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In a megapixel (MP) camera such as the GoPro Hero line, the focal plane spot size of the lens should be comparable or smaller than the pixel size on the sensor. So if you are capturing high MP media you should use a lens that will resolve the pixels for the resolution you are capturing. MegaPixel ratings of a lens relates directly to the image sharpness, the ability to resolve pixels at a particular resolution. Using a lower MP lens than the MP rating of the mode you're shooting in will still work, though the media may be a little fuzzy (less sharp).

For GoPro Hero 4 & 3 video modes, here are the pixel measurements:

4K = 3840x2160 pixels 8.3MP (16:9)
4K Cin = 4096x2160 pixels 8.9MP (17:9)
2.7K = 2716x1524 pixels 4.1MP (16:9)
2.7K Cin = 2716x1440 pixels 3.9MP (17:9)
1440p = 1920x1440 pixels 2.8MP (4:3)
1080p = 1920x1080 pixels 2.1MP (16:9)
960p = 1280x960 pixels 1.2MP (4:3)
720p = 1280x720 pixels 0.9MP (16:9)
WVGA = 848x480 pixels 0.4MP (16:9)

For GoPro Hero 4 & 3 photo modes, here are the pixel measurements:

12MP Wide: 4000x3000 pixels
11MP Wide: 3840x2880 pixels (11.1MP)
8MP Medium: 3200x2400 pixels (7.7MP)
7MP Wide: 3000x2250 pixels (6.8MP)
7MP Medium: 3000x2250 pixels (6.8MP)
5MP Wide: 2592x1944 pixels
5MP Medium: 2592x1944 pixels

To figure out the MP of a photo or video resolution, you would multiply the pixels by each other. For instance, shooting a video in 1080p means you'll use 2,073,600 effective pixels (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600). That 2,073,600 pixels is 2.07MP, or "mega pixel". So that means that if you plan to mostly shoot in 1080p (like we do) you'll simply need a 2MP or higher lens. The higher the MP rating of a lens the sharper the captured media will be, assuming you're capturing at a high MP that you'll be able to notice any difference. Using a 12MP lens (such as the stock one) to capture 1080p (2MP) content is theoretically not that much better than using a 2MP lens. There are other factors which affect image quality, such as the diameter of the outer glass element, anti-reflective coatings and of course the quality of the optics used (i.e. glass vs plastic). These factors and whether they would make a difference in your particular usage vary from person to person, so if you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us.

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