So you have a new Hero5 Black? Nice! Here are 6 GoPro Hero5 tips and tricks to help you get the most from your new camera.
In this post, you’ll learn everything from changing the lens cover to locking the touch screen and how to change the settings to extend the battery life.
Dena published her Hero5 review with her first footage. See this at the end of the post. Now it’s time to take it up a level. Let’s get started!
6 GoPro Hero5 Black Tips and Tricks
Prefer reading? See the full post below the video – plus a bonus tip.
6 Tips for the GoPro Hero5 Black
1. How to Remove the Lens Protector (Hero5 Black)
While pulling the lens cover away from the camera, turn the lens cover counterclockwise. This requires that you use some force. The lens protector will turn 1/8th counter-clockwise and you can then pull it straight off.
To replace the lens cap, remember to apply pressure and then rotate the cap clockwise 1/8th turn.
Why it matters: Because the Hero5 doesn’t come with waterproof housing (it’s waterproof all by itself) the lens cover is subject to scratches and damage. You can order a replacement protective lens cover from GoPro.
Also, if you purchase the dive suit (underwater dive housing) you’ll have to remove the lens protector so it will fit.
Note: This should be done in a dry and clean environment. Be careful not to touch or scratch the actual camera lens.
2. How to Remove (and Reattach) the Side Charging Door
Open the side charging door, and then pull and bend at the same time. It will come right off. This doesn’t require much force. Be gentle so the mounting clip doesn’t break.
To reattach the side charging door, make sure that the mechanism is fully extended. Otherwise, the outer door will interfere with the interior clip and it will be impossible to reattach.
Why it matters: There are a few reasons you might want to remove the side door.
With the door removed, you can directly connect a portable power bank that is great for extended shooting (like time lapse video).
You can easily increase shooting time from just 1 hour (with the standard battery) to over 8 hours (with a power bank).
Also, you can add an external microphone (via the USB-C port) to improve audio quality.
The included frame mount allows access to the two ports, when the side door is removed.
Note: With this side door removed, your camera will not be waterproof. Be sure to replace it before exposing the camera to moist or dirty environments.
3. How to Change Settings from the Front LCD Screen
Just press and hold the Mode button (on the side) and cycle through the settings by pressing the Shutter button (on top).
Why it matters: You might be wondering why this matters – the back touchscreen is so much faster to change settings. And that’s true. But there might be situations where you can’t access the back – like maybe it’s mounted against a door and you want to switch from time-lapse to video mode.
Note: If you haven’t updated your firmware since getting your camera, this tip probably won’t work for you. This is a new feature that was added via firmware update after the initial release.
4. How to Lock the Hero5 Touch Screen
To lock the touch screen, swipe down from the top and tap the lock icon. To show that it is locked, it will show a “Screen Locked” message.
To unlock your touch screen, tap the screen and you’ll see the message “Swipe Down”. When you swipe down, you’ll be asked to Tap to Unlock.
Why it matters: While the older model (Hero4 Silver) would lock automatically, the Hero5 doesn’t. If you’re going to be moving around, you might bump the screen and accidentally change a setting.
5. How to Extend Hero5 Battery Life
Here are three tips for extending the battery life of your GoPro Hero5 camera:
- Turn GPS off. If you don’t need embedded GPS coordinates, this will save some battery life.
- Turn voice off. If you have voice-enabled, your camera is never really “off”. Even when you turn it off, it will respond to your voice command. This means that it is constantly monitoring for voice commands. Save this battery drain by turning this setting off.
- Turn off wireless connections. Go to Connect > Wireless Connections (all the way at the bottom) and tap to toggle on/off.
Why it matters: GoPro is not known for great battery life. By conserving your battery whenever possible, it means that you’ll be changing batteries less often and you’re ready to get the shot.
6. Pick up a Charger and Extra Batteries
Pickup a charger and (at least) one extra battery. There’s nothing worse than running out of batteries on an adventure. We have from 2 to 5 batteries for each of our four GoPro cameras.
Why it matters: The Hero5 ships with one battery – and NO charger. Your only option is to charge the battery via USB cable while it’s still in the camera. Despite making tweaks to camera settings (see #5 above) the battery still doesn’t last very long.
With your external charger, you can charge your dead batteries while shooting with your fresh one.
How do I turn off my GoPro? Check out our guide to all models
Note: I’m a huge fan of Wasabi batteries. And while they make a charger and batteries for the Hero5, you need to be careful.
In their latest firmware update, GoPro added a piece of code that won’t allow these aftermarket battery brands to work with the Hero5.
Here is Dena‘s full review of her Hero5 Black.
GoPro Hero5 Black Review: 4 Features / My First Footage
Thinking about getting the new Hero5 Black? In this post, you’ll learn all about it in my GoPro Hero5 Black review.
You’ll also see my first photos, video, and time-lapse with the Hero5 Black.
I have the Hero5 Black! Bryan ordered a Hero5 Black for me the day it became available. (Wasn’t that awesome?!)
His Dad has a Hero4 Silver and I think he noticed me drooling over the touch screen.
I don’t like the navigation system of the other GoPro cameras.“Push this button, then push that button twice, then push this button again…” I always get it wrong and mess things up. I was hoping GoPro would put a touch screen on the Hero5 Black, and they did.
Before we get into the GoPro Hero5 Black review, here is my first video. I filmed this with the camera on a handheld extend pole. I was pretty happy with the Hero5 stabilization feature.
Miner’s Marsh GoPro Hero5 Black Video
We had so much fun that day!
OK, let’s jump into some of the things that got me excited about this new camera. And then we’ll get into my GoPro Hero5 Black review.
4 Reasons I’m Excited About GoPro Hero5 Black
GoPro made so many improvements to the Hero4 series. Here are my favorite four:
- Touch screen
- Improved photo capture (RAW and WDR)
- Waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a waterproof housing
- Voice control
Here’s how to improve the battery life of your GoPro.
My GoPro Hero5 Black Review
- I like the color. It’s dark gray so it won’t stand out as much as the Hero3 and Hero4 cameras. I like blending as much as possible while shooting.
- It has two buttons, one less than previous models. That means less confusion.
- The touch screen is large, easy to navigate, change settings, check composition, and review footage.
1. Hero5 Black Touch Screen
When I turned the camera on for the first time, it led me through a short tutorial explaining how to work the touch screen.
The touch screen was easy to use. Sooooo much easier than remembering the sequence of button-pushing on the Hero3 and Hero4 Black models.
With the Hero3 and Hero4 Black, I would get frustrated and pass the camera to my husband.
With the Hero5 Black, it was quick and easy so it was more fun. I felt much more comfortable switching modes and trying different settings.
I also like being able to check my composure before shooting and reviewing what I captured.
Here’s a shot from a Burst sequence. The sequence was included in the video at the beginning of this post.
And here is my first timelapse. I set the camera up on a picnic table facing the water to catch the reflection of the cloud movement.
Miner’s Marsh GoPro Hero5 Black Timelapse Video
The above timelapse video was filmed with the GoPro on a Gorillapod by Joby. Here are a couple of shots of my setup.
I set the camera to take a shot every 2 seconds, I let it film for around 15 minutes. Then as I was editing I sped the playback up to a point where it felt right.
2. Improved Photo Capture
The Hero5 takes 12-megapixel photos (like the Hero4 Black) and has some new setting options.
I was impressed with the RAW setting. It captured great color and I found it easy to edit.
Shooting in RAW with the Hero5 was more like the RAW files I capture with my DSLR. I enjoy doing some light editing so I was happy with the results in Photoshop.
I can’t wait to shoot WDR and the new field of view option (Linear) which takes away the fish-eye effect.
3. GoPro Hero5 Black is Waterproof: Let it Rain!
The Hero5 Black is waterproof, but my gut tells me not to chance it.
That may sound paranoid, but I’m worried that I might not have the compartments (battery and cable) closed properly. I would HATE to ruin my camera.
I’ll be getting waterproof housing for it in the future.
But because it’s waterproof, I’m okay with taking it out in the rain and snow. And best of all, I’m not as nervous about drinking coffee with it sitting on my desk.
So (for me at least) the fear factor is reduced.
4. GoPro Hero5 Black Voice Control
I love this feature. What could be easier than just telling your camera what to do?
Speaking to my GoPro felt a little funny at first. And I guess it didn’t like the way I was talking because it wouldn’t recognize my commands.
It likes fluid sentences, “GoPro take a picture” not “GoPro, (slight pause) take a picture.” So stay calm and speak fluidly. 🙂
Here is a video that demonstrates how to use the touch screen and enable voice control.
The option to change settings with my voice is pretty cool. I’ll be using it most of the time.
What Comes With the GoPro Hero5 Black?
The Hero5 came mounted in a Cage (Skeleton) mount on a mounting adapter which can be used with other mounts.
There was also a thumbscrew, a battery, a USB-C cable, a rounded and a flat adhesive mount, 2 little booklets (a safety instruction and a getting started) 3 GoPro stickers.
It doesn’t come with an SD card. So you’ll need to order a micro SD card to start using the camera.
The Bottom Line: GoPro Hero5 Black Review
This is my favorite GoPro so far. I like the color, touch screen, ease of use, voice control, and picture quality.
I don’t like that the battery drains so fast and that my other GoPro batteries won’t fit in my new camera. I have to buy an extra battery and a new charger to use for extended filming.
Will You Buy A GoPro Hero5 Black?
This was an awesome camera to receive as a gift. And I think it’s the best GoPro so far. But what about you?
Do you have a Hero5 Black? Do you think you’ll get one? Share your thought by commenting on this post.
Have a GoPro Hero5 tip to share? Join me in the comments!
- About the Author
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Hey, I’m Bryan! I’m a content creator and co-founder of Storyteller Tech.
Experienced GoPro Videographer: I’ve been shooting with GoPro cameras for over 11 years. My first GoPro was the Hero3 Silver, bought for a Galapagos work trip in 2012. Today I own 20+ action cameras, including GoPro, DJI, and Insta360 cameras.
Professional Creator: Dena and I have developed video and content marketing plans for numerous international travel brands. And we also run several content businesses.