So GoPro announced its latest round of action cameras in the form of the GoPro Hero 10 recently. As usual, it’s seen a lot of hype, although perhaps a little less than in previous years. One thing there’s definitely been no shortage of, though, is reviews. Overall, they’ve been largely positive, talking about the slow-motion, stabilisation and other features.
But it seems to have one huge flaw – at least for some users. When shooting 5.3K 60p footage with “zero airflow”, it’ll overheat and stop recording in just 20 minutes. YouTuber GadgetsBoy highlighted the issue in his review video, and GoPro has confirmed the limit and gone on further to say that the 4K 60fps limit is 25 minutes.
GoPro confirmed the issue in response to a question from the folks at Digital Camera World who reached out to them about the issue. As far as GoPro’s concerned, it seems that things are working as intended and account for the needs of the majority of their users. In a statement to DCW, GoPro said:
Processing at high-performance modes requires a lot of power, so GoPro has put safeguards in place to protect consumers and the cameras from overheating when the camera reaches a certain temperature. The HERO10 is engineered to support what we know a majority of HERO owners use the camera for: to shoot shorter clips in environments with natural airflow.
GoPro’s research shows that 75% of videos shot on GoPros are less than a minute and ten seconds. HERO10 Black can record 5.3k at 60 fps for 20 minutes with zero airflow – approximately 16x the average length of a GoPro video. HERO10 Black can record 4k at 60fps for 25 minutes with zero airflow – more than 21x the length of an average GoPro video.
So for the filming scenario when long clips at highest resolutions in a static environment are required, we recommend taking the necessary steps to provide some airflow. This will improve the camera’s thermal performance and allow for longer video capture.
To be fair, they make a good case. If the majority of their users are only shooting short clips, then it makes sense to cater to their needs. But obviously, most of the people I know with GoPros aren’t the average GoPro user, because they’re usually strapping them to bikes (with and without engines) or vehicles and recording entire journeys that typically last much longer than 20-25 minutes.
People who need that kind of capability might be in for a bit of a shock, depending on their setup. GoPro didn’t clarify, but their wording suggests that it might go longer with some kind of airflow. Exactly what GoPro deems to be “natural airflow” of suitable speed to keep it cool is unknown, as is the duration between cooling-off periods.Their statement actually creates more questions than it answers.
If you hit that 20-minute limit (or 25-minute for 4K) and want to start shoot again, how long will you have to wait to be able to do so? Are the 20 and 25-minute limits hard coded as they were with the Canon EOS R5 when it was initially released? Or is it based on actual temperature? After it overheats and you leave it to cool off, how long can you keep shooting for the next time? Do you get the whole 20/25 minutes again or is it a reduced time?
You also have to bear in mind that “zero airflow” isn’t as uncommon as one might think. Inside a case or enclosure, for example, there is zero airflow. This means that popping it in a dive case and heading deep underwater might not actually help with your overheating issues. But, it might if you’re just in the local pool without a dive case. Or, it may not. It might be hardcoded. I guess we’ll have to see.
I expect if GoPro isn’t forthcoming with more information, the Hero 10 Black owners around the world will be able to figure it out between them and the findings will end up on Facebook at some point.
If you’re not put off by the overheating time limits, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is available to buy now for $499.
[via Digital Camera World]