Here are 10 easy tips to extend the GoPro battery life – because we know there is nothing worse than running out of juice when you’re ready for action. All there is to do is to change a few settings and change slightly how the camera is used.
1. Update the GoPro firmware
More recent firmware updates usually include changes to extend the battery life by optimizing how the camera processes images and video.
Do this at home before setting out and check regularly for newly released updates by following us on Twitter!
2. Turn off camera when not in use
Sounds obvious, but a lot of people do keep the camera on and running even when not in use. The GoPro boots on really fast, it is not like a computer that will take a few minutes to be ready to use, so there is no need to keep it always on. Keeping the camera on constantly will also contribute to fogging, as discussed here.
The next tip will help you keeping it off in case you forget to turn it off manually.
3. Activate the Auto Power Off mode
In conjunction with the previous tip, to make your life easier activate the auto power off mode.
This mode will turn off the camera automatically if it hasn’t been used (no buttons pressed or not recording) for 60, 120 or 300 seconds.
4. Adjust the GoPro LCD Screen Settings
The camera’s LCD drains a lot of the battery. If you have one, lower the brightness to a comfortable level and also activate the auto power off option.
The auto power off option for the LCD is different from the GoPro Auto Power Off (from tip #3). This mode will turn off only the LCD if no buttons were pressed in 60 or 120 seconds (depending on your settings and camera model).
This is particularly good if you’re mounting the camera somewhere, as it will even turn the LCD off during recording, as you already framed the shot and no longer needs to look at the LCD.
5. Use a Lower Resolutions and Frame Rates
Specially on the newer high end GoPro models, such as the HERO4 and HERO3/3+ Black, the ultra high resolution modes (4k and 2.7k) are very demanding of the camera’s processor.
By lowering the recording resolution to 1080p or 720p and the frame rate to 30 fps, the processor has to work less and thus use less battery. Those settings are still very high quality, being 1080p the standard “HD” resolution for most TVs and computer monitors.
6. Disable ProTune
GoPro’s ProTune mode does increase the image quality but does also increase considerably the battery usage. Turning it off and enabling Auto White Balance will considerably extend battery life. It usually consumes 10-15% more battery when on!
If ProTune is a must – for those producing professional quality videos involving footage from different cameras as well – bring extra batteries.
7. Avoid the GoPro Wifi Remote (or App)
In order to establish a connection with the GoPro WiFi remote or with any WiFi enabled device to control the camera, battery resources are used.
By keeping the WiFi turned off, there are about 11% in battery life savings, accordingly to GoPro’s website.
8. Fresh Battery Charge
Users have reported that battery can slowly discharge over time with the camera turned off. It is not a fast process and a complete discharge may take over a week to happen.
However, starting with a battery that is not fully charged is already cutting down on your record time. Make sure you check the battery level before heading out and if needed, give it a fresh charge.
9. Use the One Button Mode
This mode can be enabled through the camera settings and will allow the camera to automatically start recording at the press of a button.
It will cut down the few seconds of idle use between turning it on and pressing the record button.
Make sure to hold the Mode/Power button for 5 seconds in order to shut down the camera once you’re done recording. The One Button mode only works for turning on the camera, not turning it off.
Along with the next tip, this has only a minor impact of battery life overall but will help you squeeze a few more minutes of use.
10. Disable Red Blinking Lights
GoPro has placed small red blinking lights on all sides to tell the user that it is recording – still, everyone takes a few silly looking “Is this on?” clips.
Unless you are mounting the camera on impossible spots, you might not need all blinking lights to tell you it’s recording. The settings menu allows you to pick and choose which should be disabled. Usually, the front and back lights are sufficient.
Along with tip #9, this only contributes very little to the battery life in general as the LED lights consume very little power.
With these simple tips, you should be able to extend the battery life of your camera by a few minutes to even half an hour. If planning to use the camera for a long period of time, pack one (or a few) extra batteries. Better safe than sorry!