Using a GoPro dome port takes your photography to the next level! If you always wanted to know how to take half underwater photos -split shots- with your action camera, read this post to learn the tricks! With the best dome ports, it is easier and cheaper than you think!
Table of Contents
What is a GoPro dome port?
Dome port is an extra optical element. It moves the water line away from the lens and like this, opens new horizons 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 half submerged photos. With a GoPro dome port, you will be able to capture split shots -a photo where the top half is above water, the bottom half is under water- that people could never see with naked eye.
Tip: become a pro at GoPro underwater photography! check out how to use GoPro red filter and what GoPro accessories are available for snorkeling and diving! If you are about to buy a new GoPro, make sure to read our post that helps to decide if Hero7 or Hero8 Black is better for snorkeling!
How to take half underwater photos with a 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 it is also not necessary. Just 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 photo, 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 the images without sacrificing the 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 feature a switchable red filter kit or a camera stabilizer tray too for the best result. Before choosing a dome, make sure that it will fit your camera! Dome ports for latest GoPros are compatible since the design and buttons are identical on Hero 6 and Hero 7 cameras, but you need different dome port for Hero 4 and older.
Vicdozia TELESIN GoPro Dome port
A best-seller GoPro dome on Amazon made of high-quality materials. The 6-inch custom-made acrylic port is easy to use and ensures amazing water clarity. 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. Compatible with Hero7, Hero 5/6 and for Hero 2018 models.
- designed for GoPro Hero7 Black, Hero5/6 Black, Hero 2018
- 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 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 60m/196ft. Therefore, 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, the new design includes not only red filter but also a blue filter and macro filter. You can easily switch between them without dismantling the port by pressing the rotary knob. The floaty works as waterproof storage for small items. The package includes practical accessories for easy installation, cleaning and storing, and even comes with a shutter release trigger. SOONSUN dome port fits for Hero7/Hero5/Hero5/Hero2018 cameras without removing the cover lens.
- for Hero7 Black, Hero6/5 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 two hands, and like this, it increases the stability. This small trick will not only improve your split photos, but also you underwater videos too.
Rubber covered ergonomic handheld grips guarantee a secure and comfortable hold. 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 Hero7, Hero5/6 and 2018 models. The SHOOT Dome Port can be used up to 30 m/98ft.
- designed for GoPro Hero7 and 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
10 tips for the best GoPro dome photos
Master your half underwater photography skills by studying these simple but useful tips that will help you to create professional split photos with your GoPro:
- Shot on 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
- Keep you model close to the lens – apply minimum focus distance
- Pay attention to the background – like this, your subject can stand out. Bright sand is the best
- Check the back screen regularly – it helps you to set up the best composition
- 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
"Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you."