New GoPro lens protection product by fpvmanuals

FPV Manuals Introduces "LayerLens" -- Exposed GoPro Lens Protection

The case that comes with the GoPro camera is beautiful, sturdy, and water tight, but it weighs about 100g and the included mounts make the camera stick up over 1″ with the overall surface area growing by a good amount. As a result, many UAV, FPV and aerial videographer pilots mount their GoPro without the protective case to save weight and provide a smaller overall footprint. The most significant issue with this “naked” mounting method is that the camera’s lens is directly in harm’s way. Any crash has a high likelihood of damaging the camera’s lens -- I personally destroyed 2 GoPro cameras already. Once the original lens is damaged, replacement of the lens is an expensive option costing close to $100 USD — 1/3 of the price of a new GoPro2 camera and almost half of a GoPro Hero HD. Some replace a scrached lens with a sunex lens, which is a bit more affordable, but changes the wide angle picture, which is partially what makes the GoPro such a special camera.

For this reason, FPVManuals has developed LayerLens. LayerLens brings the most important part of the original GoPro case back: the protective lens; without adding much weight or size. LayerLens weighs only 9.6g — less than 10% of the weight of the GoPro case. LayerLens is a precision laser cut frame that holds the protective glass lens and is pushed onto the GoPro’s built in lens. It sits tightly in place and does not come off easily. It is further secured with a small rubber band. In case of a crash that scratches LayerLens’ glass lens, you can easily swap out the scratched protective lens and replace it with one of the lenses that are readily available by GoPro as part of their “Lens Replacement Kit” (which includes 2 lenses for $14 to $20 USD).

The pictures below show the first proto-type of LayerLens. The production version will be sold with 2 glass lenses for only slightly above the price of the GoPro Lens Replacement Kit — currently we’re targeting a retail price of $24.99 (subject to change).

LayerLens will soon become available in the GetFPV store.

Please let me know what you think about the product idea, the execution, and the targeted price point. Your feedback will absolutely be factored into the design and pricing process.

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Tags: GoPro, Lens, Protection, fpvmanuals, layerlens

Comment by SheehyFD on December 15, 2011 at 10:58pm

Very ingenuitive, I would like to be one of the first to purchase this product.

Comment by Tim Nilson on December 15, 2011 at 11:41pm

Thank you SheehyFD! I'm glad you like it. I'll try to make a pre-order available at getfpv.com that would reserve you one of the first ones once they're ready in mid January.

Comment by Tero Koivunen on December 16, 2011 at 1:13am

Yeah, I think I need  some protection too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhMq8AJDBco

Comment by Jonathan Lussier on December 16, 2011 at 8:02am

This is a good idea, but I think the real problem with the gopro is its aerodynamics.  I think somebody should design an aerodynamic FPV (or motorsports, etc..) case that will definately sell well!

Comment by healthyfatboy on December 16, 2011 at 9:29am

Put me on the list for pre-order as well. I know the camera itself can still take a beating without the waterproof case so it should survive most crashes with this lens cover.

How exactly do you replace the lens on this if it gets scratched up? I was trying to figure that out from the pictures. If it's by removing the four screws, I might recommend using hex screws if you can find them small enough as I can imagine those screws stripping out after taking them out and putting them back in.

Comment by SheehyFD on December 16, 2011 at 8:18pm

@Jonathan, I have had a similar debate with a friend of mine. "The gopro's profile is not very aerodynamic..." for that reason he uses a contourHD. It is a great camera with similar capabilities of the gopro hero.

I prefer the gopro because it is easier to build a roll tilt mount. I also have recently started flying a Y6 where the aerodyanmics are less about reducing your drag profile and more about optimizing your thrust/weight ratio.

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