Very Long Time-lapses with Larger Intervals
The Labs’ firmware allows for much longer time-lapses, on the internal battery alone, by powering off the camera between photos (sorry no video mode time-lapse.) It also supports intervals beyond 60 seconds. A fully charged HERO8 can take around 400 photos, which you can spread over several hours or several days for long form time-lapse.
Example Time-lapses tested:
- 400+ photos over a 24 hour time-lapse.
- 340+ photos over a 10-day time-lapse.
- 150+ photos over a 40-day time-lapse.
As the camera is off between frames, it is also possible to periodically change the battery for extremely long time-laspes without interrupting the time-lapse in progress. Simply replace the battery, power on the camera, the time-lapse will automatically continue.
HERO12 Users: Due to improved reliability, effeciency and Enduro battery, HERO12 can achieve ~40% greater capture times. A test requesting for 24 hours capture, 3.6 minute interval, a HERO12 captured 627 images over nearly 38 hours.
Number of days
Number of hours
Maximum estimated frames: 0 for 0 seconds of playback at 30fps. Capture time estimate 0 hours with an interval of 0 minutes.
Extra Long Timelapse
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Extending Time-lapse Duration
Simply replacing the battery is the easiest solution for long captures. After the battery is replaced, power on the camera so that the time-lapse can continue. You might want to set and forget for a multi-week or multi-month time-lapse, for this A/C powering the camera via USB is the best. With continuous power supplied, the battery should be removed, and the camera should run for a very long time (only SD card storage limitations.) You might be tempted to use a Lithium Ion USB powerbank, however they typically do not work well (see below for solutions.) They are designed to quickly recharge a smartphone, and when they think power is no longer needed, they shut-off. For this reason they get you far shorter captures than you would expect. If you want to try a USB powerbank, you must remove the GoPro battery for good results. For long captures away from the power grid, the best solution is a small 12V 18+Ah sealed lead acid battery and attached a non-smart (doesn’t shut off) USB regulator. With the right photo interval, this configuration could last a year on a single charge.
Solutions for Using External Lithium Ion USB Batteries
As stated above, most Lithium Ion USB power-banks will shut-off early, even when the camera still needs the power. A select few USB battery sources include an “always on feature” designed for time-lapse projects. Example:voltaicsystems.com/v50 This one can even solar recharge the battery at the same time.
The second option is a USB keep alive device that prevents your USB power bank from shutting down. Examples: from sotabeams.co.uk and from tindie.com
Compatibility: Labs enabled HERO5 Session, HERO7, HERO8, HERO9, HERO10, HERO11, HERO12, MAX and BONES
updated: November 13, 2023
More features for Labs enabled cameras