GoPro overheating? Yes, it’s normal for your GoPro to get hot. It can actually feel too hot to touch sometimes. In this post, you’ll learn 5 reasons that GoPro cameras overheat. Plus, 6 tips to keep your GoPro cool longer. At the end of the post, I include the results of my test to overheat my GoPro.
5 Reasons Why GoPro Cameras Overheat
It can be super disappointing to be shooting your adventures only to have your camera shut off unexpectedly.
This is actually a safety feature to prevent damage to your camera from high temperatures.
Understanding what causes GoPro to get hot can help you plan your shoot and travels.
Here are 5 things that can cause overheating issues with your GoPro:
- External temperature: This is the single largest reason GoPro cameras overheat. Like anything else, if you take your camera out on a 104°F (40°C) day, it will get hot very quickly.
- Memory Card: Once inserted into your camera, your microSD card becomes part of your camera circuitry. If it is an old, slow card, then it becomes the weak point in your camera. Upgrading your card is an easy way to keep your camera running cooler (and longer).
- Length of Video Recording: Filming 10 videos at 5 minutes each will keep your camera cooler than filming a straight 50-minute video all at once. Of course, this is with the assumption that you’ll allow a little time in between the short videos to allow the camera to cool down.
- Video Quality: Capturing high frame rates and video resolution is a lot of work for the electronics and will cause it to heat faster than lower-quality imaging. High-resolution video will also consume more battery power.
- Outdated Firmware: If your camera hasn’t updated to the latest firmware, it might be more prone to overheating.
Outdated firmware is causing problems with the new Hero10 Black.
Hero10 Black Overheating
Some users have reported overheating of the new Hero10 Black camera.
If the camera is shooting without airflow and continuously recording (at high resolution and high frame rates), the camera is overheating and turning off. This was happening at roughly 20 minutes of continuous recording.
This probably isn’t a typical use case. Usually, you’ll find a GoPro attached to a mountain bike, drone, or motorcycle. These uses give more than adequate airflow and should sufficiently cool the camera.
To combat this, GoPro releases a new firmware update, adding “Video Performance Modes”.
Video Performance Modes
The new firmware (v1.16 on November 2, 2021) offers two new modes:
- Maximum Video Performance: This is the same as what was shipped with the camera.
- Extended Battery (Tripod/Stationary): This mode assumes that the camera is stationary and won’t have much airflow.
To extend battery life (and reduce heat build-up), the Extended Battery mode disables additional features like GPS and Hypersmooth. If the camera is on a tripod, they aren’t needed anyway.
According to GoPro, you can expect your battery to last 29 minutes (47% longer) when shooting at 5.3K at 60fps. And when shooting at 4K/60 the battery will increase 154% to an hour and three minutes.
How Will I Know if it Overheated?
Your GoPro camera will tell you if it’s overheating. Either with a nice screen message or by turning itself off. Freezing up is a safety feature.
So while you should be concerned about keeping the temperature as low as possible, you can’t push it too far. It has safety features to protect itself, and it will stop recording and allow time to cool down.
More reading: 10 Ways to Fix a GoPro that won’t turn on
I’m hearing reports about overheating problems with the Hero12 Black. One redditor shot with their 11 and 12 using identical settings – and the Hero12 overheated 4 times while the 11 didn’t overheat once.
In the same thread, another user commented that they had the opposite experience.
While being active and riding my bike, I’ve only been able to get the hero 12 to overheat when it was nearly 100F outside and the camera was in direct sunlight recording 60fps with the highest level of HyperSmooth enabled. Meanwhile, my 11 will overheat after about 55 minutes of riding in mild, 80F. This is while shooting 8:7 5.3K 30fps with Hypersmooth enabled.
While shooting 16:9 4K or 5.3K 24 indoors and mounted in a GoPro mount (so the fingers are extended), I’m unable to get the camera to overheat and get about 80 minutes in 5.3K and 90 minutes in 4K on a single battery. The other evening, I recorded a 90 minute event with the camera mounted and powered via a Volta grip. I was recording 16:9 5.3K at 24fps LOG and the camera did fine.reddit
Now, here’s how to keep your GoPro from overheating.
How to Keep GoPro from Overheating: 6 Tips
These tips will help keep your camera cooler and run longer before overheating. You might even avoid a camera shutting down because it got too hot.
These tips are especially important when filming in a hot environment. Not all these tasks are necessary for cooler settings or filming shorter clips.
- Reduce exposure to direct sunlight: This is probably the most obvious. The sun will superheat your black camera pretty fast. A little shade can make a huge difference.
- Avoid super suit when above water: Underwater, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with overheating. The water works as a huge heat sink and keeps your camera cool. But above the water, it will heat the air inside the super suit and reduce cooling. I’ve had my cameras overheat and shut down many times.
- Use a faster memory card: Numerous photographers have tested and commented that they have fewer temperature issues by avoiding older, slower cards. And this makes sense – make it as easy as possible for your camera to store the data, and it won’t need to work as hard.
- Reduce video quality: By reducing the capture load, you can give your camera less do to and help it run cooler. Consider reducing both frame rate (fps) and resolution.
- Create some airflow: This is easily done on a bicycle, motorcycle, or zipline. There is no shortage of air movement in these sports. But it’s not as easy indoors, in a car, or a stationary setting. You might consider putting the window down, turning on a fan, or placing it in front of an air conditioner.
- Update Your Firmware: This is a common suggestion on the GoPro forums. GoPro periodically releases firmware updates, which address overheating issues in specific models. If you’re having issues, it’s worth checking to see if you have the latest update for your model.
Here are 3 ways to update your GoPro firmware.
Does temperature shorten GoPro filming time?
It’s a valid question. Most GoPro users will say yes; high temperatures will cause premature shut-off and stop the camera from filming.
Photographer Alik Griffin even dropped his Hero7 into the freezer while recording – and it didn’t auto-shutoff until the battery died.
And while this shortened the battery life, it also lengthened the shooting time by keeping the temperature low.
Here are 6 ways to improve GoPro recording time.
How Long it Took Me to Overheat my Camera
So while I’ve had my camera konk out numerous times because of overheating, I wanted to run a few tests in a controlled environment. And collect some actual data.
Here are the specs for this test:
- My office temperature was roughly 70°F (21°C).
- My Hero8 Black camera was set to record 2.7K 6o fps video.
- I used a 64GB microSDXC card.
How my camera fared in my test.
- 9-minute mark: Camera is getting warm but still at a safe temperature.
- 14-minute mark: Temperature is starting to get hot. Especially the front status screen area.
- 20-minute mark: Temperature feels similar to the 14-minute mark. With the exception of the bottom of the camera. Even with the folding fingers (mounting brackets), I can feel significant heat build-up.
- 25-minute mark: The camera bottom has now become the hottest part of the camera – even feeling uncomfortable to hold.
- 30-minute mark: The camera is getting hot enough that it would begin to worry most new users. Remember that this high temperature isn’t hurting the camera. Safety features will soon take over and force it to cool down, as required.
- 35-minute mark: The camera is now hot all over. The front status screen and bottom of the camera are equal in temperature.
- 40-minute mark: Not much change in the last 5 minutes. Might have increased by a couple of degrees.
- 45-minute mark: If I didn’t know better, I would be concerned that things were beginning to melt inside. The bottom of the camera is very hot.
- 50-minute mark: No notable change from the previous check. It seems to have hit its peak temperature.
- 55-minute mark: Temperature continues to increase. The folding fingers (bottom of camera) are hot enough to give a burning sensation in my hand. It isn’t hot enough to actually burn, but it would be equivalent to the side of a mug full of hot coffee.
- 60-minute mark: This has gone much longer than I thought it could. The camera is very hot at this point. And the battery is almost dead. Not long now…
- 67-minute mark: After one hour and 7 minutes, my GoPro battery finally konked out. It is an official GoPro battery with 1220 mAh.
When I began this test, I expected it would last around 35 to 40 minutes, given the ideal circumstances. After it passed 50 minutes, I began thinking that the battery might die before the camera overheated. And it lasted another 17 minutes after that.
What about outside in the sun? Good question. It’s April as I write this post. And at noon, it’s just 35°F (2°C) outside. I live in Nova Scotia (Canada); what can I say? We had 3 inches of snow a couple of days ago.
I plan to run a control test outside during the summer – to see how these time frames compare. Stay tuned for that in a few months. Once all the ice melts…
Trying to sort out the differences between all the GoPro models? Check out our GoPro Comparison Guide
More reading: How to Format SD Cards (5 Ways)
How much life are you getting out of your GoPro camera before it overheats and shuts off? Let me know below. Please note your model and any specific settings that affected its temperature.
- 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.