GoPro domes are amazing! They let you take really cool over-under or half-half photos in water where you get both the above and under the water on the same picture. They work by moving the water line away from the lens. TELESIN 6 Dome is one of the domes on the market.
I tested a dome a while back and it was the absolute king of domes – the KNEKT GoPro dome. (Check out the review HERE)
This time we`ll take a look at a cheaper option by TELESIN, the 6″ Dome Port with a trigger handle. Telesin makes a lot of smaller GoPro accessories and I have used and still use their batteries and silicone GoPro covers and I have been very happy with their products. They are cheaper than the originals and so far I have had no complaints what so ever. So I was really excited to try the Dome Port and see how it compares to the KNEKT Dome that costs over 200USD when the TELESIN can be around 40USD.
TELESIN 6 Dome Port first impressions
The first impressions are really good. When KNEKT comes in a subtle all white box the TELESIN 6 Dome Port has a nice colorful box with nice hard foam lining to protect the dome.
Inside the box you get:
- 1 x TELESIN Dome Port
- 1 x TELESIN Floating Hand Grip
- 1 x Cleaning Cloth
- 1 x Wrist Strap
- 1 x Trigger
- 2 x Screws
- 1 x Wrench
- 1 x Protective Dome Cover Bag
- 6pcs x Anti-fog Inserts
The dome looks solid and well constructed. It has an integrated housing attached so there is no chance of debris getting inside the dome. You place the GoPro inside the case and that`s it.
The back of the dome has a line across it to make it easy to keep it level and to get a perfect 50/50 shot. The grip has a decent rubber coating and can be used as a floaty to keep your valuable camera from drowning.
The case you use to fit your camera in is not a 100% snug fit and the camera is a bit loose in there but I guess it`s to fit other cameras with slightly different dimensions. With HERO6 this means you need to push the side button really tightly down to have it take effect.
One thing that confuses me a bit is the lid. In general, the lid is exactly like any other with the same locking mechanism but TELESIN has added a small lanyard attachment to the lid that you can clip on to a neck lanyard to keep the Dome from floating away from you or losing it in general BUT, it has two great benefits and one bad aspect.
The lanyard attachment is great to use to pull up the clamp that closes the back door. Without it, itś would be a bit cumbersome to get your fingers between the back of the dome but it`s really easy to just pull up from the string to get it to unlock. I can also see the benefit of having a safety lanyard for cases where you don`t use the grip (The grip is a safer option for the lanyard to attach to). But if you would attach a neck strap to it for example and pull on it by accident you will open the clamp and you can possibly lose the camera if this happens during a dive. So my advice: do not attach any larger straps to that lanyard attachment and only use it to conveniently open the latch.
The trigger works really well and although was very confusing to attach to a quick look in the manual will help you out 🙂 It works perfectly and makes taking pictures A LOT easier but it does come with a small downside.
You will have very limited access to the touch screen so you will not be able to use it at all. You can still frame your shots with the help of the screen but you need to peek from the sides and there is no direct view. So if you really want to have the freedom of framing your shots on the screen you will not want to use the trigger. But if you are happy to just shoot using your instincts and with the line at the back of the dome to guide you the trigger is a great addition to the TELESIN 6 Dome Port. Another thing to note with the trigger is that if it`s attached you can`t take your camera out -you first need to screw off the trigger system and only then you can take out the camera. Not a big deal but if you need to be fast in a situation this will take extra time.
The screws, the wrench, the wiping cloth and are nice additions and the protective pouch that goes on the dome really add to the value of the dome.
TELESIN 6 Dome Port image quality
So the big question is will the TELESIN 6 Dome Port match up with the Rolls Royce of action camera domes – the KNEKT dome? The price difference is huge and you might think twice before committing to cash out 200 USD.
If you follow KNEKT you know they put MASSIVE efforts in perfecting their products and they are very proud of their RD and manufacturing which is done in US. The materials are extremely high grade and the Optically Correct Acrylic Dome itself is super clear and feels almost like glass. KNEKT is a much cheaper alternative and that can only come from using cheaper materials and you can feel it. If you compare the two you immediately spot the difference. The big question is – will you see it on the images?
My conclusion – YES.
The issue I noticed is that the water droplets don`t slide off as they do with KNEKT Dome and you really need to make sure you wipe the dome or swing it with decent force and speed to make the water slide off the dome. I assume it`s the surface that just isn`t that water repellent as it is on the KNEKT.
I also noticed a bit of a glare on the Images that probably comes from the comes from the back plate of the dome being too polished and not matte. You can work around the glare I guess if you avoid shooting into a light source but this can become an issue sometimes. It`s not a huge glare but you will need to spend some time in Photoshop if you get a perfect shot and want to share the photo but the glare is fucking things up for you a bit.
If you compare size and weight the TELESIN Dome wins in the weight category at 242 grams vs KNEKT weighing in at 365 grams but KNEKT is a lot smaller due to the way the dome sits on the backplate. Here`s comparison of them side by side.
So I`m a bit torn with the TELESIN 6 Dome. On one hand, you can`t expect a 40-dollar gadget work as well as a 200-dollar comparison but having used the KNEKT Dome I never want to go back to a cheaper alternative 🙂
the TELESIN 6 Dome works OK and you will get your shots, you just need a bit more luck and a lot more shots that you can later sort and pick the best because some of them will have water droplets and some will have a slight glare. If you are not super-into the over-under shots but still want to have the option to take them then the TELESIN Dome will do the trick. If you are after that perfect shot then save some money and go for the Ferrarri of the GoPro dome – the KNEKT Dome.
What I love about TELESIN 6″ Dome
- Comes with great accessories
- Trigger works well
Things I don`t love
- Has glare issues
- Water droplets can be an issue
- Trigger obstructs the view
- GoPro case is not perfect size
TELESIN 6 Dome – Final Verdict
If you are on a budget this is great for you! You will not get the same quality shots you would with a more expensive dome but spending 40 bucks is really not that much so if you can look past some of the downsides that you will inevitably get with a cheap alternative then go buy it and start shooting.
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