Go Pro Tips

A foggy picture

It can be very disappointing when you have a great session, only to find that your Go Pro video is foggy or obscured by water droplets. These are my tips for getting quality pictures and video from every session.

Cleaning and preparing the housing

At the beach, I tend to rinse the cameras in fresh water and wrap them in a towel or my wetsuit so they don't get damaged or scratched on the way home.

Once home I remove the cameras from the housings, download the videos from the SD cards and put the batteries on the charger.

Next, I soak each open housing (including the mounting brackets etc.) in a bucket of clean fresh water for 10 minutes. I take them out, and place them on a towel to dry in front of a fan.

Finally, once the housings are dry, I brush around the gasket with a regular paint brush (one that I use exclusively for dusting down gear) to make sure no sand or other foreign material is obstructing the seal.

Preventing water droplets

To prevent water droplets I use Rainx, which is the product Go Pro recommends in the user manual.

Go Pro Rainx treatment

I get a couple of Que-tips and soak one end with a few drops of Rainx. I apply this liberally to both the inside and outside of the housing lens and let it dry (don't apply it to the camera lens or you might damage its coating). Rainx helps to repel both water and spray. It works really well and I highly recommend it. You may notice in my Go Pro videos, that while beads of water do form, the wind will often dislodge them very quickly. This is what the Rainx does, it makes it harder for droplets to stick to the lens.

You can purchase Rainx form you local Auto mart. I picked mine up from Super Cheap Auto.

Go Pro close-up of Rainx treatment

Once the Rainx has dried, it leaves a foggy film. Using a dry Que-tip I buff this off until the lens is clear on both sides.

Stopping lens fog

If you have any humidity in the air when you seal the camera in the housing and you submerge the camera housing in cold water, within 5-10 minutes the lens will fog up. The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure that there is no moisture or humidity in the air inside the housing.

Drying silica pouches on heater

I keep the air dry in my camera housings using pouches of silica crystals. I simply hand sewed these with a needle and thread out of a piece of fine gauze ribbon my daughter gave me. The silica crystals I use came in little satchels with electronic goods that I have purchased in the past. They have a marker die that turns blue when they are dry, and pink when they contain moisture. I dry them out on a heater, but they can also be placed in an over on low.

Inserting silica pouch in Go Pro camera

The pouches sit at the back of the camera in the space above the battery compartment.

Go Pro with silica pouch installed

The blue indicator is easy to see and gives me confidence that there is no moisture in the air inside the housing. That way I know when I am out on the water that the lens won't fog up - regardless of how humid the air was when I sealed the housing or how cold the water is.

Tethering my cameras

My first waterproof camera was an Oregon Scientific ATK3. Sadly I lost this camera on my 3rd venture out because it got knocked off its mount and sank into muddy water. Even though the water was shallow, the current was strong and I never managed to recovered my camera - an expensive mistake.

Go Pro Velcro leash

Now I make sure that each of my cameras is tethered. At first I used to tie them to my boom with knots. Now I use a simple Velcro strap. It makes attaching and removing the cameras quick and easy and gives me peace of mind on the water.

Protecting and transporting my cameras

The last thing I want to do is scratch or damage the housings, so I have a dedicated storage container to cart my Go Pro camera gear around in.

Go Pro mounts in storage box

The storage container has two layers. I picked up at my local Bunnings Hardware store. The bottom layer is deeper. Inside the bottom I glued the original mounts that came with the cameras. I used a clear silicon adhesive to do this. The cameras just clip onto these mounts using the standard mounting brackets.

My Go Pro kit

In the top part of the storage box I keep all the mounting brackets and other miscellaneous Go Pro hardware. This keeps everything in one place that is also dust, sand and dirt free.

Conclusion

While all this sounds like a lot of effort, in reality it actually doesn't take that long. I prefer to know that every time I go out the videos I produce will be technically OK, even if the session isn't, so I tend to get on with downloading the videos and preparing my camera housings as soon as I get home. That way my Go Pro kit is always ready for my next windy blue-sky session ;)

Posted by Henry Thomas, 7 years ago on Saturday, August 14, 2010

3 comments:

Jason Wyeth said...

This is really awesome stuff, thank you for sharing it

Posted 6 years ago on Friday, December 31, 2010

Don said...

Good ideas! thanks!

Posted 6 years ago on Saturday, January 22, 2011

Paul clark said...

Really useful info.. Especially on antifog. Thanks for sharing

Posted 6 years ago on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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