In this article I will be reviewing one of the most favoured budget water/surf photography gadgets on the market – the GoPro dome by Telesin.
About the brand
What’s in the box
Which Telesin dome setting to use
Tip’s and tricks
Frequently asked question
Alternatives to Telesin
About the Brand
Telesin makes decent photography accessories for GoPros.
Most known GoPro accessories by Telesin are Protective cases, diving masks, chargers, screen protectors, and more. Telesin makes handy surf photography accessories at an affordable price.
Specifications: 1.5 pounds / 600 g
Available for: GoPro 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Price: $35 – $77
What’s in the box?
The Telesin GoPro dome package comes with a soft screen-cover protective bag, a microfibre screen cleaning cloth, the dome port with pistol trigger, two corrosion-resistant screws, a floaty bobber, and an aluminum wrench to tighten the screws. Everything to get you the unique photos in and around the water
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Why use the Telesin GoPro dome?
Telesin GoPro dome is the perfect tool to make those 50-50 shots in the water. It’s a fun and convenient way to get into surf photography or make those awesome shots at an affordable price tag. The Telesin GoPro dome is a perfect alternative to $1000+ settings available.
A great feature this dome has, due to the trigger – is that you can take surf photos using only one hand!
How to use the Telesin GoPro dome?
Turn on the GoPro, make sure the battery is charged and there’s enough free space on your SD card. Choose the shooting setting you will be using.
Do you want to make single shots, or three/five continuous shots or videos?
Shooting in still waters it’s ok to shoot single shots, while in the surf you want to take more photos for a higher success rate.
2. Insert the GoPro inside the dome and put the trigger over the top of the shutter button. Remember not to over-tighten the knob (using a screwdriver) because after all it’s made out of plastic.
3. Use wax or water-repelling ingredient on the outside of the dome to keep the water running down the screen. If you are not going to do that – you will see a lot of unwanted water drops on potentially outstanding photos. Tip divers use inside their masks against fog showing up due to humidity – spit on the dome glass and spread it over. As weird as it sounds – it works. In the water, you have to continue doing that.
4. Insert the anti-fog inserts near the GoPro to prevent the inside of the dome from fogging up.
5. Attach the safety strap on the bobber so that the dome will not wander away after you’ve been wiped out by the wave
For more tips and tricks using GoPro Telesin dome, look down below for tips/tricks
Which GoPros fit the dome?
GoPro 3, GoPro 4, GoPro 5, GoPro 6, GoPro 7
Check out down below to find the best model for your GoPro
You can use alternatives like the older SJ Cam models, which are the same size as the GoPro 4. There might be more same-size action cameras found today.
Which Models to Use?
Standard dome with a floaty bobber for GoPro 3, 4
Standard dome with a floaty bobber for GoPro 5, 6 7
Tips & Tricks Using the Dome
For a higher chance of making better photos, look at the middle-line on the back wall of the dome to make sure you are halfway in the water to make close enough 50-50 shots, not 10-90.
Submerge the dome right before taking photos – so that the screen will be clean and free of annoying water droplets (that want to stay right in the middle).
Shoot closet to the subject
Try to Shoot the photos close to the subject, since GoPros make wide-angle shots and a distant photo might be not as good as using the DSLR.
When doing surf photos, I recommend using swim fins or any other short fins. They’ll help you dive fast, and move in the currents. Going into a heavy surf without fins is dangerous! I’ve had an awful experience going in to take photos without fins, even though I consider myself surf-educated, a good swimmer, and is well above average physical condition.
In rough water conditions – you can remove the dome and use the GoPro with a waterproof housing and the trigger to take photos outside or under the water. It’s convenient!
Keep the screen clean
You can use the surfboard wax or any other water-repelling spray that leaves a thin layer on the screen, that you have to rub all over to keep the water running down the screen immediately.
Use anti-moisture pads
There are slim anti-moisture/anti-fog pads available you can use to insert with the GoPro – to keep the dome fog-free from the inside.
For the best results – edit the pictures after use. Auto-contrast/brightness and rotate the images that they would be parallel to the land. Photos after all – are for watching, so better make those little adjustments for best results
How to maintain the Telesin GoPro?
- For the best life expectancy of the dome – rinse the dome under running water after each use. Salt and sand – our most significant companion element when surfing – will find ways to stick with us. Salt also tends to dry everything – including the plastic screen and the rubber seals
- Clean the screen with a wet tissue, then carefully wipe it dry with a dry tissue, and then use the microfibre cloth for the perfect finish
- Try to keep away from on close-shore surf conditions, where there’s a lot of sand in the waves which could scratch the dome screen
Frequently Asked Questions
How deep can I dive with the Telesin dome?
Manual recommends 15feet/5meters maximum.
Will it float?
Since the dome with a GoPro is lightweight and comes with a floaty bobber, the dome will float. I’ve noticed that even without the bobber, it floats just fine.
Alternatives to Telesin
Here you’ll find an alternative solution to Telesin, which shares the same principles and get you in the surf photography game.
Gurmoir Shoot 6″ – Comes with a small sun-shade
Shoot Dive Stabilizer Tray – a Real handy tool to use when surfing. Can not find a convenient reason why you need to take 50-50 shots when diving, but it can be used to make great surf photos for sure!
If you are into photography, I can assume you have a DSLR. DSLR’s are much more manual than GoPros – where you can change the settings, and use different lenses. I use both the DiCaPac underwater