Capturing your adventures with an action camera is an exhilarating experience, but it’s essential to have the right accessories to ensure the best possible results.
One such accessory is a lens hood, which can drastically improve the quality of your footage. If you’re a first-time buyer or simply looking to upgrade your current lens hood, this comprehensive guide is here to help. We’ll discuss the benefits of using a lens hood, highlight the top picks for 2023, and provide valuable tips for choosing the perfect lens hood for your action camera.
Plus, we’ll answer some of the most common questions related to lens hoods, ensuring you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Why do I need a camera lens hood?
A camera lens hood is an essential accessory for any action camera user, as it offers several benefits to improve the overall quality of your footage. In this section, we’ll discuss the primary reasons why you need a camera lens hood.
Block unwanted light
A lens hood is designed to block unwanted light, such as sunlight or artificial light, from entering the lens. This helps prevent lens flare and glare, which can cause loss of contrast, color shifts, and unwanted artifacts in your footage. By using a lens hood, you’ll be able to capture clearer and more vibrant images, even in challenging lighting conditions.
A lens hood can help increase the contrast in your footage by preventing stray light from bouncing around inside the lens. This results in deeper blacks, richer colors, and more defined details in your action camera shots. Enhanced contrast can make a significant difference in the overall visual appeal of your footage, making it more engaging and immersive.
Aside from improving image quality, a lens hood also provides physical protection for your action camera’s lens. It acts as a barrier against accidental impacts, scratches, and dirt, ensuring your lens remains in pristine condition. This is especially important for action cameras, as they’re often exposed to harsh environments and rough handling during outdoor activities.
Reduce Ghosting and Veiling
Ghosting and veiling are optical phenomena that occur when light bounces around within the lens, causing a hazy or foggy effect in the footage. A lens hood minimizes the amount of stray light entering the lens, thereby reducing the likelihood of ghosting and veiling. This results in crisper, cleaner footage with fewer distracting elements.
When using your action camera in cold or humid environments, condensation can form on the lens, leading to foggy or blurred footage. A lens hood creates a barrier between the lens and the surrounding environment, reducing the chance of condensation buildup. This allows you to capture clearer footage, even in challenging weather conditions.
In summary, using a camera lens hood is essential for any action camera user, as it helps block unwanted light, add contrast, protect the lens, reduce ghosting and veiling, and minimize condensation. These benefits combine to enhance the overall quality of your footage, ensuring that you capture the best possible memories of your adventures.
When should I use a camera lens hood?
A camera lens hood is a valuable accessory that can improve the quality of your footage in various situations. Here are some scenarios where using a lens hood is particularly beneficial:
- Bright or sunny conditions: When shooting outdoors in bright sunlight or facing direct sunlight, using a lens hood can help block unwanted light and prevent lens flare and glare. This ensures better image quality, contrast, and color saturation in your footage.
- Backlit situations: If you’re capturing a subject with a strong light source behind it, using a lens hood can reduce lens flare, glare, and ghosting, resulting in clearer and more detailed footage.
- Indoor or artificial lighting: Lens hoods are not limited to outdoor use. When shooting in indoor settings with artificial lighting, lens hoods can help minimize stray light and reflections, improving overall image quality.
- Challenging weather conditions: In foggy, misty, or rainy conditions, a lens hood can help protect your lens from moisture and condensation, ensuring clearer footage and reduced chances of damage to your action camera.
- Harsh environments: If you’re using your action camera in dusty or sandy locations, a lens hood can help protect the lens from scratches, dirt, and debris, preserving the quality of your footage and the longevity of your camera.
In general, it’s a good practice to use a lens hood whenever possible, as it can significantly improve the quality of your footage and protect your camera lens.
While lens hoods are beneficial in most situations, there are a few exceptions where using a lens hood might not be necessary or could even be counterproductive:
- Underwater shooting: When using an action camera with an underwater housing or a waterproof camera, a lens hood is not required, as water naturally minimizes glare and flare. Additionally, a lens hood could create unwanted drag or interfere with the operation of the underwater housing.
- Low-light or night conditions: In low-light or nighttime settings, removing the lens hood can allow more light to enter the lens, potentially improving image brightness and overall visibility. However, if there are bright light sources in the scene (e.g., streetlights or headlights), a lens hood might still be useful to minimize flare and glare.
- Tight spaces or close-up shots: In some situations, a lens hood might cause unwanted vignetting (dark corners) or appear in the frame, particularly when using wide-angle lenses or shooting close-up subjects. In these cases, it’s best to remove the lens hood to avoid interfering with your composition.
- Using certain filters or adapters: Some lens filters or adapters might not be compatible with a lens hood or could cause vignetting when used together. In such cases, you may need to choose between using the lens hood or the filter/adapter, depending on your priorities for image quality and protection.
Remember that these exceptions are situational, and it’s essential to assess each scenario individually to determine whether using a lens hood is beneficial. In most cases, using a lens hood will improve your action camera footage’s overall quality and protect your lens. It’s always a good idea to have a lens hood on hand and be prepared to adapt to different shooting conditions to achieve the best possible results.
Best Action Camera Lens Hoods
Choosing the right lens hood for your action camera can make a significant difference in the quality of your footage and the protection of your camera lens. With so many options available, finding the perfect fit for your needs can be a challenge.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top action camera lens hoods in 2023, taking into consideration their compatibility, design, build quality, and overall performance. Let’s dive into our top picks to help you find the ideal lens hood for your action camera.
QKOO Lens Hood for GoPro HERO 11/10/9 Black
I recently purchased the QKOO Lens Hood for my GoPro HERO 11, and overall, I’m impressed with its performance. The lens hood effectively suppresses image astigmatism and prevents stray light from entering the lens, resulting in cleaner and sharper images. Additionally, the enlarged opening design ensures the shading effect without affecting the lens shooting, which is crucial for capturing high-quality footage.
One of the things I liked about this lens hood is its lightweight and portable design, making it convenient to carry during outdoor activities. The hard plastic material also feels sturdy and durable, providing adequate protection for my camera lens.
Installing and removing the lens hood is a breeze, thanks to the bayonet mount that fits securely on the camera lens. The only thing I didn’t like was that the lens hood does not come with any instructions, but it was easy to figure out how to use it.
The QKOO Lens Hood is reasonably priced, making it an affordable and practical accessory for any GoPro HERO 11/10/9 Black owner. Overall, I’m happy with my purchase, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable and effective lens hood for their GoPro camera.
DAUERHAFT Sunshade Hood
I recently took my GoPro HERO 9 Black with me on a camping trip and decided to try out the DAUERHAFT Sunshade Hood. I’m pleased to say that it exceeded my expectations, and I’m happy with my purchase.
One of the things I liked about this sunshade hood is its ability to block out stray light from the lens, which improved the contrast and overall image quality of my videos and photos. It also effectively inhibited astigmatism, preventing stray light from entering the lens and protecting it from accidental damage.
The sunshade hood is made of high-quality plastic material, making it durable, wear-resistant, and long-lasting. I also appreciated how easy it was to install and disassemble, and its small size and lightweight design made it convenient to carry with me on my outdoor adventures.
The DAUERHAFT Sunshade Hood is specifically designed for the GoPro HERO 9 Black, and it performed exceptionally well during my mountaineering and camping activities. While I had no issues with the product, I did notice a slight error due to manual measurement, which is understandable.
I also appreciate the excellent customer service provided by DAUERHAFT, as they were prompt in addressing any questions I had about the product. Overall, I’m happy with my purchase and would recommend the DAUERHAFT Sunshade Hood to anyone looking for a high-quality and durable sunshade hood for their GoPro HERO 9 Black.
PGYTECH Osmo Action Lens Hood
As an avid vlogger, I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of my footage, which is why I decided to give the PGYTECH Osmo Action Lens Hood a try. Overall, I found it to be a great addition to my camera setup.
One of the things I liked about this lens hood is its ability to effectively reduce lens flare and glare, resulting in cleaner and sharper images. The build quality is also impressive, with a sturdy and durable construction that inspires confidence in its ability to protect my camera lens.
The installation process was straightforward and hassle-free, with a secure fit that ensured the lens hood stayed in place throughout my shoots. I also appreciated the compact and lightweight design, which made it easy to carry with me on the go.
However, I did notice that the lens hood occasionally caused some vignetting in my footage, particularly when shooting at wider angles. While this wasn’t a significant issue, it was something to keep in mind when framing my shots.
Despite this minor issue, I found the PGYTECH Osmo Action Lens Hood to be an excellent investment for any Osmo Action owner looking to enhance their footage quality. Its ability to reduce lens flare and glare, its durable construction, and easy installation make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone serious about capturing high-quality footage.
Tineer Silicone Protective Cap for Insta360 ONE R
I recently purchased the Tineer Silicone Protective Cap for my Insta360 ONE R Leica Camera 1-Inch Wide Angle Accessory, and I’m happy with my purchase. This protective cap is specially designed to perfectly fit the Insta360 ONE R camera, providing a snug and secure fit.
One of the things I liked about this protective cap is its non-slip thread design, which made it easy to install and ensured it did not fall off easily. The soft silicone material also provided effective protection for my camera against dust, splash, shock, and impact when traveling or outdoors.
The handing hole design was also a thoughtful addition, making it easy to connect a neck strap or lanyard to prevent loss. I appreciated that the package included two packs of the Insta360 ONE R camera lens cap, giving me a backup in case I needed it.
While I found the protective cap to be overall functional and effective, there were a couple of minor drawbacks. The soft silicone material attracted dust and lint, requiring frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance. Additionally, the cap could be difficult to remove, requiring some effort to take it off the camera.
Overall, I found the Tineer Silicone Protective Cap to be a useful accessory for my Insta360 ONE R camera. Its precise molding and effective protection, coupled with the thoughtful design features, make it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to protect their camera while on the go.
HAIFT Fisheye Lens Cover for Insta360 One X
The HAIFT Fisheye Lens Cover for my Insta360 ONE X has been a great accessory for my camera, providing all-round protection and ease of use.
One of the things I liked about this lens cover is its perfect fit for my Insta360 ONE X lens, providing a secure hold and ensuring it does not open automatically. The waterproof and comfortable hand-feeling, anti-scratch, and anti-staining features make the lens intact, and the anti-fingerprint feature keeps the camera clearer and more stable, preventing it from falling and scratching when placed on the ground or on a table.
The HAIFT Fisheye Lens Cover is also lightweight, making it easy to carry around without adding any extra weight to my camera setup. It is scalable and easy to carry, allowing me to use it without removing my camera from its protective case.
I also appreciated that this lens cover is versatile and can be used in a variety of scenarios, such as mountain climbing, cycling, or running, providing all-around protection for my camera anytime, anywhere.
However, the only drawback I found with this lens cover is that it is not transparent and cannot be used when shooting, which is not ideal for those who want to protect their lens while shooting.
Overall, I would recommend the HAIFT Fisheye Lens Cover for anyone looking for a lightweight, versatile, and durable lens cover for their Insta360 ONE X camera. The package includes one Insta360 ONE X camera cover, providing excellent scratch-resistant accessories for your camera.
How to Buy the Right Camera Lens Hood
Selecting the right lens hood for your action camera involves considering various factors that can affect its performance, compatibility, and ease of use. In this section, we’ll discuss essential aspects you should keep in mind when choosing a camera lens hood, ensuring you make the best decision for your needs.
Lens hoods can be made from different materials, including plastic, metal, and silicone. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages:
- Plastic: Lightweight and affordable, plastic lens hoods are the most common type. They offer good protection against impacts and scratches but may not be as durable as metal hoods.
- Metal: Metal lens hoods are typically more robust and durable than plastic ones, providing excellent protection for your lens. However, they can be heavier and more expensive.
- Silicone: Silicone lens hoods are flexible, lightweight, and provide good protection against impacts and scratches. They are ideal for action cameras due to their durability and ease of use.
Cylindrical vs Petal
There are two primary shapes of lens hoods: cylindrical and petal (also known as tulip or flower). Each shape has its advantages:
- Cylindrical: Cylindrical lens hoods provide uniform shading around the lens, making them ideal for standard to telephoto lenses. They offer excellent protection but may cause vignetting with wide-angle lenses.
- Petal: Petal-shaped lens hoods are designed to provide optimal shading for wide-angle lenses, reducing the risk of vignetting. Their unique shape allows for better accommodation of the lens’s field of view while still offering excellent protection.
Easy Installation and Removal
A good lens hood should be easy to install and remove without the risk of damaging your camera or lens. Look for a lens hood with a secure mounting mechanism, such as a bayonet or screw-on mount. This ensures that the lens hood stays in place during use but can be easily removed when necessary. Some lens hoods also feature a quick-release system for added convenience.
Before purchasing a lens hood, make sure it is compatible with your action camera and lens. Check the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations for compatible lens hoods. Using an incompatible lens hood may cause vignetting, interfere with camera functions, or damage the lens mount.
Size and Weight
Consider the size and weight of the lens hood, as these factors can affect the overall portability and handling of your action camera. A lightweight, compact lens hood is ideal for action cameras, as it is less likely to hinder your camera’s mobility or become a burden during outdoor activities.
In summary, when buying the right camera lens hood, consider factors such as material, shape (cylindrical vs. petal), ease of installation and removal, compatibility, and size and weight.
By evaluating these aspects, you can select a lens hood that not only enhances the quality of your footage but also ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience with your action camera. Don’t forget to consult your camera’s manufacturer for recommendations and compatibility information to make the best choice for your specific model.
What is a lens flare?
A lens flare is a photographic phenomenon that occurs when light from a bright source, such as the sun or artificial lights, enters the camera lens and scatters or reflects off the lens elements. This scattered light can create various artifacts in the captured image, such as bright streaks, spots, circles, or polygonal shapes. Lens flare is often seen as an undesired effect, as it can reduce contrast, cause color shifts, and create distracting elements in the final image.
However, in some cases, lens flare can be used creatively to enhance the visual appeal or convey a specific mood in a photograph or video. Some filmmakers and photographers intentionally incorporate lens flares for artistic purposes, as they can add a sense of depth, warmth, or drama to the scene.
How do I avoid flare and glare?
To avoid flare and glare in your photographs or videos, follow these tips:
- Use a lens hood: A lens hood is an essential accessory designed to block unwanted light from entering the lens. It helps prevent lens flare and glare, improving overall image quality, contrast, and color saturation.
- Adjust the camera angle: If you’re shooting with a bright light source in the scene, try changing the camera angle or positioning to minimize direct light entering the lens. Experiment with different angles to find the one that reduces flare and glare most effectively.
- Block the light source: If possible, try blocking the light source with an object, such as a tree or building, to prevent direct light from entering the lens.
- Use your hand or a flag: In situations where a lens hood isn’t sufficient, you can use your hand, a piece of cardboard, or a flag to shield the lens from the direct light. Be careful not to let your hand or the flag enter the frame, as this may cause unwanted shadows or objects in the image.
- Use high-quality lenses and filters: Invest in high-quality lenses with anti-reflective coatings, as these can help minimize internal reflections and reduce flare and glare. Additionally, if you’re using filters, make sure they are also of good quality with anti-reflective coatings to avoid introducing additional flare or glare.
- Clean your lens and filters: Dirt, dust, or fingerprints on the lens or filters can exacerbate flare and glare. Keep your lens and filters clean by regularly wiping them with a soft, lint-free cloth or a specialized lens cleaning solution.
- Use lens flare reduction techniques in post-processing: If you’re dealing with lens flare in an already captured image, you can use photo editing software to reduce its impact. Techniques such as adjusting contrast, using local adjustments, or even cloning out small flare artifacts can help minimize the appearance of flare and glare in post-processing.
- Shoot during the golden hour: The golden hour, which occurs shortly after sunrise or before sunset, offers softer and warmer light that is less likely to cause flare and glare compared to harsh midday sunlight.
By incorporating these tips and techniques, you can minimize the impact of flare and glare in your photographs and videos, resulting in cleaner, more professional-looking images.
Can I use a camera lens hood when I have filters on my camera?
Yes, you can generally use a camera lens hood when you have filters on your camera. Most lens hoods are designed to work with filters and can be mounted on the lens without interfering with the filter’s functionality.
Should I use a lens hood on a cloudy day?
It is still a good idea to use a lens hood on a cloudy day, even though the light is softer and more diffused compared to a sunny day. While lens flare and glare are less common in overcast conditions, using a lens hood can provide additional benefits.
What color lens is best for cloudy?
When shooting on a cloudy day, the color of the lens or filter you choose can impact the overall mood and appearance of your images. For overcast conditions, the following lens colors or filters may be helpful:
- Warming filters: Using a warming filter, such as an 81 or 85 series filter, can help counteract the cool and dull tones often associated with cloudy days. These filters add a subtle warm hue to the image, making it appear more inviting and natural.
- Polarizing filter: A circular polarizing filter can help enhance contrast, saturation, and overall color balance on cloudy days. Polarizers can also reduce glare and reflections from wet surfaces, making them particularly useful for landscape photography in overcast conditions.
- Graduated neutral density (GND) filters: A GND filter can be useful on cloudy days when you need to balance the exposure between a bright sky and a darker foreground. These filters have a gradual transition from dark to clear, allowing you to selectively darken the sky without affecting the rest of the scene.
Keep in mind that the choice of lens color or filter depends on your creative vision and the desired outcome for your images. Experimenting with different filters and understanding their effects can help you achieve the best results for your specific shooting conditions and preferences.
Do you need a lens hood if you have a UV filter?
Yes, it is still beneficial to use a lens hood even if you have a UV filter on your camera lens. While a UV filter provides some protection for your lens and can help reduce haze caused by ultraviolet light, it does not offer the same benefits as a lens hood in terms of reducing lens flare, glare, and improving contrast.
A lens hood is specifically designed to block stray light from entering the lens, which helps minimize lens flare and glare. This, in turn, enhances image contrast and color saturation. In addition, a lens hood can provide added protection for your lens by acting as a barrier against accidental bumps, scratches, or debris.
Using a lens hood in conjunction with a UV filter allows you to maximize both protection and image quality. The UV filter can protect the front element of your lens and reduce haze, while the lens hood can help shield your lens from unwanted light and physical damage.
In conclusion, selecting the right lens hood for your action camera can make a significant difference in the quality of your footage and the protection of your camera lens. By considering factors such as material, shape, compatibility, ease of installation, and size and weight, you can find a lens hood that enhances your camera’s performance and meets your specific needs.
Additionally, understanding common photography terms like lens flare and glare and how to avoid them can help you achieve clean and professional-looking images. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned action camera enthusiast, investing in a good lens hood and knowing when and how to use it can take your footage to the next level.