GoPro are makers of tiny, versatile and durable cameras that can be used to capture video and images of outdoor activities and daredevil experiences.
As you can see in the video above, thrill seekers and action sports fans need no such introduction to GoPro.
Skydiving or bungee jumping might be a once in a lifetime event, but with a GoPro camera mounted to your helmet, or attached on your clothing, you can record the moment for the rest of your days.
Exclusive Lumia features
The new and official GoPro app available for free in the Windows Phone 8 Store enables you to control your GoPro camera using your Nokia Lumia.
On your Lumia’s display you’ll be able to watch a live preview of the camera and to easily change all the camera settings using your Lumia as a remote control.
Best of all, only Nokia Lumia smartphones, such as the Lumia 920, will have an exclusive PIP (picture-in-picture) feature that allows you to overlay the smartphone camera view on top of the live GoPro view, and save photos to the camera roll. You can also swap the views, and reposition the PIP overlay window.
Of course, to use the GoPro app on your Lumia you’ll also need a compatible GoPro camera. The models you need are the HERO3® White, Silver or Black Edition, or Wi-Fi BacPac™-enabled HD HERO2® cameras.
The set up
For a couple of days, I’ve been trying out the GoPro app using a Nokia Lumia 925 and a GoPro HERO3® Black edition camera.
The camera itself comes with a removable waterproof housing and several different mounts, arms, adhesives and attachments that you can use to secure it when you’re bombing down the ski slopes, or diving into the water.
It also has a separate remote control but, thanks to the app, I was able to use my Lumia 925 to control its functions.
After installing the GoPro on your Lumia, you need to pair and connect your smartphone with the camera.
The GoPro HERO3® Black edition has WiFi Built In, and this is the network that you need to connect to on your Lumia, not your regular WiFi network that you use to browse the web.
Ensure that the WiFi signal is enabled on the camera, and then go to the ‘WiFi Settings’ on your Lumia to find and connect to the GoPro WiFi.
The default password for the network is ‘goprohero’ but you might have changed it to something else.
For more information about the WiFi on your GoPro camera, you should refer to the reference manual or see the GoPro support site. There’s also a useful support page when you first launch the app on your Lumia.
Once you’ve connected to the GoPro WiFi network, tap the hardware back button to return to the app and tap the ‘Connect + Control’ icon which should be enabled and you’re ready to go!
Smile, you’re on camera
Immediately, you’ll see a live preview of the GoPro camera on your Lumia display.
There are three icons along the bottom, these allow you to switch between shoot modes, the record button and the camera and WiFi settings.
The shoot modes that you can toggle between are:
As well as being able to view what the GoPro camera is seeing, you’ll also be able to hear on your Lumia’s speakers all the sounds that its microphone is picking up. For such a tiny little camera, no bigger than a matchbox, it really is very impressive.
The little thing is packed full of features and customisation options too.
Within the camera settings, which are fully accessible from your Nokia Lumia, you can change a whole host of different technical parameters, such as the video or photo resolution, time-lapse settings and the SD card management.
Of course, the real fun begins when you’ve got the settings just as you want them and you’re ready to do some recording.
Recording video or taking still images couldn’t be any easier using the GoPro app on your Lumia.
In fact, it’s just as simple as using the Lumia’s native camera, except that you’re seeing the view of the GoPro camera on your screen rather the Lumia viewfinder.
The Picture in Picture mode works delightfully with my Lumia 925 as well.
The extended menu settings gives you access to the Picture in Picture (PIP) controls – just tap the ‘three dots’ icon.
From here you can also turn the GoPro camera off and turn off the camera preview, where the camera stays on but you won’t see what it’s capturing on your Lumia.
The locate function commands the GoPro camera to emit a sharp beeping noise and for the front light to flash. Handy for the forgetful and for action sports fans.
Talking of being an action sports fan, I wish I could say that I tested out the GoPro app while hand gliding in the Alps but, alas, I was on much firmer and safer ground.
The image below is a screenshot from my Lumia 925 of the GoPro app with the PIP function turned on. The GoPro camera is in my garden and the desk photo is taken with my Lumia.
Holding and dragging the PIP overlay moves it around the screen. You can also tap on the overlay, to bring it to full screen and minimise the GoPro camera view at the same time. It works smoothly and flawlessly. Remember, this awesome PIP feature is exclusive to Nokia Lumia smartphones!
The PIP function is the icing on the cake of a fantastic app. As well controlling the camera you can also use it to access GoPro’s Photo of the Day and Video of the Day channels as well as their popular Twitter feed.
The GoPro app is the perfect bridge between your Nokia Lumia and compatible GoPro HERO camera. I’m genuinely surprised how easy it was to set up and also how seamlessly everything worked together.
Now, I just need to find a plane to jump out of.