There are three different GoPro-branded remote controls available for their cameras. They all have built-in rechargeable batteries (that aren't removable or swappable), but they don't all charge the same way or use the same cable.
They can all use the same kinds of power supplies that output 5V / 1A: standard wall adapters, DC car chargers with USB output, and portable powerbanks. But you have make sure you have the right cable--they don't all use the same cable.
So here's a quick rundown for charging GoPro remotes.
Charging the GoPro Remo RemoteHERO6 models.
The USB port is on the side of the remote, covered by a small rubber door to seal it against water.
It uses a cable with a USB-C plug. It comes with one; if you've lost it or need another, standard USB-C cables like this one work fine.
When the remote is charging, there's a small red LED that lights up on one corner. The red light should stay on constantly (ie. not flashing) while it’s charging. It’ll change to a solid green when it’s fully charged.
Charging the GoPro Smart Remote and GoPro Wi-Fi Remote
They don't use a standard USB cable. Instead, it uses a specialized connection that inserts into the remote. It looks a bit like a key.
When you buy the remotes, one of these special charging cables is included, but if you've lost it or need another, you have a choice of getting the GoPro-branded one or go with an after-market version (they're often less expensive).
Another novel approach that some aftermarket brands have taken is to add a Smart Remote dock onto their GoPro battery charging docks. Here's an example. It's a neat, consolidated solution that cuts out the need for a separate USB cable.
There is a bit of a trick to inserting and removing the USB cable from the Smart Remote (and also the Wifi Remote), and that is that there's a locking mechanism with the switch on the back of the remote. So make sure to slide the switch before trying to pull the cable out.
While the remote is charging, you'll see a "Remote Battery" message on the small LCD screen with an animated charging icon.
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Common GoPro Questions
Here are some common questions I get from GoPro users.
How to Maximize a GoPro's battery life
There are several factors that influence how long the GoPro's battery life lasts. Among them include what mode you're recording in (4K uses more power than 1080p30, for instance), the health of the battery, and even the environmental temperature (lithium batteries don't perform well in very cold temperatures). But there are some things you can do to maximize battery life. Not every GoPro has all of these features, but start with these:
- Minimize use of the back screen
- Turn off wireless
- Turn off voice commands
- Turn off GPS
- Turn off Protune
- Use QuickCapture mode
Is it normal for GoPro cameras to get hot?
Yes. Depending on the model and the shooting mode you're using, it's normal for GoPros to get quite warm while shooting. They can get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. It's especially noticeable when shooting high-resolution and high-framerate video. Some newer models have an overheating protection mechanism that will shut the camera down if it gets too hot. I have more details on GoPros getting hot, here.
How can I control a GoPro remotely?
GoPro makes a range of wireless remote controls. They don't all work with all GoPros--for example, the HERO (2018) isn't compatible with this type of remote control. Many of the newer models also work with the GoPro mobile app. Not every model can be controlled remotely, but most of the newer models have wireless compatibility that can be used for at least some methods of remote control.
Can you take pictures with a GoPro?
If you've been using a GoPro for a while, this might seem pretty obvious, but if you've never used one, it's not quite so self-evident. GoPros are best known for dramatic action videos, but they can most certainly take still photos too. In fact, they can be a very interesting alternative to a traditional camera so long as you work within its limitations. I have more more details here.
Do GoPro wireless controls work underwater?
No. You can't use the mobile app or a wireless remote control if the camera is fully submerged in water. They will normally work just fine in rain and spray--just not submerged. I have a more detailed explanation here.
Do GoPro touchscreens work underwater?
No. If they're just wet above water, they can work to some extent, although often less reliably. But the touchscreens won't work underwater.