PolarPro FiftyFifty-GoPro Hero5 Dome
PolarPro’s latest accessory to help capture creative content is the FiftyFifty. The FiftyFifty is an optical Over / Under GoPro Hero5 Dome. An Over / Under dome essentially pushes the water out in front of the GoPro Hero5 lens and allows the camera to capture a split shot, both under water and above water. The PolarPro GoPro Hero5 Dome allows you to take your water imagery and videos to a new level. Shooting with the FiftyFifty does require some practice and knowledge, so below you will find some of our expert tips on how to capture epic over under shots.
Includes: Hero5 Dome, Grip, Neoprene Cover, Leash
How to use a Dome with the GoPro Hero5
Get to know your new Dome
The FiftyFifty is designed to be very user friendly and easy to operate. Before going on your next epic shoot day, get acquainted with your Hero5 Dome and get comfortable with how all the parts work. There is a black outer trim ring that you loosen to remove the Dome Lens. This is a great way to clean the inside of the lens, or also clear any moisture. If you remove this ring, make sure you install it back on tightly for a good seal. To set up, simply attach the included grip to your Hero5 Frame housing, and then insert the Hero5 into the Dome port like in the video below.
Shooting with a Hero5 Dome takes practice
The PolarPro FiftyFifty has the ability to capture epic split level shots, however don’t expect to go out on your first film day and shoot print quality images. Shooting with a dome takes practice for a few reasons. First, a dome by nature is going to introduce more ways for light to reflect off and enter the Hero5 lens. To reduce lens flaring and capture a clean image, always try to shoot with the sun behind you. If you are shooing into the sun, lens flaring is almost guaranteed. The second thing you will want to practice is framing with the Dome. We recommend practicing in a pool to get used to how your shots are going to look when you hold the Dome at different angles and levels. Be sure to try out different Field of View settings and video vs photos to get a feel for what your content is going to look like in the wild. The more you practice with the GoPro Hero5 Dome, the better your images and video will look when you are on location.
Reducing Water Spots on the Dome
When shooting with the FiftyFifty, or any GoPro Hero5 Dome for that matter, water droplets can become a problem when shooting in the water. Water droplets will ruin any over/under image so it is important to keep your dome clear of them. We have found that coating your lens with a hydrophobic coating, such as Rain X or an anti-fog solution will help water bead off. If you do choose to apply a hydrophobic coating, make sure you gently rub it onto the lens, so it does not scratch the dome. Whether using a coating or not, just make sure to always check for water spots on the lens. Your first few shots right when you get into the water with your dry dome are going to be your cleanest without water spots. The more time and effort you put into keeping your Dome clear of water spots, the better your content will be.
You can see in this picture, even the smallest water droplets can be quite a nuisance
Keeping the inside of the dome clean and dry
The PolarPro FiftyFifty was designed with a trim ring to give users the ability to replace scratched lenses, or just clean the inside of the lens. If you accidently get moisture into the Dome, it is very easy to open it up, and dry it out. When you are drying the inside of Dome, be gentle and careful not to scratch the dome. We like to blot the water using a towel, and then remove excess water with a microfiber towel. After drying with a towel, let the dome and back-plate air dry for a bit before re-installing. Even a little drop of moisture inside the dome can cause some fogging, so it is important to always make sure the Dome is dry. You can see in the image below what can happen if you do not maintain the inside of the dome and keep It dry.
In this image you can see that a simple pre-shoot moisture check would have saved this epic shot.
Choosing water conditions and how to shoot them
Hands down the easiest water to shoot with the GoPro Hero5 Dome is flat, calm water. Unfortunately, you usually can’t control what the surface conditions will be, so you will need to prepare for shooing in rough choppy conditions too. If the surface is rough, your best bet is going to be to shoot images, and shoot a lot of them. I like to either use a long burst or a 0.5 second time-lapse, this way you will shoot hundreds of images to choose from. Typically, one or two images out of that 100 will have the waterline framed perfectly. Shooting video in choppy water is challenging, due to the fact the waterline is changing fast, and it’s difficult to hold the dome perfectly still. Shooting in calm water is a different story, it is a lot easier to shoot stable video as the water line does not change. If the water is calm, you can shoot both images and videos with ease. Sometimes getting the calm water means waking up early and getting out there before the wind picks up, it is almost always worth it.
Choosing a subject
To create a compelling over / under image or video with a GoPro Hero5 Dome, you will need to select a compelling subject. We recommend planning out a few different shots before going out and shooting. A good start is to film your friends diving /snorkeling under water, with an intriguing background. The cleaner the water is, the better your images or videos will look. Try shooting many different subjects at the same time: people, aquatic life, reefs, above water landscapes, there are so many compelling images you can create with the PolarPro FiftyFifty Hero5 Dome.
Taking Care of your Dome
The dome is an extension of your camera lens, so it is important you maintain it and always keep it clean. If you do not take the time to take care of it, your images will suffer. Follow these steps after each shoot day, shoot.
1.Rinse with fresh water as soon as possible.
Salt water-spots are difficult to remove from the lens, so rinse off and dry your dome as soon as you can.
2. Insert the plug right after taking your camera out
This will prevent water and dust from getting inside the dome when you are rinsing it or storing it.
3.Wash/Rinse thoroughly after each shoot day
When you get home, be sure to run the lens through water and gently wash the lens with liquid or gel soap. Fingerprints or dirt on your lens can ruin your shot the next day.
4. Store with the Neoprene Cover On
Before putting your cover on, make sure there is no sand inside or anything that can scratch the lens.
5.Check again to make sure there is no moisture inside the dome
Yes, its repetitive, but very important to shooting successful over / under images
Final tips on shooting with the Hero5 Dome
Remember that shooting with a Dome is going to take practice. We designed our FiftyFifty Hero5 Dome to be extremely user friendly and easy to use. If you have any questions, please send us an email and we would be happy to assist you.
Now get out and Capture Perfection.