GoPro HERO8 Black FAQs

This is an ongoing and growing list of common questions on shooting with the GoPro HERO8 Black.

This is an ongoing and growing list of common questions on shooting video, photos, and time lapse with the GoPro HERO8 Black.

I aim to update it from time to time as new things come up. If you have a question not answered here, please ask in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to provide an answer.

Video Features of the HERO8 Black

What is the highest resolution video on the HERO8 Black?

The HERO8 Black can record 4K video at 60 frames per second (4K60) and 1080 video at 240 frames per second (1080p240). That has been the top video mode of the past few models now.

You can find a complete list of the various video modes on the HERO8 Black here.

What is the video bitrate of the HERO8 Black?

One thing that has been bumped up with the new model is that in 4K60 mode (and with some other resolution/framerate combinations), the maximum video bitrate has been bumped up to 100 Mb/s. That means that the video file has less compression applied, which means higher potential quality.

The way that the bitrate selection is made is a bit different with this model, too. With previous models, turning Protune on automatically increased the bitrates. On the HERO8 Black, there’s a dedicated setting that you can choose regular or high bitrate recording.

The HERO8 doesn’t use the same bitrate for all shooting modes, though. You can find a complete list of the various video bitrates available for each shooting mode here.

Can you use the GoPro HERO8 Black as a Webcam?

Yes, you can use the HERO8 Black as a webcam for live streaming video through your computer. So you can use it as a camera for Zoom or Skype calls or to record directly to your laptop or desktop.

The HERO7 Black, in combination with the GoPro mobile app, can also be used to livestream wirelessly through some platforms such as Facebook.

Photo Features of the HERO8 Black

What size photos does the HERO8 Black take?

The HERO8 Black shoots 12MP (12 megapixels) photos that measure 4000 x 3000 pixels.

What photo formats does the HERO8 Black shoot?

With the HERO8 Black, you can choose from settings to shoot in JPG or RAW. GoPro’s RAW photo format has the file extension .gpr.

Although it’s not quite the either/or choice it at first seems. That’s because when you choose the RAW option, it automatically saves a JPG version as well. So it’s functionally the same as what would be known as a RAW+JPG setting on other cameras. You can’t turn that off–whenever you choose the RAW shooting option, it will automatically save a JPG simultaneously.

Something else worth knowing is that a new feature of the HERO8 Black is that RAW output is now also available in burst mode.

Memory Cards for the HERO8 Black

Does the GoPro HERO8 Black Come with a Memory Card?

The standard HERO8 Black doesn’t include a memory card by default, so you’ll need to pick one up separately. But retailers will sometimes bundle the camera with some accessories, such as memory cards. If you buy a HERO8 Black directly from GoPro.com, for example, they throw in a 32GB SanDisk Extreme SD card.

I’ve put together some GoPro HERO8 Black SD card recommendations here.

What is the best SD card for the GoPro HERO8 Black?

I’ve tested a number of different microSD cards in the HERO8 Black and found that the SanDisk Extreme V30 and Lexar 1000x cards to be good combinations of compatibility, speed, reliability, and value for money.

There are several other cards that also work well. I have a longer list with more detailed recommendations here.

What is the largest SD card for the GoPro HERO8 Black?

The HERO8 Black uses microSDXC cards.1 That means long as the card is otherwise fast enough (see above), it will take up to 1TB cards—currently the largest size readily available in these microSD ranges.

Accessories for the HERO8 Black

Do HERO7 Black accessories work on the HERO8 Black?

Some do, some don’t. While the cameras look very similar and there’s a reasonable amount of overlap with their compatible accessories, there are also some important differences that prevent some HERO7 accessories from working with the HERO8.

Key differences in the camera are that the body dimensions are slightly different, the ports are in different positions, and the lens ports are of different designs.

Some notable examples of accessories that won’t work across both models are:

  • Protective dive housing. There’s a new housing just for the HERO8 Black. You can find it here.
  • Karma Mount. There currently isn’t an official Karma mount for the HERO8 Black.

There are also some notable new accessories designed specifically for the HERO8 Black that aren’t backward compatible with the HERO7. Those are the new “Mod” accessories. I have more on them here.

Are the batteries for the HERO7 Black the same as the ones for the HERO8 Black?

The batteries compatibility issue is a bit trickier. There is a new model of battery out with the HER8 Black. It’s the same shape and has the power specs as the version for the HERO7, and technically, you can put HERO7 batteries in a HERO8 and get good results. But the older batteries won’t work with the HERO8’s new battery health check, and you might run into problems if using the older batteries under particularly demanding conditions (eg. hot conditions, in combination with using the high-processing features like the aggressive Boost HyperSmooth stabilization. You can find more details here.

Can you run a GoPro HERO8 Black with external power without an internal battery?

Yes. If you’re powering the camera from an external source via the USB-C cable, you can remove the internal battery.

An advantage of leaving the internal battery in place is as a safety net in case the external power stops flowing.

Can you use the HERO8 Black as a webcam or capture the video feed directly to a computer?

Yes. You’ll need the Media Mod (adds HDMI-out port), an HDMI video capture device, and a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable. I have a detailed guide on how to set up a HERO8 Black as a webcam here.

What type of USB cable does the HERO8 Black use?

The GoPro HERO8 Black uses a type-C USB cable. They’re often known as USB-C cables.

Shooting with the HERO8 Black

Is the HERO8 Black waterproof?

Yes. It’s rated to be waterproof down to 33 feet (10 meters) without a separate housing.

For greater depths, you can put it in a dive housing that GoPro calls the Protective Housing which is rated down to 196 feet (60 meters).

Can you use wifi underwater on a GoPro?

No. Wifi signals can’t penetrate through any significant amount of water, so you can’t control the camera wireless underwater. There is a way to use a cable to control the camera remote underwater—you can find more details on that here.

Does the HERO8 Black have a spot meter?

Yes and no. While it doesn’t have the same spot meter function of some older models, it does have something better: a localized metering option called Exposure Control. The key difference—and improvement—is that you can select which area of the frame to use to calculate the automatic exposure.

Why are my GoPro videos getting split up?

This is a built-in feature called chaptering. Long, high-resolution video is saved in smaller individual segments. It accomplishes two things. Firstly, it keeps the individual file sizes under 4GB so as to be broadly compatible with the file systems used on memory cards and computers. Secondly, it acts as a safety mechanism in case something goes wrong while recording. You can find more information on GoPro video chaptering here.

Troubleshooting

Is it normal for my GoPro to get hot?

In a word, yes. You’ll notice it especially when shooting video in the high-end modes. The rim around the HERO8 black’s lens port gets especially hot—it’s used as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat out into the surrounding air—but the memory card and battery can also get quite hot to the touch.

I have more details on the issue of GoPros getting hot here.

What to do if the camera is not responding.

Ideally, cameras should work flawlessly all the time. In practice, GoPros have always for some reason had a tendency to lock up from time to time. If your HERO8 isn’t responding, the first thing to try is to force it to reboot. To do that, press and hold the Mode/Power button for 10 seconds. If that doesn’t work, try taking out the battery and putting it back in.

How to do a Factory Reset

There are a few different kinds of reset available on the HERO8 Black. There’s a factory reset. That’s the nuclear option that wipes everything and restores it to the settings it comes out of the box with. But there are also some other more selective reset options that might be useful for solving specific problems.

But if you want to do a full factory reset:

  1. On the camera’s back screen, swipe down to bring up the Dashboard menu.
  2. Go to Preferences > Reset > Factory Reset

GoPro App

Can you connect multiple GoPro HERO8 Black’s to the GoPro mobile app?

No. You can only connect one camera to the mobile app at a time. That’s not something specific to the HERO8 Black—it’s true of all GoPros (all the ones that connect to the mobile app in the first place, that is—some older models don’t).

You can control multiple GoPros at once using the Smart Remote. It won’t give you exactly the same level of control—there’s no live view, obviously, and you can’t change most of the settings through the remote, but you can control up to 50 GoPros at once, and they don’t all have to be the same camera (but do have to models that are compatible with the Smart Remote).


  1. It’s also compatible with microSDHC cards, although with the large video file sizes, those cards, which are 32GB and smaller, are less practical than microSDXC cards.

More GoPro Tips & Tricks:

This post was last modified on August 3, 2020 2:14 pm

View Comments

  • I have just bought my first gopro 8. I also bought a set of recommended accessories e.g. tripod, but some only have a single screw vertical connector. Do I need an adaptor, or am I missing something ?

    • Some third-party accessories for GoPros include an extra little adapter that has the three-prong connector. Sounds like you've found some that don't. The good news is that they're easy to pick up and cheap. I have several examples of different kinds in a post on GoPro mount types. You should be able to find the kind you need there.

  • my new gopro asked for an update on the app, but it always says there is an error. also, the gopro is not uploading the media to the app, and that may be because of the update.

    • Two common reasons for an error during the firmware update are that there's insufficient charge in the battery and that there's a problem with the SD card (i.e., not formatted, full, or faulty). If it's not either of those things, you can manually update the firmware on the HERO8 Black. GoPro has a guide here.

Share