GoPro is announcing a new accessory for its action cameras that’s a jack of all trades — the Volta acts as a grippable handle / tripod, a wired or wireless remote, and has a 4,900mAh battery that the company says can triple your camera’s battery life, providing four hours of record time when paired with a completely charged internal battery if you’re shooting 5.3K footage.
The Volta uses an integrated USB-C cable to plug into and charge your GoPro with the press of a button and has an additional USB-C port for charging up its internal battery. GoPro says the integrated battery can be charged in as little as two and a half hours and that there’s a quick-charge mode that takes it from 0 to 60 percent in an hour.
It’s also got a built-in remote, which lets you start recording or cycle through the camera’s shooting modes — both when your GoPro’s plugged into the Volta as well as wirelessly over Bluetooth. (The Volta’s wireless remote functionality will also work with GoPro’s 360-degree Max camera and older Hero models if you pair it as the company’s standalone remote.) Above the remote are some indicator lights, which show your remaining battery life and indicate whether your camera is in video, photo, or time-lapse mode. GoPro says it should work from around 30 meters away but also that the range “may be affected when recording with higher resolutions and frame rates.”
Given that there are a lot of electronics here, it’s not a surprise that GoPro’s website warns that taking the Volta underwater will damage it and your camera. The company doesn’t have an official water resistance rating, but Volta’s manual calls it “weather resistant” when it’s plugged into the camera — basically, safe for splashes, but not swimming. GoPro also warns that your camera won’t be waterproof when it has the USB-passthrough door that comes with the Volta on and that the Volta itself won’t be water-resistant when you’re using it in wireless remote mode.
The Volta has a mount on the top to attach your GoPro to, as well as a folding one on the side that can be popped out (with a rugged feeling button) and used to mount the Volta to other GoPro accessories like backpacks or bike mounts. A 1/4-20 screw mount on the bottom lets you attach it to traditional filming equipment like a tripod. I suspect most people will want to use the Volta as a self-contained accessory, though — folded up, it can act as a handgrip that you can use to get the camera a bit further away from your body. It’s also got two little legs that pop out to make it a sort of mini-tripod.
The Verge’s video expert Becca Farsace was pretty impressed with the Volta, calling it a “well-designed combination of some popular GoPro accessories.” She also found it pretty easy to imagine a scenario where she could use it: “GoPro recently released the Enduro battery that improved battery life, especially at low temperatures, but there is only so much oomf they could add to a part that physically has to fit into a Hero 10. And even with an Enduro battery, on a recent ski trip, I still found I was needing multiple batteries to get through a day of recording long runs in 4K on the slope.”
The Volta costs $130, and GoPro subscribers get a discount that brings the cost down to around $90. (The subscription itself is $50 a year and includes cloud storage, a $100 discount on a new GoPro, and a few other features.) “To me,” Becca said of the Volta’s price, “that’s a hell of a good deal.” I have to agree — I fully intend to buy one so I don’t have to carry around batteries and a tripod separately to document my hikes and bike rides.