6 GoPro Hero5 Tips to Use Your GoPro Like a Pro

GoPro Cameras, GoPro Tips

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.

GoPro Hero5 Tips

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.

Last month, Dena published her Hero5 review with her first footage. Now it's time to take it up a level. Let's get started!

Six GoPro Hero5 Black Tips and Tricks

Prefer reading? See the full post below the video – plus a bonus tip.

Watch on YouTube

6 Tips for the GoPro Hero5 Black

1. How To Remove the Lens Protector (Hero5 Black)

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While pulling the lens cover away from the camera, turn the lens cover counter-clockwise. This requires that you to 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 a 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 direct 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 you 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. You're 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. Here's a piece I wrote about charging GoPro batteries with solar panels.

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.

Your Turn

Have a GoPro Hero5 tip to share? Join me in the comments!

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Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for Canadian travel brands). Bryan is also blogs on WiseGuides.ca, a Nova Scotia travel blog that he runs with his wife, Dena.

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