GoPro Forums banner

Bricking all the GoPros

898 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  dakta
I've been making a motion capture system, and recently working on integrating GoPro cameras into the system. I initially purchased 5x Hero8 and 1x Hero10. But a few days later 4 out of 5 of the Hero8 cameras are dead. Used only indoors, very short times, not overheating, using SD cards provided by GoPro. All purchased online, new, direct from official GoPro site.

The first Hero8 that died, I tried the GoPro Labs firmware, decided not to use it, went back to stock firmware, flashed successfully, camera soon after stopped working. Dead. Cannot turn on, or re-flash firmware, or anything.

Second Hero8 to die went with a garbled screen, and afterwards would turn on but no camera image ever again:
Output device Communication Device Gadget Portable communications device Font
Camera lens Point-and-shoot camera Camera Digital camera Reflex camera

Third Hero8 to die would not turn on, just front LED on always. Doesn't matter what recovery tricks I try e.g. remove battery, remove SD, wait, insert USB, reset, etc. as per official recovery steps -- believe me, I tried a lot:
Camera lens Camera Digital camera Camera accessory Flash
Digital camera Camera accessory Communication Device Rectangle Gadget

Fourth Hero8 to die freezes during recording with broken UI image, required forced reset, can never again record without freeze -- second image shows the front, looking good but is frozen:
Hand Camera accessory Cameras & optics Finger Output device
Camera accessory Gadget Cameras & optics Technology Camera

I got a replacement for the first dead camera so far, was replaced with a Hero9. This morning I pressed record on the remaining cameras (1x Hero8, 1x Hero9, 1x Hero10). The Hero9 did this, broken UI overlay and sensor turned off and camera froze:
Mobile phone Communication Device Portable communications device Telephony Gadget

Again, these are not overheating. They are being powered by a USB hub, and sometimes I have the batteries in, and sometimes no batteries in. The recording start is being done via bluetooth connection using the software "Cameras Tools for Heros", the Windows 10 desktop version. It sends configuration and start/stop commands, just like the open-sourced Open GoPro API.

Has anyone seen anything like this before? I'm almost ready to give up on GoPro cameras.



See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Sorry to hear about what seems like a bit of a catastrophic experience!

I only have one gopro and not going to lie, it's a love hate relatinship - as a camera it works and is fine but getting the most out of it has been like trying to negotiate with a teenager.

Have you worked with these cameras yet? looking at the garbled screen and so forth seems like more than just your usual niggles and outright failures, which strikes me as rather anomalous because if this was in any way 'normal' gopro would have sunk by now.

Were they all shipped together? wondering if they've collectively taken a knock?

Must be a common reason for them all to fail - have you just tried taking one out and about for a bit and seeing if it works in a general purpose setting? (might be a bit late now they all seem dead). having one die wouldn't surprise me, having two die would be **** unlucky but in the realms of possible, three is extremely once in a lifetime unlucky and beyond that becomes a case of 'theres a common reason for this, what is it'
See less See more
Yes I agree with your assessment, it seems likely that something I'm doing is causing the problem. All 5x Hero8s came together, but the replacement Hero9 that had started playing up was of course separately shipped. I've only use any of them for very short times in the office, batteries inside, plugged into USB power plugs, or a USB 3 hub, and mounted on tripods for simultaneous recording for motion capture. I never got to the point of using them for motion capture, they died too quickly. I have been controlling then via Bluetooth using the Cameras Tools for Heros software, so they all start/stop recording at the same time. I've only tested it out for very short times and not many recordings. There's nothing else that I've done with these cameras.
It'd be nice if some GoPro engineers saw these posts and gave some feedback, because these problems look a lot like electronic failures rather than something like a firmware bug or whatever. Do GoPro engineers ever comment around these parts?
I don't think so. (not what you want to hear I'm afraid).

I posted about a gremlin the other day and the best answer I got came from the community which was along the lines of 'you would be better posting this as a review on the appstore' (the issue related to issues I had connecting gopro to the app though not necessarily an app issue)

I like the camera for what it is (I've had gremlins, continue to have gremlins but it does 'work') however gopro has, I'm struggling to put this politely - clearly got to the stage where it's marketing departments ability exceeds it's technical ability. It is a few generations away from collapsing under its own gravity - just my opinion

I am not an engineer, I do agree the nature of your failures seem almost mechanical - and whilst I moan about gopro people having issues as serious as yours are rare, so I'm still thinking is there something different about the way you're using them?

Not attributing blame but its just too coincidental even for a gopro
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Sorry but @dakta is right @saul GoPro may monitor but never know. get with support not the answer you want to hear, its better than not getting an answer at all.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks for the replies. It's looking like I must be doing something that doesn't agree with GoPro cameras, which is strange because I didn't do much, but it does mean it looks like I cannot trust a GoPro camera to not die a horrible death if I use them. I'll probably have to move on to different cameras.
Engineers, or at least some rep should monitor these boards given they are official however I don't think I've seen any real enthusiasm or engagement from gopro officially with regards to these forums :(

I'm not familiar with cameras tools for heroes - is this official software? besides a physical shock to the devices this would be the second biggest common factor thats specific to your use case?
The software is not official, but the Bluetooth API that is being used has been officially open-sourced for use with Hero9 and 10 cameras. It's within the realm of possibility that this software is causing trouble, but the developer has looked at this thread and replied to me that he's never had this kind of thing happen -- and it's easy to believe that he's used his software far more than I have in the short time that I have tried it. As for physical shock, that seems unlikely -- I have not caused any physical shock to any of the devices, and they were very well packaged for shipping and the packages were undamaged -- even if the packages had been severely damaged then I'd expect the cameras would have still been fine considering how much packaging was there.
Just pointing out potential avenues, because you are beyond the realms of just unlucky - has to be some common factor.

Even if the underlying sodtwrae routines are concrete I wouldn't trust gopro not to brick itself for fun - though the screen issues on some of your failure items dont fall into the scope of what id consider a firmware crash or glitch they seem almost hardware related.

I don't even want to say it could be a bad batch physically because you bought different models, maybe you got a bad handler when collecting them all and they just happened to get thrown in a crate - I admit this is a bit far fetched!
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.