Update: we've tested this out now, so you might want to head straight to our GoPro Volta review rather than reading this news story.
GoPro has launched a new accessory – the GoPro Volta – on the sly, and no one seems to have noticed yet. This little gizmo might be the most useful HERO action cam accessory I've seen. The Volta has multitasking down to a fine art – it looks like a tripod, and it does indeed act as a tripod, but it also includes a battery pack and camera control (which can be used remotely). We're testing one out as we speak, and will get a full review live as soon as possible, but for now, here's what we know…
The GoPro Volta is described as a 'premium battery grip' and it's compatible with the latest flagship GoPro HERO 10 Black as well as its predecessor the HERO 9 Black. The headline feature is the built-in 4900 mAH battery, which promises to triple your HERO's battery life. With it, GoPro says you'll be able to capture 4 hours of footage at 5.3K / 30 frames per second, or even longer at lower resolutions. (The Volta can be used to charge any USB-C-compatible device, which includes any model from the GoPro lineup).
As well as being available to purchase separately, the GoPro Volta is part of the new HERO 10 Black Creator Edition, which also includes the GoPro Light Mod and GoPro Media Mod. As well as the camera itself, of course.
However, I think the most exciting part is the addition of integrated camera buttons, which allow you to control the important bits of your GoPro (power on/off, start/stop capture and switch modes) single-handedly. This is a massive win on the usability front. Trying to hold the camera and press its buttons with the same hand at the same time has led to many a dropped HERO, in my personal experience, and I'd happily opt for a bulkier setup that provides secure grip at the same time as quick controls.
Interestingly, the Volta can also be used as a wireless remote, offering control of the camera from up to 98ft away. GoPro suggests this is useful for group shots and selfies, although you won't be able to use it in conjunction with the tripod if you want to do that… and of course, you could always use the GoPro Quik app on your phone for remote control.
GoPro says the Volta is weather-resistant, and can be used in rain or snow, although no official waterproof rating is stated. It's available to purchase globally for £83.99 / €90.99 / US$90.99 for GoPro subscribers, or £119.99 / €129.99 / US$129.99 for non-subscribers.