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KAP Testing - Wind Watcher Proving Grounds - Go Pro Hero 10 Black

edited December 2021 in KAP Cameras

KAP testing continues in the skies above the Wind Watcher proving grounds (park behind my home ;-).
I picked up a Go Pro Hero 10 Black camera a few weeks back and have been experimenting with both still photos (Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)) and 4K video (Kite Aerial Video (KAV). The primary role for the Go Pro Hero 10 Black camera is to replaced the lost Garmin Ultra 30 camera that I have been using on my Kayak sails (camera lost while trailering the kayak....). .... but the Hero 10 Black does double duty with both kayak and kite (KAP/KAV) time.

The KAP rigs tested with the Hero 10 Black included:

  • A simple "Go Pro on a string" KAP rig that uses random wind motion to rotate the camera angles. This is my lightest KAP rig. The Go Pro on a string is also my most rugged / waterproof KAP rig. Given my rather dismal record of dumping a perfectly good cameras and KAP rigs into saltwater.... I suspect this rig will see a fair bit of use over water.
  • An auto KAP rig set up for my Sony A6000 with pan and tilt controlled by a CamRemote control chip. This rig works well (when not under water ;-)

The Go Pro Hero 10 Black offers a number of advantages for KAP/KAV/ high risk water flying....:
- shoots 5.3K video 60 fps
- shoots 4k 120 fps
- improved sound with wind noise reduction
- 23-megapixel photos with both raw and jpeg formats
- Waterproof to 33 feet
- HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization (very important for KAV)
- Fast updated GP2 processor
- Improved low light capabilities
- New higher capacity (~20-30% longer battery life) cold weather rated lithium-ion batteries.
- Wider range of settings that are easy to set up
- Fixed focus (as with all action cameras) - this has become more important as my eyes age!

Testing to date has been limited to just 1 to 2 hours before sunset with the low winter sun angles and less light.

I am overall pleased with:
- improved image sharpness compared to older GoPro cameras (Hero 3, 5 and 7).
- Wonderful video stabilization with no need for any added gimbals to get usable KAV footage.
- Longer battery life with the new cold weather batteries
- Simple mod to add tri pod screw mount to folding finger mount (for direct attachment to the KAP rig with no need (extra weight) for a GoPro mount.
- Light-weight KAP rig ~ 160 grams.

See a few photos below and in this flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzwKSi The photos include a mix of standard GoPro fisheye and flatten (fisheye distortion removed via crop and LightRoom edits).

See example of Kite Aerial Video (KAV) from the GoPro Hero 10 Black taken from the auto KAP rig with no additional stabilization. Sharp, steady and fun to watch. The audio is interesting also as you can hear the string vibration along with noises from the KAP rig itself.

Comments welcome!


KAP image examples (click on images to view in full resolution on flickr):
Kite Aerial Photography Testing - GoPro Hero 10 Black

Kite Aerial Photography Testing - GoPro Hero 10 Black

Kite Aerial Photography Testing - GoPro Hero 10 Black

KAV (posted to YouTube) - watch with 4K to see full details.


  • Great results, Jim, and the video is amazingly stable. The camera obviously struggled with exposure when shooting into the sun, but I think any other camera would be the same. You live in a beautiful area, but I guess those swimming pools don't get much use at this time of year! All the best for 2022 and a return to some degree of normality.

  • WW, that is amazing stabilisation from the GoPro Hero 10 Black with the KAV. A promising alternative to a gimbal. Overall great footage in a beautiful location.

    I wonder if the Hero 10 Black has exposure lock to prevent the occasional underexposure when it starts going towards the sun.

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