June 15, 2024

How to Not Get Wide Angle Lens on a Action Camera

Over the years, different types of cameras have catered to the variegated needs of a photographer. With the changing dynamics of photography, we now see a prevalent use of action cameras. These are uniquely designed cameras that can record an action while you are immersed in it.

The action cameras are small, rugged, waterproof, and provide an immersive action shot. Although these cameras are designed to capture every shot while you are engaged in it, photographers often face the challenge of wide-angle distortion. Usually, the action cam has a wide-angle lens of approximately 170 degrees. This can create distortion.

But if you are planning to buy one and want to eliminate this distortion, then you should know how to use a non-wide angle action camera lens.

What is Wide Angle Distortion in an Action Camera

What is Wide Angle Distortion in an Action Camera

Wide angle distortion is also known as a fish-eye effect. It is a visual distortion that is very common in action cameras. These cameras are equipped with wide-angle lenses such that they enable the photographer to capture a wider, broader view. This helps in capturing expansive shorts and immersive perspectives.

However, in some cases, this can create distortion that impacts the way objects and images appear when they are captured.

Wide-angle Distortion is Characterized By

  1. Barrel Distortion:It is the most common type of wide-angle distortion. It results in the appearance of straight lines near the edges of the images that curve outward. It results in a barrel-like effect.
  2. Stretching:In this case, you may find that the images towards the edge of the frame appear to be stretched out.
  3. Proximity Distortion: In this case, you may find that the objects that are too close to the camera may appear to be large, thus impacting their appearance.
  4. Perspective Distortion:Wide-angle lenses can amplify the distance between the foreground and background elements, thus making the objects in the background appear smaller than they would usually appear.

Tips that Will Help You Get the Best Image

1. Decide the Right Shooting Mode

One of the first tips that you can follow is choosing the right shooting mode. You have the option of choosing from wide-angle, narrow-angle, and medium-angle. Choosing the right shooting mode will help you control the degree of image distortion.

If you are capturing landscapes, then wide-angle mode will be helpful. On the other hand, medium and narrow-angle mode is useful in capturing portraits or scenery with straight lines.

2. The Right Framing Technique

Photography is a skill. It’s an art, and knowing the right technique will help you make the most of it. One of the ways to get a non-wide angle action camera is by right framing and composition. For this, you can follow the rule of thirds. Using this, you can balance the composition and shift the attention from the distorted edges.

Leading lines and points of interest can redirect the focus. Thus, the viewer gets to see the main subject without getting impacted by the distortion. Moreover, by adding foreground and background elements, you can add more depth to the shots, thus minimizing the distortion.

3. Experiment with Different Angles

One of the ways to overcome the wide-angle action camera effect is to experiment with different angles and distances. Still, once you have an understanding of the right frames and angles, you will be able to get the best images. For example, you can choose Angle vs. I level shots, which can alter the perspective and also reduce the impact of distortion.

Similarly, you can also experiment with the shooting distance. By reducing the distance, you can get a more natural result. This is useful when you are trying to capture extreme sports shorts where you need to maintain the natural perspective.

4. Using the Right Camera Accessory

The action cameras come with white and the lens. Hence, if you want a non-wide-angle effect in an action camera, you can add some accessories. For example, you can add extra lenses to modify the camera’s field of view. This allows you to achieve narrow angles and also reduces the distortion effect, which can help enhance the video quality.

Another way to get over the distortion effect is by adding stabilization tools. It can help in getting smoother footage without compromising on the quality. For example, you can invest in Gimbal. It adds more stability to the camera.

5. Learn from The Experts

Another way to improve the photography experience with the action camera is to learn from the expert. A professional who has mastered this art can help you understand how to use the action camera to get the best shot. You can take their advice and the real world inside to avoid wide-angle distortions.

You can also invest some in studying their work and understanding the techniques they use while using action cameras. Observing your strategies for capturing the best images can help you get non-wide-angle shorts from Action cameras.


To get the non-wide angle action camera effect, one needs to master the right way of photography. We have discussed some of the key tips that can help you in the same. The right kind of accessory and lenses can help in overcoming this effect. However, it is also important to focus on practicing daily, which can eventually help in overcoming the wide-angle effect.

You can also experiment by placing the camera at different angles. This will help you get the right shot, and over a period of time, you will be able to master the art of framing it.

Remember, photography is all about mastering the skills, and with the tips shared here, you can make the most of it.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore, a graduate of UCLA Film School, has been an integral part of our team since 2019, infusing his cinematic expertise into the world of action cameras. With a career spanning over 15 years in film and media production, his insights have been pivotal in enhancing the functionality and quality of action camera technology. Benjamin, a passionate marathon runner, often combines his love for endurance sports with his passion for capturing life's dynamic moments through action cameras.

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