"Hyperspectral" GoPro HD


GIF of my close with filter options

As you all know I've been bashing away to create code for cameras whether that be tracking a GPS point or stabilising the camera platform or just clicking the camera button. The code is currently adolescent in nature, everything is in there it just needs wisdom to match the knowledge. This brings me to my own camera, the GoPro HD.

Many here have one as well as a few more thousand around the world. They are great cameras for recording everything we do from FPV fun to scuba diving but hacking them is pretty hard (as shown by the guys on the GoPro forum trying to get the connector to play nice). One of the reasons I bought mine was because it does 1080 video and is pretty small making it great for my plane and quad and anything else I feel I should record but more importantly it is IR sensitive.


Disclaimer: In doing anything mentioned in this blog post or reponses below you are taking responibility for your own actions. DIYdrones nor myself take any responsibility what you do.

Oh no GoPro glue down the lens so you cannot get it off :O That stopped me for about 15 minutes while I googled. YouTube to the rescue. I removed the lens as shown in the video using this grips below (yes that is heatshrink 22mm is not really big enough). This is only half the problem though as the lens contains an IR filter so how do you get out the IR filter? The IR filter is held in place in the bottom of the lens by a thread O-ring of sorts (bolt with hole in it, see below) and because of the gap between the slots (the focus path) what in the jesus could I use. I went to my toolchest (yep chest and still didn't have the right tool any flat head screwdriver the reached both sides was simply to thick so what did I do :D That is right, the picture below shows my bodge. I filed a claw hammer I have to the correct width (9.5mm) and then filed the thickness of the "claw" down to fit inside the slot. Not only had I created a flathead screwdriver but because it was on the hammer I had control over the lens pressure rather than screwdriver pressure when I used it making it less likely for me to injure myself or the lens. I suggest that anyone trying this turns the lens rather than the screwdriver too. There is a little glue on it too so give it a poke with a knife. Once the filter is out screw the "O-ring" back in so it will be safe if you want to return the lens to normal again. Do not reassemble everything just yet, turn on live feed and plug in to the TV preferably over HDTV and focus the lens again. Be warned even with the thread lubricated it is still a patience testing moment but be steady. Once focused you can put it all back together again.

Disclaimer: In doing anything mentioned in this blog post or reponses below you are taking responibility for your own actions. DIYdrones nor myself take any responsibility what you do.


Filtering the light that reaches the sensor is up to you and your choices.

The gif above shows how the picture changes with the filter options I have used so far. I had a video camera visible light filter but in trying to install it broke it so I'll try to find another and adapt the housing to it (as during using live feed it was WAY better than the examples here). Not sure of the uses to be honest yet but night and day recording without worry is kind of cool. I will add a video timelapse of my street as the sun sets to show the difference in light with no filter later on


You will see me standing the middle at two points of the video. Once at 9:25pm (sunset) and again at 11:34pm. Gives an idea of the performance.
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  • @Luke Lee is much cheaper but I'd rather have glass but it could serve whilst I source the glass at least for that price.

    @T.D. It was dead easy for me

    @Kryzsztof Yes I'm searching for an 8mm IR pass filter to replace the IR block filter that is standard. As for rainy days I won't be flying xD SAR will go through any cloud though and that is yet another of my "in progress" projects (long way from putting it in the plane though antennas are 85mm dia by 175.3mm in length hardly Easystar size).
  • T3

    Check if it will be focused at infinity. I am afraid it won't until you replace the filter by glass of something.

    Second problem (and a serious one) is that no matter what filter you put on, rainy day stays rainy day.

  • Nice. At some point I'm going to need to do something like this.
  • Yeah, the price is pretty steep for what you get. Lee make some for less like this one.




    If I remember correctly I shot this with the Lee filter. Not quite as sharp as other filters but a big step up from a floppy disk.



  • @Dave

    No idea but my IR CCTV cam looks the same in both day and night (£10 Focus about 3 years ago :D) I'm hoping that with a good visible light filter I will get a similar result given the GoPro is 30x more expensive.

    I'm doing the timelapse tonight to see how the light changes through sunset.


    normalized vegetation difference index filter? if so sounds expensive.


    Yes floppy disks are not great but they are basically free. $65 for 3"x3" no thanks I'll stick with one floppy disk. I am trying to find an 8mm visible filter to add to the lens in the original location to improve quality but aside from some questionable sites I've got nothing yet.

  • Ritchie, what would you guess the low performance to have increased by?


  • You might want to try a better filter. A floppy disk works but it dramatically reduces the image quality. There are infrared gels that work much better.




    Hoya makes some nice glass filters like the R72 (my favorite) though not sure how that would work out with the camera you have (filter rings?). Also worth noting almost every CCD and CMOS out there is sensitive to near infrared. They just have hot mirrors like your camera had. I'd love to see some video in flight!

  • Good post, It would be interesting to try and get the NVDI filter (to run in ImageJ) from maxmax.com and try running your images through it...
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