This is a not-so-exciting topic, but it’s an important one if you want to ensure you capture unique moments hiking for hours or days at a time.
I have been using the GoPro Hero7 Black for about 2 years now. It’s a nice little camera for “action” shooting. Although the first time I used it I remember thinking: “Did I charge the battery 100%?” After a few more uses I determined that indeed I had charged the battery 100%. Then I realized that one battery doesn’t get you very far which prompted me to purchase Artman batteries from GoPro. You will see why I opted not to get more batteries directly from GoPro.
Make sure you get the right batteries
Disclaimer: The batteries linked above are for the GoPro Hero 5, 6, and 7. Make sure you use the correct batteries for your camera. Luckily, Artman labels each battery with the camera(s) that they are compatible with.
How Long is a battery supposed to last?
The advertisements for GoPro cameras are very flashy. They show footage of snowboarders and mountain-bikers in some remote places. You would assume that the battery on the camera would last a long time. I am lucky if I can get 1 hour of video out of a single battery. It’s not surprising when you look at the small size of the battery. How long would you expect it to last?
Of course you can extend the charge of the battery by adjusting some settings such as the screen brightness, auto-off function, and perhaps even the recording quality. This could potentially double the battery life to about 2 hours of video. However this assumes minimal standby time. Additionally, weather variables like temperature can affect battery performance too.
If I truly wanted to go into the backcountry (or anywhere for more than a day) and be able to shoot for more than an hour (like the commercials would lead you to believe) then I knew I needed a few more batteries. This was evident after my first experience with my new GoPro.
Spare Batteries and cost
Looking at spare batteries from GoPro, I discovered that they cost $20! For one little battery. They also offered (at the time) a two-battery bundle with a charging port for $50. I could see that continuing to purchase accessories from GoPro could get pricey.
So I “Googled” or “Amazoned” (if either of those is even a word) GoPro replacement batteries and several different after-market batteries came up. I decided to go with Artman because it came with two batteries and a charger for $25.
Each battery charger slot has a light that displays green when the battery is fully charged and displays red when the battery is charging or no battery is present. It is very simple to use and compact (like the GoPro).
The Artman charger charges the original GoPro battery too, not just the Artman batteries.
Additionally, the Artman charger has a USB-C and Micro-USB input so either cord can charge it. USB-C is the newer technology that GoPro uses for the Hero7 camera, but having both inputs on the charger allows for more flexibility.
My GoPro didn’t even come with a battery charger. I only received a cord that plugs into the camera and can only charge one battery at a time. The Artman charger however, allows you to charge 3 batteries at a time (the original and two spares). GoPro makes a similar product, but it’s double the price! Hey, it’s okay to be thrify!
How long does an Artman Battery last?
As far as I can tell, the Artman Batteries will last as long as the original GoPro batteries. I have been using them for over a year and they perform just as well. With minimal standby time, they can make it through about one hour of shooting. Again this depends on variables like the screen brightness, auto-off timing, and temperature.
In fact, I made my previous gear review video using the GoPro on a cold day. Although the video is only 9 minutes long, it was edited down from over an hour of footage. And yes, I needed more than one battery to accomplish this.
Battery charging in the field
A portable charger is also a good idea for ensuring you don’t run out of juice. I have used a solar charger in the past, but they can be slow to charge. If it’s cloudy, then a solar charger isn’t very effective. For short trips, I have used a few portable chargers from Anker and I have no complaints. For GoPro batteries, a 10,000 mAh charger could charge all 3 batteries twice.
If you start with 3 fully-charged batteries, that’s the equivalent of having 9 batteries! If you are going on a week-long trip into the wilderness, that should give you enough juice.
The Final Verdict
Of course I am recommending the Artman Batteries, what did you think this was all about? They hold up to the same standards as the original GoPro battery and the little charger that comes with the batteries is versatile and easy to use.
The main points:
- Performs just as well as the original battery
- Fits the original GoPro battery
- Compatible with USB-C and Micro-USB power inputs
- Light will display green when battery is fully charged
- Make sure the batteries are compatible with your camera
Hopefully you found this post useful if you are a current or prospective GoPro user. GoPros are awesome little gadgets but they drain batteries fast. The spares from Artman did the trick for me and by reading this, maybe you can avoid the struggle I had with the dependability of the camera.