The HERO (2018) is a little more limited than many GoPros when it comes to controlling the camera remotely because it isn't compatible with GoPro's remote controls like the Smart Remote or the Remo remote. But there are still two other ways to control the HERO (2018) remotely: using the voice commands or using the wireless mobile app. Each method has its pros and cons.
The HERO (2018) has built-in support for GoPro’s voice control feature. With this, you can control some of the camera’s main actions simply by saying the command out loud. So you can say things like “GoPro start recording” or “GoPro take a photo.” Here’s the current list of commands:1
- GoPro start recording
- GoPro stop recording
- GoPro video mode
- GoPro photo mode
- GoPro take a photo
- GoPro time lapse mode
- GoPro start time lapse
- GoPro stop time lapse
- GoPro burst mode
- GoPro shoot burst
- GoPro HiLight / That was sick (adds a HiLight tag)
- GoPro turn off2
The voice commands are available in a range of languages.
With the HERO, you have to use the voice commands on the camera itself—the Remo voice remote isn’t compatible with this camera. That means that you still have to be physically close to the camera. You also need to be somewhere that you’re not being drowned out by background noise. I've generally been a bit underwhelmed by the reliability of the voice command method because there have been too many times it hasn't responded when I need it to. But the option is there, and in the right combination of circumstances, it can work well.
The most powerful and flexible way to control the HERO (2018) is by using the GoPro mobile app. It was known as the Capture app for a while, but its name has been switched back again. You can download it for free here.
On the plus side, it gives you control over all of the camera’s settings and modes. Apart from being able to switch between shooting modes like video and time lapse, you can also drill down into those modes and finetune settings like fields of view of frame rate.
It also gives you a live preview, which is really the party piece of this method.
There are some limitations and drawbacks.
- The range isn’t as good as with the Smart Remote, but you can still get a reasonable distance away from the camera (actual range varies based on things like what other signals and physical objects like buildings might interfere).
- You can only control one camera at once.
- It drains the camera's battery more quickly, especially with the live preview on during video shooting.
You can find a step-by-step guide for the pairing process for your phone and app to the HERO (2018) on GoPro's website.
Can you Control the HERO Remotely Underwater?
None of these options work when the camera is submerged underwater. It’s obviously pretty hard to give voice commands underwater, and wireless signals don’t penetrate through the water.
It is technically possible to jury-rig a solution, but it takes some planning and is a bit involved.
If you want to control your HERO remotely while it’s underwater you’ll need to rig up a more involved setup with a special cable and ensuring that the connection to the camera remains watertight.
There are DIY ways to do this, but CamDo offers an off-the-shelf option. While I haven't tried this product specifically yet, I've used other CamDo products in the past and been very impressed with them. You can get them directly from CamDo.
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Images and product information from Amazon Product Advertising API were last updated on 2018-07-20 at 22:37.
Common GoPro Questions
Here are some common questions I get from GoPro users.
How to Maximize a GoPro's battery life
There are several factors that influence how long the GoPro's battery life lasts. Among them include what mode you're recording in (4K uses more power than 1080p30, for instance), the health of the battery, and even the environmental temperature (lithium batteries don't perform well in very cold temperatures). But there are some things you can do to maximize battery life. Not every GoPro has all of these features, but start with these:
- Minimize use of the back screen
- Turn off wireless
- Turn off voice commands
- Turn off GPS
- Turn off Protune
- Use QuickCapture mode
Is it normal for GoPro cameras to get hot?
Yes. Depending on the model and the shooting mode you're using, it's normal for GoPros to get quite warm while shooting. They can get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. It's especially noticeable when shooting high-resolution and high-framerate video. Some newer models have an overheating protection mechanism that will shut the camera down if it gets too hot. I have more details on GoPros getting hot, here.
How can I control a GoPro remotely?
GoPro makes a range of wireless remote controls. They don't all work with all GoPros--for example, the HERO (2018) isn't compatible with this type of remote control. Many of the newer models also work with the GoPro mobile app. Not every model can be controlled remotely, but most of the newer models have wireless compatibility that can be used for at least some methods of remote control.
Can you take pictures with a GoPro?
If you've been using a GoPro for a while, this might seem pretty obvious, but if you've never used one, it's not quite so self-evident. GoPros are best known for dramatic action videos, but they can most certainly take still photos too. In fact, they can be a very interesting alternative to a traditional camera so long as you work within its limitations. I have more more details here.
Do GoPro wireless controls work underwater?
No. You can't use the mobile app or a wireless remote control if the camera is fully submerged in water. They will normally work just fine in rain and spray--just not submerged. I have a more detailed explanation here.
Do GoPro touchscreens work underwater?
No. If they're just wet above water, they can work to some extent, although often less reliably. But the touchscreens won't work underwater.