A Deep-Dive Into GoPro Hero 10 Overheating

If you’ve been around this site long enough, you know I occasionally go down rabbit holes. And by ‘down’, I mean I find myself a rabbit hole – go and acquire a large drilling platform, and go so far down and through that rabbit hole that one might be left asking where the rabbits are.

In this case, after nearly a month of testing the GoPro Hero 10 Black in daily use (actually, two cameras), I posted my full in-depth review, both here on the site, and on YouTube. In general as I’ve said before, for action cams and drones, YouTube is where it’s at these days in terms of where most people look for that kind of content. Nonetheless, I know many athletes use GoPro cameras – so I tend to cover action cam bits here too on the written site.

In any event, after launch, I had seen some reports of overheating on the Hero 10. Of course, overheating of cameras and action cameras is nothing new. Be it past GoPro’s, or even my phone – in the right hot conditions a camera will overheat. Just ask my iPhone how many times this past summer at the beach it overheated and had to be left alone for a bit. But generally speaking, such overheating usually comes from lack of airflow over a device – something that didn’t really impact my GoPro Hero 10 testing.

After all, I mainly test an action camera doing actiony things. Cycling, running, hiking swimming, paragliding, etc…

Still, at the same time, I also use GoPro’s constantly for more static filming, be it attaching to the ceiling above rocker plates to show how movement works, or using it as an alternative angle inside the gondola in the DCR Quarantine Corner series. Part of the appeal of an action camera is the places you can stash it and still get the shot.

But in all my action testing – I saw zero overheating, while others were seeing overheating while sitting at a desk in certain high-end resolutions frame rates as low as 18 minutes. So, I set out to test it.

What I thought would be a simple video ended up turning into a rabbit hole of astronomical proportions. Some 40 tests in all, including dive cases to the bottom of the lake, superheating my bathroom to 104°F, and a never-ending bout of cycling in circles to try and figure out when and where it’ll overheat. Since the point of this project was a video more so than a post, you’ll find all the details above. There’s some pretty interesting surprises in there too! But I figured I’d at least post it here to the site, so folks that aren’t subscribed to the DCRAINMAKER YouTube channel would see it.

Thus go forth and enjoy this rando rabbit hole! Thanks for watching!

Oh, update: Here’s the consolidated sheet from the video with all the actual test data.

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19 Comments

  1. Neil Jones

    I use GoPros in waterproof cases for SCUBA diving. I’d be worried about overheating to this degree, specifically about the effects of the air in the housing expanding sufficiently to distort the case enough to allow water in. In theory, if the case can handle water pressure at depths of up to 60m then it shouldn’t be an issue, but I’d think the case would be designed against a net internal underpressure, not an overpressure which could occur close to the surface.

    • The GoPro scuba case (the one I used in the video) handles up to 60m depths, and based on what I saw in measuring the temps of the units, the Hero 9 and Hero 10 are actually incredibly similar in that regard (e.g. both hitting about 115-120*F on the sides. So my guess is no meaningful difference to what people are seeing in the scuba case today at depth on the Hero 9.

  2. Fred Critch

    Any thoughts on the effects of different memory cards? My occasional experiences with overheating coincide with my using older cards of questionable performance. I’ve wanted to eventually revisit the issue, and test separate types/brands of micro SD cards. I’m often surprised by the heat generated when I simply copy files to a computer.

    • Yeah, I can virtually guarantee you it’s impacted by memory cards. It was just sorta one of those things (along with countless other options/settings) that was going to make me testing overheating a full time job. 🙂

      That said, funny aside that I had in the video but ended up cutting out at the last second – but Insta360 quietly changed their overheating warning about a year ago. This was on the Insta360 One R especially, but it used to overheat relatively easily. They made a firmware improvement to make it slightly more difficult, but as part of that that also changed the wording so no such overheating warning actually ever occurs. Instead, it’ll tell you that the SD cards are too slow.

      I actually did a few tests with this – including putting in high-end brand new cards that the unit otherwise is more than happy to record the highest possible settings on. But around the 30-33 minute marker, as the camera reaches the same top-temps as GoPro, it’ll throw out the fake-SD card too slow message and shut down. Obviously at that point it’s well past buffering the content, and thus there’s definitely not an actual SD card issue. It simply got too hot.

      (It also helps there’s a fair number of folks on Reddit that observed the same too.)

    • Fred Critch

      Your work helps us understand the overheating variables better, giving us all a little more control. Thanks for that. I had similar overheating with the Insta360 ONE X2. While running, I thought I saw an overheating message on at least two occasions, which I chalked up to the hot summer sun. The message was brief, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I saw on the tiny display. Weeks later, I saw a memory-too-slow message, so I switched to a major brand’s V30 card, and my ONE X2 hasn’t stopped since.

  3. The Real Bob

    Don’t have a GoPro, don’t want a GoPro, but this is a really cool experiment and post. I love this type of consumer real world testing.

    Thanks for doing this.

  4. Andrii

    DC Rainmaker: sorry for an off-topic: “Do you have a plan for Supersapiens(supersapiens.com) sensors/energy band review?”

    • Yup! I used it for a month or so this past summer.

      And then any moment now (like, literally, I think it’s coming in the next few hours), the new band will show up and I’ll resume my usage/testing. So my guess is probably a couple weeks out for a final review.

  5. Alex

    There is definitively a big issue with the Hero10 compare to the Hero 8 for example. I went out for a test myself with the exact same settings at 4k60fsWide for a nice MTB ride outside in a nice 28 degree weather here in California, after 32min the Hero 10 shutdown and never came back to life, while the 8 continued for the whole 2 hours ride. I never had one overheating issue with the 8 and I had some 40 degree weather day while filming on the bike for 3-4 hours straight.
    Bottom line GoPro has a deficient product and forgot to do basic testing before rolling out, and they now need to address this issue very quickly. At this point I will return my Hero10 as this is a useless camera if it can not work in basic riding conditions.

    • One thing I’d note is to ensure/know whether or not the Hero 10 actually shut down due to overheating, or for some other factor (whether or not that factor is reasonable is a different question). I’d be heavily surprised if in 28*C weather at 4K60 wide on a bike going somewhere it’d overheat in a mere 30 mins.

      It only flashes the camera too hot message for less than a second, and there’s no way to know otherwise.

  6. Barry

    I have not watched the video yet but will later today, however, the spreadsheet alone tells a very sad story! How could the unit possibly be released with issues like that?

  7. Interesting. I got my Hero10 a couple of days ago. I plugged it into the USB to flash the firmware, and charge the first battery.
    When I came back a couple of hours later this Hero10 was very hot to the touch.
    The screen also displayed a nastygram about not using 3rd party batteries.
    Charging the 2nd GoPro offical battery did not have this heating issue.
    So I thought this was a one time event. I am usually able to find, or create, the other side of 6 Sigma events. 6 Sigma is 99.9999% reliable – also called 6 nines reliable. Which means that there is still a 0.0001% failure. And I am often standing in the middle of those smoking craters. grin

  8. Andrew Ghobrial

    Thanks for doing this. I also noticed the huge increase in recording time when the door is open with the battery is removed (using external power bank).

    I use a power bank anyways because I got my GoPro to record long flights (I fly light airplanes for fun). I always connect the GoPro to a power bank anyways because I typically record longer than the battery life anyways.

    With the battery removed, I was able to record 4k 60 FPS until the SD card was full (about 8 hours), so removing the battery makes a huge difference.

    Would be interesting to see more detailed tests with the battery removed.

    • ArT

      Is recording without a battery from a powerbank hassle-free? I need recordings longer than 10-15 hours

    • Paul Donnell

      I just asked that question in the comments, id be real interested in getting a hero 10 but being put off by all the overheating issues.

      I’m wondering will it record outdoors with the accessory from gopro the pass through door, with the battery removed and using external power on the higher frame rates and resolutions without overheating problems. Id really want or need it to record in 5k 60, 4k 120 until a cards full without overheating.

  9. kevin rehwald

    Ray, Thanks for the video. I (mis)use my go-pros to shoot full baseball games without stopping for upwards of 2-hours. I have no other options as a coach because I can’t fiddle around with a camera or take my phone out in the middle of a game. The remotes disconnect when I get to the dug-out.

    My 9 shuts down at 4K60 if it’s over 80 in the sun. The 10 lasts about 10 minutes. My 5 at 4K30 has never shut down, even when it’s 100. When it’s hot, I just put up two cameras and look like a crazy person. The problem with the 5 is that the footage is just not that great. I use an external battery with every feature disabled and the top of the line, biggest SD cards, wiped and reformatted for every game.

    Do you have any thoughts on the differences between models and do you know if there is any model that will shoot 4K60 that is better at not overheating than the 9 or 10, or is 60fps the real culprit?

    • Yeah, that’s going to be tough. Mainly at 60FPS.

      I’d guess I’d ask how critical the 60FPS piece is, versus 30FPS. While 60FPS would allow you a bit better slow-mo replay than 30FPS, as a baseball fan and GoPro user, you’re likely not really going to get too many scenarios with the non-close-up lens of the GoPro mounted somewhere that would produce a very exciting slow-mo snippet from a post far away.

      Don’t get me wrong, there will probably be the few moments in a season where slowing it down with 60FPS will be handy. But if it were me, I’d just go with a ‘known good’ of 30FPS.

  10. Paul Donnell

    Do you know does the camera still overheat at maximum frame rate/resolution if the battery is removed and using the power through door accessory with an external battery pack. The overheating is putting me off buying one and can’t find an answer to the question. I’d assume a lot of the heat is from the high battery usage so removing the battery should unless I’m wrong should possibly resolve the heating issue.

    I’d really appreciate if you could test even if you don’t want to purchase the accessory door from gopro if you just covered the hole that the door covers and remove the battery and hook up a usb-c to test.