GoPro SuperView Explained

If you’ve ever filmed POV footage from  your helmet or chest, you must have used one of the taller 4:3 video resolutions such as 960p or 1440p. And I’m sure you’ve also seen those ugly black bars one either side of your footage.

To get rid of them, you have to do some post-processing magic such as zooming in and then cropping the footage so that it fits the 16:9 frame which is not only time consuming but annoying since you have to reduce your field of view.

SuperView does the 16:9 aspect ratio conversion for you while capturing a taller field of view only previously available on the taller 4:3 resolutions. It is a feature that was first introduced on the Hero3+ Black Edition and is currently available on the following HERO cameras:

  • HERO4 (Silver & Black)
  • HERO+ LCD
  • HERO
  • HERO3+ Black Edition

SuperView is available in 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p. Wide is the default field of view and you cannot change it, which is also the case when using 1440p or 960p.

Essentially, SuperView captures a taller perspective (normally only available on 4:3 resolutions like 1440p or 960p) and then dynamically stretches it to a 16:9 aspect ratio. And best of all, this is all done on the camera; no need to do any post-processing or editing. You get 2 benefits from using SuperView:

  1. You won’t get the 2 ugly black bars on either side of your footage during playback
  2. You get to see a taller field of view and won’t miss any of the action that would otherwise not be captured on a native 16:9 resolution such as 1080p.

At this point, you must be asking: What exactly is dynamic stretching?

The central pixels remain untouched but the left and right edges of the footage get stretched so that the footage fits into a 16:9 frame. The downside is that you will 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 towards the center. The following image below demonstrates this effect more clearly.

When should you use SuperView?

Generally, you should use SuperView on almost any body-mounted shot (helmet, chest) or when the camera is mounted very close to you and you want to capture a taller field of view (think a selfie pole or with 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 make sure that the main subject is right in the middle of your shot.

Do you use SuperView? Tell us why you do or don’t in the comment section below!

2 comments

    • Great question! I personally haven’t gone scuba diving with a GoPro but I think you would want to stick with a 16:9 resolution like 1080p. SuperView is ideal for when you want to have a taller field of view. Even if the GoPro is mounted to your head, you’re typically swimming horizontally (parallel to the ocean/lake floor) so you don’t really need that taller field of view. I know I said scuba diving (based on your username), but in case you were referring to another activity, let me know.

      If there are any scuba divers that see this post, feel free to post up your experience and opinion!

      Reply

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