INTRO: Your fancy GoPro action camera is probably lying around in a corner at home, as the coronavirus pandemic has made us all stay indoors to contain the spread. While brands like Canon and Panasonic have released software that lets you use your camera as a webcam, GoPro is finally following the suit.
Thanks to GoPro’s Webcam desktop utility software, you can now use your GoPro Hero 8 Black as a webcam with no third-party accessories. The software is available only on macOS now. However, the company promises that a Windows version is on its way.
To get started, you will need a GoPro Hero 8 Black (obviously), a USB-C cable, a PC, and a GoPro mount. The first step involves mounting the camera to your PC. While it should work with any compatible mounts, GoPro recommends Jaws Flex Clamp, Magnetic Swivel Clip, Suction Cup, and Gooseneck.
Once you’re done mounting the camera, you’ll have to install the beta firmware for Hero 8 Black. You can grab a copy of the firmware right here. Now, you should install and launch the GoPro Webcam desktop utility, which you can download from here. You’ll now see a GoPro icon in the status bar.
To proceed further, you’ll have to connect your camera to the PC with the help of a USB cable. For best results, the company recommends connecting to a USB 3.0 port, if your system has one.
When you successfully connect the camera, you will see a blue dot in the status bar. You can now preview the camera output by clicking on the ‘Show Preview’ option. The company lets you choose between “Mirror” and “Flip” as your preferred view.
In case you’re wondering, the software defaults the video output quality to 1080p at 30 frames per second. However, there’s an option to switch to 720p at 30 frames per second if you have bandwidth limitations.
The webcam desktop utility supports Zoom (v 5.0.5 and newer), Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Twitch via OBS, BlueJeans, GoTo Meeting, Snap Camera, and Facebook Rooms. Moreover, you can use the camera with Zoom, YouTube Live, and Webex through the Google Chrome browser.
You can also technically use your GoPro HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO4 Black as webcams. However, that requires at least one third party accessory and it won’t work with this method.