There are many things to like about shooting with GoPros. But their battery life isn’t something to brag about. That’s true of the whole GoPro line–not just the HERO8 Black.
While there’s no magic fix, there are some things you can do to maximize your shooting time with the HERO8. 1
None of these by itself is likely to be an immediate game changer. But used in combination, they can help you milk every last drop out of your GoPro HERO8 battery and maximize your shooting time.
But before we get to the specific tips and things to try for maximizing battery life on your HERO8, there are a few prerequisites that I’m assuming here:
The battery is healthy. Old lithium batteries lose their effectiveness over time and do need to be replaced at some point. Yes, they’re rechargeable, but they’re also consumables in the sense that their ability to hold a charge diminishes with use. In recent models, GoPro has built in a battery health check feature.
With the battery charged, turn the camera on and go to:
Preferences > About > Battery Info
If the battery health indicator is anything other than excellent, it might be time to consider replacing the battery.
The battery is fully charged.
You’re saving to an SD card. If you’re using the HDMI or USB ports to output, you’ll probably face different power demands.
Tips for Getting the Most Battery Life from a HERO8
So here are some ways to look for power savings when shooting with a GoPro HERO8.
I’m starting generally with quick and easy measures before getting into measures that rely on extra accessories.
Many of these fall into the category of turning off features you’re not using. In some cases, it restricts access to more power-hungry settings and features.
Reduce the Auto Power Off Time
Turning the camera off when you’re not using it is an obvious and easy win for battery life. You can turn it off manually, of course, but you can also change the setting at which it will turn itself off after a duration of inactivity.
The options are: 5, 15, or 30 minutes, or Never.
You can find this setting under:
Preferences > General > Auto Power Off
Turn Off GPS
The GPS tracking feature uses a little extra battery power. If you’re not actively using it, you can turn it off.
Preferences > Regional > GPS
Alternatively, you can do it in the GoPro Quik mobile app by going to:
Camera Preferences > GPS
Don’t Use Wireless Connections
Maintaining an active wireless connection uses quite a bit of battery power, especially if you’re using features that require the wifi connection (such as streaming live preview).
To turn it off, go to:
Connections > Wireless Connections > ON/OFF
Reduce Brightness of the Back Screen
LCD screens are notorious power sucks for digital cameras, and extensive use of the screens (crimping) can make a big difference on battery life.
There’s a few things you can do on a GoPro HERO8 Black to mitigate that. An easy one is to reduce the screen brightness. A brighter screen consumes more power than a dimmer screen.
The default brightness on a HERO8 is 50%. You can take that all the way down to 10%. (You can’t turn it off completely, because that make it difficult to operate the camera.)
You can change this setting by going to:
Preferences > Displays > Brightness
Obviously, the screen brightness you need will depend on your shooting conditions. If you’re out on the snow on a sunny day, setting the screen brightness to 10% may as well be turning the screen off because you won’t be able to read it in the glare. So you’ll need to find a practical compromise based on your shooting environment.
Reduce the Screen Saver Timeout
Along the same principle, you can also reduce the amount of time the screen stays lit before turning off due to inactivity.
The setting you’re looking for is called Screen Saver Rear, and you can find it under:
Preferences > Displays > Screen Saver Rear
The available options are: 1, 2, 3, or 5 minutes or Never.
I leave mine on 1 minute.
You can also set the front screen’s time independently. It has the same duration options as well as a “Match Rear Screen” option. You can find it under:
Preferences > Displays > Screen Saver Front
Keep Batteries Warm
Cold ambient temperatures poses challenges for any device using lithium ion batteries, from cameras to Teslas. Lithium batteries just don’t perform well when they’re cold.
When shooting in cold places, simply keeping the camera or spare batteries in an inside jacket pocket when not using it can make a big difference.
I do not recommend using artificial heat sources, and definitely keep the batteries away from open flame. Fire and lithium batteries make a nasty combination.
NOTE: GoPro now makes a battery specifically designed for improved performance in colder temperatures–the Enduro–but it’s for the HERO10 Black and HERO9 Black. It’s not compatible with the HERO8 Black.
Use a GoPro Volta Battery Grip
This option isn’t so much as maximizing the life of the internal battery as it is about supplementing that battery life with portable external power.
The Volta is a new release from GoPro that’s a grip, small tabletop tripod, remote control (sort of), and external battery. It’s a very useful way to shoot a lot longer and worry less about the battery running out.
It’s worth noting, though, that there are some extra limitations on the compatibility of the Volta with the HERO8. In other words: it works, but not all of the Volta’s features are available. For instance, the wired control is not available, but Bluetooth wireless control is.
There are also other aftermarket grips that offer similar functionality in terms of supplying power (but not the remote control feature).
Tip: If you’d like to buy the Volta and have an active GoPro Subscription, be sure to sign into your account on GoPro.com to access the special 30% off subscriber pricing on this accessory.
If None of These is Enough
If none of these are enough, it is possible to power the camera with some kind of external power source, although you’ll give up some of the convenience of extreme portability and being fully waterproof.
- There’s only one camera in the HERO8 lineup: the Black edition.