Online Photography Sessions - Blue Hour at the Coast - GoPro as Webcam - Camera Connection Error

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Blue Hour at the coast Blue Hour at the coast

As part of my online photography sessions here on Panoramic Ireland I give one to one online photography reviews, tuition and help aspiring photographers to improve their portfolio and photographic skills.

Recently after my webcam stopped working I decided to use my GoPro Hero 9 as a webcam. 

GoPro's website lists this as a feature of the action camera, also available on the Hero 8 and new Hero 10 and via a more complicated route on earlier models.

The software GoPro Webcam can be downloaded here.

In my case, using Windows 10 and with the Hero 9 updated to the latest firmware, the software worked fine for the first use but then stopped working subsequently.

In fact, every time I plug it in Windows notification tells me that there is a Camera Connection Error and to try and reconnect the camera.

Of course this produces no different results, always the error.

At first, after doing some research, where I found many with the same problem, I decided to uninstall and reinstall the GoPro Webcam software.

That solved nothing of course, I'm not a big fan of uninstalling and reinstalling software as it rarely cures any problems.

Interestingly though the uninstaller wanted me to remove Microsoft's News Suite. Not a problem, as that is something I never use.

So what do I do now?

Well, this is my workaround; until some kind of fix is issued as it is definitely a software bug.

If you are facing the incessant Camera Connection Error then this is a good workflow to try.

This workflow is for using an app other than Zoom, but for me it has been necessary to use Zoom to start the camera connection. If you are using Zoom for your online meetings then you can stop at step 9 as the camera is now working.

 

  1. Ensure the GoPro is set to GoPro Connect rather than MTP in Connections>USB Connection
  2. Plug a USB lead into the GoPro and a USB hub or port on your computer and switch on hub if needed
  3. Press the power button on GoPro
  4. Windows will likely give a "Camera Connection Error"
  5. Ignore that
  6. Open Zoom
  7. Go to Settings in Zoom
  8. Choose Test Video
  9. The camera preview screen in Zoom should now show the camera's view, give it a few seconds
  10. The GoPro's screen, back and front if active, should also be showing live
  11. In the bottom bar of Windows, open the GoPro Webcam app
  12. Choose Preview and a camera preview screen will appear, keep this open and you can even minimise it
  13. If using another app, which I sometimes do, then close Zoom but keep the Preview pane from step 11 open
  14. When recording, the GoPro's front screen will show ACTIVE in a red bar at the top of the screen and the red LED should flash

 

To disconnect, close the app and close the Webcam Preview window, after a few seconds the camera screen will change to USB Connected and the LED will be on constantly. Then unplug the cable or switch off the USB hub and the screen will come back to live. Switch off and all is done. 

So there you go, I can now use my GoPro Hero 9 as a webcam for my online photography sessions even if every time there is an error from Windows.

If you would like assistance with your photography portfolio, advice on developing your skills and more contact me to arrange on online photography session or come see Ireland for yourself and take one of my photo tours in Dublin, Connemara, Antrim Coast or Kilkenny.

Let me know if this workaround was useful to you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 November 2021 13:56
Darren McLoughlin

International travel photographer and Irishman in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

https://darrenmcloughlin.com

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