FAQs: SD HERO Cameras

If you own a HERO Wide or SD 170, one of our classic SD video cameras, find your answers below. If you don't find an answer here, contact Support.



  • What type of batteries does the camera use?

    • The camera runs on 2 AAA batteries. We highly suggest using ENERGIZER LITHIUM or ENERGIZER Rechargeable NiMH (900 or higher mAh) batteries to get the best performance.
  • How long will the batteries last?

    • You will get 2 hours of recording time (photos or automatic photo mode) in mild and warmer temperatures with LITHIUM or Rechargeable NiMH battery types. Alkaline are not recommended for extended use in GoPro cameras as their battery life is very short and they suffer voltage drop (failure) from vibration.
    • IN COLD WEATHER use LITHIUM batteries to maximize recording time…they do not lose voltage as quickly as the other battery types. In 15 degree Fahrenheit temps you can expect 1 hour of recording time...so half the normal amount of recording time.
  • Does the camera have built-in memory?

    • Yes, there is 16MB internal memory…good for about 25 photos or a short video. YOU WILL WANT TO GET A MEMORY CARD.
  • What size and type of memory card does the camera take?

    • You can add up to a 2GB standard SD memory card. There is no benefit to running a high speed card.
  • How much recording time do you get with a 2GB card?

    • With 2GB you can record up to 56 minutes of continuous video or take over 3000+ photos.
  • What is the picture resolution?

    • The camera takes 3 mega-pixel digital photos. There is also a mode that shoots a photo every 5 seconds automatically for 2 hours when using Lithium or NiMH batteries (see above).
  • What is the video resolution?

    • Video is recorded at 512x384 at 30 frames per second.
  • What is the video format?

    • The camera records in motion-jpeg AVI format.
  • Is there sound?

    • Yes, there is sound. The camera has ‘HI’ and ‘LO’ sound settings. LO was designed for motorsports or other loud external noise environments.
  • Is there zoom?

    • The GoPro HERO cameras do not have zoom.
  • How is the maximum depth you can take the HERO cameras?

    • You can take the HERO cameras in the waterproof housing to 100 feet.
    • Both the Wrist HERO Housing and Quick Release Housing go to 100 feet.
  • Is the camera compatible with Windows and Mac?

    • YES, the cameras are compatible with Windows AND Mac. You can use with Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS 9.1 or later.


Troubleshooting Tips


  • The camera will not turn on…

    • Make sure the batteries are inserted into the camera correctly.
    • If you are using alkaline batteries, please try some Lithium or fully charged rechargeable NiMH batteries to see if you get better results.
    • Try to power up without a memory card. Might need to remove the batteries and card, then reinsert batteries and try to power up.
    • No luck? Please make a support page form with details and we are more than happy to assist!
  • The camera will not work with a memory card…

    • Make sure you are using a standard SD memory card. 2GB or smaller.
    • Check the memory card to make sure it is not locked.
    • Make sure the card is not full.
    • Check the memory card format if used in another device. Should be set to ‘FAT’ format.
    • If you have one, try another memory card to see if the card is the problem.
    • No luck? Please visit the support page with details and we are more than happy to assist!
  • There is NO SOUND when I playback the video…

    • Well, do not be fooled…there should be sound.
    • Are you using Windows Vista? Please contact us for a quick solution.
    • Not using Vista, you should also visit the support page for help.
  • The batteries do not last very long…

    • The problem could be related to the batteries, especially if using alkaline. Lithium batteries give us the best results and longest battery life. Rechargeable NiMH are good too and reusable which is nice.
    • Is it cold out? Battery life can definitely be affected by the cold! Lithium definitely last the longest in the cold. Rechargeable NiMH batteries are slightly better than alkaline which expire very quickly in the cold.
    • If the problem persists, please visit the support page.
  • The computer won’t recognize the camera when I plug it in?

    • Try plugging the cable into the camera and computer with camera off.
    • Make sure the USB cable connection is good on both ends.
    • Then power up the camera and the computer should recognize the device.
    • At this point best thing to do is visit the support page for help.

Need to do more troubleshooting?

Contact us with your questions via the form at the bottom of our Support Page, and we'll respond to you ASAP.