Yes, you can record 5k footage on the new GoPro Hero 9, right? Yeah, but how much of it can you record? Yes, that’s the Million Dollar question!
At 5k settings, a minute of video will cost you roughly 750 MB of storage capacity. This means we have to think long and hard about our storage options. To put matters into perspective, when you scale the setting down to 4k, 128GB storage will get you a recording time of about 8 hours.
But when you think about it, it’s recommended not to use an SD card that’s more than 256 GB on the GoPro, so a total of 16 hours of footage.
In this article, we aim to answer your questions regarding the storage on the GoPro, not about the Hero 9 waterproof without case, so let’s get into it!
Storage Capacity: The Basics
Imagine it like this: you are filling a bucket of 10L capacity with water, but there’s also the issue of weight; the bucket can only hold 10kgs of weight, so if you try to fill the bucket with a denser liquid than water, it’ll not be able to hold 10L of it but less.
Similarly, in camera storage capacity, with videos, some formats are denser than others, whiach means at the same 4k settings with a lesser bitrate, if you’re able to hold 8 hours of footage then at a higher bitrate, you might only be able to hold just 2-3 hours of footage, that’s how much of a difference the bitrate and the video format can create. The same is the case with photos; some photos take less space, others may take more space, and it entirely depends upon the format of the picture taken.
So, you need to decide what storage you will go with when you buy a GoPro, and it will depend entirely upon your needs.
Factors Influencing Storage Capacity
Storage capacity is not a result of just video recording; there are other factors involved as well, such as:
- Battery: The battery life of a GoPro 9 is about 90 to 100 minutes, which is enough for vlogging and other casual to professional use, but this means it needs storage that can store that 100 hours. This brings us to,
- SD Card: Your choice of SD card will have a huge impact; we’re not taking capacity here; we’re taking a look at the transfer rate if the SD card can match the transfer rate of the GoPro, which most SD cards on the market do, your 90-minute problem is solved here.
- Heat: Yes, the continuous recording might be strenuous on the device, resulting in overheating, and when this happens, the GoPro sometimes automatically shuts down or reboots to avoid damage to internal parts. This issue has been fixed in the latest models; the GoPro Hero 9 is waterproof without the case, so toss it into a bucket of ice-cold water if it overheats.
- Video Settings: The resolution, the bitrate, the fps, all of these play an important role in deciding how much footage you can record with the GoPro; lighter settings get you more recording time and vice versa.
How to Increase the Recording Time? (Expert Tips)
The simplest solution is to scale down the video settings. 4k 30fps is good enough for both YouTube and social media, and if you think about it, most people watch the scaled-down version like 720p for better buffering and smooth video; you also have to consider the display you’ll be using for playback. If the television is not 4k, there’s absolutely no point in recording 4k.
Keep deleting, yes, the older footage, transfer it, delete it, and record new! It stings when you have a beautiful moment you wish to record, but you can’t cause you still have your friend’s pool party video on it, and you can’t delete it either.
And lastly, carry more SD cards, at least more than 1, cause we recommend not using SD cards more than 256GB, so carry more SD cards with you on vacation trips and empty one while you use the other.
So, in brief, delete old footage, use lower settings when you can, carry more SD cards, and 1080p at 60 fps gets you more than 10 hours of footage on a 256GB SD card. Do think about that.
Overall, we discussed the storage capacity, the video settings, the factors influencing the storage capacity, and things to improvise upon and get more recording time. So now we come down to the big question: How long will a 128 GB SD card last on the GoPro 9? The short answer is quite a while!
The more detailed version of this answer would be as long as you can make it last, using conservative video settings, timely deletion of old footage, etc. You can use your GoPro with a 128 GB SD card for many years to come; otherwise, after a point, even a 1 TB SD card will start to feel inadequate. So manage your storage well, plan, and you’ll be the ultimate king of storage spaces!
It’s a beautiful world out there, so make sure you not just capture it but also live the moment!