As everyone knows one of the strengths of GoProor what we can consider as the best and most famous action cam on the market, undoubtedly resides in the quality and quantity of available accessories. From simple supports, to various stands, selfie-sticks, remote controls, cases, up to the most recent Media Mod and Light Mod, able to further expand the possibilities of the action camera in terms of audio and video quality. Of course these are not cheap products but over and over again, after trying low-cost alternatives, I found myself buying the originals for evident superiority from any point of view.
An ecosystem, we could define it this way, which is expanding continuously and that today welcomes a new element within the family: GoPro Volta. It is a handle that is also a tripod, a remote control and an additional battery; all this in a single product that presents itself as a perfect companion to the already known Media Mod, Light Mod and obviously the latest Hero 10 Black that we reviewed last fall. In the next few lines I will tell you how it is assembled, configured and behaved.
THE USUAL, EXCELLENT, QUALITY
As mentioned above, one of the reasons why I always tend to prefer original accessories to match my GoPro is the quality with which these are made. There is very little to say about it, you can look for alternatives of any kind and type but in 90% of cases the original product will be the most satisfactory. This new Volta confirms the rule even if, to tell the truth, there is no real third party alternative.
That said, if any a feature that we cannot in any way criticize is its build quality. The tripod at the base of the solution, which is also the part where the extra battery is contained, is made of metal material, coated with a rubberized paint that significantly increases its grip. The portion that contains the controls is instead made of rigid plastic, while the buttons are coated with rubber and appear very solid. Above the command block we have instead a series of LEDs that indicate the state of the battery charge. In total we have 5 small LEDs, each indicating a charge step of 20% of the total battery.
At the height of the control block, on the left side of the handle, we find a snap button that allows you to open and close the arms to have a second lateral attachment for any additional accessories. Using the same button also unlocks the mechanism that allows you to rotate the upper attachment 90 degrees in 90 degrees to have the USB-C connector of the action cam or Media Mod always within reach of the connection cable that comes out from the right side of the handle.
The latter, about ten centimeters long, is very thick and reinforced at the ends to avoid breakage due to the inevitable stresses due to use. Coiled on itself to stay compact and avoid tangling it is very easy to connect when using the GoPro USB-C while remains a bit tight when connected to the port on the Media Mod.
Under the connection of the cable on the handle we find a watertight rubber door that hides a USB-C useful for recharging the battery that we find inside the Volta. The whole solution is resistant to water and dust but we do not recommend immersion if used with the Media Mod. In this case, in fact, the USB-C on the expansion module does not remain adequately isolated.
Finally, at the base of the handle, which is divided into three parts configuring itself as a small tripod, we find a classic 1 / 4-20 screw connection which allows us to eventually connect other accessories to the base of the grip.
CONNECTION AND FIRST CONFIGURATION
GoPro connection operations are extremely simple and intuitive and differ slightly depending on the configuration used. If you want to use the Volta with the stand-alone GoPro, without Media Mod, the first step is to replace the original battery cover with the one contained in the handle package. The latter has a slightly different shape and, above all, offers the housing for the USB-C connector coming from the grip. Once the door is installed, simply attach the GoPro to the stick and connect the USB cable to it.
If, on the other hand, you are mounting the Media Mod on your GoPro it will not be necessary to replace the door because the same add-on module already offers a USB-C accessible in the back. In this case I advise you to rotate the handle attachment so that the USB-C and the cable coming from the Volta are on the same side.
Whatever configuration you intend to use your GoPro + Volta combination in you must first make sure that you have updated the software to the latest version available, which is also currently the only one that supports the new handle. Once the system has been updated to the latest version available, you can then proceed with the connection and here too we have two modes of use: wired or wireless.
In the first case, the only thing to do to start using the handle is connect the USB-C cable to the GoPro. The second mode, namely the wireless one, instead works via Bluetooth connection and it is therefore necessary to connect the action cam to the Volta passing through the settings. With a swipe down on the main display of the Go-Pro we then enter the dashboard, select the connections option, connect device and in the list that we see we should find the Volta. At this point, just press the Bluetooth button on the handle for 4 seconds to start pairing and connect the devices. As soon as the blue LED stops flashing we can consider the action camera connected.
USE AND AUTONOMY
And here we are to explain for a moment too the operation of this new handle which is actually extremely simple. Once the Volta is connected to the action cam, the first thing to do is press the button that shows the battery icon to “wake up” the grip. Once this is done, we can press the power / mode change button to turn on the GoPro and start using the handle with the controls on the back.
Pressing the power / mode button with the GoPro turned on will change the shooting modegoing from photo to video to timed up to the content gallery. The shutter button then turns recording on and off or allows you to take the photo in dedicated mode. Finally, to turn off the GoPro again just press and hold the power / mode button.
As you can guess, therefore, the use is very simple and intuitive and allows us to simplify some operations that would need to take attention away from the frame and maybe even change the handle. It is therefore a very useful accessory for those who use GoPro for long V-logs or those who often find themselves using the action cam with one hand and need to always have all the controls at their fingertips.
The battery inside the handle then offers a capacity of 4900 mAh which corresponds to the capacity of approximately 3 original GoPro batteries. If the math is not an opinion then the autonomy duration of GoPro bundled with the handle is substantially 4 times that of the GoPro alone, which can obviously vary depending on the selected shooting mode. The autonomy of the Hero 10 Black, considering the recording of a video in 4K at 60 fps, is about 1 hour which therefore becomes more or less 4 if connected to the handle.
Taking such a long shot, unless you are using the time lapse mode, is basically impossible. This because we must always and in any case deal with the problems related to the overheating of the action cam, which leads to a maximum duration of the single clip almost always less than 30 minutes; except, of course, for shooting in the cold and frost, perhaps on skis, when the ambient temperature helps us to cool the hot spirits of the action camera.
Thanks to the built-in tripod and the timed mode and the extreme autonomy provided by the extra battery this GoPro Volta can then be considered as the perfect accessory for making very long timelapses.
And here we are at the final considerations that cannot fail to start by talking about the price of this solution. The Volta handle alone will have a list price of 129.99 euros for GoPro non-subscribers and 90.99 euros for subscribers. In my view it is still an adequate price for an accessory that for some categories of users is really able to change the user experience of the Hero 10 Black, especially as regards the battery life.
In addition to the single purchase sHowever, it will also be available a bundle that includes the Volta, the Light Mod, the Media Mod and the GoPro Hero 10 Black itself. In this case the price will be 618.99 euros for those who subscribe to GoPro and 824.95 euros for those who are not. If we consider that the sum of the prices of individual products without GoPro subscription is 890 euros and that the subscription for one year it is available for 49.90 euros (can be interrupted at any time), the price of the bundle with subscription is undoubtedly interesting because it leads us to save about 220 euros on the separate purchase.