Whether you’re happy with the regular ruggedised rectangular Hero or you prefer something much smaller, GoPro has action covered in 2022.
Capturing video of anything isn’t all that complex these days, and you certainly have choices. You could do it with your phone — any phone — and you could do it with a dedicated larger camera, because these days, anything that captures images also captures video.
Singular functions aren’t really a thing in the era of convergence, it seems.
It’s a world camera makers need to work hard to stand out in, as more turn to updates, upgrades, and little additions that make you say “yes, I’ll happily use you over my phone”, given our mobile is often the first place many of us turn to.
Ruggedisation is one of the main ways action camera makers have at their disposal, but even as phones start to become more durable (ever so slightly, anyway), there’s more they can do.
In the 2022 GoPro range, going beyond rugged appears to be on the cards, as the name most people know as the action camera brings back its compact size and matches the technology across both that and the regular rectangular body.
GoPro’s Hero 11 range is ready, and it’s coming in the Hero 11 Black and Hero 11 Black Mini, two different cameras with similar tech inside. The choice between them is more or less size and controls, allowing you to keep the tech you want throughout.
Two sizes, same tech
In the 2022 GoPro range, last year’s Hero 10 Black is a distant memory. Kinda sorta. GoPro will still offer it, because the tech is solid still, but if you want the latest, it’s in the Hero 11 models.
Both are quite similar, with the ruggedised rectangular style back for another round, and it looks a lot like the Hero 10 or even the Hero 9 before it, but with a new number. You’ll get a screen on the front and a bigger screen on the back, with some tactile buttons on the side and top, while a removable battery is found inside.
The Hero 11 Black Mini is different again, removing the screens almost entirely, save for a top-mount screen that provides a minimal amount of information, kind of like the good ol’ days of GoPros where it was just shot information and battery runtime.
Instead of the rear screen, GoPro has thrown in two mounting positions, with built-in GoPro mounts on both the bottom and back, while the battery is also built-in and not removable. The logic here for the Hero 11 Black Mini is simple: use it as a compact camera and trigger only with the buttons, or control it remotely with your phone or tablet.
Either model supports wireless features, one of the hallmarks of the GoPro range, and they both support the same tech this year. Really, you’re just choosing the size and form-factor.
That tech includes a new sensor offering a 27 megapixel sensor for stills that’s also taller, capturing at an 8:7 aspect ratio, basically making it longer on one side. The size will mean it can capture video for portrait mode on social, ideally for TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, converting down to 9:16’s vertical slim look, though you could rotate the camera and capture at the standard 16:9 widescreen look, as well. In theory, you could use both on Samsung’s rotating Sero screen if you had one.
Using the new sensor means GoPro’s 16:9 is also the widest it has ever been, something the company calls “HyperView”, and it can capture video up to 5.3K at 60 frames per second in a different mode, or a max of 4K at a smooth 120 frames per second. That’s lots of resolution for smooth video.
The other feature worth talking about here is probably GoPro’s HyperSmooth and Horizon Lock, both of which aim to keep shaky motion steady when you’re doing things, so you mightn’t need to bring a tripod to the table, or even the table.
Australian pricing and availability for the Hero 11 Black
GoPro’s Hero 11 Black looks set to grace Australian online stores and physical store shelves shortly, with the regular model retailing now for $799.95, while GoPro subscribers can net it for $150 less at $649.95.
A model with all the extra accessories — selfie-stick with tripod, microphone, light — can be found now in the Hero 11 Black Creator Edition for $1099.95, with subscribers being charged $929.95 for the same package, while the Hero 11 Black Mini will be released at the end of October, priced at $649.95 on store shelves or $499.95 for GoPro subscribers.