January 23, 2014
by Joe Marine, nofilmschool
Some of you might already be asking why anyone would want this, but really you should be asking why this didn’t happen sooner. All joking aside, there are some cool side effects and very real benefits to this new GoPro 1.33X Anamorphic Adapter from Letus. They’ve already introduced an adapter for DSLRs and other large sensor cameras, and now they’re taking things to the miniature level with the new AnamorphX-GP, which will essentially turn your 16:9 GoPro footage into a much wider 2.39 aspect ratio with a simple de-squeeze in post. Check out more below.
Here’s what Letus posted on Facebook about the adapter:
- 1.33x squeeze factor
- Custom CNC aluminum housing
- Use the GoPro 3+ waterproof housing for mounting. The adapter replaces the waterproof lens housing element. The unit will retain waterproof property.
- In 1080 mode, when the Letus AnamorphX-GP is attached, it will convert the 16:9 aspect ratio into 2.39:1 aspect ratio without the need for cropping (post production de-squeeze is required).
- In super-view mode the GoPro records in 4:3 aspect ratio and digitally stretch the image into 16:9 aspect ratio (dynamic stretching: http://gopro.com/support/articles/what-is-superview). The center of the image is kept same but the outer of the image is progressively stretched outward and that is what causes the distortion, especially on the edges. This is why GoPro does not recommend shooting people on the edges in superview mode for the distortion will make people on the side look much fatter than they really are. When use with the Letus AnamorphX-GP, the extra 1.33 field of view will then create a 16:9 image that compensate for this digital stretch. As a result, the GoPro in super-view mode with Letus AnamorphX-GP yields a true 16:9 image where you can see people (objects) on the edges to have a more normal aspect (not stretched). You can use the 16:9 images in superview mode with the Letus AnamorphX-GP adapter as is and will not need to be de-squeezed in post.
It’s unclear right now if this will work perfectly with the regular HERO3, but since both cameras are the same size and GoPro makes the skeleton housing that can fit the HERO3 and the HERO3+, it seems like it could be a possibility. Certainly there are many more regular HERO3s than Plus models out there right now, so it’s a far bigger market if you can take advantage of either camera. Right now though it should safely work with the Plus, and I imagine the new lens on that model should give you slightly better results with this adapter.
An interesting use of this adapter besides giving you 2.35 from the normal 16:9 image is actually with the new mode on the HERO3+ that lets you use the full height of the sensor. While the current setup digitally squeezes the 4:3 into a 16:9 frame, if you use the Letus Anamorphic adapter, you should actually get a true 16:9 image without the typical distortion. You then won’t have to squeeze this image in post because the camera is already putting the 4:3 into a 16:9 frame.
Some photos of the adapter:
And you can see how it compares size-wise to the current anamorphic:
There is no footage or release date as of yet (apparently it’s coming relatively soon), but you can see what the first large sensor AnamorphX adapter can do in this clip from Jack Yan Chen: http://vimeo.com/77113293
The current AnamorphX adapter begins around $2,000 for a usable setup, and while that may be a tough pill to swallow unless you’re using it a lot, the new adapter for the HERO3+ is only going to set you back $200 — bringing it in line with lots of other accessories for the camera.
See more photos of the device over on their Facebook page.