GoPro HERO8 Black Replacement Side Door that Allows Access to USB-C Port

The new design for the side door of the GoPro HERO8 Black has its flaws, especially if you're trying to use the USB-C port for…

There’s quite a lot to like about the GoPro HERO8 Black, but I’m not a fan of the new design they’ve introduced for the compartment door.

I can see virtue in theory in consolidating what was two separate doors in previous Black models to a single door. It means fewer moving parts to break and one less area for potential leaks. And, of course, embedding a fold-out mount clip on the bottom is an important consideration—there’s no room on the bottom for a compartment there anymore.

Get the New GoPro HERO9 Black for $349.98

The brand new HERO9 Black is now available. It has a bigger battery, shoots up to 5K30 video, has a color front preview screen, built-in horizon leveling, upgraded HyperSmooth 3.0 and TimeWarp 3.0 video stabilization, and new HindSight, Scheduled Capture, and Duration Capture modes.

For the launch, GoPro is running a special deal where you get the HERO9 Black for $349.98 with a 1-year subscription to GoPro. Without the subscription, it's $449.99.

The subscription to GoPro gives you unlimited cloud storage, discounted no-questions-asked camera replacement, and up to 50% off GoPro accessories.

There's also a HERO9 Black Bundle for $399.98 with a 1-year subscription to GoPro or $499.99 without the subscription.

But in practice, I don’t like the new door design. It comes off far too easily, with the real risk of losing it. That’s mainly an annoyance, but a more important issue is that it makes using the USB-C port much less practical. If you want to run the camera via external power or use an external microphone, it means exposing the battery, which in terms means that it can fall out very easily. Of course, GoPro is no doubt hoping that you’ll buy the new external microphone accessory they’re planning on releasing. But for now, at least, that’s not available, and not everyone is in a position to–or wants to–buy that anyway.

Thankfully, as so often happens with GoPros, aftermarket manufacturers are coming to the rescue. In this case, a Chinese brand I haven’t heard of before, Ulanzi, has put out a replacement side door that lets you run external power to the camera while keeping the battery and memory card securely in place and protected. Its model number is G8-7, and it’s designed specifically for the GoPro HERO8 Black (they have a separate model for the Max).

Ulanzi G8-7 Battery Cover Removable Type-C Charging Port Adapter Aluminum...
  • The Battery Side Door for Gopro 8 provide access to USB port while battery and SD card are safely covered...
  • The Clip on Battery Cover offers charging type C port for charging Gopro 8, so you can use power bank...

The G8-7 Replacement Door In Use

It’s straightforward enough to use. You don’t have to use the HERO8 Black for long to see how easily the existing door clips off. The new door just clips in the same way. It’s made of aluminum and feels solid.

I have found that it doesn’t fit quite as perfectly as the original door. The clip itself is a slightly simpler design that doesn’t include a small spring clip that the GoPro original door has. And when closed, the door is not quite as flush with the body of the camera as it could be. But neither of those issues really impacts the core functionality, and for its intended purpose, the door works well.

The opening is wide enough to accommodate standard USB-C plugs. You an also see in this shot how the fit is not quite as flush with the body of the camera as it could be.

To be clear, this replacement door is not in any way waterproof. The USB-C port is fully exposed, and there are no seals protecting the battery and memory card slots. So it’s very much a dry-conditions only accessory.

The Ulanzi door is at left, with the GoPro original at right. You can see that the overall design is simpler, in part because it doesn’t have waterproof sealing. It also doesn’t have the same spring clip. It does have a small foam pad to help push the battery security in place.

Alternatives

For now, I don’t know of any other alternatives for the HERO8 Black. But it’s a pretty simple solution to a common problem, so I’d expect other aftermarket manufacturers to come out with their own versions before long.

The 360° Max has the same kind of issue. You can find the version for that camera here.

If you’re looking for a direct replacement of the original waterproof door (ie. without access to the USB-C port), you can find them here.

Things Worth Knowing

It’s worth mentioning, again, that this door is not waterproof in any way.

Find Them At

I bought mine at Amazon.

Ulanzi G8-7 Battery Cover Removable Type-C Charging Port Adapter Aluminum...
  • The Battery Side Door for Gopro 8 provide access to USB port while battery and SD card are safely covered...
  • The Clip on Battery Cover offers charging type C port for charging Gopro 8, so you can use power bank...

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2020-10-25 at 09:19. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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This post was last modified on October 12, 2020 10:10 am

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