Although you can use an action camera as a webcam, it isn’t necessarily the best option. However, you can do it if you follow some steps to set it up. Action cameras such as the GoPro were designed to film action in extreme conditions, so that is what they do best. If you want to use your action camera as a webcam, take a look at the gear and settings you will use and how to set it up.
Why Do People Use an Action Camera as a Webcam?
If you have an action camera, you may want to let it double as a webcam. Action cameras can be expensive, so you may not want to buy another camera. Action cameras are designed to take incredible video, so you can use them as long as you know how to set them up. Although some action camera manufacturers don’t recommend using their cameras as webcams, they do not mean that you can’t use it or that it will harm the camera. They are just letting you know that this wasn’t the intended purpose for the camera.
Gear You Need to Set up Your Action Camera as a Webcam
You will need some equipment to set your action camera up as a webcam. Although there are different action cameras on the market, the GoPro is a popular one. Make sure you have the following equipment before you start:
- HDMI cable
- USB dongle
- Small tripod
- USB cable
You need an HDMI cable that has the HDMI cable on one side and the Micro HDMI cable on the other. You can use it to connect to the USB dongle. This is what you will use to connect the camera to your PC or Mac. Your camera should have a micro HDMI output jack so that you can connect it. Otherwise, you can buy a Media Mod, and it will add the output jack to your setup.
You can use any tripod, and this is important so that your camera is stabilized. The tripod will prevent it from moving around. A small tripod that sits on the table in front of you will work well. Finally, the USB cable will allow you to bring power to your camera. The battery in your action camera won’t last very long, so you need to make sure that you use a power source.
What Software Can You Use?
You will need some software so that your action camera feeds video into your computer the way you want it to. You can use Streamlabs OBS, which is a free open source software that allows you to connect your action camera and your computer. You may also need software for your dongle, which should come with it or you will be able to download it.
How to Set up Your Action Camera as a Webcam
When you are ready to set up your action camera, you can follow these steps:
- Plug the cam link into the USB port
- Connect the action camera to the micro HDMI cable, and connect the dongle to the other end of the HDMI cable.
- Connect your camera to the USB cable, and plug the other side into a USB port on your computer.
- Turn your action camera on.
- Open the webcam software and choose your action camera as the video source. The software may recognize your dongle rather than your camera, so look through your options.
- If you are using Skype, you should go to settings, and then choose audio and video. Choose Camera from the options.
- Next, go to the settings in your camera. Look at your preferences, and choose Live under HDMI output. This will make sure that your camera broadcasts a continuous signal.
- You are all set, and you can start using your action camera as a webcam.
Can You Stream 4K with a GoPro?
You are not able to stream 4K with your GoPro, even though it can capture 4K resolution video. The issue is that you have to use the HDMI cable, and it will only stream up to 1080p at 60 frames per second through this cable. It basically will stream in the same resolution as a standard webcam, but they may change this in the future. In spite of this, you will notice that the quality of the image is better with the GoPro.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Action Camera as a Webcam?
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using your action camera as a webcam. First of all, you will probably get better quality images with a high-quality action cam. If you have a GoPro, this is definitely the case, so your video will be crisp and clear. Action cams also produce better quality during the day. You won’t have to buy a webcam if you use your action camera.
However, there are some disadvantages as well. You will need to purchase a dongle, which can be more expensive than a standard webcam. Additionally, the setup is more complicated. For these reasons, people don’t purchase action cameras to use as webcams, but they will use one they already have for the sake of quality and convenience.
As long as you take the time to buy the equipment you need and set it up, you can use your action camera as a webcam. The GoPro is very popular for this purpose, and it will produce good quality streaming.