Chances are good that you’ve not been getting much use out of your Hero8 Black for the last few months. And you may have also found dedicated webcams in short supply. Now macOS users can put their actioncams to work as a webcam thanks to some beta software launched by GoPro.
The move follows similar developments from Canon, Panasonic and Fujifilm to turn digital cameras into crazy high-quality webcams. So far the focus has been on Windows users – though Fujifilm announced yesterday that it’s now offering a macOS version of its app. GoPro has started with a desktop utility for macOS, and is currently working on a Windows version.
Before you put your Hero8 Black to work though, it will need to undergo a free beta firmware update. You will also need a microSD card reader for the initial setup, and a USB cable. After downloading and installing the macOS desktop utility, the actioncam is connected to the computer via a spare USB port and then the GoPro device will show up as a camera option in your chosen videoconferencing application. The default resolution is set at 1080p, but you can change to 720p if desired.
There are a few niggles to note though. The wide field of view can’t be altered (though GoPro is looking to offer different Digital Lenses in the future), the utility is only available for the Hero8 Black edition (you’ll need at least one third party accessory to use earlier versions as webcams) and the actioncam needs to be placed in an upright, horizontal position.
Naturally, this setup won’t touch the quality offered via the apps that turn DSLR and mirrorless cameras into webcams, but it could be an improvement over the cameras in your MacBook Pro or Air.
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