Action cameras capture stunning videos and images of your most exciting adventures. However, to share, edit, and store your footage, you will need to connect your action cam to a PC from time to time. Whether it’s content from your latest family vacation or camping trip, these memories are meant to be shared. But, it can be challenging to do so when your videos are still inside your camera.
Connecting your action camera to your computer regularly allows you to get the most of your high-definition content. Luckily, modern action cameras come equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities that make this process simple and straightforward. This article walks you through the connection process and offers some helpful tips and tricks.
Why Connect Your Action Camera to a PC?
As mentioned above, connecting your action camera to a PC allows you to share your videos and images. But, this connection also enables you to upload, store, and edit your data. Below, we outline how to utilize the link between your camera and your PC.
Each action camera comes with a micro-SD card—this is essentially your storage space. The size of your memory card will let you know how much footage you can save on your camera at one time. If your camera has a high-definition resolution, such as 4K UHD or 1080P HD, your content will take up quite a bit of space. For example, 1-minute of 4K video uses about 400MB of space, while 1-minute of 1080P video uses 200MB. A memory card with 128GB will hold around 5 hours of 4K video, or about 10 hours of 1080P footage.
What happens when your SD card is full? Most action cameras come with a loop record feature that allows the camera to replace the oldest video files with new footage automatically. If your memory card is full, the camera will delete the first file to make room for your most recent footage.
Loop record is a helpful feature, but what happens if you lose important content? To ensure all of your favorite videos and images are protected, it is essential to save them to your computer’s hard drive or online storage service. With an online storage drive, it is easy to access, view, and sort your content. Plus, you can share links with your friends and family to view or download the files as well. Once you have uploaded all of your files, you can safely delete them from your camera, and you are ready to start filming again.
Some more advanced action cameras allow you to delete content from the camera without ever having to connect to a computer. Built-in editing is an excellent feature because it will enable you to save only your best footage, and it offers you more shooting time without having to “dump” your content onto your PC. If you are still shopping around for your new action camera, make sure to select one with built-in editing—it will be a lifesaver when you are trying to keep track of your favorite clips.
Several types of editing platforms allow you to enhance the quality of your photos and videos. Use of the software lets you trim, splice, and arrange video clips and images into your favorite sequence. You can also add titles, captions, and voice-overs to create a dynamic and exciting compilation.
Whether you have 100,000 followers or 20, social media is all about sharing. Your high-quality action shots make for fun and engaging content online—no matter who you connect with. By using your action camera with your PC, you can display your latest adventure or newly mastered trick online.
Some action cameras come with their own smartphone application. With this feature, users can connect their camera to their mobile phone using a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. Then, footage can be uploaded directly to the app and any social media platform. This feature is a quick and easy way to share your clips without connecting to a computer.
How to Connect Your Action Camera to a PC?
Connecting your camera to your PC can seem like a hassle, but it may be easier than you think. The following methods can be used to link your camera and your computer.
Wireless Connection Via Bluetooth
Most action cameras on the market today come with a wireless Bluetooth connection. If you have a newer Windows PC (4 to 5 years old), it will have built-in Bluetooth software that can pair the computer with any device. If your computer doesn’t have this feature, you can add it with a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into one of the USB ports on the PC.
Your action camera needs to be “available for pairing” to connect using Bluetooth. Once the device shows up on the computer, you can click “pair” to link the PC and the camera together. Once connected, you can transfer video files and images to your computer’s hard drive. Bluetooth connectivity is a convenient way to save your footage without having to physically “plug” in your action camera.
Wireless Connection Via Wi-Fi
If your action camera is Wi-Fi enabled, you can easily pair it with your PC to upload data. To do so, turn the camera’s Wi-Fi settings on. Then, look for the device on the list of networks in range. Once you find the camera’s network, click the name to connect. In some cases, you may need to enter the camera’s specific Wi-Fi SSID password. This password can be found on the instruction manual or the manufacturer’s website.
Today, pretty much anywhere you travel offers a Wi-Fi connection. So, if you’re transferring your data to a laptop, it is easy to do so while on-the-go.
If your camera supports a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, those are the most convenient ways to upload. However, If your action cam doesn’t offer these connections, it will likely have a wired USB connection. The USB cable available with most action cameras is a micro-USB cable. This cord has a standard USB connector at one end that plugs into your PC. On the other end, it will have a smaller micro-USB connector that plugs into the micro-B socket on your camera. Before you’re ready to transfer your footage, you may have to change the camera’s setting to “USB Mode” using the mode button. Once connected, you can transfer videos to your PC and get ready to share all of your fantastic content.
Some action cameras have a handy magnetic connection. This type of cable will have a standard USB connector at one end, but a small, round magnet at the other end that attaches to your camera with a quick “click.” Not only is this process much faster, but it also helps protect the camera because it doesn’t force you to open any ports for charging or data transfer. If you are out filming on location, dust, dirt, and debris can get inside these ports and cause permanent damage. With a magnetic connection, you don’t have to worry about harming the camera.
If you are looking to display your content on a larger screen but not necessarily transfer data, you can use a micro-HDMI cable. These cables connect to your PC’s monitor so you can preview content before transferring.
Micro-SD Card Reader
Another option for data transfer is a microSD card reader. These small adaptors have a standard USB connector at one end that plugs into your PC. On the other end is a card reader box you can slide your SD card into. The card reader will transfer the content from the memory card to the PC it’s plugged into. If you prefer this method of transfer, you can purchase a microSD card reader separately and pair it with your PC.
With your new camera action, there are several easy ways to connect to your PC. By linking your device to your computer regularly, you ensure that there is always enough room for new footage. By not transferring content, you risk losing precious videos or running out of space when out on location. By managing your data, you can guarantee the next time inspiration strikes, you will be able to grab your camera and start filming!