Cheaper Than Go Pro Spare Batteries and They Do The Job Just Fine…
For those of you that own a Go Pro HD Hero 3 or for those of you that have read countless reviews and forums grumbles, you may be aware that the battery life of the Go Pro HD Hero 3 is not that great.
A superb camera but one that can run out of steam all too quickly.
One workaround I have found and used on many occasions, is the Anker range of power packs that work a treat with the Go Pro cameras. These simply plug into the Go Pro using the USB port whilst it is running and will charge the battery during use and filming.
I used this set up at a recent wedding and was approached by another Go Pro fan who asked how I kept it running all day with just one battery. One caveat here, you will need to operate the Go Pro 3 either “bare” or with the Frame accessory as the case that comes with the Go Pro 3 is sealed with no holes for cables etc.
I used the frame.
To record the first dance at the wedding, I attached the Go Pro 3 to a suction mount and stuck it to the glass of a framed picture on the wall…it held fast. The Anker power packs come with a handy tie bag which I attached to the suction mount and the whole thing stuck for as long as I wanted it too.
The only problem is that it is hardly “concealed”!
The other alternative is to either buy the official Go Pro battery pack (£49.99), official extra batteries from Go Pro (£19.99 each) or do what I did and buy the third party batteries from Wasabi.
For just £29.99 you get two batteries, a wall charger and a car charger (via the cigarette lighter).
That represents way better value for money and means when you go away on holiday for example, you can have the original battery, two spares and two ways to charge the other batteries when the other is being used. Add an Anker battery pack into the mix and you have nothing to complain about.
…well, except that Go Pro should be producing way better batteries themselves by now…
All in all, I try not to grumble as no matter what, the camera is still awesome and can get some great footage!
How Long Do These Wasabi Batteries Last?
Whilst writing this review I set the camera, complete with one of the Wasabi batteries installed, to film continuously at 720p 100 frames per second (no Wi-Fi). I figured that a fast frame rate would use up more power and give a good indication of running times.
Now, the original Go Pro battery filming at 1080p 60fps ran for just 1hr 9mins but the Wasabi battery ran the Go Pro 3 at 720p/100fps for a total of 1hr 39mins…much better result. I am now going to run the second battery at 1080p 60fps to make a fairer comparison…
First attempt, camera stopped recording after 39 minutes even with plenty of power left in the battery!?!? Second attempt, 58 minutes from a fully charged Wasabi battery.
I am hoping that after a few charges this will improve but bear in mind that this is filming HD 1080p at 60 frames per second so for such a small camera and battery, not bad.
Third attempt, 720p at 60fps – Only recorded 26 minutes even though the display showed more than an hour of recording on the screen when I last looked!?!?!?
Last attempt, 1080p at 30fps – 1hr 45mins.
Clearly, by using a slower frame rate and smaller resolution, you can extend the running time quite a bit. The only worrying thing is that sometimes the camera will say it has recorded well over an hour but you only get less than half of that as actual recordings.
Bug alert? Still, I think having these extra batteries is a must and to be honest, I very rarely film for more than half an hour at a time anyway.
I think I will try a long time lapse next…results to follow to see if it runs for more than an hour.
Results: 1hr 54mins at 4000x3000px, wide view, one shot every 5 seconds = 1393 photos.
Bear in mind that if you live in the UK, the wall charger is made for the US electrical system but also comes with a European adaptor…still no good for the UK so you will need another EU-UK or US-UK adaptor.
It is also worth mentioning that once the Wasabi batteries have been exhausted and charged a few times, the running times should improve further.
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