In this post, you'll learn how to eliminate GoPro lens fog.
But first, we're going to discover why your GoPro fogs up and also three examples of when moisture can affect the GoPro image quality.
Why Your GoPro Fogs Up
It might sound funny for a waterproof camera to have moisture problems. Why does your GoPro camera fog up?
While the case does a good job of keeping water out, it's actually the case itself that causes the problem. Because the case is fully waterproof, any humidity inside of the case is trapped inside. If the outside air is very cold or if the inside air is very humid, it can cause the moisture to condense inside of the case.
This problem is most common in water sports (surfing, diving) because of the temperature variance of the air/water and in winter sports because of the variance of inside/outside temperatures. Even shooting half underwater photos can be affected.
In the following three examples, the waterproof case was working fine – the fog is caused because of the humidity inside the case.
3 Examples of GoPro Lens Fog
- Galapagos Bodyboarding: On our most recent trip to the Galapagos, I went body-boarding with my daughter. It is one of my favorite memories from these trips. But as you'll see in the images below, I had some moisture problems. As you can see below, the moisture created a black, shadowy halo around the images.
- Cuenca Bus Tour: When I was shooting the driving time lapse video in Cuenca, the lens began to fog over. The sun was hot and the camera was mounted on the front of the bus, in open sun. In the video, you can see how the fog affects the video quality. When the bus stopped for a break, I opened the case and wiped out the moisture.
- Seagull Feeding Frenzy: And while shooting a bit of a feeding frenzy on a beach in Florida, the cold air caused some condensation on the lens. The original video was just over 13 minutes and the fog didn't appear until after the 10 minute mark. I think that the combination of the camera heating up and the cold Daytona Beach afternoon – 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) caused it to fog up. Here's what it looked like – the image began to distort, especially on the right side.
So, that's the problem. How can we fix it?
How to Eliminate GoPro Lens Fog
The simple fix is to add something to absorb the moisture. If you can take the moisture out of the air, then it won't condense on the lens and affect the shot.
2 Ways to Eliminate GoPro Lens Fog
- Anti-Fog Inserts: These inserts are vacuum packed and ready to go. Cost: $7-20.
- DIY Inserts: These take a couple of minutes to prepare and won't absorb as much moisture. They are commonly made with paper towel, and occasionally toilet paper. Cost: almost free
Which type of anti-fog insert should you use? While I'm a fan of saving money, I don't favor the DIY insert.
When I'm shooting, I want my images to come out. I spent $600 (Canadian) on my latest GoPro, plus the accessories. I'm not super interested in saving $7 and getting foggy shots.
Anti-Fog Inserts for GoPro
Here are your two options for silica-based anti-fog inserts:
|CamKix Anti-Fog Inserts for Gopro Hero 4 Black, Silver, 3 plus, 3, 2, 1 and Other Camera and Housing Systems - 20 Pack Reusable Moisture Removing Inserts||$5.49|
|GoPro Anti-fog Inserts for HERO2 Cameras||$7.99|
- Generic Anti-Fog Insert: CamKix inserts come in a 20-pack. These come vacuum packed, so they are ready to use out of the package.
- GoPro Anti-Fog Insert: From what I can tell, the anti-fog inserts by GoPro are almost identical to the generic ones – except for the price.
When I got my first GoPro, I shot lots of video without inserts. Most of it came out good, but some were ruined by condensed moisture. To eliminate lens fog, make sure you use some type of moisture absorbing insert.
More reading: How to use GoPro underwater
How do you reduce moisture inside your action camera? Please share your tips and challenges below!