Introduction to GoPro Domes
- 1 Introduction to GoPro Domes
- 2 But How Does It Affect Your Photo Quality?
- 3 Best GoPro domes in 2018
- 4 1. SOONSUN 6'' Dome Port Lens
- 5 Specs
- 6 2. SHOOT Dome
- 7 Specs
- 8 3. Vicdozia Telesin 6'' Dome Port Lens
- 9 Specs
- 10 4. AmazonBasics Underwater Dome Port
- 11 Specs
- 12 5. PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome
- 13 Specs
- 14 Choosing A GoPro Dome
- 15 How to efficiently use the dome
- 16 Conclusion
If you are looking for a GoPro accessory to enhance your underwater photography experience then you should definitely have a look at this incredibly useful accessory.
GoPro cameras have changed the way we used to do the photography, but these action cameras were unable to perform well under water because of some obvious reasons.
GoPro Domes were developed with the intention of giving normal people an ability to shoot incredible underwater footage by pushing the water few inches away from the camera lens. Earlier doing underwater shoots required the investment of thousands of dollars but GoPro dome came as a game changer.
But How Does It Affect Your Photo Quality?
Improved Field of view: to help you get the better split-level photo, GoPro dome helps in pushing the water away from lenses that improve the field of view. It helps you capture the water line with much clarity.
To understand this better, close your left eye and take your finger horizontally closer to the right eye, you will not be able to see anything, but if you move the finger few inches away from your eye, you will be able to have a better vision of what’s above and below the finger. This is how improved field of view works.
Underwater Magnification: Water has a tendency to magnify things and change the way things look under water, this is the reason why objects look bigger under water.
While taking split-level photos without a dome you will experience the same problem, underwater objects will look much bigger than the object above the water, this result in bad synchronization. Domes solves the magnification problem, help you get balanced 50-50 split level photos.
GoPro Dome has taken the underwater photography to totally different level because of its ability to push the water few inches away from the lens and it dramatically changes image output.
|SOONSUN 6'' Dome Port Lens||$46.00||Buy on Amazon|
|SHOOT Upgraded 3.0 Version 6'' inch Diving Underwater Handheld Stabilizer Lens||$69.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Vicdozia Telesin 6'' Dome Port Lens||$49.99||Buy on Amazon|
|AmazonBasics Underwater Dome Port||$25.93||Buy on Amazon|
|PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome||$49.99||Buy on Amazon|
Best GoPro domes in 2018
1. SOONSUN 6” Dome Port Lens
2. SHOOT Upgraded 3.0 Version 6” inch Diving Underwater Handheld Stabilizer Lens
3. Vicdozia Telesin 6” Dome Port Lens
4. AmazonBasics Underwater Dome Port
5. PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome
1. SOONSUN 6'' Dome Port Lens
This is my personal favorite out of all domes available in the market, Soonsun 6” Dome post lenses come with 3 light filters: Blue filter, light red filter, and Macro filter. These filters are proven to be very handy in delivering incredible quality footages. Blue filter helps in capturing lovely blue sky and water line, Light Red (pink) filter assists in correcting the color distortion and helpful in snorkeling.
Soonsun dome is tested to work efficiently for deep sea diving with the ability to work underwater up to 60 meters and the trigger make it easy to use. Performance of the dome is quite good and you will feel the difference in photo quality because of the additional filters provided by the company.
Customer service of the company is impressive and they respond to any issue very promptly.
2. SHOOT Dome
If you are expecting to achieve better stabilization then you should opt for double handheld stabilizer lens. Holding the dome with both hands makes you achieve better stabilization.
This might seems bulky to some people but if you are looking for a professional shoot then this SHOOT Upgraded 3.0 Version not going to disappoint you. You can use the handle-tray to attach additional accessories like flashlights. Company claims the dome to be water resistant till 30 meters and every drone manufactured goes through the Hydrostatic water test to make sure it is leak proof.
One thing that I personally felt very effective is the hood that is provided above lenses, and they assist in reducing the glare on a sunny day.
3. Vicdozia Telesin 6'' Dome Port Lens
If you are someone who would choose market reputation over any other feature then you should definitely go for this dome. Telesin has really earned the reputation of producing superior quality GoPro domes and they are one of the biggest manufacturers of the dome in the market.
Frankly speaking, it was hard to find any glitches in product and all the functionalities that are provided performed pretty well. Dome is made of made of quality PC+Acrylic, high transparent material to offer you high visibility and to capture vivid images above/under water. Every dome has to pass the hydrostatic water test to make sure the dome is leak proof. Without any experience, you will be able to head straight into the water and capture some photos and video that will remind us of our wonderful experience in a beautiful part of the world.
The only functionality Vicdozia Telesin seemed to lack is the Lens hood that is required in bright sunny day to reduce the glare.
4. AmazonBasics Underwater Dome Port
If you are a fan of AmazonBasics product range then this is something for you, this dome in incredibly cheap and will fit in your budget even if you have a tight budget. This product is compatible with the Gopro Hero 5 but if you have Hero3 or Hero 4 then you can choose the different variant of dome what is compatible with those models.
With that price range, I didn’t had much expectation before buying it but the built quality was quite good. AmazonBasics Underwater Dome is built with scratch resistant acrylic and water casing also locked the camera quite well. Shallow water snorkeling was quite efficient, but I missed the use of color filters for better photo quality.
5. PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome
ProPolar help you capture the split shots quite effectively and built to be compatible with the Hero 5 black and Hero 6. It’s a great option for the frequent travelers who love to explore new things but not in a mood to carry a bulky dome.
The ProPolar dome was created to satisfy the needs of casual travelers and you should not expect much from it. Although the company has tested the dome under water for snorkeling purposes they don’t have any official statement on its water resistance. I used the product to take some split photos and it worked well with me and it was quite easy to carry as compared to other.
Choosing A GoPro Dome
Although choosing the right dome might sound easy but still there are many technicalities that you need to look for before you invest your money.
- Quality: Quality of the material used is very important to look for before you make your investment. Material of the dome affects its longevity, I suggest you to go for the GoPro dome that offers higher level of tolerance towards scratches, and scratches will ruin your image quality.
- Functionality: GoPro domes are coming with many functionalities, some functionalities that you can look for:
- Trigger: some domes are coming with trigger on the handle that makes it easier for the photographer to click images.
- Filters: companies like Soonsun provide inbuilt filters that help in delivering enhanced photography experience.
- Waterline marker: this functionality might sound unnecessary but it can make your work much easier.
- Leak proof: being leak proof is very very important. If your GoPro is not water resistance then any leakage in your GoPro dome might create problem for your action camera. If you have GoPro 5 or GoPro 6 then also should consider it. Even a slight leakage will leave the water droplets inside the dome which is enough to ruin your perfect shot.
- Compatibility: The most important feature to look for before you make a purchase, all the action cameras are built differently and they have different button placements.
How to efficiently use the dome
It’s not easy to capture stunning photos even though you have all the gadgets in your inventory, there are many technical aspects that need to be take care of if you are pursuing to shoot professional grade photographs.
Use a large dome
Generally, there are two common sizes of GoPro domes available in the market 4” and 6”, but always try to prefer 6” dome lens instead of 4”. Although you might find 6” dome to be difficult to carry but its much efficient in taking better 50-50 split photos. The surface of the ocean it very less likely to be in the stable state and you have to have bigger dome for best quality 50-50 photos.
High frame rate
Shooting incredible split photos are not easy to achieve, and normal speed video footage taken underwater might not look very efficient. Under water or split shots will look very noisy and distracting with the normal frame speed. The best idea is to shoot at 60-120 frames per second, it will remove the distortion and will bring more clarity to your footage.
Use correctly the water level indication of the dome
Most of the domes are provided with the water level indicator to let the photographer know whether the dome is submersed till the right level. Always use the water level indicator and right frame speed to get high quality 50-50 split photos.
Make sure to edit the color in your video edit software
Some of the domes (like Soonsun 6” Dome port) come with the color filters that make you able to enhance the quality of the color gradient. If you are not using any color filter then its best practice to shoot at RAW mode, it will give you better chances to edit and enhance the color quality of the footage.
Try to use burst mode or time-lapse
No matter how talented you are, it is always difficult to the perfect 50-50 split shot, the main reason behind not being able to take perfect shoot is the continuous moving water that makes it difficult to have a perfect shot.
Best practice is to have a photo in Time-lapse mode or burst mode; it will help you take multiple photos at the time and later you can choose the perfect shot from the different range of shoots. If you are putting your camera in Time-lapse mode then it is advised to set in on .5 second per picture mode.
A single water droplet is enough to ruin your incredible shot; a single droplet has the capacity to blur the whole shoot. Most common practice is to wait for the surface to dry if you accidentally get the top wet.
There are many lubricants available in the market that assists in quick drying the water by not allowing it to stay on dome surface.
There are some conditions that you need to look for to have clear and perfect split photo shots.
- Clearwater: your 50-50 split photo is going to be of no use if the water you are shooting in is not clear enough, which is the reason it is always advised to take a picture in sunny weather to have maximum water clarity.
- Sunlight: whenever possible always keep the sun on the back side to prevent glare and to have brighter and more colorful photos.
GoPro action cameras has proven their efficiency to be a part of your every vacation, and you have been collecting life memories with the help of these small devices, but when it comes to underwater photography, many people tends to keep their GoPro safe and away from water. The Best GoPro Domes we have mentioned in this article will help you collect those beautiful underwater memories as well, and you are not required to spend tons of money to do so.