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Recording With Your GoPro While It’s Charging

The GoPro is the go-to video capture tool for any adventure, whether you’re surfing, skateboarding, or skydiving. But what makes the GoPro so good for these kinds of shots also means the battery life is not the best. If you’re looking to add some extra hours to your recording time, you might be curious as to whether you can just plug your GoPro into the wall outlet and continue recording.

You can use your GoPro to record while the device is plugged in, and this will let you record for longer than you could on just the battery. It won’t, however, charge the battery and record at the same time. Extended use time can also cause issues like overheating.

So, what else do you need to know about the GoPro and plugged-in recording? Is it as simple as it sounds, are there limitations to what you can plug into? We’ll answer these questions and more; just read on!

Can a GoPro Record While Plugged In?

Mock up of a smartphone and an action camera connected to a white laptop on a wooden table background

While GoPros make for great adventure cameras, they aren’t known for their battery life. In fact, even the higher-end GoPro models have batteries that can only last a few hours.

This often means you get a crisper video and better resolution but at the cost of battery life. So, if you’re looking to get more juice for your device, what can you do?

GoPros can record while being plugged in. They do this by pulling power directly from the power source instead of the battery. Keep in mind that the battery will not keep charging during this time.

That’s pretty much the short and sweet of it. In most cases, you’ll need a reliable power source. If you’re using a wall outlet, you should be good to go in most areas.

You can even use a power pack like this Anker Portable Charger (on Amazon). Just make sure you have enough power. 10,000mAH is recommended.

It’s worth noting that you can even use the GoPro without the battery pack in these configurations. The downside is that you can’t record while plugged in and charge the battery. You’ll need to stop recording for that to work. But, if you have reliable power, you can run the GoPro for as long as you’d like (and as long as your SD card lasts).

This is great for long recording shots. You can even set up your GoPro in your car, given it has the appropriate USB connectors. You should also note that you may have trouble charging from a PC.

Is It Safe to Use a GoPro While It’s Charging?

Okay, so now you know you can record with your GoPro while plugged in and taking power. But are there any downsides to this configuration? Will you be causing damage to your GoPro or the battery?

These are some fairly common questions about the GoPro. Some models can go for several hundred dollars, so it’s worth trying to protect your investment.

There are some issues that can occur when recording while plugged in. The most common is overheating. Your GoPro can run for too long and start to overheat, which may cause some damage down the line. If you’re in a hot climate, this can be even more of a risk.

But, other than overheating, you won’t have too many issues using your GoPro and keeping it plugged in at the same time. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using high-quality cords and power sources. You can still face the risks inherent in using home power, like unexpected surges.

How Long Does It Take to Charge a GoPro?

If battery life is on your mind, charging time is probably something you’re also concerned about. As we’ve learned, you can use your GoPro and keep it plugged into another power source, but that won’t help you if you need to rely on battery power. When the juice runs out, you’ll need to charge up.

So, how long will that take?

It takes around two hours to charge a GoPro, depending on your power source. A low current source can take up to four hours to reach a full charge. Battery age can also play a factor in charging efficiency.

It’s also worth noting that the majority of the charging happens in the first hour, given you’re using a reliable power source. In most cases, you’ll reach around 80% in the first hour alone. Again, battery age and other factors like environmental heat will play a factor.

How Long Does a GoPro Battery Last While Recording?

Recording time lapse of Yangshuo landscape at dusk

Okay, here’s where things get interesting. Now, you might think that battery life would depend on the model of GoPro. Yes, that’s the case, but it’s not the full picture. How you use your GoPro will also play a role in how long you can record. Here’s what you need to know.

A typical GoPro battery will last anywhere from one to two hours. How you use your GoPro and other factors like battery age affect this number. Generally, the higher the resolution, the more strain you’re putting on the battery.

To get the full picture, let’s take a look at the battery life of a specific model, the HERO10 Black (on Amazon), while recording at different resolutions:

  • 5.3k – 47 minutes
  • 4k – 72 minutes
  • 1080p – 83 minutes

Additionally, factors like aspect ratio and frame per second can cut into battery life. If you’re trying to catch action shots or doing a loop recording, you’ll need those extra frames per second. That’s the beauty of the GoPro — it can handle video and high resolution and fast frame rates — but battery life suffers as a result.

Wrapping Up

While the GoPro is a great device that can record video in crisp quality, it’s not famous for good battery life. In most cases, you can expect to get around two hours of video in before your device goes to sleep.

Still, as we’ve learned, you can plug your GoPro into another power source and keep recording, no problem. The issue is that you can’t record and charge the battery at the same time.