How to Use HERO8 Black as a Webcam
These days, everyone has different video conferencing needs. Now that HERO8 Black works as a high-definition webcam, users can easily share wide-angle perspectives that better demonstrate their craft—from homeschooling and art teachers to chefs and aspiring chefs to fitness instructors—to their viewers. And, those simply looking for a high-performance webcam will appreciate HERO8 Black’s ability to capture themselves and their environment in a more flattering manner than traditional webcams allow.
All you need for HERO8 Black to work as a durable, mountable, ultra-high-quality webcam is a beta camera firmware update, the new desktop utility and a USB-C cord—no third-party accessories required. The GoPro Webcam desktop utility is currently available for Mac OS users with support for Windows in development.
Click here for an in-depth step-by-step guide to set up HERO8 Black as a webcam, but here is a quick rundown of what to expect as you set up the GoPro Webcam:
Step 1: Get the Gear
1. HERO8 Black
2. A USB-C cable (the one that came with your GoPro, for example)
3. Your computer
4. A GoPro mounting option, which leads us to Step 2
PRO TIP: For the initial setup, you’ll also need a microSD card + card reader to update your HERO8 Black. And, don’t forget a dongle if your computer doesn’t have a built-in USB port.
Step 2: Set Up the Point of View
GoPro Webcam is compatible with all existing GoPro mounts, so you can get creative with points of view. Yes, you can achieve a standard webcam view by using the Magnetic Swivel Clip to attach the GoPro to your monitor or set up a Shorty tripod on your desk. But this is a GoPro, so use it like a GoPro! Get creative, have fun and try something new. Some of our favorites are:
1. Jaws Flex Clamp – This bendable, clampable mount can provide an over-the-shoulder view if you’re doing a training where it’s helpful to see your screen.
2. Magnetic Swivel Clip – The magnet part of this mount is clutch for getting creative. Want to go live from under the hood of your car? Or chat with the fam while cooking? This magnetic will securely attach to your range hood, and any metal surface for that matter.
3. Suction Cup – Much like the first two, the GoPro Suction Cup can stick to a surface like a window or shelving unit to provide a webcam POV unlike any other.
4. Gooseneck – Combine the Gooseneck with any of the aforementioned mounts (or any GoPro mount with a quick release base) and, voila, you have an extra-long, extra-bendy extension arm to loop and wiggle into any position. No hard-to-reach place will go unseen!
Step 3: Update Your HERO8 Black
1. Install the beta firmware for HERO8 Black, available here.
Step 4: Install and Launch the GoPro Webcam Desktop Utility
1. Download the GoPro Webcam desktop utility software to your computer, available here.
2. A GoPro icon will now appear in your status bar.
Step 5: Connect Your GoPro
1. Connect your GoPro to your computer via the USB-C cable.
2. The GoPro icon in the status bar will show a blue dot once HERO8 Black is connected and powered on, a which point it will default to Webcam Mode.
PRO TIP: If your GoPro is connected to a USB port that outputs >500mA current, the computer will power the camera functionality without using your battery.
Step 6: Select GoPro as Your Preferred Camera to Go Live
You can preview your GoPro webcam by clicking the GoPro icon and selecting “Show Preview” in the drop down. You have the option to “Mirror” or “Flip” your view, and everything will be crystal-clear as the GoPro Webcam desktop utility defaults to 1080p30, with the option to switch to 720p30.
1. Once you’re connected and the blue dot is showing on your GoPro icon, navigate to the chosen video conferencing platform and select GoPro as your preferred camera.
2. Join the call and the GoPro icon will show a red dot once you’re live.
Compatible video conferencing platforms currently include:
- Zoom (v 5.0.5 and newer)
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Twitch via OBS
- GoTo Meeting
- Snap Camera
- Facebook Rooms
The following are also compatible when accessed via a Google Chrome browser:
- YouTube Live
PRO TIP: To ensure Chrome recognizes GoPro Webcam as an option, click the Chrome’s menu button (top-right corner) then navigate to Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings > Camera to approve GoPro as a camera input source.
If you’re working with a GoPro that precedes HERO8 Black—HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black or HERO4 Black—the following steps are for you. The most important thing to note is that turning these GoPro cameras into a webcam requires at least one third party accessory—see our suggestions in the PRO TIP below.
Step 1: Get the Gear
1. GoPro with a Micro HDMI port for HDMI output
2. HDMI-to-Micro HDMI Cable
3. HDMI-to-USB video converter
This dongle essential because it acts as a converter to change the HDMI input into a webcam signal.
4. USB charging cord + power source
5. A GoPro mounting option
Step 2: Establish the Streaming Tool
You can dial your GoPro in as a webcam on any video conferencing tool that allows you to select which camera you are streaming from. This includes Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meetings, OBS and Wirecast.
Step 3: Set Up Your GoPro as a Webcam
- Turn GoPro camera on
- Swipe down and select “Preferences”
- Scroll down and select “Input/Output”
- Select “HDMI Output” and change to “Live”
- Mount your GoPro (see above for recommended mounts)
- Open GoPro side door and insert micro-HDMI into the port
- Plug HDMI side into the video capture device
- Attach HDMI-to-USB converter and insert into your computer
- Connect GoPro to a power source
OPTION 1: Setup video conferencing software:
- Skype: Navigate to Settings > Audio + Video > Camera.
- Webex: Select Video Icon > Video Connection > click drop down + select your camera
- Zoom: Select arrow next to Start/Stop Video > Video Settings > Change your camera
- If more than two cameras are available in the Zoom Room, you can dynamically choose which one is active by selecting it from a list when you tap “Switch Camera.”
OPTION 2: Setup OBS or similar:
- Open Streamlabs OBS or other OBS and follow the workflow for adding a video source.
- With OBS, you click the “+” in the video source menu
- Select Video Capture Device
- Create “New” and name your video source
- Select your hardware in the dropdown menu (i.e. Cam Link 4k) then click “OK”
- The GoPro-turned-webcam will now show up on the display
PRO TIP: GoPro streams up to 1080p 60fps via an HDMI output, but most streaming services max out at 1080p30. Still, to ensure high quality and a crisp stream, make sure you have good lighting.
Step 4: You are now ready to use your GoPro Webcam.
As a reminder, the best GoPro cameras to use as a webcam are those with a micro-HDMI port. GoPro cameras without HDMI outputs (like the 360 cameras MAX and Fusion or the ultra-tiny Session cameras) will not work as a webcam.
The full list of webcam-enabled GoPros include:
- Twitch (most recently)
- Facebook profiles
- Facebook pages.
Via RTMP, users can live stream to:
Compatible platforms in the U.S. include:
- Workplace by Facebook
- Facebook Group(s)
Compatible platforms in China include:
If you’re looking to learn more about an action camera for live streaming, check out this step-by-step tutorial on setting up a live stream with a GoPro.