GoPro’s latest Hero Black update is live on the GoPro website and the usual Hero Black is joined by a new Mini model. As expected, there’s the Hero 11 Black but along with it comes the Hero 11 Black Mini. No prizes for guessing that the Mini is a smaller version of the flagship, but how the company has implemented it is a little more interesting than perhaps the “Session” cameras of old (its spiritual predecessor).
First, let’s look at what’s new in the Hero 11 Black. Design-wise there’s no changes at all bar the different number on the side, it even uses the same colors as the 10. Inside there’s only one hardware change, and that’s a new taller sensor. The Hero 11 Black also now comes bundled with the Enduro battery as standard which was previously sold as an accessory.
Intriguingly, the flagship feature GoPro is promoting seems to be the new automatic highlight videos. The idea is, once you get back from your adventure and plug your camera in, it’ll auto upload your new footage and create a spiffy video for you automatically. It’s intriguing because this isn’t a Hero 11 feature at all, it’s something available to owners of any camera back to the Hero 5 as long as you have a GoPro subscription.
There are, of course, some hardware-specific updates that make use of that taller sensor. Not least is the jump from 23 to 27-megapixel photos and the introduction of 10-bit color. There’s also a “Full Frame” shooting mode that captures everything on the 8:7 sensor in 5.3K. The idea here being you can punch out different videos at different aspect ratios – in full resolution – after the fact.
The second benefit of the new sensor is the addition of 360-degree horizon lock right up to 5.3K/30. This is either a practical tool to avoid lop-sided video or can be used for creative effect if your activity involves any kind of spinning – you can keep the subject level and just spin the sky, for example.
The maximum resolution stays at 5K/60 or 4K120, but along with Full Frame, you now have “HyperView” which is the whole sensor view squeezed into a 16:9 format. It’s basically the existing SuperView, just with even more pixels. It’s great for first person view shots as it really dials up the sense of action.
Night owls will find some new tools in the Time Lapse section: Vehicle Lights, Star Trails and Light Paint. The names match popular effects we’ve all seen before and now you can do them right from your GoPro straight from a preset.
As for HyperSmooth, the company’s software stabilization, that’s now in its fifth incarnation and comes with Auto Boost for those extra heavy moments. One other new menu option is the ability to switch between Pro and Easy mode. “Pro” is the current standard menu system while Easy strips out everything but the best click-and-go settings for most situations.
Perhaps the most interesting news for hardware fans is that new Mini model. It’s the exact same camera guts, just without either of the video displays. Instead there’s a limited LCD for seeing what settings are active and two buttons. The party-piece here is that the Mini has two sets of built-in mounting fingers, making it a little more versatile than its bigger sibling. The Mini is also powered by a non-removable Enduro battery.
GoPro is sticking with its funky pricing scheme which means you actually pay less if you choose to include a subscription. The Hero 11 Black keeps the $399/$500 (without a sub) price of the camera it replaces while the Mini comes in at $300/$400. The flagship goes on sale today, while the Mini will ship starting October 25.
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