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GoPro opens up its Labs toolbox again with new experimental features

The camera maker's special firmware program gives the Hero9, Hero8, Hero7 and Max some new ways to trigger recordings and more.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
Josh Goldman/CNET

GoPro is giving users of its cameras access to more experimental features through its GoPro Labs program it launched in May 2020. For owners of the Hero9 Black , Hero8 Black, Hero7 Black and GoPro Max cameras, you can download and install the special release firmware to add new capabilities to the cameras. You won't lose any features, you'll just gain new ones. 

With the firmware update, the cameras will be able to do things like start and stop recordings when the camera starts and stops moving or when USB power is detected for use as a dash cam. Other features include:

  • Motion detection supported in all video modes including 360-degree detection with the Max
  • Option to start livestreaming when the camera connects to a set Wi-Fi network
  • One-button mode that limits controls to just starting and stopping captures so you don't accidentally switch camera modes
  • Timed exposure lock and minimum shutter speed settings 
  • QR-code controls supported in 5K and HindSight capture for Hero9 Black

More details on all the currently available Labs features are on GoPro's site

Watch this: GoPro's Hero 9 Black bulks up on power and performance but not price