Can You Zoom In On a GoPro?

Do GoPros have zoom? Yes, some of the newer models do, but there are some limitations that are worth knowing. Here are some examples.

GoPro Zoom
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:

Recent models like the HERO10, HERO9, and HERO8 cameras have had a zoom feature that works in video and photo modes. So, technically, yes, you can zoom in on a GoPro.

But there’s more to it, and there are some limits to its effectiveness. That’s because it’s a digital zoom, not an optical zoom.

What that means is that the “zoom” feature is done by software by narrowing in on the center of the frame.

There’s another, much more effective way to zoom. That’s by adjusting the lens optics. That’s why sports and nature photographers lug around those massive long lenses, and it’s why the lens barrel moves in and out on smaller, compact cameras. But GoPros have a fixed lens, so optical zooming isn’t possible.

Basically, GoPro’s version of zoom is a digital zoom that is a glorified crop.

So it takes the existing image data and narrows down on it. Because you can’t magically create extra detail from the visual information in an existing image (despite what we see in TV shows and movies), the finished result might look larger and closer, but it has the same image information and therefore isn’t as sharp. 1

When shooting photos, you can get the same result by using the crop feature that every respectable image editing app will have.

There is somewhat more of an advantage when shooting video. And that’s because the video file that’s saved at the target resolution (or uprezzed). That makes it much more convenient when it comes to sharing or editing the video.

Practical Examples of GoPro Zoom

Here’s are some practical examples of the GoPro zoom. These are side-by-side shots fully zoomed out and fully zoomed in.

This first one is when shooting video with the Wide FOV.

GoPro Zoom Example with HERO6 Black
GoPro Zoom Example with HERO6 Black

Here’s another in the video mode:

Video Zoomed Out 4KVideo Zoomed In 4K

And some more in the photo mode:

GoPro HERO7 Black Zoomed Out
GoPro HERO7 Black Zoomed In

  1. Some cameras have proprietary algorithms that can enhance digital zooms to make them look better. Sony’s ClearImage is one example. And there are various software apps that handle uprezzing with interpolation, such as Photoshop, or other proprietary methods, such as Gigapixel AI. GoPros don’t currently have anything like that.[]

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here.

I've been shooting with GoPros for years, starting with the HD HERO, and have owned and used just about every model since. More »


  1. Thanks! I just got my gopro and have a hat mount and even when zoomed it is very hard to see detail (like birds, etc). I’m going to the Galapagos and I’m trying to figure out the best mode to put my camera in (hero 8 black) for the best possible video and shots.

  2. Nice article, thanks alot!

    Do you know what the maximum digital “zoom factor” is for Hero 7 recording 2.7k video in Linear mode? (sorry if zoom factor is not the right terminology… I’m looking for the x number, like 5x, 7x, 10x, etc). Thanks :)

    • Sorry, but I don’t know what the equivalent would be. The linear FOV doesn’t really fit neatly into the standard zoom magnification ratios because it digitally alters the perspective in different parts of the frame.

    • Yes. Technically, if you do it in the camera it will output an image that’s still 12MP in dimensions, so you get that consistency. But it’s the same level of detail as cropping in post and then uprezzing the dimensions back to 12MP.


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