Here are a few cold-weather GoPro tips, a must before going skiing and snowboarding. Using your GoPro in cold weather will seriously affect battery life. Every winter I notice in GoPro forums around the internet how people struggle with battery life in cold weather. It is not just a GoPro thing all batteries don’t perform well in cold temperatures. Another issue with GoPro cameras is fog or condensation inside the protective housings. Let’s take a look at some top tips to aid in having a better experience with a GoPro camera in cold weather.
Cold weather GoPro tips
- Keep the camera warm when possible.
- Always bring spare batteries. (refer to tip one: if on a smaller budget keep camera warm when not using)
- Keep your spare batteries close to your body or as warm as possible.
- If using a GoPro that has protective/waterproof housing use anti-fog inserts. (tip when using a housing don’t wait until you are up on the hill skiing to put the camera in a housing. Let the camera and case acclimate to the temperature of each item.)
- Also when using protective housing I have known of users having success with attaching hand warmers to the outside of the case.
- Use hand warmers in the pocket where you keep both the camera and spare batteries. (keep these in a small bag or a sock to have them close together.)
- A small electric hand warmer can be used to keep batteries warm.
- All of these types of warmers and tips are also relevant to drone batteries.
- The disposable hand warmers (or toe warmers that have sticky backing) can be used to keep battery banks juiced up to serve your charging needs.
Snowboarding/Skiing GoPro tips
Be aware of iso settings. Snow can make things very bright and fool the auto exposure settings. (I will almost always adjust the camera to -1 exposure shooting in the snow on bright clear days.) When using a GoPro they have a very wide field of view even in linear mode. This means you need to get very close to your subject. If you are too far away from the person you are filming they can easily just blend in with the entire scene. As I spook about before battery power is key. If you at all wanting to use your GoPro on the hill a fair bit, get extra batteries!
Update Hero7 Black March 2019:
For using GoPro Hero7 Black in cold weather. With all the demands, specifically 4k video with high frames rate GoPro Hero7 Black cameras. Remember these cameras have small batteries. Add to that these are tiny cameras that are shooting in 4k. Shooting in high resolution and high frame rates demand a lot from both the camera processor and battery. GoPro Hero7 Black uses a 3.85V 1220mAh 4.70Wh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Compare this to the Sony A7iii mirrorless full-frame camera using a 7.2V / 2280mAh 16.4Wh Lithium-ion battery. A7iii only shoots 4k at 24/30 fps.
Quote GoPro.com website:
HERO7 Black Heads up: Image Stabilization in high-performance modes draws a lot of power. In cold temperatures, the battery is not able to keep up. Because of this, HyperSmooth and Standard Stabilization are not available in the following high-performance modes when operating in below-freezing temperatures (0°C or lower).
2.7K 4:3 – 60/50
4K 4:3 – 24
If this occurs, the camera will provide messaging indicating that stabilization is not supported.
I understand for some users (especially skiers, snowboarders, and winter sports users) this can be a little CRAZY frustrating. Here are some of my tips to help in utilizing these higher resolution and frame rate recording modes on your Hero7 Black cameras.
- First off and most important cold weather GoPro tip #1 is “keep the camera warm.” Use some of the suggestions had previously stated above.
- Only shoot or record in a 60/50 fps frame rate if you intend on slowing that footage down in the editing process. You don’t want to overwork your camera for footage that you will use an average (24/30fps) speed.
- When not recording or riding the chairlift, or taking a break, keep your camera off and in a breast pocket. Or even better, a pocket that has a hand warmer in it. Don’t think of your GoPro like a dashcam, leaving it on all day (or entire run or 2) without turning off.
- Attach a hand warmer to the back of the GoPro. This is best done using the SuperSuit housing. Hand warmers can get very hot, the direct contact with the back of the screen on your Hero7 black is bad. Do not attach without something in between the warmer and the camera.
Be aware of your surroundings. Filming another skier or snowboarder can make you lose focus on your surroundings. Take the extra time to make sure the run is clear. Just because you are filming your buddy doesn’t mean you throw out general mountain etiquette. unless you are a professional film crew and can have a section of the mountain to yourself. Be smart or you and someone else could get seriously hurt.
Bellow is a hand warmer that I have used both inside my camera bag and in a jacket pocket.