Using a GoPro dome port takes your photography to the next level! If you always wanted to know how to take over underwater photos (split shot) read this post to learn the tricks! It is easier and cheaper than you think!
What is a GoPro dome port?
Dome port is an extra optical element. It moves the water line away from the lens opening you a new way in underwater photography. Basically, the dome port makes your photos cleaner and sharper, increases the field of view and decreases underwater magnification. The curve of the port minimizes the effects of refraction, radial distortion, and chromatic aberration. Using a dome port on your underwater camera or GoPro will significantly increase the quality of your underwater images but the greatest benefit is that it allows taking over under photos. With a GoPro dome port, you will be able to split shot that people could never see with naked eye.
Tip: check out what other GoPro accessories to use while snorkeling or diving!
How to take half underwater photos with GoPro camera?
Learning how to use your GoPro dome port is easy and doesn’t require specific technical skills. A little training in a pool might be useful before heading out to the sea but not necessary. Assembly the dome according to the instructions, place the camera in the housing, close the door perfectly and tighten the screws.
Most GoPro dome ports indicate the middle point on the back of the port. Just decide if you want to take a 50/50 over under photos or prefer a different proportion and hold it accordingly as stable as you can. Holding the camera with the port is not easy since the sea is never completely still. Using a GoPro camera stabilizer tray instead of the normal hand grip will help to minimize this problem. The best is to shot in burst or time-lapse mode! It increases the chance to get the perfect split shot comparing to taking single images. Alternatively, you can record videos at 120fps and grab the picture you like from it. Use wide angle mode and keep the person or the subject of your photo close (1-2 m) for a sharp image. If you go for the highest quality, take RAW photos so you can deeply edit without sacrificing quality.
The larger the dome, the better the result. You find 4-inch and 6-inch dome models on the market but the best GoPro dome ports are 6-inch in size. When buying a GoPro dome port on Amazon, make sure the package includes all the necessary accessories like waterproof case if needed (or comes with a built-in case), hand grip, cover, screws etc… Also, check the depth rating!
Tip: before taking it underwater check if the sealing on the port is clean and free of damages. Put it underwater without the camera and confirm it is not leaking.
The 3 best GoPro dome ports
Most packages come with hand-grip but you also find upgraded models on the market that come with switchable red filter kit or a camera stabilizer tray for the best result. Before choosing a dome make sure that it is the right model! Dome ports for latest GoPros are compatible since the design and buttons are identical on Hero 5 and Hero 6 cameras but you need different dome port for Hero 4 and older.
TELESIN GoPro Dome port
A best-seller GoPro dome on amazon made of high-quality materials. A 6-inch custom-made acrylic port that is easy to use and give you amazing water clarity. The semi-hemispherical design improves water sheeting and provides a full front face surface area. The rubber covered floating hand grip can be used as a watertight compartment to keep small valuables like keys or money dry. Telesin GoPro Dome port comes with protective cover and anti-fog inserts in the package.
Available for Hero 5/6 and for Hero 4/3.
- designed for GoPro Hero5/6 Black
- 6-inch wide-angle lens to take cool split photos
- made of high-quality PC and acrylic
- rubber covered soft and ergonomic hand grip
- with soft protective bag to avoid scratches and damages
SOONSUN GoPro Dome with built-in red filter
A newly designed 6-inch dome port for GoPro cameras for professional underwater photography. The integrated dive housing gives advanced waterproof features up to 60 m makes the dome can be used while snorkeling and diving too. Thanks to the built-in red filter your footage will be natural and vivid. Moreover, with the new design, you not only get the built-in red filter but also a blue filter and macro filter. You can easily switch without dismantling the port using the rotary knob. The floaty works as waterproof storage for small items. SOONSUN dome port package includes practical accessories for easy installation, cleaning and storing and even comes with a shutter release trigger.
Fits for Hero5/Hero6/Hero2018 cameras without removing the cover lens.
- for Hero5/6 and Hero 2018 cameras
- 3 filters switchable design with Red, Blue and Macro filters
- floaty hand-grip works as a watertight compartment
- shutter release trigger makes easy to press the shutter button
- waterproof up to 60 m - 196 ft, can be used while diving too
- comes with wrist strap and carry bag
SHOOT Dome Port with stabilizer tray
Adding a professional camera stabilizer tray to the dome port allows you to hold your camera with both hands increasing stability. This small trick will not only improve your split photos but also you underwater videos too. Rubber covered ergonomic handheld grips for maximum comfort. SHOOT Dome Port can be used up to 30 m. The tray can be separated and provides the opportunity to mount your camera with GoPro underwater lights too.
This upgraded 6-inch port is compatible with Hero5/6 models
- designed for GoPro Hero 5/6 models
- can be used with original GoPro housing
- with professional stabilizer tray for smooth footage
- the port can be separated to use the tray with the underwater housing only and adding lights
Pro tips for awesome GoPro dome shots
Master your over-under photos by studying these simple but useful tips that will help you to create even more professional split photos with your GoPro:
- Choose a sunny day – the light greatly improves GoPro Dome shots
- Avoid reflection – Don’t point the dome into the sun, keep it behind your back
- Choose clear water – shoot when the visibility is good! Bright sand is the best background!
- Avoid fogging up – assemble the dome on a cool dry place dry and use GoPro Anti-fog inserts
- Get rid of water drops on the lens – try to keep the top half of the GoPro dome port. You can use a use special wax or simple lick your dome, let it dry for 1-2 minutes and then dip it into water
- Keep the dome port clean – always rinse it with fresh water after each use and remove sand, salt and other tiny particles that could scratch it
- Protect it from damages – while storing or traveling, protect it with a neoprene cover or clean cloth
Anett fell in love with the ocean immediately when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea back in 2010. Discovering megacities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. She has a big interest in exploring the world’s last hidden underwater paradises and marine conservation. She hopes to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!