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How Long Can a GoPro Record? 4 Factors: 6 Ways to Improve Record Time

While GoPro cameras can endure almost any condition, they are limited by their recording time. How long can a GoPro record? There are 4 factors affecting GoPro’s record time.

The new GoPro Hero12 Black can record 2.5+ hours at 1080p30. The older GoPro models can record as long as the battery (73 minutes) and SD card (from 1 to 7 hours) will last.

Other factors affecting recording time on a GoPro are the video settings and exterior temperature.

In this post, you’ll learn the factors and how to quickly improve GoPro recording time.

How Long Can a GoPro Record

Here’s more about the factors and how to improve your GoPro record time.

How Long Can a GoPro Record? 4 Factors

GoPro recording time is dependent on 4 factors: battery, SD card, overheating, and video settings.

1. GoPro Battery Recording Time

The Hero12 Black has a battery life of 150 minutes when filming at 1080p30. Shoot at 5.3K30 for 90 minutes. And shoot at 5.3K60 for 70 minutes.

The Hero11 Black has a battery life of 73 minutes. All recent GoPro batteries will record for one hour or more.

Here are all the recording times for each GoPro model.

2. GoPro SD Card Capacity

A GoPro camera can film for 57 minutes at 4K60 before it fills a 32GB card.

Upgrade to a 256GB card and you can now film 460 minutes (7.5 hours) of video before it stops recording.

See our full chart of how many video minutes a gigabyte will hold. And this related guide to how many photos per GB.

3. GoPro Overheating

GoPro cameras work best when being air-cooled by movement. If they overheat, they might shut off before the battery dies or the SD card fills up.

Some cameras have had a glitch where they would overheat and shut off after just 20 minutes of continuous recording.

Because they are made for motion (biking, snorkeling, surfing) they work best when air (or water) cooled.

On hot days and in direct sun, your GoPro camera is more prone to overheating and shutting off.

Here are some great GoPro dive masks that will help keep your camera cool when underwater.

4. GoPro Video Settings

The larger the video, the faster your SD card will fill up. To get more life from your SD card, consider adjusting your video settings.

Downgrading your video setting means that your battery will last longer and your SD card won’t fill so quickly.

But hey, it’s better to get the footage at 5.3K 30 fps than miss it because shooting at 60 fps killed your battery.

Does filming a 5.3K video consume more battery? Yes, the higher the resolution (5.3K vs 4K) and frame rate (60fps vs 30fps) will consume your battery life faster.

Here’s how GoPro’s Hero11 Black compares to DJI’s Osmo Action 3.

how long can gopro record

6 Ways to Improve GoPro Record Time

Here are some easy ways to improve the recording time of your GoPro.

1. Fully Charge Your Batteries

Helps to: Extend filming time

GoPro batteries lose charge over time, even when not in use. To get the longest recording time possible, make sure to charge your GoPro batteries to 100% before heading out on your adventure.

Bring Extra Batteries: To get even more recording time, don’t forget to bring along a couple of extra (fully charged) batteries. This is the easiest way to extend your recording session. Just swap out the dead battery with a fresh one, and get another 70+ minutes of recording time.

To help you order the correct battery type, here is the chart of compatible GoPro batteries for each camera model.

2. Buy a Larger SD Card

Helps to: Extend filming time

While you can use an older microSD card, the smaller it is, the faster it will fill up. An old 16GB card will last less than 30 minutes filming 4K video.

On one-of-a-kind adventures, I like to swap out the card before it’s full. That way, if I lose my camera or it gets damaged, I won’t lose all the footage.

And buying microSDXC cards will be faster and have higher capacity than microSCHC cards.

Bring Extra SD Cards: Similar to bringing extra batteries, tossing a few extra SD cards in your pack is a great way to get more GoPro record time.

3. Keep the Camera Cool

Helps to: Avoid Overheating

Once your camera overheats, it will automatically shut off. Here are some tips to keep your camera cool.

  1. Try to keep the camera out of direct sunlight when filming. The little black case can superheat in the open sun. This will help it keep cool and reduce overheating. You might consider placing it in the shade or even creating shade with an umbrella or your own body.
  2. If it is an unusually hot day, try filming short clips, allowing the camera to cool during filming.
  3. Avoid using external housing when above water. This case makes an airtight barrier and traps heat.

Here are some more tips for keeping your GoPro from overheating.

4. Disable Unnecessary Camera Settings

Helps to: Extend filming time

To help the battery last longer, you can disable WiFi, GPS, and voice activation. Some minor settings you can adjust include turning off indicator lights and beeps.

Here’s how to actually turn off your GoPro.

5. Change Video Settings

Helps to: Extend filming time

Consider filming in reduced resolution and frame rates to extend your GoPro recording time.

Do you really need 5.3K footage of the event? If it’s just to share on Instagram or TicTok, the basic 1080p resolution will be great for almost every situation.

And do you need 60 frames per second? Or will 30 fps be okay? These seemingly small details can help conserve your battery life and storage space on your microSD card.

To get the most recording time from your camera, you can enable Extended Battery Mode. This will limit video quality but give you a longer shoot time.

6. Update Camera Firmware

Helps to: Extend filming time, avoid overheating

Updating your GoPro firmware can fix numerous issues. This includes how the battery power is managed, how the camera handles heat, and various video capture settings.

Your Turn

How did you make out? Were you able to adjust your settings to improve how long your GoPro can record? I would love to hear how things went for you.

And please share any settings and tips that I missed.