the GoPro Hero 10 Black (opens in a new tab) launched in 2021 and enjoyed a five-star reception – and still tops the charts best action cameras (opens in a new tab) of the 2022 list, and improve the Hero 9 Black (opens in a new tab) with its updated processor, smoother performance and improved connectivity. Now the Hero 9 Black and Hero 10 Black can enjoy a battery boost and easier access to key controls with GoPro’s nifty battery grip, the GoPro Volta.
For those looking to buy a new GoPro, the Creator Edition has also been announced, marrying a Hero 10 Black with a Volta, a Light Mod and a Media Mod. This means that in addition to a battery grip tripod, the Bundle also packs an incredibly bright LED light and improved sound and connectivity – clearly targeting vloggers and YouTubers.
The Creator Edition bundle costs around $580 / £560 with an existing GoPro subscription, or $530 / £510 with a new GoPro subscription. No membership? You’ll pay $785 / £760 – around the same price as buying all the items together.
If you want to pick up the Volta on its own, expect to pay $90 / £84 with a GoPro subscription, or $130 / £120 without a subscription. Given that the Volta doesn’t unlock any new features, is it worth such a huge change, or would you be better off with an old-school, low-cost action camera grip?
We tested the full Creator’s Edition, including the Volta, mods and the Hero 10 Black camera – this is clearly how GoPro sees using the Volta in action.
Starting with the Media Mod, this box that connects to the camera’s USB-C port adds a mini-boom mic and three ports to the Hero 10 Black – a USB-C port, a micro HDMI port, and a microphone jack . It also sports two cold shoe mounts, so works, and wind blocking foam.
Mini and powerful, the GoPro Light Mod shines up to 200 lumens and provides at least an hour of use at maximum brightness. Combined with the GoPro Volta, which acts as a tripod and grip with easier access to controls such as recording and the mode switch, the GoPro bundle compensates for the inherent weaknesses of action cameras – sound recording quality mediocre and poor performance in low light.
At first glance, the GoPro Volta is quite simple – a grip with a few controls on it. It’s weatherproof, but not waterproof, and it also makes your GoPro undunkable if connected via the Volta’s cable.
Open the Volta’s legs and it transforms into a tripod, plug in the USB-C connector and it’s a power bank, and turn it on to enable touchscreen-free control of your action camera and the functionality of wireless remote control. The Volta can even be mounted on a traditional action camera grip or tripod, making it extremely versatile.
Going into a little more detail, you can mount any GoPro (or any action camera) on the Volta, however, it will only charge those with a USB-C port; and only the GoPro Hero 9 and 10 can be controlled by the Volta’s buttons.
The Volta’s short USB-C cable has a tight coil that prevents excess cable from awkwardly getting in the way of the controls. The grip also comes with a replacement battery door for the Hero 9 and 10 that exposes the USB-C port, so it can be charged and used at the same time. As for charging the Volta, there’s a hidden USB-C port that lives under a flap under the coiled cable. Too bad the cable could not be disconnected and replaced with a plug for complete sealing.
The fact that the camera mount swivels is the Volta’s saving grace. The coiled USB-C cable is tricky to plug in and maneuver around, but a twist here and there means that whether you’ve got the Media Mod plugged in or just the GoPro, it’s a working system.
One of the handiest features of the Volta is the fact that its remote capability is both wired and wireless (up to 98 feet). Of course, if you’ve ever used a GoPro, you’ll know that your smartphone or tablet can double as a wireless remote, but the Volta is much sturdier and less complicated than an expensive glass-and-metal touchscreen phone.
There are buttons on the side of the Volta: Bluetooth pairing, battery status, recording and mode/power. These don’t give you granular control over your camera, but cover the basics. The Volta will also cold start your GoPro, and a strip of LED lights indicates the grip’s battery status as well as what mode your camera is in, making remote shooting less of a game of riddles.
With a 4,600mAh battery, the Volta packs approximately 2.7 times the capacity of a standard Hero 10 battery. This translates to 200% more battery life with the handle compared to without the handle, which is significant.
GoPro Volta: Verdict
If you have a GoPro, use a grip, always carry extra batteries, and like to use your smartphone to control your camera remotely, the Volta might be the streamliner you need to simplify your action camera kit bag. Standalone, it feels pricey, but it’s fully featured and, despite some issues with firmware upgrades, works well on the go – although we found the cable fiddly and wished it was waterproof.
Anyone looking for a new action camera setup, the Creator Edition is also a logical option. A bit set, it matches GoPro’s super stable Hero 10 Black with enhanced sound recording via the Media Mod and a powerful LED Light Mod. Combined with the Volta’s tripod/handle/remote shutter/battery multifunction, the action camera is quickly elevated to a versatile miniature videographer.
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