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Turn your GoPro into a fancy webcam for your next zoom call. Here’s how



GoPro Hero 8 Black

Turn your GoPro Hero8 into a webcam.

Joshua Goldman / CNET

Many of us work and spend time away from home for a long time Coronavirus cases continue to be nailed down across the country. This means that it may be time to upgrade your webcam to make sure you look your best when you’re almost meeting colleagues and friends (change your Zoom background and turn on the beauty filter can only do so much). If you have a GoPro camera, this handy software upgrade turns it into a webcam compatible with Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google Meet and virtually every other great video chat service you can think of. (And if you do not have a GoPro, you can too turn your phone camera into a webcam.)

How to use.

Read more: Ultimate webcam tips: How to look and sound great online

What you need to turn your GoPro into a webcam

You need one GoPro Hero8 camera – the latest version of the popular rugged camera, which came out in 2019. You can pick one up Amazon for $ 300. You also need a USB-C cable (there is one that comes with the camera that works) to connect the camera to your computer.

For the initial installation, you will need a microSD card and a card reader to update your camera. If your computer does not have a built-in USB port, you will also need a dongle.

This trick only works for Mac users right now, even though a Windows version is under development.

Finally, you need something to mount your GoPro on to use it as a webcam. Here you have many options that you can buy from GoPro, such as JawsFlex Clamp ($ 49.99), Magnetic swivel clamp ($ 24.99) or Suction cup ($ 39.99).

It is not required, but it is practical Ulanzi G8-7 Battery Cove ($ 19.95 on Amazon) gives you access to the camera’s USB port while covering the battery and SD card, so you do not have to worry about anything falling out when you are in webcam mode.

Read more: Best tools for video chats from home: webcams, lights, microphones and more

How to turn your GoPro into a webcam

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade your Hero8 camera to a webcam, according to GoPro.

Step 1: Update your camera

Download GoPro Webcam Beta Firmware to your computer. (This download contains the update folder that will update your camera to support the webcam feature.)

2. Insert the camera’s microSD card into your computer using a microSD card adapter or USB reader.

3. Transfer the update file to your microSD card. To do this, open a new Finder window and select Downloads left to find the UPDATE.zip file. Double-click the UPDATE.zip file that creates the UPDATE folder.

4. In the Devices section of the sidebar, look for your microSD card, which will appear as Untitled. Drag the UPDATE folder to your microSD card.

5. Eject your microSD card by selecting the eject icon.

6. Update your camera: Make sure the camera is turned off. Insert your microSD card and turn it on. The camera automatically starts updating and beeps and turns off several times. When it’s done, you will see a check mark on the front. (If you get a message that the update failed, remove and reinsert the battery and start the update from the beginning.)

Step 2: Install the GoPro Webcam app and connect your camera

Download the GoPro Webcam Desktop Utility and install the software on your computer. In the status bar you will see a GoPro icon.

2. Turn on the camera and connect it to your computer with the USB cable. In the status bar, you will see the GoPro icon showing a blue dot, which means you have successfully connected. You can also see that the camera is in USB mode, with a red light and an image of a USB cable displayed on the screen.

Step 3: Preview your webcam

To get a preview of what your webcam setting will look like, click the GoPro icon in the status bar and click Show preview. This will help you make sure your shot looks good before you start combing the web. You can also switch between mirror mode and tilt mode, whichever you like better.

Step 4: Launch your GoPro webcam

Open the video chat service you want to use. GoPro’s web software is compatible with Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft teams, Skype, Twitch, BlueJeans, GoTo Meeting, Snap Camera and Facebook Rooms. It’s also compatible with YouTube Live and Webex if you use a Google Chrome browser.

When you open your video chat service, select GoPro as your desired camera. This may be an option when you first log in, or you may need to go to Settings to do so. For example, go to Zoom in the Start Video icon at the bottom of the screen, click the up arrow and select GoPro Camera. If you do not see the GoPro camera option right away, you may need to quit and restart the video chat app.

When the webcam is on, the GoPro icon will show a red dot in the status bar to indicate that it is on.

Step 5: Perfect your webcam setting

Now that your webcam is up and running, you can make adjustments.

Resolution: To change the resolution, click the GoPro icon in the status bar and select settings. You can change from 1080p (default) to 720p if you want.

Field of view: To adjust your field of view, you can switch to different digital lenses. Click the GoPro icon in the status bar and select Digital lens. Choose between wide, narrow or linear lenses.

There are many other ways to reuse the equipment you already have, like yours old phone and old laptop. Once you have started the installation, you can also check it out online classes and equipment you need to become a YouTuber, or just Pick the best tool for online meetings.






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