GoPro is a multi-functional action camera. Other than amazing picture/video quality and Live Streaming, it acts as a versatile wireless webcam as well. Yes, you can easily convert your GoPro into a webcam. Isn’t that wonderful? GoPros are known to have a solid exterior and are very handy when it comes to capturing wide angle shots in varied situations.

Ever wondered how you can convert your GoPro into a webcam. Well! This article will take you through all the steps and equipment you need to setup your GoPro as a Webcam. Now, filming anything and everything from your own POV is just a couple of steps away. Read on to know more…

 

Components for GoPro Webcam Setup


Any GoPro cam with a micro HDMI output port can be used to setup as a webcam. The following table enlists the models that can or can not work as a webcam.

GoPro Models that will work as a WebcamGoPro Models that won't work as a Webcam
Hero 8 BlackAll GoPro session cameras
Hero 7 BlackHero (2014), Hero+LCD, Hero+
Hero 6 BlackHero7 Silver
Hero 5 BlackHero 7 White
Hero (2018)Fusion and MAX 360
Hero 4 Black
Hero 4 Silver
Hero3 and Hero3+

The list below specifies the first step to setup GoPro as a Webcam, collect all the gears needed.

  1. A high speed micro HDMI to HDMI cable – This cable allows the camera to connect with the different sized connector.
  2. An HDMI-to-USB video converter – This converts the HDMI output (from the camera) into a usable webcam input. The Magewell or Elgato Cam Link 4K are the most popular for this application.
  3. USB Cable for power – The one which comes with your GoPro will work just fine. For extending the battery life, you will need this to direct power your cam.
  4. Tripod (or other mount) – This will ensure that your camera is rightly positioned to give the best possible view.

 

GoPro Webcam Settings / Streaming Tools


Choose the streaming tool you want to work with. There are various options like Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meetings, OBS and Wirecast.

  • Streamlabs OBS – This software is free and will connect your camera to your computer.
  • Elgato Cam Link – Your computer will probably auto identify the new piece of hardware and install what it needs to make the dongle work.

After you have adjusted the position of your cam using mounts and clamps as per your need and chosen the streaming tool. You are all ready to setup your camera now.

 

GoPro Webcam Setup


This step will guide you with all possible settings you need to do to setup your GoPro as a Webcam. Starting from the camera setup to the hardware and video settings.

Camera Setup

  1. Turn GoPro camera on
  2. Swipe down and select “Preferences”
  3. Scroll down and select “Input/Output”
  4. Select “HDMI Output” and change to “Live”

Hardware Setup

  1. Setup your GoPro using a mount or clamp.
  2. Open GoPro side door and insert micro-HDMI into the port.
  3. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable to your Cam Link dongle.
  4. Attach HDMI-to-USB converter and insert into your computer.
  5. Connect GoPro to a power source.
  6. Turn on your GoPro

Video Setup

  • Open your streaming tool (like Skype, Zoom, or OBS) and choose your GoPro as your source. Open OBS, scroll down and right click on “Sources” > Add Video Capture Device.
    If you would like to use it with Skype for example, then go to Skype > Tools > Options > Video Settings > Choose camera.
    For Webex, Select Video Icon > Video Connection > Click drop down > Choose camera.

Pro Tip: GoPro does not work that well in low lighting. Though it can stream up to 1080p 60fps via an HDMI output, most streaming services max out at 1080p 30fps. To ensure quality output, try to setup in good lighting conditions.

 

Pros / Cons of Using GoPro as Webcam


Once you are aware about how to make the whole setup. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons as well. This section highlights a few pros and cons of using your GoPro as a Webcam.

Pros:

  1. Footage Quality: All GoPro users are well aware that there is no competition of GoPro when it comes to image quality. GoPro can transmit videos at resolution at par to webcams. The pixel and colour clarity on the GoPro range generally far exceed those found on general webcams.
  2. Cuts down additional expense: GoPro being this versatile action cam, does the work of a webcam as well. So, there is no need to put in extra pennies to buy a separate webcam.
  3. Super Wide and Ultra Wide settings: GoPro enhances the quality of your recording by allowing the wide range of view.

Cons:

  1. Cost of Dongle: The cost of dongle is what needs to be considered. A good dongle costs more than a premium webcam. So, if you are looking for quality footage using your GoPro as a webcam then be ready for some additional expenses.
  2. Setup: The setup of using a GoPro as a webcam is a bit more complicated than setting and using the original webcam.

 

Some Tips…


There are a few tips you may consider during the setup :

  • Ensure that the GoPro model you are using is in a good condition and records well in the environments you need before setup.
  • Choose the correct mounts and clamps for proper setup and stability like Jaw Flex Clamp, Suction Cup, Gooseneck with any other mount for an extra bend etc.
  • Before setup, try to make up your mind about the background and enhancements that you need to do.
  • Check for any background noises that can distract you and how you may reduce them (you may disguise them by playing a light soundtrack besides your presentation).
  • Avoid wet, salty or dusty environments to prevent your camera and computer from being exposed (the HDMI and USB ports are plugged in).

 

Conclusion


By now you know about all the pros and cons about setting your GoPro as a webcam and how you can do the setup in the best possible way. The question is, if it is worth using a GoPro instead of a Webcam? The choice is really yours. It depends on the options you have and also your use and requirements. It does give an extra edge to your GoPro, you may turn it into a webcam whenever you want and you can be sure of the quality at least!