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 is the Hero 11 Black but with it comes the Hero 11 Black Mini. No prizes for guessing that the Mini is a smaller version of the flagship, but the way the company has implemented it is a little more interesting than perhaps the older “Session” cameras (its spiritual predecessor).
First, let’s look at what’s new in the Hero 11 Black. Design wise, there is no change except for the different number on the side, it even uses the same colors as the 10. Inside, there is only one hardware change, and it’s a new larger sensor. The Hero 11 Black now comes with the Enduro battery as standard, which was previously sold as an accessory.
Curiously, the headline feature that GoPro is promoting seems to be the new Auto Highlight Videos. The idea is that once you return from your adventure and plug in your camera, it will automatically upload your new footage and automatically create a stunning video for you. It’s intriguing because it’s not a Hero 11 feature at all, it’s something that’s available to owners of any camera up to the Hero 5 as long as you have a GoPro subscription.
There are, of course, hardware-specific updates that use this larger sensor. The passage of photos from 23 to 27 megapixels and the introduction of 10-bit color are not the least. There’s also a “Full Frame” shooting mode that captures everything on the 8:7 sensor in 5.3K. The idea here being that you can trim different videos to different aspect ratios – at full resolution – afterwards.
The second benefit of the new sensor is the addition of 360 degree horizon locking up to 5.3K/30. This is either a handy tool to prevent lopsided videos, or a creative effect if your activity involves any kind of rotation – you can keep the subject level and just rotate the sky, for example.
The maximum resolution remains at 5K/60 or 4K120, but with Full Frame you now have “HyperView” which is the full sensor view compressed into a 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s basically the existing SuperView, just with even more pixels. It’s great for first-person shots because it really dials in the sense of the action.
Night owls will find 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, which is now in its fifth incarnation and comes with Auto Boost for those heavy hitting moments. Another new menu option is the ability to switch between Pro and Easy modes. “Pro” is the current standard menu system, while Easy does away with all but the best click-and-go settings for most situations.
Perhaps the most exciting news for hardware fans is this new Mini model. It’s the exact same camera guts, just without any of the video screens. Instead there’s a limited LCD display to see which settings are active and two buttons. The centerpiece here is that the Mini has two sets of built-in mounting fingers, making it a bit more versatile than its bigger sibling. The Mini is also powered by a non-removable Enduro battery.
GoPro sticks to its funky pricing scheme, which means you actually pay less if you choose to include a subscription. The Hero 11 Black retains the $399/$500 (without sub) price of the camera it replaces while the Mini costs $300/$400. The flagship goes on sale today (and our review is here), while the Mini will ship from October 25.
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