The current GoPro lineup of cameras is phenomenal. The killer form factor and modern conveniences like voice control and buttery-smooth frame rates make them a fantastic weapon in any photographer’s arsenal.
The Achilles’ heel of action cameras like this can often be their battery life. Depending on the video quality you’re recording in and how often you’re taking photos, your GoPro can die pretty quickly. So which of these cameras are better when it comes to battery life? How long does the battery last on each?
This GoPro battery life guide will explore the last few years of GoPro cameras. We’ll discuss what can affect battery life and how to get the most juice possible out of your camera. The more you know about your gear, the more you grow as a photographer.
How to Make Your GoPro Hero Battery Life Last Longer
If you’re frustrated with how long the battery survives when using your GoPro, there are a number of things you can try that should help the battery last a fair bit longer. This section will outline our tips for maximising your camera’s life.
Take Advantage of Spares
This of course depends on the budget you have to work with. If you can afford it, though, using spare batteries is probably the most effective way to keep your camera going for longer.
We realize that this is more of a “cheat’s method” than a real energy saving tip, but this approach lets you use all the powerful features of your GoPro while also making the battery last much longer.
There are plenty of offers on Amazon for spare batteries that are relatively inexpensive and won’t take up much room in your bag. Picking up a battery and battery charger combo like this one can help you keep multiple batteries ready to go.
Keep it Switched Off Without Sacrificing Convenience
It goes without saying that keeping your GoPro switched off is the best way to conserve its battery. This obviously isn’t enough on its own, though, as you still need to be able to actually use your camera. This is where features like Quik Capture come in.
This setting has been around for a while now and it makes it much easier to keep your GoPro off without completely losing functionality. With Quik Capture enabled, your GoPro will start capturing footage automatically when you turn it on.
This gives you the best of both worlds when trying to make your battery last.
Lower Your Frame Rate
You should only do this one in real times of need, as reducing the number of frames per second for your videos can be detrimental to their quality.
However if you’re in a pinch, this approach can give your camera one last burst of wind and can mean the difference between getting some lower quality footage vs leaving empty handed.
Disable “Smart” Features
The voice commands and wake on voice functionality of modern GoPros are incredibly useful. The trouble is, they require your device to be constantly listening out for a wake command. This attentiveness takes its toll on your battery life.
Disabling these features sacrifices a little bit of convenience for a welcome boost to available power.
Go Old School and Switch Your LCD Off
Back in the early GoPro days, these action cameras didn’t use a screen at all. You simply pointed your device at your subject and pressed the shutter button. No one’s denying how convenient an LCD viewfinder is, but going without one for a while can significantly extend your juice.
Foregoing a Wi-Fi connection is another great way to make sure your GoPro lasts as long as you need it to. You may have noticed a pattern here. Sacrificing as many convenience features as you can tolerate is pretty much the only way to make your battery last longer.
Download The Latest Firmware
GoPro is constantly improving the firmware that their cameras use. Among these improvements are tweaks to energy consumption. Keeping your GoPro up to date can help it perform well for you many years down the line.
Turn Off GPS Search
GPS functionality is a fairly low-footprint feature in terms of battery life. However, it’s worth switching off if you really need to guarantee you’ll have battery when you need it. The GPS setting can be found within the “preferences” menu of your GoPro.
Consider an Older Model
We know this option won’t work for everyone, but if you don’t need your GoPro to have all the latest tech, the older models actually last a fair bit longer on average. The main reason for this is that they don’t use the most recent, power-hungry features.
If you’re just picking up a GoPro to use as a webcam or something similar, you might be better off with something a little older.
Average GoPro Battery Stats
It’s important to note before we continue that the way you use your camera can significantly influence how long the battery lasts. Other factors like temperature and the age of your unit are also at play. That said, let’s take a look at the average stats for the most recent GoPro cameras.
For each model, we’ve listed a range of video resolutions and the battery life you can expect with each.
GoPro Max Stats
The GoPro Max has the following battery life:
- 78 minutes at 5.6K / 30fps
- 108 minutes at 1440p / 60fps
- 115 minutes at 1080p / 60fps
Hero9 Black Battery Details
The Hero 9’s stats are as follows:
- 90 minutes at 5K/30fps
- 111 minutes at 4K/30fps (4:3)
- 72 minutes at 4K/60fps
- 112 minutes at 4K/30fps
- 80 minutes at 2.7K/120fps
- 89 minutes at 2.7K/60fps (4:3)
- 90 minutes at 2.7K/60fps
- 83 minutes at 1080p/240fps
- 94 minutes at 1080p/120fps
- 104 minutes at 1080p/60fps
Hero 8 Details
If you use a GoPro Hero 8, expect the following battery results:
- 4K / 30fps (4:3) for 67 minutes
- 4K / 60fps for 47 minutes
- 4K / 30fps for 74 minutes
- 2.7K / 120fps for 45 minutes
- 2.7K / 60fps (4:3) for 60 minutes
- 2.7K / 60fps for 70 minutes
- 1440p / 120fps for 65 minutes
- 1440p / 60fps for 77 minutes
- 1080p / 240fps for 50 minutes
- 1080p / 120fps for 50 minutes
- 1080p / 60fps for 81 minutes
GoPro Hero7 Black
When it comes to the GoPro Hero7 Black, plan for the following battery life stats:
- 4K60 for 45-50 minutes
- 4K30 for 85-90 minutes
- 2.7K60 (4:3) for 60-65 minutes
- 2.7K120 for 30-45 minutes
- 1440p120 for 50-55 minutes
- 1440p60 for 70-75 minutes
- 1080p240 for 35-50 minutes
- 1080p120 for 40-55 minutes
- 1080p60 for 85-90 minutes
- 960p240 for 75-80 minutes
- 960p120 for 80-85 minutes
- 720p240 for 85-90 minutes
Hero 7 Silver
The silver variant of this model has different stats to the Hero7 Black. They can be found below:
- 106 minutes at 4K30
- 107 minutes at 1440p60 (slow motion on)
- 146 minutes at 1440p30
GoPro Hero6 Black
GoPro Hero 6 battery life stats can be found below:
- 70 minutes at 4K 60
- 95 minutes at 4K 30
- 60 minutes at 2.7K 120
- 75 minutes at 1440p60
- 60 minutes at 1080p240
- 65 minutes at 1080p120
- 100 minutes at 1080p60
- 110 minutes at 720p60
The Hero5 Black is beginning to show its age these days. The good news is, its lack of current-gen voice control or stabilization tech means it lasts a fair bit longer:
- 4K/30 for 1h 30m
- 2.7K/30 for 1h 49m
- 1080/60 for 2h
- 1080/30 for 2h 30m
- 720/120 for 2h 20m
Hero4 and Hero4 Session
Both the Hero 4 and its Session counterpart promise roughly the same battery life. The details can be found below:
- 1 hour 55 mins at 1440p/30fps
- 1 hour 45 mins at 11080p/60fps
- 1 hour 50 mins at 1080p/48fps
- 2 hours 5 mins at 1080p/30fps
- 1 hour 50 mins at 720p/100fps
- 1 hour 45 mins at 1080p/60fps
- 1 hour 50 mins at 1080p/48fps
- 2 hours 5 mins at 1080p/30fps
- 1 hour 50 mins at 720p/100fps
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will answer some of the most common questions we encounter when we review GoPro products. If you have a battery-related question, we’ve probably answered it here.
Which GoPro Has The Best Battery Life?
Older GoPro models tend to have better battery lives as they don’t use the latest voice control or “smart” features. For this reason, this might not always be the right line of inquiry.
For example, the Hero 3 White Edition camera can last up to two and a half hours in certain contexts, but it doesn’t have nearly the firepower of models from the Hero7 Black and later. It’s about weighing up battery life against the other factors that matter to you.
What’s The Biggest GoPro Battery Killer?
It depends, but probably image processing and high-resolution video modes. Filming in ultra-high resolution with mega fps produces stunning videos, but it takes a lot of power to make it happen. The image quality you choose in your settings will heavily influence your available battery.
How Long Do GoPro Alternatives Last?
There’s a ton of choice when it comes to GoPro alternatives and they all have different feature sets, video shooting options and battery lives. Two excellent GoPro competitors right now are the Sony FDRX3000 and the Garmin VIRB Ultra.
These both promise roughly 1.5 and 2 hours of life respectively.
Are GoPro Batteries All The Same?
There is a fair bit of overlap from camera to camera, but it’s important to note that all GoPro batteries are not the same. Since the Hero 8, a battery update was introduced to accommodate newer features with higher power requirements.
Hero 8 batteries are fully compatible with the following GoPros using the latest firmware:
- Hero7 Black
- Hero6 Black
- Hero5 Black
With older models, some cross-compatibility exists but users may encounter performance issues in some cases. For example, a Hero8 using an older battery will struggle to deliver current-gen video recording, but will otherwise function normally.
Do GoPro Batteries Go Bad?
All rechargeable batteries degrade at least a little each year. That said, lithium batteries suffer far less from memory issues than other technologies. If you decide to buy extra batteries, it might be best to opt for GoPro-branded options.
To be clear, this isn’t because third-party products aren’t any good. It’s just that if you ever have to file a warranty claim or escalate an issue with GoPro, using their branded batteries gives them less wiggle room to dodge liability.
If this is less of an issue to you, third-party options can save you a ton of money and are worth considering.
While these feature-rich, powerful cameras deserve a lot of praise, their battery life can leave a lot to be desired. It appears to be a necessary evil of the format. So far at least, it appears impossible to have an ultra-portable action cam that also lasts for more than 4 hours.
Our main advice is actually to invest into some extra batteries and portable chargers. We’ve discussed some great tips above for maximizing the battery you have when in a pinch, but carrying extra juice with you is pretty much the best way to go in our opinion.
Either way, we hope your camera lasts long enough to take the shots you need!