GoPro USB Warning

Here’s an important warning for GoPro camera owners who use them on their DJI drones. Don’t upgrade to the latest version of the firmware because it will prevent you using the USB port on the camera for your first person view (FPV feed).

What’s worse is that GoPro are warning that if you try to revert to an earlier version of the firmware your camera won’t work any more. As the owner of a DJI F550 with an H3-3D gimbal this is all very worrying.

USB and HDMI ports on a GoPro.

The USB and HDMI ports on a GoPro.

Heliguy were alerted to the problem by Simon Newton at “On The Kitchen Table” video blog. One of his viewers had emailed GoPro Support and had been told the bad news.

GoPro told him “To enable users to have FPV they will have to use the HDMI port of the camera and the compatible transmitter. We do apologise for the inconvenience.”

I rang the UK support number and they confirmed the news, saying that the USB port was still useable for connection to a computer and that the HDMI port was still available for combined video and audio output.

DJI Phantom 2

A DJI Phantom 2 with a GoPro

They also confirmed the second part of the viewer’s e-mail which said: “The camera software is not designed to be downgraded. Putting an earlier camera software version on the camera will break it, making it inoperable. As such we do not support downgrading your software to an earlier version. Breaking your camera by downgrading the camera software is not something that is covered under our manufacturer’s warranty.”

The suggested work around that was offered only appears to work in some cases and it’s not really a very convenient option. They suggest putting your camera into record before you connect the USB.

Heliguy’s technicians say another way to make the FPV work might be to connect the HDMI to the analogue FPV transmitter via a digital to analogue converter. Now that may be OK with larger rigs and gimbals but the heavier HDMI cable and the lack of space for a converter would be unlikely to work with the H3-3D/2D gimbals or the Phantoms.

If you haven’t upgraded the firmware, the good news appears to be that you won’t miss out on any extra benefits by sticking with the current version.

We’ll let you know if we get any updates. In the meantime tell us if you’ve been affected by this problem or, better still, tell us how you’ve got around it.

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