I recently started using my GoPro Hero4 to shoot some skiing footage and was pretty stoked to finally start making some neat little ski videos. After pulling the weekend's footage onto my GNARBOX, I was surprised to find that the videos I shot in 1080p (16:9) featured my hands and skis, which I liked to frame the video, but that I could only see the ski run and not the horizon. The result was a weird view that left me wishing that I could see a little bit more of the environment and less of the ground. 

After doing some research, and consulting with more seasoned GoPro shooters in the GNARBOX office, I learned about shooting in 1440P (4:3), which allows you to keep important visual perspective in your action POV videos. 

Where else is this applicable?
Shooting 4:3 isn't just great for skiing - it's also really helpful when shooting surfing, mountain biking, and any other activity where you wish you had more vertical frame, particularly when using a body mounted GoPro.

Here's the basics of why you should shoot 1440p (4:3) instead of 1080p (16:9) when shooting POV action footage, for skiing, and many other things too!

What is 4:3 footage, and why should I shoot it? 

  • 4:3 provides more of a square frame than other HD aspect ratios like 16:9 or 17:9. 
  • The sensor on the GoPro is actually 4:3 aspect ratio, so shooting 16:9 actually crops out a chunk of the video that your camera's sensor is capturing! 
  • By shooting 4:3, your videos will contain more of the surrounding environment, providing important perspective and making your videos more dynamic. 

For a deeper dive on GoPro resolution and aspect ratios, check out our article here.

How do I handle 4:3 footage using my GNARBOX? 

  • Right now, the GNARBOX video editor automatically fits your 4:3 videos into a 1080p frame, essentially performing dynamic stretching to conform your video. 
  • In a future software release, we will be implementing an aspect ratio cropping tool that will allow you to select which part of the frame you'd like to crop to fit, giving you more control over your final frame and the content of your videos.

For more info on 4:3 footage, and editing it outside of the GNARBOX environment, check out Abe Kislevitz's great article on the topic here.

Kat is the Community Manager at GNARBOX. Talk to her about Sony cameras, adventure photography and video editing with the GNARBOX! You can see her personal work at instagram.com/kat.greenbaum and vimeo.com/kgreenbaum.

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