Action Camera Batteries Guide SJCAM EKEN GIitup mijia 4k batteries

Action Camera Battery Guide

Anyone who owns an action camera would definitely notice that it flattens out pretty quickly and can be accelerated if you keep it switched on throughout the day.

Let’s just say you are using it at the most ‘battery efficient’ manner (we’ll discuss on that below). Most action cams would still last only for about 120 mins maximum, solely on recording. Even the best action cameras last for about 3 hours.

For the average person, that’s definitely not going to be enough. That’s why many have opt to purchase extra batteries and switch them on the go.

That’s why today, we are going to cover some of the battery saving tips that I personally use and also recommend some good batteries I know of, for your action cam.

Tips to Prolong Battery Duration and Improve Life

1. Firmware Updates

action camera firmware update

Although this can be troublesome at time, it is the most effective a lot of the times.

The results can be seen immediately after you update especially if you have never updated before, or have not updated for some time.

The update removes software ‘bugs’ which drain the battery, so your camera will be more efficient, resulting in longer battery life. Sometimes it is possible that it also brings in additional features and a new interface.

More information on firmware update here! (SJCAM, Eken, Gitup, Thieye, MiJia, Yi 2, Yi)

2. Choosing the Right Settings

There are many settings and customization you can change to lower the battery consumption.

Note that some may and may not apply to you.

Some examples would be:

  • Switch off or lower beep volume
  • Lower LCD brightness
  • Turn off LED light indicators
  • Decrease duration for auto power off (2 mins) and screen lock (30sec)
  • Disable any screensaver
  • Switch Off Wi-Fi
  • Disable remote (Bluetooth)

3. Lower Your Shooting Resolution

different kinds of resolution

The rule for resolution is quite simple. The higher the resolution, the faster the battery depletes. However, too low of a resolution and the video might appear blurry.

Thus, I feel the best resolution to be shooting at would be 1080p as most social media (Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, etc) support it and it’s good enough for most of the displays we have.

4. Remove The Battery From The Camera When Not In Use For A Long Time

sj4000 battery guide

Most of us do not use it on a day to day basis. Hence, when not in use, remove them from your camera and store them in a cool and dry place.

This is a general tip for any electronic device you own, and thus applies the same for action cams.

Over a period of time, if the battery remains in the camera, it’ll still use a bit of power which slowly drains the battery, resulting in a complete discharge. This is not healthy for the battery and it can also result in leakage, which completely kills the battery.

5. Keep It At Room Temperature

action camera battery guide - keep at room temperature

The best temperature to use your batteries in would be room temperature.

Try not to expose it to cold weather or very warm weather for too long as that will hurt your battery in the long run.

6. Keep Remote Features To A Low

Save Battery By Disabling wireless connectivity

Most action cams have wireless capability (smartphone, Bluetooth remote), which of course makes navigation more convenient but at the same time, can reduce battery life.

Hence, whenever you do not need it, be sure to switch it off as it really consumes way more power than if it were switched off.

My Recommendations For Extra Batteries

action camera battery sj400 sjcam mijia xiaom mgcool explorer pro

What batteries should you get?

I’d personally recommend getting batteries that are produced from the original brands as they are your best bets and also it doesn’t cost a lot more, compared to 3rd parties ones.

To avoid you falling and ending up with bad batteries which could potentially ruin your entire trip, here are some recommendations I know that work well with action cams.

Battery Models

PG1050 (Most Used Battery in Action Cams)

pg1050 battery

A lot of action cameras such as the Eken H9MGCOOL Explorer Pro, SJCAM, MGCOOL,  AKASO, Gitup, Hawkeye, etc use the PG1050.

There are as far as I know, 3 variations in battery capacity, 900mAh, 1050mAh and 1150mAh (only 3rd parties ).

pg1050 action camera battery

They also do vary in size, but generally, the size difference would be negligible as they would still be able to fit in interchangeably, although some are tighter and looser than others. However, if you can, choose ones that dimensions are the closest to the battery you are using now.

Best Buy:


Xiaomi MiJia (1450mAh)

Mijia 4K Action Camera Additional Battery

Best Buy:

Sony AZ16-1 (Yi Lite/ Yi 4K/ Yi 4K+)

yi 4k lite 4k+ battery

Best Buy:

Thieye (T5/T5e/V5s/V6 4K/i60/i60e)

There are a few outlets that sells Thieye batteries but after looking for a while, I found Gearbest to sell the cheapest batteries, but most of them are running out soon!thieye battery capacity difference

Note that the 1100mAh battery is used for the Thieye T5/T5e, the 1180mAh battery is used for the Thieye V5s/V6 4K, while the 1050mAh is used for the Thieye i60/i60e.

Best Buy:

That’s all for this quick action cams battery guide!

I hope you’ve learnt a thing or two!

If you have any questions or want me to verify any certain brand of batteries, feel free to leave a comment down below!

If not, thanks for reading and have a great day ahead! 🙂


15 Responses

  1. Hi there

    I was just wondering if you can tell me which action camera actually runs the longest?

    You know, video quality is important but I feel like they all getting really close to each other – especially the cheaper ones. GoPro is still a GoPro but sometimes it might be better to have a action that runs for long.

    Can you name a few with relatively long runtimes?

    Thanks mate, appreciate it 🙂

    1. I actually feel there aren’t actually many action cams with ‘long’ battery times yet at the same time film good quality videos, that’s why many opt to just bring spare batteries instead.

      To name a few that I know which has good battery life: Muvi K2 and Drift Ghost S. However, just a heads up here, there isn’t much reason to buy them other than their battery life.

      My take on this is if you want longer battery life, purchase some additional batteries which you can easily swap out, rather than buying an action cam with a ‘good’ battery, because it compromises other features most of the times.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

      1. “Hope this helps. ????”
        No, it doesn’t. Not at all.
        Problems with batteries are not that they cannot be CHANGED, but that they cannot be ACCESSED.
        Classical examples are action cameras mounted on airplanes/paragliders or similar.

  2. When it comes to battery lifespan, I also notice a big difference in how long it lasts in cold temperature compared to warm temperature. Taking it out when not using it really helps also. It’s a little frustrating when I forget to take it out, go to record and the battery is dead! lol. Do you keep spare batteries or using one with these methods is sufficient?

    1. Hi Marlinda! Similar to you, I also noticed how fast the battery can deplete in cold temperature!

      As the methods above help up to a certain extent I’d usually bring some spare batteries in case, just to be on the safe side.

  3. For quite some time I have wanted to purchase an action camera but gopros are so expensive so I have looked at other brands and I am trying to find the best budget action camera.

    I came across your site during my many searches and found this post to be very informative and when I do purchase a camera I will be prepared for making the battery last longer…

    I am definitely going to check out your post “Top 4k action cams below $200” and see if I can’t find the best action camera for me.

    But in the meanwhile which action camera do you think provide great quality footage and still remains affordable?

    Great post, thank you for the valuable information!

    1. Hi Salvatore, glad you are finding the site useful!

      For an action cam that has great quality footage that remains affordable (which I’m assuming would be lower than $200) I think your best bet would be the Yi 4K

      However, if your budget is below a 100, I’d really recommend the Mijia 4K, which has crazy value for it’s price and I have done a whole review on it here, if you’re interested!

      Oh, and if you’re thinking of getting an action cam, now’s probably the best time to do so because there are really awesome black friday offers. Check out my black friday action cam sales guide here!

  4. Very interesting article! I especially enjoyed the tips you provided for prolonging the battery life for these action cameras. As careful as I am, I continually find myself in a low battery situation. Which is why the number one suggestion is to have spares! I carry about 3 extras in my camera case. It allows me to quickly get back in the action.

    I particularly learned that I should purchase only the brand name batteries for my device. Is that because other companies make inferior batteries than the original manufacturer? I only use the brand name batteries for most of my devices, but I am just curious.

    Thanks for providing this informative article.


    1. Hi Kevin, you’re right that you should only purchase batteries from the original brand of your action cam or another reputable third party brand because if not, you might end up with one that’s way lower than the original battery capacity (therefore shorter battery life) or worse still, might not even work. Therefore, I feel you should invest a little more on original, reputable sources of batteries, rather than trying to save a couple of bucks, risking the chance of getting bad batteries.

  5. Excellent article. I have recently purchased the MGCool Explorer 3. I wanted to know which would be the best fit spare battery to buy for this camera, since the original comes with only one battery.

  6. My friend, can you tell me which battery is compatible with YI DISCOVERY? the ali express sellers do not know how to inform :). I want to buy to resell in Brazil but not knowing which model is impossible! I was told that the PG900 from SJ4000 would be compatible, but I do not know if it’s true!

  7. I’m in the market for an action cam, but want to make sure it’s got a long battery life. Is it possible to plug in an external USB battery pack and have it run on that while its recording? USB batteries are available at 10,000 mAh or more.

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