New Zealand-based EXO Camera Equipment has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get its camera-style casing for GoPro cameras off the ground. The company hopes to produce the EXO GP-1, a metal body into which GoPro cameras can be placed, to take on a more traditional camera form.

The inventor, Andy Day, came up with the idea when trying to use his GoPro to take still pictures and found it impossible to frame the shots accurately. The GP-1 features an optical viewfinder to make determining what is in and out of the picture much easier once the GoPro is slotted into the body. The shutter release on the top plate is designed to coincide with the shutter release button of the GoPro itself, and a front clear panel allows the user to read the GoPro camera’s information screen. Front-mounted buttons push through the body shell to activate the front buttons of the GoPro, while the camera’s lens fits into the front glass port of the casing.

The design is intended to convert a camera conceived to be operated remotely on a mount into one that can be comfortably used in the hand like a standard compact or rangefinder. An accessory shoe on the top plate allows light panels to be attached for video work, and phone holders for wireless viewing via the GoPro app.

Lugs provide the means to use a traditional neck or wrist strap and a filter system is being developed to fit over the lens port. The company intends to produce models in black or brown, both with sliver tops, and a model that is all black. The projected price is $185 with a leather hand-strap.

For more information visit the EXO website, or see the Kickstarter campaign page.