For their latest generations of cameras (since the HERO5), GoPro has included voice control. With that, you can control some basic functions of the camera hands-free.
That can be especially convenient when your hands are busy holding onto something else, or if the camera is just out of reach. Your mileage might vary and will depend on the conditions you’re shooting in. It doesn’t work well in noisy conditions, if the camera is inside a housing, or if you’re far away from the camera, and it doesn’t work at all underwater. But in some conditions it can be an especially useful way to control your GoPro’s filming when your hands are otherwise occupied, you’re wearing mittens or gloves, or the camera isn’t in an easily accessible place.
The HERO8 has voice controls. Here’s a rundown on how to use them.
How to Turn Voice Control On & Off
There are three ways to enable and disable voice control on the HERO8 Black.
The first is to use the shortcut panel on the back screen. In the default setup, the top left icon is voice control–it looks like a person speaking. You can toggle it on or off by tapping on the icon.
The second way is to use the regular menu system. Go to:
Preferences > Voice Control > Voice Control > ON/OFF
The third is to use the GoPro Quik app. Go to:
Camera Preferences > Setup > Voice Control
The voice commands on the GoPro HERO8 Black are divided into a couple of different categories. The Action Commands control capture.
Of these, the simplest are “Capture” and “Stop Capture.” These are the verbal equivalents of pressing the shutter button.
With some of the other commands, you can specify a different shooting mode. For instance, if your camera is in the video mode (but not currently recording), saying “GoPro Take a Photo” will take a photo without you having to first change to the photo mode.
|Voice Command||What it Does|
|GoPro CAPTURE||Starts capturing in the mode that your camera is currently set to.|
|GoPro STOP CAPTURE||Stops capture (if shooting in video or timelapse (other modes stop by themselves))|
|GoPro START RECORDING||Starts recording video in the currently active video preset.|
|GoPro HILIGHT||Adds a HiLight Tag to your video that will be accessible in video playback.|
|GoPro STOP RECORDING||Stops video recording.|
|GoPro TAKE A PHOTO||Takes a single photo. (Does not work when the camera is already filming.)|
|GoPro SHOOT BURST||Takes burst photos. (Does not work when the camera is already filming.)|
|GoPro START TIME LAPSE||Starts timelapse capture in the last timelapse mode you used (photo or video). (Does not work when the camera is already filming.)|
|GoPro STOP TIME LAPSE||Stops the timelapse capture.|
In addition to the Action Commands, there are also some that help you switch camera modes.
There are two important things to note about these:
- These do not activate the shutter. That is, it won’t actually start recording a video or taking a photo or timelapse.
- Switching modes doesn’t work if the camera is currently recording video or timelapse. You’ll need to stop the recording first (by either saying “GoPro stop capture” or pressing the shutter button).
|Voice Command||What it Does|
|GoPro VIDEO MODE||Switches to video mode.|
|GoPro PHOTO MODE||Switches to photo mode.|
|GoPro TIMELAPSE MODE||Switches to timelapse mode.|
Turning the HERO8 On or Off with Your Voice
With the HERO8, you can also turn the camera on or off with your voice.
To turn the camera off, just say “GoPro Turn Off.”
It’s also possible to turn the camera on using a feature called Wake on Voice. But first, you need to enable the Wake on Voice feature specifically by going to:
Preferences > Voice Control > Wake on Voice > On
|Voice Command||What it Does|
|GoPro TURN ON||Turns the camera on (Wake on Voice feature must be enabled)|
|GoPro TURN OFF||Turns the camera off|
It’s important to know that the camera won’t keep listening forever. After you’ve turned it off, it will continue listening for one hour.
Wake on Voice is toggled separately from the regular Voice Control setting. So turning on Voice Control does not automatically enable Wake on Voice.
It’s also important to know that because having Wake on Voice activated is essentially a standby mode rather than a full power off, it does drain battery power a little more quickly.
While I hope this page is helpful in laying out what voice commands are available on the HERO8 Black, there’s a quicker shortcut reference that’s especially useful if you’re out and about shooting on location.
The list is available directly through the HERO8’s menu system. Just go to:
Preferences > Voice Control > Commands
The photo at the top of this page is the list on the menu.
Things Worth Knowing
Every command needs to start with “GoPro . . . “. This alerts the camera to listen to the following command.
The camera needs to pick up your voice cleanly for it to register. So you need to be quite close to your camera, and performance might be affected by wind noise or other noise. It also does not work very well if the camera is inside a protective housing.
Voice commands are the kind of things that GoPro can tweak with firmware. So it’s worth making sure that your camera’s firmware is up to date for the latest list of commands. 1
Unlike Siri or Alexa, the HERO8 doesn’t talk back. And if you’ve turned off the beeps, that can make it hard to know whether it has registered your command. So I often find it useful to enable beeps when using voice control.
HERO8 Voice Control Languages
GoPro Voice Control is also available in other languages.
There are two methods you can choose from to change the language. The first is to use the camera’s main menu system by going to:
Preferences > Voice Control > Language
The other method is to use the GoPro Quik mobile app by going to:
Camera Preferences > Setup > Voice Control Language
The available voice control languages on the HERO8 are:
- English (UK/US/AUS/IND)
- Spanish (EU / NA)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
The voice control language is set independently of the menu system language, so they don’t have to match.
- For the list of available commands and languages here, I’m using firmware version 02.51 on a HERO8 Black.