First sample footage from the Letus anamorphic adapter for GoPro emerges

by Felix Esser

posted Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 5:28 PM EDT

A little while ago, in a rather unexpected move, cinematography accessory manufacturer Letus announced an anamorphic adapter to use with GoPro action cameras. So far, anamorphic adapters would usually come with premium price tags well in the thousands, but recently we've seen a couple of companies come up with actually affordable ones. The Letus adapter is no exception, coming in at a mere US$199.

What the adapter, which attaches to the GoPro Hero 3+ underwater housing, does, is that it compresses the incoming image horizontally, so that footage with a wider aspect ratio (and consequently a wider angle-of-view) fits withing the boundaries of the video format the GoPro records. So for example, when recording in 16:9 aspect ratio, the anamorphic adapter will squeeze in image in the cinematic 2.39:1 format into the space available.

This means that during post production, the footage needs to be stretched to a 21:9 ratio, which has a much more cinema-like look to it than standard 16:9 footage. Alternatively, the adapter can fill the full 4:3 format of the sensor in the GoPro Hero 3 and 3+, and the footage can later be stretched to 16:9, but with a wider angle-of-view than the GoPro's native 16:9 footage would provide.

Now RedShark News has published some first footage taken with the new Letus anamorphic adapter, which you can find in the video below. There is strong barrel distortion in the images, which is probably due to the adapter's wider angle-of-view further exaggerating the distortion already present in the design of the GoPro lens.

Letus Anamorphx Adapter Test. GoPro Hero 3+ Chloe Mae Loop Profile. from jared abrams on Vimeo.

It remains to be seen how popular the Letus anamorphic adapter for GoPro will prove, as filmmaking and cinematography isn't really the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of GoPros. However, the tiny action cam has grown quite a bit in popularity with professional cinematographers and filmmakers; going so far as to have GoPro themselves release a pro-oriented firmware, with such features as enhanced image quality and the cinema-standard 24fps frame rate.

More info on the Letus AnamorphX-GP can be found on the company's website.