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5 Reasons for GoPro Overheating: Plus 6 Cool Tips for Extended Shooting

GoPro Tutorials

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 Hero8 Black.

gopro overheating

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 as you plan your shoot and travels.

Here are 5 things that can cause overheating issues with your GoPro:

  1. External temperature: This is the single largest reason GoPro cameras overheat. Just like anything else, if you take your camera out on a 104°F (40°C) day, it’s going to get hot very quickly.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Outdated Firmware: If your camera hasn’t updated to the latest firmware, it might be more prone to overheating.

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 actually 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.

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 shutdown because it got too hot.

These tips are especially important when filming in a hot environment. Not all these tasks are necessary in cooler settings or for filming shorter clips.

  1. Reduce exposure to direct sunlight: This is probably the most obvious. The sun will super heat your black camera pretty fast. A little shade can make a huge difference.
  2. Avoid super suit when above water: Underwater, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with over heating. 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 because of this.
  3. Use a faster memory card: Numerous photographers have tested and commented that they have less 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 when it’s indoors, inside a car, or in a stationary setting. You might consider putting the window down, turning on a fan, or placing it in front of an air conditioner.
  6. Update Your Firmware: This is a common suggestion on the GoPro forums. GoPro periodically releases firmware updates, some of these actually 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.

Does temperature really 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-shut off until the battery died. And while this definitely shortened the battery life it also lengthened the shooting time by keeping the temperature low.

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 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 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…

gopro gets hot

More reading: How to Format SD Cards (5 Ways)

Your turn

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.

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Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is co-editor of ClickLikeThis: GoPro tutorial blog. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of GringosAbroad (Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with ClickLikeThis.

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