 or more degrees, and vertically fore and aft, guessing, 25 to 30 degrees. I am thinking some type of gimbaled short mast behind me. Such that the camera will always try to remain vertical. Hmmm, that may not work, I myself, with a helmet cam am, in truth, acting as that gimbaled mast now.
I never sit on a seat going through big water, always on my knees, kneeling up to stay vertical no matter what the boat is gyrating to under me.
To repeat, I think someone out there knows which manufacturer has already done this. Your suggestion of selecting a narrower field of view on an existing camera has great merit. I may have had the solution all the time and did not know enough about it to select it. I can make a wooden paddle sing in my hands, but I really don’t know Jack or Jill about cameras.
This indicates you have three different ones from which to select.
definately worth fiddling with the gopro settings. Gopro footage does tend to “flatten” everything out. Hard to get a perspective on gradient and wave size from the first person point of view. If you want to get a sense of scale you can look back upstream as you finish the rapid to add some perspective. The closer the camera is located near the waterline, the bigger the action will look. If you really want to capture the size of the rapids you’ll need a regular camera/video camera and shoot from the shore, from a boulder, or out of the back of an oar frame raft.