GoPro released its webcam utility,
GoPro Webcam for Mac back in July 2020 but only recently released a beta version of it for Windows. And here’s the bad news, that utility only works if you have a Hero 8 Black or Hero 9 Black.
If you have a Black version of the Hero 7, 6, 5 or 4 then you can still use it as a webcam if you buy an HDMI-to-USB dongle which converts the HDMI output to USB and allows your Windows laptop or PC to see it as a webcam, which you can then select as normal in Zoom, Skype, Teams and other video calling apps.
These aren’t overly expensive: you can
buy one from Amazon for about £10 -20/ $15-$30: just search for USB capture HDMI and you’ll find various options.
Note that you can’t use a Hero 7 White or Silver version as a webcam, or any other model which does not have an HDMI output. The Hero 4 Silver does, so that can be used via a USB capture dongle like the other Black models.
The fill list of things you’ll need are:
To install the latest firmware on your GoPro camera (via the GoPro app)
A way to mount your GoPro so it’s fixed in place
Either a USB-C cable (for Hero 8 / 9)
OR a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable for Hero 4/5/6/7
A USB capture device with HDMI input for Hero 4/5/6/7
Oddly enough, GoPro hasn’t put the utility on its website. Instead, you’ll need a Facebook account and you’ll have to join the private
GoPro Webcam Beta group.
Once you’ve been granted access you can download and install the software.
Now, connect your Hero 8 or 9 Black to your computer using a USB-C cable (preferably the one that came with it) and you should find you can select it as a webcam in Zoom or whichever video calling app you want to use.
Right-click on the GoPro Webcam icon in the system tray to find options such as Digital Lens which changes the field of view to suit.
If you can’t see the GoPro listed, close the app and reopen it. If you’re using Zoom (or another app) in Chrome, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings > Camera. Check the options to make sure the GoPro is selected and permission to use it has been granted.
Using GoPro as a webcam on macOS
If you’re using a Hero 8 or 9 with a Mac,
install the utility and you should then see a GoPro camera icon appear on the status bar. When you connect your GoPro with a USB cable – ideally use a USB 3.0 port – that icon should gain a blue dot to indicate a successful connection.
Click on the icon and choose Show Preview. You can use the Digital Lens menu to choose the field of view.
You can now launch the app you want to use, such as Zoom. If already open, close it and reopen it. You should see GoPro Camera in the list of available webcams.
How to use a Hero 4 / 5 / 6 or 7 as a webcam in Windows
As mentioned already, you’ll have to buy a USB capture dongle with an HDMI input. If you don’t have one, you’ll also need an HDMI cable with a mini HDMI connector at one end (for the GoPro) and a full size HDMI connector at the other to plug into the dongle.
You don’t need GoPro’s Webcam utility, as the USB dongle will be what you select in your video software as the webcam.
You won’t need to update your GoPro’s firmware either. On certain GoPro models, you’ll need to use the touchscreen to make the HDMI output live, so swipe down, tap Preferences > Input/Output > HDMI Output > Live.