Today, GoPro has become a staple for all the adventure lovers who look forward to capture the exciting footage of their escapades. One of the new features of all the flagship GoPro models that have arrived after GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition is known as SuperView. It’s a catchy name that adds up to many other such names that GoPro loves to use for its various awesome features, like HyperSmooth, Timewarp, Protune, SuperPhoto.
SuperView is GoPro’s attempt to utilise the full sensor area when shooting in 1080p. The image sensor in the GoPro is a 4:3 format. It means that when you use the GoPro to take still images, it can use its full sensor to produce a standard-proportioned image. However, when you use your GoPro to take a wide-screen video, the camera’s sensor is actually taller & narrower for videos in 16:9 (wide-angle) proportion. Previously, it meant that the top and bottom bits of the sensor were simply not used while capturing video. In other words, these areas were just wasted resolution! But with SuperView, full 4:3 sensor image is used to create a 16:9 video, allowing for a better overall video quality.
But now without further ado, let’s see this interesting “wide angle” GoPro setting works and how you can utilize it for making better videos…
What is GoPro SuperView?
SuperView is GoPro’s name for its widest field of view (FOV) for shooting videos. It lets you capture an immersive wide angle perspective by taking a 4:3 aspect ratio from the sensor and dynamically stretching it to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Rather than throwing away the top and bottom bits of the image, the entire 4:3 sensor image is used to create the 16:9 video. In simpler words, it means that you’ll see more of the sky and ground assuming that the camera is pointed at the horizon.
What does dynamic stretching mean?
Dynamic Stretching means that your GoPro automatically stretches out the sides of the 4:3 video to fit into the 16:9 frame, such that the centre of the frame remains unchanged; only the edges are adjusted. GoPro SuperView setting leaves the centre of the image untouched, and then gradually brings in the stretch towards the edges of the frame. So, the pixels of the central part of the image remain the same, but the left and right edges get stretched so that the footage fits into a 16:9 frame.
However, there’s one downside of this mode too. You’ll get more of a fisheye effect due to this stretching on the edges. The pixels on the extreme left and right get stretched more than the pixels closer to the centre.
The image below demonstrates this effect more clearly.
👉 Have a look at this article for a full tutorial on GoPro Field of View (FOV) Settings.
What are the benefits of using SuperView?
You get 2 benefits from using SuperView:
- You’ll get rid of the 2 ugly black bars on either side of your footage during playback.
- SuperView provides a taller field of view; so you won’t miss any of the action that would otherwise be impossible on a native 16:9 resolution such as 1080p.
Which GoPro Cameras have SuperView?
Here’s the list of GoPro cameras that feature GoPro SuperView:
- HERO8 Black.
- HERO7 Black.
- HERO6 Black.
- HERO5 Black.
- HERO5 Session.
- HERO Session + HERO4 Session.
- HERO+ LCD.
- HERO (2014).
- HERO3+ Black Edition.
GoPro 1080 vs 1080 SuperView (Comparison)
The default field of view for shooting a 1080p video with a GoPro camera is Wide. It gives an immersive feel to the footage. The 1080p SuperView FOV is an even wider and more distorted perspective. The most obvious difference is that it milks just a little more from each side. And to include that extra information, it squashes the rest of the frame a bit more.
In this video you can see some practical examples of how the image looks with GoPro 1080p Linear vs 1080p SuperView.
When to use GoPro SuperView?
Usually, it’s very much a creative decision as to when you should use SuperView, and there are no set rules for it. There are plenty of scenarios where GoPro SuperView can give amazing results. Pretty much every situation, where there aren’t a lot of important & worth-focussing subjects around the edges of the frame, is perfect to shoot your GoPro footage with SuperView mode ON. It can include activities where your GoPro is mounted on your head or chest, such as while biking, skiing, motorcycling etc.
However, keep in mind that SuperView shouldn’t be used in situations where there are people on the edges of the frame, since they will be stretched a bit in the resulting footage. Also, you wouldn’t usually want to use it for standard people shots, for example, as it would distort their face and body in a distracting way.
We recommend that you use SuperView on almost any body-mounted shot (helmet, chest mount), or when the camera is mounted very close to you and you want to capture a wider FOV, like a selfie pole or the camera mounted to your ski/snowboard/wakeboard pointing back at you. Just keep in mind that the edges will be distorted and stretched. So, ensure that the main subject is right in the middle of your shot.
Does GoPro Hero Session have SuperView?
Yes, most of the recent GoPro Session models have SuperView. Here are the GoPro Hero Session models that have this feature:
- HERO5 Session.
- HERO Session + HERO4 Session.
How to Turn ON SuperView on GoPro
It’s not hard to setup SuperView on your GoPro. You just need to change the resolution from the settings. Here’s how to set up SuperView on GoPro.
- Press the side button to go to Settings.
- Press the front button to select.
- Press the top button to change the resolution.
- The one’s that have the S suffix are SuperView modes. For example: 4K S, 720 S.
- Choose your desired resolution and press the side button.
That’s it! You’ve successfully turned ON SuperView on your GoPro.
Note: The available resolutions for SuperView will vary with the GoPro models. Also, the available fields of view for SuperView will vary based on the resolution and frame rate you select.
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