Hero 8 Black from GoPro

GoPro is testing Webcam support for Hero 8 Black action cams

Following Canon footsteps, GoPro is BETA testing Hero 8 Black to be used as a webcam. Usually, selected digital cameras are paired with a capture card. The Elgato Camlink is usually the commonly recommended ones for streamers. The other option is to have an HDMI input based USB dongle. With direct webcam support, you don’t need to make any additional purchase. This is a much needed, much-requested feature support by many digital camera users.

The GoPro Hero 8 Black action camera has a 12-mega pixel sensor with multiple stabilisation options, HDR, time-lapses and other functions. The max support for recording in 4K UHD. There are other features such as external mic input which makes it attractive for vloggers, too.

Webcam support limited for now…

This is the second camera manufacturer that’s trying to eliminate that. As of now, its in BETA and there is a public release for macOS. But the company is working on Windows support.

Unlike the EOS Webcam utility, this one requires the BETA firmware to be flashed on the camera and also the desktop utility. It does seem to have support for 1080p and 720p support. Maybe one fine day we’ll see a wide range of digital cameras providing direct plug-and-play webcam support out-of-the-box.

The state of webcams so far…

The demand for enabling webcam support for digital cameras have been around for a long time. Elgato and HDMI capture cards have been acting as a bridge as long as it receives clean output (ie without the camera’s controls displayed with the output). But some capture devices have a premium.

Companies like Elgato does provide a fairly extensive camera support list. But one would speculate if this is really needed? Webcam prices during these pandemic times have shot up, making purchases choices tougher. With Canon EOS and now GoPro testing this, one can’t help but ask if Sony would follow suit as its mirrorless is usually the default choice for most when it comes to content creation and camera of choice to be used with the Elgato Camlink to be used as a webcam.

Supported webcam-dependent broadcast applications

Zoom (v 5.0.5 and newer) and Zoom Chrome Extension

Twitch via OBS

YouTube Live (Using Chrome)

BlueJeans

Webex (Using Chrome)

GoTo Meeting

Google Meet

Snap Camera

Microsoft Teams

Facebook Rooms

Skype

Facetime for Desktop

Not sure why GoPro mentioned ‘Twitch via OBS’ considering OBS is used to stream on multiple platforms. If it works on OBS, it can stream via Hero 8 Black to any live streaming site it supports. But it supports most of the apps, except a few like Discord. Surely, the BETA firmware will constantly be updated, improved and have wider support. Its a start. And it is a good start.

You can check the instructions from here.

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