Getting Started

Open GoPro is an API for interacting with GoPro cameras that is developed and managed directly by GoPro. It provides developers and companies with an easy-to-use programming interface and helps integrate the cameras into their ecosystems. The API works with off-the-shelf cameras with standard firmware, is free-to-use under MIT license, and publicly available online on GitHub.


Open GoPro API is supported on all camera models since Hero 9 with the following firmware version requirements:

Camera Minimum FW Version
Hero 12 Black v01.10.00
Hero 11 Black Mini v01.10.00
Hero 11 Black v01.10.00
Hero 10 Black v01.10.00
Hero 9 Black v01.70.00

While we strive to provide the same API functionality and logic for all newly launched cameras, minor changes are sometimes necessary. These are typically a consequence of HW component upgrades or improving or optimizing FW architecture. Therefore support for some functions and commands might be model-specific. This is described in the compatibility tables in the documentation.


Users can interact with the camera over BLE, WiFi, or wired USB. Both Wifi and USB are operated through HTTP server with identical commands. It is important to note that due to hard constraints of power and the hardware design, some commands in Wi-Fi are not available in BLE, and vice-versa.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

BLE is the fastest way to control the cameras and allow command and control functionality. BLE advertising is used for initial camera pairing. BLE is a requirement for any type of Wireless control since camera WiFi must be enabled upon each connection via BLE.


WiFi needs to be switched on by a BLE command. Besides command & control, Wi-Fi also allows for video streaming and media manipulation. With the exception of live-streaming, the camera always acts as an Wi-Fi access point that other devices need to connect to. For more information, see the HTTP Specification.


The USB connection can provide both data transfer and power to the camera. The power provided by the USB is sufficient for the camera to run indefinitely without the internal battery. However, the wired connection doesn’t allow for programmatic power on and off. Camera needs to be switched on manually or via BLE, and after the camera goes to sleep, it must be “woken up” again with a button press or via BLE. For monitoring and other use cases where the camera must be operated and switched on and off only via USB cable, there is a workaround with the Labs firmware - more detail in the FAQ.

Control Camera and Record Remotely

Here is a summary of currently supported per-interface features:

Feature BLE WiFi USB
Retrieve Camera State ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Change Settings / Mode ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Encode (Press shutter) ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Stream Video   ✔️ ✔️
Media Management   ✔️ ✔️
Metadata Extraction   ✔️ ✔️
Camera Connect / Wake ✔️    

BLE, WiFi, and USB can be used to change settings and modes, start and stop capture, query remaining battery life, SD card capacity, or camera status (such as “is it recording?”).  Most command-and-control functionality is disabled while the camera is recording video or is otherwise busy.

There are 3 main recording modes for the cameras: photo, video, and timelapse. Within each mode, one can choose different frame rates, resolutions and FOV options. Note that not all cameras have all 3 recording modes, not all settings combinations are available for all camera models. The specification section links to json and xls files that show all available setting combinations per camera model.

Stream Video

Besides recording, the cameras can also stream video feed. The API provides 3 different ways to stream videos directly from the cameras, either via USB or wireless connection.

Stream Type Description WiFi USB Record while Streaming
Moderate video quality, primarily for framing
Low latency stabilization
Low power consumption
>= Hero 12

Cinematic video quality
Optional low latency stabilization

Cinematic video quality
Optional hypersmooth stabilization


Each of the streaming types has different resolutions, bit rates, imaging pipelines, and different levels of configurability. Refer to the FAQ.

Manipulate and Transfer Media Files

When the camera records video, time lapse, or photo, the media is saved on the SD card with filenames according to the GoPro File Naming Convention.

The cameras always record two versions of each video file

  • Full resolution based on the selected settings (.mp4)
  • Low resolution video proxy (.lrv) that can be used for editing or other operations where file size matters.

The lrv file type can be renamed to mp4 and used for playback or further editing. Both versions exist in the same folder on the SD card. In addition, the cameras generate a thumbnail image (.thm) for each media file. The thm file type can be changed to jpeg if required.

All three file types can be accessed, deleted, or copied via API commands.

Extract Metadata

GoPro cameras write metadata in each file, using a proprietary GPMF format. The metadata contains information including gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, imaging-specific metadata, and several computed metrics such as scene classification.

The metadata file cannot be edited or read while the camera is recording but can be accessed after the file has been written either entirely or selectively for a specific metric such as GPS.

Use Multiple Cameras Simultaneously

Controlling multiple cameras from one client is supported via BLE, Wifi, and USB with varying functionality depending on the protocol used. Refer to the table below.

Protocol Available Functionality Notes
BLE Command and control of several cameras Each camera can connect only to one BLE-enabled device at a time
Command and control in Wi-fi station mode (COHN)
Webcam and Preview Stream in Wi-fi station mode (COHN) Live-streaming (RTMP)
COHN is available only from HERO12 onwards
RTMP stream must be initiated via BLE
USB Command and control and streaming via Webcam mode Available only from HERO11 onward

Use GoPro Cloud and Editing Engine

The GoPro ecosystem includes a multitude of ways to edit, store, and replay content which are currently available for end-users as a part of paid subscription programs. Even when integrated into your ecosystem, GoPro cameras can take advantage of cloud backup and editing tools provided by GoPro including auto-upload to the cloud, automatic editing, and native live streaming.

The GoPro cloud interface has been tailored to the needs of individual consumers. If you are interested in commercial usage, reach out to our business development team.