If you’re a GoPro user, chances are that you already know that the action camera features a super wide-angle lens. It is often known as GoPro Fisheye Lens owing to the bulging fisheye look it provides.
In this guide you’ll learn what is a GoPro fisheye lens, its pros and cons, and how to remove it.
What is GoPro Fisheye Lens
GoPro Fisheye Lens is an extremely wide-angle lens that allows you to capture immersive shots that include much more information into the frame as compared to a standard lens. It’s especially useful if you want to capture extremely wide angles of view, such as a football ground or a mountain range.
The ultra-wide-angle perspective that this lens provides allows you to incorporate the whole ground or the entire mountain range in a single frame with ease.
A fisheye lens does this by producing a strong visual distortion to create a panoramic image. However, it does not produce straight images.
On the contrary, you get distorted, convex images that appear curved or bent. That’s the reason why the fisheye lens is called so.
Pros & Cons
First, let’s talk about the benefits of GoPro Fisheye Lens. As discussed before, this lens has the superb capability of capturing super-wide-angle shots. Therefore, it is possible to capture sweeping landscapes with a greater depth of field – all this while the image quality and sharpness remain top-notch! It’s true that the resulting image is a bit distorted, but you can also use it to your advantage with creative photography. For example, if you get low to the ground while shooting, you’ll get an interesting foreground in the image.
Now, regarding the drawbacks of the GoPro Fisheye Lens, the first thing that may seem unpleasant to the user is the curved edges of the resulting image. It means that if you’re shooting something like the horizon, the straight lines in the image would appear bent. Also, the center of the frame would become artificially big as compared to the sides, giving the image a bulging look. It might not appeal to you if you use your GoPro for everyday photography that does not involve capturing wide-angle shots.
How to Remove the Fisheye Effect
So, if you don’t want this fisheye effect, how do you get rid of it?
Thankfully, the newer GoPro cameras allow you to remove the fisheye effect by simply changing a few settings. You just need to switch to the Linear Field of View (FOV). This will eliminate the fisheye effect. You get this feature to switch the FOV on the GoPro Hero 5 Black and newer GoPro cameras. These cameras let you select one amongst five FOVs – Wide, Medium, Narrow, Superview, or Linear.
Choosing Linear FOV is the quickest way of removing the fisheye effect of a GoPro. But, has its own drawback too. While it eliminates the curved appearance, you lose a portion of the picture at the edges. So, you might want to choose the Narrow or the Medium FOV for a wider FOV and a reduced fisheye effect.
If you don’t want to miss out on FOV, you can follow the approach of using wide FOV in GoPro and removing the fisheye effect afterward, during post-production. This can be done in several video editing apps, like Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and so on. GoPro itself offers a simple solution to eliminate the fisheye distortion in its video-editing software – the GoPro Studio.
Please note that GoPro has discontinued this software and it is not available for download anymore. However, you can download it from an independent third-party source.
Here are the three easy steps to remove the fisheye effect from GoPro images using GoPro Studio:
- Select your GoPro clip in the GoPro Studio app and choose ‘Advanced Settings’
- Check the ‘Remove Fisheye’ option and click on the OK button.
- Add the clip to the Conversion list and convert it.
That’s it! You’ll see that you have eliminated the fisheye effect from your GoPro clip.
Photography is a skill with infinite learning opportunities! So, if you want creativity, then the GoPro fisheye lens definitely has its place in creative photography. It’s true that this lens adds a slight curve to the image. But, it’s up to the photographer how they use the lens – whether it will enhance the image or prove to be an unwanted distraction to the viewer.
If the latter is the case, you always have the option of using one of the two methods discussed above to remove the fisheye effect and present a realistic and undistorted image.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you learn all about the GoPro Fisheye Lens & how to remove the fisheye effect on GoPro footage 🙂
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