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Best GoPro Domes

Best GoPro Domes

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Introduction
DSLR housing vs. GoPro dome
Dome key features
BEST DOMES
Tips & Tricks

The GoPro dome is an ideal alternative to $1000 – $5000 DSLR surf-photography set-ups.

Good News – There are quite a few reasonably priced and useful GoPro gadgets for surf photography when you already have the GoPro!

Using the GoPro alone in the surf might limit all the capabilities, especially if you are after some really unique shots!

Down here you’ll find the best available domes and tips available today.

surf photography


Why use the dome in surf photography anyway?

Cheap, easy to use, unique shots

The GoPro dome is a perfect gadget for wave, surf, pool, or any other water-related photography!

Due to the large and round screen, the dome allows us to get a better range of the subject and score some exceptional shots. The dome set-up is effortless and convenient, that has a high-rate of successful images. Domes also cost around 1/5th of what you’d pay for the DSLR housings!


DSLR housing vs. GoPro dome

Both settings have their advantages and disadvantages. Check out the key factors why to choose the dome for surf photography!

 

DSLR

Pros:

  • Better depth of field – Allows focussing on a certain spot
  • Good shots from a distance – When using a 50-85mm radius lens
  • Can use different lenses in the water – 18mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm
  • High-quality photos – Due to a large sensor- the images have a way better quality
  • Can use out of surf – When shooting from the shore using a telephoto lens

Cons:

  • Expensive housings – Starting from 1000USD alone that is only 5m waterproof. Diving housings go up to 5000USD
  • Expensive gear – DSLR body + lens + filters for each lens
  • Bulky and heavy – the Whole set-up weighs 2-3 pounds (800-1600g)
  • Set-up can be tricky – What shutter speed, ISO, aperture to choose?
  • Some housings need two hands to operate – Diving trays require two sides to hold, or when aiming at the subject through the viewfinder

CONCLUSIONS:
With more money, you get a real pro-set-up which allows getting high-quality surf shots!


GoPro dome

Pros:

  • Inexpensive – Dome itself costs 1/3 of the whole set-up
  • No focusing needed – Point and shoot only!
  • Allows to take photos close to the subject – GoPro has the 180 degrees wide lens
  • Unique 50-50 shots – All domes are equipped with a center-line at the middle of the dome as a reference
  • Shoot videos – GoPro is primarily designed for action videos

Cons:

  • No depth of field on photos – The subject and the background are both in focus
  • Limited settings – Although you can set the ISO and aperture, it’s still quite limited
  • Great for one thing only – Best result when used only under and on the waterline

CONCLUSIONS:
The best cheap alternative to expensive surf photography under $1000 mark that allows getting really good pro-shots!

 


GoPro Dome Key Features

In photography, every detail matter! Most people choose the dome due to the large and round screen, that allows taking a unique picture with a higher rate of successful shots!

50-50 shots = Under/Over Shots = Split Shots

dehler 34 yatch

Compared to using the GoPro alone, a tiny droplet on the lens can ruin potentially the best shot. With a large and round lens of the dome, this will not be a problem if you have used the water-repellent liquid on the lens and dunked the dome in the water right before taking the shot!

PS: Read more down below about the tips on how to have a higher rate of successful photos.


Handle / Trigger

A must-have gadget in surf photography

An essential tool when you want to focus on the surfer and waves. Some domes down below come with a pistol-grip handle, or you can buy it for less than 20$ on Amazon. Compared to using the DSLR in surf photography, operating the dome can be done easily using one hand only!

DSLR’s are also generally quite bulky, weighing around 2-3 pounds (+ 1kg) with a lens, while the GoPro with a dome weighs about half of it! So, the lighter camera that sits right in the center of your hand is a very convenient tool to use in the surf.

The pistol-grip handles are designed in a way where the trigger from the floaty bobber reaches to the shooting button, which lets you hold the handle with four fingers and use the index finger for the trigger as shown in the picture above.


Bobber

Good grip on the handle

Bobber, which is attached to the camera and the trigger creates a good center-position of the camera that allows comfortable and accurate “shooting stance” in your hand.

Extra storage inside the bobber (Telesin Bobber)

A feature that helps to store some of your essential items in there. Not sure if any car key would fit in there, but the spot is still there.

Safety strap

Although the trigger-grip that’s attached to the bobber has a strap that should be pulled over your hand, in any case where the camera could get loose, it will still float

It floats

The whole set-up including the dome and the GoPro does not weight much + there’s plenty of air inside the dome that keeps the entire set-up afloat!


BEST DOMES FOR SURF PHOTOGRAPHY

Since I will be reviewing the Best Domes for GoPro’s, there are only a few notable brands represented.

1.) GDome – Premium quality, a ton of features and models
2.) Telesin – Best budget dome for surf photography
3.) Shoot – Alternative to the brands above


1.) GDome

One of the most advanced manufacturers on this list. The GDome specializes in water photography by producing domes for DSLRs, GoPros, smartphones. Dive trays and trigger domes. Great accessories for kite-surfing and diving as well

Founded in 2015
www.GetGDome.com

100% PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN! DESIGNED, ASSEMBLED, AND TESTED IN SOUTH AFRICA.

The GDome guarantees that you get waterproof housing! Every single dome has been pressure-tested in factory conditions to the maximum depth! The brand has been making the domes for four years by now, so all the available models have been updated to a reasonable degree.

The PDS (Professional Dome System) is made with detachable parts so that the dome can be quickly taken apart for maintenance or even upgrade the system yourself!

NOTE: Over $120 orders GDome offers free DHL shipping world-wide (2-5 working days on international shipping)
NOTE: Make sure you add the neoprene casing for transportation and storage to the chart if you already don’t have one
NOTE: There are no duties or taxes when shipping to the US and AU
NOTE: Bobber’s and triggers are not included with GDome ports, but the premium quality accessories can be ordered from them as well!

GDome models are compatible with:

  • GoPro Session
  • GoPro Hero
  • GoPro 3,4 Hero Black
  • GoPro 5, 6, 7 Hero Black

What do all GDome GoPro models share in common:

  • INDIVIDUALLY PRESSURE TESTED
  • Accessibility to all the buttons
  • Full view of the LCD screen
  • O-Ring compression seals between the dome and the BackPlate
  • Includes the whole set-up with screws and Allen keys
  • Split Line Indicator Engraved On BackPlate
  • O-Ring Compression Seals System – No Silicone Or Glue Is Used To Create A Seal
  • The entire GDome can be disassembled using the Allen Key provided
  • As new cameras become available, you can upgrade the BackPlate only – there is no need to buy a completely new dome
  • The GDome is super easy to disassemble and reassemble, no vice required!
  • Drastic focal length improvement for underwater shots
  • Optically correct dome
  • Close to 30% improvement in the camera’s field of view when underwater
  • O-Ring compression around the GoPro lens window

What’s the difference between the NAKED & BASIC dome for GoPro 5, 6, 7?

  • Naked – Full view of front & back LCD screens. No housing needed
  • Basic – Without a front-viewing window. However, you still have full access to the rear screen and all the buttons.

GDome PDS NAKED V3.0
For GoPro 5 / 6 / 7

No housing needed. Full view of both – Front and Back LCD screens

IN THE BOX

  • 1 x Complete Hero 7/6/5 Basic PDS Dome
  • Various Stainless Steel Screws
  • 1 x Allen Key
  • 2 x Camera Lens Seal
  • 1 x  Dome to Backplate O-Ring Seal
  • Instructions and Warranty Information

No housing required, as this range, GoPro’s are all water-proof anyway. Make sure you add the neoprene casing on the cart as well to increase the life expectancy of the dome! Full access to all housing buttons

Check out the model on YOUTUBE
ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


GDome PDS BASIC V3.0
for GoPro Hero 5, 6, 7

The cheapest on the list!

IN THE BOX

  • Complete Hero 7/6/5 naked PDS dome
  • Various Stainless Steel Screws
  • 1 x Allen Key
  • 2 x Camera Lens Seal
  • 1 x Dome to Backplate O-Ring Seal
  • Instructions and warranty information

Check out the model on YOUTUBE
ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


GDome PDS SS V3.0
for GoPro 5, 6, 7

The supersuit casing allows going down to 130 ft / 40 m!

IN THE BOX

  • Complete Hero 7/6/5 PDS SS (SuperSuit) dome
  • SS Housing Waterproof Housing (130 ft / 40m)
  • Various Stainless Steel Screws
  • Allen key
  • 2x camera lens seal
  • Dome to the backplate O-Ring seal
  • Instructions and warranty information

Check out the SS Dome on YOUTUBE
ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


GDome PDS LENS-ON V3.0
for GoPro HERO 5, 6, 7

No need to remove the lens from GoPro. 130 ft / 40m waterproof

IN THE BOX

  • Complete Hero 7 | 6 | 5 Black PDS Lens On Dome
  • Lens On 40m dive housing
  • Various stainless steel screws
  • 1 x Allen Key
  • 2 x Camera lens seal
  • 1 x Dome to the backplate O-Ring seal
  • Instructions and warranty information

Check out the LENS-ON on YOUTUBE
ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


GDdome PDS V3.0
for GoPro SESSION

Best dome for the Session available

IN THE BOX

  • GoPro Hero Session 4 / 5 PDS Dome
  • GoPro Hero Session dome housing (40m / 130ft waterproof rating)
  • Stainless steel screws & Allen key
  • 2 x camera lens seal
  • Dome to Backplate O-Ring seal
  • Instruction and warranty information

Check out the model on YOUTUBE
ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


 

GDome PDS V3.0
For GoPro 3, 3+, 4

Ideal choice due to both front and back screen and 40M waterproof rating

IN THE BOX

  • Complete Hero 4/3+/3 PDS Dome
  • Various stainless steel screws
  • 1 x Allen key
  • 2 x Camera lens seal
  • 1 x dome to the backplate O-Ring seal
  • Instructions and warranty information

ORDER from GetGDome.com

 


 

2.) Telesin

telesin gopro accessory

The Telesin has been around for ages, and they still offer one basic model for the most-used GoPro’s

telesin gopro dome includes

PROS:

  • Comes with all the extras: Trigger, Floaty Bobber, Dome, Neoprene case, Screws, Allen key, Microfibre cloth, Handle-strap, Anti-Fog Inserts
  • It is cheaper than the GDome

CONS:

  • No front-viewing LCD screen
  • Only  5m / 15 ft waterproof rating

Check out the on AMAZON:
GoPro 3+, 4
GoPro 5, 6, 7

I’ve been using the Telesin dome myself, and haven’t had any issues with it. It’s definitely great for its price and package!


 

3.) SHOOT

The brand Shoot is known for its hand-held domes that are used both in diving and surf-photography

When using your GoPro’s original casing, make sure to mount the 2-pieces of silicone rubbers to the backdoor frame before going in.

PROS:

  • Waterproof up to 30m / 100 feet
  • Sunvisor / Lens hood – Prevents lens flare and reduces lens damage

CONS:

  • Doesn’t have the water-line marking on the back of the dome
  • No front-viewing LCD screen

 

BUY the dome for GoPro 5, 6, 7 from AMAZON

 


Tips and tricks using the dome

1.) Spray the lens. Unlike the flat DSLR housing lens, with a dome, it’s good when there’s a thin layer of water on the dome’s glass. A completely dry screen will leave unwanted water droplets on the photos.

2.) Dunk the camera before taking the shot. By submerging the dome in the water right before taking the shot, the screen will be wet enough that leaves the lens clean. If you hold the camera out of the water, the screen might dry up and leave the unwanted droplets on the screen which

3.) Tilt the camera 10-30 degrees downwards. This helps to get a better composition on the wave and the surfer, not 50% on the sky.

4.) Choose the right setting for shooting. Depending on the conditions of the surf, there are plenty of different configurations to use on a GoPro when taking photos in the ocean.

Burst mode or single shots?

  • SINGLE – 12 MP Wide
  • BURST – 3/30, which takes thirty shots in three seconds

Use HDR when available

Videos:
Surfing the waves is a fast process, and if you’d like to get unique shots – use a frame rate above 60fps that can be slowed down in HD / 2.7K / 4K

5.) ALWAYS use the dome on the waterline. As the domes are designed for 50-50 shots, it performs best when you have half the dome submerged. When the camera is mostly outside of the water, there’s still some droplets on the screen that will leave unwanted blurry shapes in the display.

6.) Rinse the screen with clean water after each use. It is advisable to rinse the dome after each use and let it dry in the shade. This prevents the saltwater penetrating through the seals, increasing your dome’s life expectancy!

7.) Use anti-moisture patches. After some time the moisture could slip inside the dome and create the fog. Anti-moisture patches for GoPro’s prevent the screen fogging up from the inside. Make sure you get the dry-patches small enough that would fit between the camera housing.


Cheers & have a good one!