GoPro Hero cameras are fantastic as movie cameras and also for taking still photos. The Hero 3 is the latest version and has options for 12 Megapixel Wide Angle, Medium Angle, or Narrow. The wide angle is by far the best for getting all of a scene in view, but the distortion around the edges is difficult to compensate and all objects appear curved toward the edges. Here is my formula for getting lens corrections in Lightroom for this camera.
There are two basic methods and I’ve used both:
Create a lens profile for the GoPro camera and load it into Lightroom’s custom lens corrections. This kind of works, but is not that useful because the GoPro lens does not zoom so there is no need to correct at different focal lengths.
Use the existing lens correction tools in Lightroom to compensate. This way works best for me and here are my settings:
- In the Lens Corrections panel, choose Profile, enable profile corrections, with setup as custom.
- Choose the lens profile of Make = Sigma, Model = Sigma DG 8mm f/3.5 EX, and Profile = Adobe… .
- Set distortion to 200 and vignetting to 150.
- In the Manual panel, set distortion to +25, scale to 105, and lens vignetting to +20 with midpoint of 50. Make sure the Constrain Crop check box is checked.
- Adjust the distortion amount upwards from +25 toward +100 until you achieve the correction needed for the photo. I often have to go up to +100 when using the wide angle lens setting of the camera.
- In the Color tab, I check the Remove Chromatic Aberration check box and then later have to adjust the other controls as needed by the particular photo.
- Also, I sometimes crop the photo to remove the edges where the distortion is most prevalent. This depends on the photo content.
- And, yet another correction could be the vertical and horizontal sliders in the manual lens correction panel. Experiment to see what looks best.
Using these settings and with a little experimentation, you will get most of the distortion out of your GoPro shots. You won’t be able to get it all out, but the photos will look a whole lot better. To really get all the distortion out you could make the lens profile as I mentioned above, or better yet, use DxO Optics Pro and use the settings I recommend for that. I will post them in an upcoming post so please subscribe or check back.
Update: With Lightroom 5.2 the GoPro lens profile is included!
Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it.