If you want to shoot in GoPro’s RAW photo format (.gpr), you’re limited to shooting in the Wide field of view mode. The Linear field of view, which corrects for the fisheye distortion of the GoPro lens, is only available when you shoot in JPG.
But there are good reasons that many people, myself included, much prefer to shoot in the RAW file format offered in newer cameras like the HERO7 Black.
Get $100 OFF HERO8 Black
GoPro is currently running what they're calling their best deal ever on the GoPro HERO8 Black. It's $100 off, bringing it down to $299.99. They're throwing in a 32GB SanDisk Extreme microSD card and free 2-day shipping. You can find the deal at GoPro.com.
And for a great starter package, they also have $150 off a HERO8 Black bundle that includes an extra battery, Shorty Grip, Head Strap, a 32GB SanDisk Extreme microSD card, and free 2-day shipping, all for $349.99. You can find that deal here.
So here’s a workaround that lets you apply linear FOV, or something very close to it, to GoPro’s RAW photo format.
This method uses Lightroom’s Lens Corrections feature. It’s pretty straightforward, but here’s a quick rundown.
Correcting GoPro Lens Distortion in Lightroom
Open the GPR file in Lightroom’s Develop module, as you normally would. In the set of panels to the right, scroll down to the Lens Corrections panel. Make sure that the Profile tab is checked at the top.
Check the box next to Enable Profile Corrections. So long as you’re using a fairly recent version of Lightroom, it should have GoPro lens profiles built-in and detect them automatically.
The adjustments to the FOV are made with the Distortion slider. By default, it will start at 100, which results in a field of view similar to GoPro’s built-in Linear FOV. You can see in this example that the horizon has been mostly, but not completely straightened, and some of the image has been cropped from each side.
Even though it’s not perfectly identical, there’s a big benefit to doing it here rather than using GoPro’s own version: you can have control over how aggressively to apply the distortion correction. Simply drag the slider left for less correction or right for more correction. Like this:
Things Worth Knowing
The distortion correction algorithms that Lightroom uses are similar but not identical to the in-camera algorithms of GoPro’s Linear FOV. But they’re similar enough for most uses, and the added flexibility is a bonus.
This method obvious relies on you using Lightroom. Some other RAW processing apps have similar functionality.
If you need to apply the same distortion correction to multiple photos, perhaps shot in a sequence, you can easily do that with Lightroom’s Sync Settings function.