What’s the big difference between the CM100 and a Go-Pro Style Action Camera?


That’s a great question and one that many of our customers ask.

To help you gain a better understanding of the capabilities of both camera system types, check out the quick head to head comparisons of the features of each in the table below.

CM100 Go-Pro style* Comments
Resolution 1280×960 3840×2160 The Go-Pro is significantly higher resolution than the CM100 and is more suited to wide vista shots
Frames Per Second ~15 24/60 The Go-Pro has a standard television frame rate which is more suited for motion picture shots, the CM100 has an internal frame rate of 30, it can only output 15fps
Compression h.264>10Mbps h.264>60Mbps Both the Go-Pro and CM100 use the same compression technique, although the Go-Pro does not compress as much.  This can be an issue if the project requires many hours of footage, the Go-Pro will use approximately 12x the storage of the CM100
Live View Analogue (640×480) Ethernet (1280×960) HDMI (1920×1280) Although the CM100 has a lower live resolution, it can send the video further distances, up to 60Km with a mid range link. The HD footage of the Go-Pro will require an additional link to send the video to the same distance (typically these additional links can be outside the budgetary parameters of some projects).
Shutter Type Global Rolling Global is more suitable for high frame to frame motion. Rolling shutter will distort and warp the image on most fast moving platforms, especially if the platform is shaking/vibrating
Optical Zoom 30x 0x The CM100 is designed and manufactured to be used in ISR applications for professional surveillance specialists, the applications require a high zoom to Detect, Recognize and Identify.  This can be achieved by a clear Optical zoom, or over 100Megapixels. The Go-Pro does not contain optical zoom.
Digital Zoom 4x ~2 (Not Live) Digital zoom is the same as moving your eyes closer to the screen, it does not increase the pixels of the object.
HFOV Optical WIDE 62° 170° 62° is very wide in an Aerial application, 170° can be un-usable for any application where the operator needs to Detect Recognise and Identify specific targets from a distance.
HFOV Optical TELE 2.2° 170° The lens on the CM100 does not distort the image at full zoom, it is capable of being used at night
HFOV Digital TELE 1.1° 90°(Pre-configured, not available live) The Go-Pro can be configured to have a lower resolution which inherently zooms in on the image (Digital Zoom), this can only do this prior to the flight, the user has no control remotely.
Horizontal Pixels @ Optical TELE 1280 49 The advantage of the optical zoom, the more pixels you have the greater chance you have to identify what you are looking at and to not strain the operator.  The CM100 is over 26x greater Horizontal Pixels at Optical TELE than the Go-Pro
Object Tracking YES NO The CM100 has an on-board video processor which can track objects within the field of view automatically. The Go-Pro does not have object tracking built in and relies on the operator to do the tracking manually.
KLV Meta Data YES NO KLV metadata is important for post flight reviews and is often required by government agencies.
De-Fog Enhancement YES NO De-Fog is beneficial in misty and foggy conditions, it enables the user to detect and identify what they would not normally be able to without De-Fog enhancements
Live Communications YES NO Changing sensor options during a mission can be an essential part of the platforms application, the CM100 can change every setting configurable within the camera’s settings during flight. Exposure, Shutter, Zoom, Gain etc.


* Go-Pro style action camera used for the table comparison is the Go-Pro Hero 4. Specifications used for the Go-Pro Hero 4 were derived from the Go Pro website here

If you are interested information about the CM100, or would like to discuss integrations with your platform, please contact us.