Maybe you’re like me and have an older GoPro action camera that you aren’t using, such as my GoPro HERO4 Black camera (shown below).

GoPro Hero4 Black action camera, plus QuickClip mount.

Or maybe you’re like several people I know who bought a GoPro and have never used it.

Either way, maybe you’d like to begin using your GoPro camera but aren’t sure how to get started. In this post (as well as a series of follow-up posts), I plan to share some practical advice based upon my recent experience getting up-to-speed again.

Getting started

The first thing you need to do is charge the rechargeable battery that came with your GoPro. Here’s how it works on my GoPro HERO4 Black. Open the battery door on the bottom of the camera, insert the battery, and close the door. Use the power cable that came with the camera (Mini-USB to USB) to connect the camera to either a computer or low-power USB port (5V 1A). A red LED is on when the battery is charging; off when the battery is fully charged.

Next insert a microSD memory card in the microSD card slot on the side of the camera.

Remote control

The GoPro HERO4 Silver and Black cameras are two similar models, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. The Silver model has an LCD on the back of the camera, but shoots lower quality 4K video. The Black model lacks the LCD but shoots higher quality 4K video. I decided to buy the Black model because I wanted to be able to shoot higher quality 4K video.

Although it’s possible to operate the HERO4 Black model using the small LCD on the front of the camera (shown above), it’s less than ideal for navigating menus and making settings. In my opinion, it’s much easier to pair the camera with either a smart phone or tablet running the GoPro “Quik” app and use one of those devices to control the camera remotely.

Pairing your camera with GoPro “Quik” app

Pairing your GoPro with another device is by far the most challenging task you need to complete in order to get up-and-running, but doing so will make it easier for you to get the most from your action camera.

I wish I could provide a simple, step-by-step guide that explains how it’s done, but I can’t because there are many GoPro camera models and the procedure varies depending upon the camera model you own.

What I can tell you is the best way to “get ‘er done” is to launch the GoPro “Quik” app and follow the on-screen directions for pairing your camera model with GoPro “Quik.” Take it slowly, and follow the directions exactly. This method worked for me.

Or you might try following the directions for your specific camera model provided on this Web page from GoPro Support: GoPro Quik: Pair Your Camera. This method didn’t work for me — your experience might be different.

Here’s an overview of what will happen during the pairing process. Initially your camera and the GoPro “Quik” app communicate via Bluetooth. You will use the app to give your camera a name and password, then you will look in Settings / Wi-Fi on your device for the name of your camera and join the camera’s Wi-Fi network.

Finally you will go back to the “Quik” app, connect with the camera, and “Control Your GoPro” remotely. “GoProHERO4Black” is the name I gave my camera. Notice that “Quik” correctly displays an image of a HERO4!

Screen capture from “Quik” running on my Apple iPad mini 6.

If everything works the way it should, then “Quik” should show a live view from your camera such as the following breathtaking view through my living room window. The live view display works in either portrait mode (shown below) or landscape mode.

Screen capture from “Quik” running on my Apple iPad mini 6.

Pairing my HERO4 Black with my Apple iPad mini tablets

The following YouTube video shows how the pairing process works with a GoPro HERO4: GoPro HERO4 – How to Connect to the GoPro APP for the First Time, by Brynmag Productions (4:36). It’s surprising how well a video published in November 2014 has withstood the test of time!

Baby steps, Bob

As I mentioned at the outset of this blog post, I plan to publish a series of follow-up posts. Tentative topics include how to update the camera’s firmware, how to edit video using the GoPro “Quik” app (sneak preview: don’t go there!), how to use your GoPro as a Webcam, as well as a few other suggested applications to get you started using your action camera.

But I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed at first so let’s stop for now. Try to pair your camera with the GoPro “Quik” app by Friday, 25 March 2022 (at the latest) and you’ll be ready to follow along when my next blog post is online.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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