As an adventure filmmaker and extreme sports enthusiast, I rely on my GoPro cameras to capture exhilarating footage in remote locations. But I was constantly frustrated by short battery life limiting my recording time to barely 2 hours. I was determined to find a solution to keep my GoPro running beyond battery capacity – even while recharging on the go.
Through extensive testing and research, I discovered some clever workarounds to charge my GoPro WHILE recording. In this personal blog, I’ll share everything I learned about powering your GoPro indefinitely, the limitations to be aware of, and tips for faster charging.
GoPro Video Recording While Charged? It’s Possible!
When I first wondered “can you charge a GoPro while recording?”, I assumed the answer must be no. After all, most electronics can’t charge and operate simultaneously, right?
It turns out GoPro cameras CAN sustain continuous video recording when connected to an external power source. By drawing power directly from the outlet, portable charger, or car adapter instead of the internal battery, you can capture hours of extra footage beyond the battery’s usual life.
I couldn’t wait to test this revelation on my next backcountry skiing adventure! But several critical questions remained unanswered…
- What charging methods work best while recording video?
- Will the battery actually recharge during this time?
- Is it safe for my GoPro and won’t damage the battery?
- How long can I REALISTICALLY record before overheating or other issues occur?
After extensive first-hand testing, I uncovered the answers to maximize recording runtime while understanding the limitations. Keep reading as I download my knowledge!
Power Your GoPro Endlessly…Theory vs Reality
Once I learned my GoPro COULD technically operate while plugged into a power source indefinitely, I imagined capturing 10+ hour time lapses! No more fretting over battery life. Problem solved, right?
While direct power supply works in THEORY, real-world performance doesn’t match expectations. Limitations do exist when charging and recording simultaneously:
No Simultaneous Charging
The internal battery does NOT actually recharge while recording video via external power. The camera bypasses the battery to power operations directly. You must stop recording and turn off the GoPro to charge the battery.
Recording nonstop while charging generates MUCH more heat, especially in warm environments. Overheating can severely impact video quality, battery health, and long-term functionality.
Reliable Power is Essential
A stable, high-quality power source is mandatory for extended recording while charging. Flaky connections or weak Outputs can corrupt footage or damage the camera.
While unlimited recording remains elusive, smart workarounds CAN dramatically extend your runtime IF applied properly!
My Top Tips for Charging While Recording
Through extensive trial-and-error, I’ve unlocked techniques to harness the maximum safe runtime while charging my GoPro:
Use Official GoPro Chargers
I exclusively use GoPro’s Supercharger to power my Hero10 while recording. It delivers consistent 5V/3A output without performance dips. Avoid cheap, off-brand chargers prone to issues.
Remove the Battery Entirely!
For recording durations beyond 4-5 hours, remove the battery from the GoPro completely! This prevents overheating, allows proper airflow and cooling, and eliminates battery damage risks. It works flawlessly while plugged into reliable power.
Shoot Timelapses or Stationary Videos
Timelapses are ideal applications for simultaneous charging and recording. The periodic frame capture taxes the camera much less than continual video recording over hours. I captured a stunning 8-hour sunrise timelapse this way!
Just ensure your shot composition is locked down on a tripod so the camera and power cable aren’t disturbed.
Monitor Camera Temperatures
While recording through external power, periodically double check the camera body temperature. If it’s uncomfortable to touch for more than 5 seconds, your GoPro is overheating! Shut it down immediately to cool off before permanent damage occurs.
Use a Backup Power Bank
I always connect my GoPro to a high-capacity 20,000 mAH Anker power bank as a secondary safety net in case wall power fails. Even 8 hours into a timelapse session, quick swapping to the portable bank preserves the recording if the cord is jostled loose accidentally. Peace of mind for less than $60!
Follow these best practices when charging your GoPro during recording to enhance runtime while avoiding common mistakes.
Optimal Charging for Maximum Battery Life
So we’ve covered powering your GoPro WHILE recording video…but what about charging the battery itself to maximum capacity in the shortest time?
I tested countless combos of cables, adapters and power sources to nail down the definitive charging strategy:
Anker Supercharger + External Charger
My absolute FASTEST and most reliable charging solution pairs Anker’s USB C 715 (Nano 65W), GaN II Fast Compact Foldable Charger with the GoPro Dual Battery Charger. This beast rig fuels my Hero10 battery from 0% to 100% in barely 80 minutes!
I can quick-swap batteries on long shoot days and always have maximum juice ready for the next adrenaline-pumping sequence.
Optimal Settings for Faster Charging
To ensure your GoPro battery charges as rapidly as possible, follow these guidelines:
- Use the included GoPro USB-C cable with updated cameras for maximum power delivery efficiency. Avoid discount replacement cords lacking sufficient gauge wire.
- When charging the battery internally in-camera, power OFF the GoPro completely. Background processes slow charging if left on.
- For external battery charging, remove from GoPro and slot into external dual charger properly matched to your specific camera.
- Position away from heat sources like PC exhaust vents or direct sunlight. Excessive heat throttles charging speed.
Now you’re ready to charge your GoPro battery with absolute maximum speed and safety!
GoPro Battery Life Expectancy by Model
While we’ve focused on RECORDING runtime powered by direct wall current, real-world BATTERY lifespan still varies widely across GoPro models. When gauging your required external power needs, first understand your camera’s maximum video capacity per charge:
- GoPro HERO6 Black: 1.5 hours recording time
- GoPro HERO7 Black: 1.5 hours
- GoPro HERO8 Black: 1.5 hours
- GoPro HERO9 Black: 2 hours
- GoPro HERO10 Black: 1.5 hours
As you see, battery technology has struggled to keep pace with processor and resolution advancements in recent generations. Recording durations sadly STILL hover between 60-120 minutes before going dead.
Hopefully the charging workarounds in this article help you flush more value from your GoPro investment and capture incredible multi-hour footage!
FAQ – GoPro Charging and Recording Questions
Over the years, I’ve received a staggering volume of questions about recording video simultaneously while charging GoPro cameras and batteries. Here are answers to my most frequent inquiries:
Can you charge the battery while the camera is recording?
No, running the camera via external power will NOT charge the internal battery. You must stop recording and switch off the GoPro to charge the battery itself.
What PD standard is optimal for powering my Hero10 while recording?
I recommend a charging source with Power Delivery 3.0 specs like Anker’s 30W PIQ 3.0 brick plus high-quality 3A USB-C cable for uninterrupted power flow.
Is it safe to record 8+ hours while plugged into AC power?
Simply put…NO! I don’t advise recording nonstop beyond 6 hours maximum, even with prograde charging equipment. Heat accumulation, card errors, firmware glitches and component fatigue remain ever-present. Work in reasonable durations with off-cooling periods to maximize hardware lifespan.
I hope this guide brings you a trailblazing revelation like it did for me 3 years ago! The ability to CHARGE a GoPro WHILE CONTINUOUSLY RECORDING literally redefined what I considered possible with these brilliant little action cameras.
When applied judiciously using proper accessories, charging workarounds can help your GoPro journey span sunrise to sunset instead of CRASHING mid-afternoon! Just be realistic about expectations, monitor camera health closely and upgrade your charging gear.
Now get out there, smash your battery limitations and capture your most spectacular footage yet! Let me know how these tips work when you take your charged-up GoPro to the extreme edge!
Keep charging ahead my friends!