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GoPro Hero 12 Black Drops with 5 Pro-Grade Improvements: Here’s the Inside Scoop

GoPro's Hero 12 Black may appear unchanged on the surface, but it hides some impressive upgrades under the hood, catering to quality content creators


Everyone eagerly awaited the launch of GoPro’s newest addition to their action camera series, the Hero 12 Black. Pre-release rumors painted a picture of a device that could eclipse not only its predecessor, the Hero 11 Black, but also its competitors like the DJI Osmo Action 4. However, upon unveiling, it appears that the Hero 12 Black closely mirrors its previous model.

At first sight, many features remain consistent. The 1/1.7-inch sensor with an 8:7 aspect ratio hasn’t changed, still boasting 5.3K video recording and 27MP photos. Its highly-praised 6.0 HyperSmooth image stabilization is retained, and physically, the camera looks almost identical to the Hero 11. GoPro has, however, introduced the Media Mod 2.0, offering an expansive ultra-wide 177-degree field of view. On top of that, they’ve released the new GoPro Quik desktop app.

For many, the apparent similarities between the Hero 12 and its predecessor might raise eyebrows. Why opt for the new version when the Hero 11 Black offers so much already? Yet, diving into the details, the Hero 12 Black subtly sets itself apart with features that certain users, especially sound enthusiasts, will find valuable.

1. Enhanced Audio Capabilities

The Hero 12 Black brings dual channel audio to the table. This means users can simultaneously record audio from an external mic (or the front mic of GoPro’s Media Mod) and the in-camera audio. Imagine capturing the ambient noises of a bustling market while simultaneously recording clear voiceovers with an external mic. It’s a travel-creator’s dream come true.

2. Flexible Audio Control

The new GoPro supports any wireless Bluetooth microphone, including popular choices like Apple Airpods. This paves the way for seamless voice-command operations, especially useful in scenarios where the camera is out of reach. Picture this: your GoPro is attached to the outside of a car, and from your seat, you can command it to start recording using just your voice through Airpods. The same feature enhances hands-free operations during extreme sports activities.

3. Improved Battery Performance

Although the Hero 12 Black shares the same battery type as the Hero 11, it boasts almost double the battery life. This translates to 70 minutes of 5.3K/60p video recording, 95 minutes at 5.3K 30p, and a staggering 155 minutes in full HD. The secret? GoPro mentions a revamped power management system, not a new battery.

4. Richer Video Options

The Hero 12 Black keeps its video resolution and frame rates consistent with its predecessor, topping at 5.3K at 60fps. However, it’s the newer additions that videography enthusiasts might appreciate. Now, users can harness the full 8:7 sensor area in all shooting modes, a feature the Hero 11 Black lacked. Moreover, HDR video and GoPro’s proprietary log and luts color profiles have been added. This is a boon for content creators aiming to post across different social platforms and those who indulge in detailed color grading.

5. Mounting Versatility

While it might seem minor, the inclusion of an industry-standard 1/4-inch tripod thread is a nod to user versatility. Positioned strategically on the camera’s underside, this feature broadens the Hero 12 Black’s compatibility, allowing it to work with a wider array of non-GoPro tripods, mounts, and accessories.

Market Perspective and Early Verdict

With the Hero 12 Black priced similarly to the Hero 11 Black, many potential buyers might be in a quandary. Especially when considering that the Hero 11 Black’s price might reduce soon, offering arguably the same value at a lower cost.

Furthermore, competition in the action camera realm is fierce. DJI made a significant mark with its Osmo Action 4, which was introduced just a month earlier. Boasting a larger 1/1.3-inch sensor and enhanced image quality in a package with a more user-friendly magnetic mounting system, the scales seem to tip in DJI’s favor.

However, it’s essential to note that each camera has its strengths. We’ll be pitting them against each other in an upcoming comparison to truly determine which action camera reigns supreme.

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