Capturing great shots has never been easier, but the competition is on the horizon.
These days, the idea of a camera just for “action” feels like an anachronism. Social media is king in 2022, and action is just part of it. If you look at some of GoPro’s recent competitors, it’s clear that all brands with a skin in gaming are too aware of this. Everything feels a little more grown-up when you step into the Hero 11 Black.
What’s new is that if your bingo cards include a “physical design”, you’re out of luck. It seems like it gets a major redesign every three or four years, but for now, the Hero 11 looks exactly like the 10, with the 0’s on the side replaced by 1’s.
However, as usual, there are some additional shooting modes. SuperView is now available for him up to 5K60/4K120 (previously he was maxed at 4K/60). Similarly, still images are boosted from 23 megapixels to a maximum of 27 megapixels. There is also 10-bit color across the board. The smart ones of you will notice that this means there will be a new sensor and some core of other new features below. Despite the increase from f/2.3 to f/1.9, those extra megapixels don’t really seem to translate into improved low-light performance (hence no such claim). , you can play with more pixels.
In fact, this new large sensor enables two of the most important new features.
The first is 360 degree horizon lock in linear mode (up to 5.3K/30). Horizon leveling was pretty good in Hero 10, and totally so now. If your activity involves many tight turns or literal body rotations, this can be used for creative effects. If you’re prone to wobbly camera mounts, like me, you can really forget all about it now. , GoPro has frame rates of 4K/60 and 2.7K/120, and DJI has 2.7K/60.
His second big advantage of the large sensor is the ability to shoot “full frame”. This isn’t a camera mode per se, but if you want an 8 it works out of the box.
7, 5.3K video. It’s a tool for capturing absolutely anything and later “punching out” the desired aspect ratio (or multiple). Full frame allows him to get 4K in one shot. 16:
9 videos on YouTube, then 9:
For example, 16 versions of TikTok. Both use completely different framing if you prefer. Or you can set it up somehow, forget about it, and frame the shot later.
This feature has a lot of potential, especially if you don’t know which shooting mode to choose. I mounted the camera on the bike perpendicular to the frame (turning the bike into a dolly of sorts). I drove past some interesting scenery and then punched the conventional 16.
Edit 9 and Mobile Friendly 9:
16 versions. The landscape clip worked pretty well, as I was able to cut out a lot of plaster and focus on the subject, and the mobile version did better than if I had to cut it out of the 16.
Of course, there was no loss of resolution, but this shot was not suitable for portraits. Either way, the fullscreen feature improved both videos, and the fact that each could be framed differently definitely got us thinking about other cool things we could do with them.
If something is negative, you may need to think the other way around. For example, I briefly introduced the camera by framing myself with the front screen, but later when I chose the aspect ratio I wanted to punch out, I realized that it was filling the screen, so I had to settle for one There was a strange rift. What I could have avoided if I had shot with a fixed FOV like 16:
9 from the beginning.
To keep the frame relevant, there’s a new “digital lens” (his GoPro marketing language for field of view) called HyperView. In 2013, the company introduced SuperView, which aggregated everything on the sensor into 16.
Aspect ratio 9. It’s a bit intense, but it makes first-person shots faster and more immersive. Well, HyperView is essentially that, but with the new, larger sensor, it’s a little crazy.
Of course you won’t use it for everything, but it should be fine for certain shots. When I tried it on my handlebars, the distortion of trees and buildings was noticeable when I passed by. Worse, those slightly odd angles made it feel like you were watching a 90s first-person shooter.
That being said, I took a second shot with the camera hanging low next to my board while cruising around town, and I can’t stop looking at it: the proximity to the ground, the speed of passing objects and the The intensity made me feel like I was in the cockpit of his tiny FPV drone. After watching the video, I knew I wasn’t driving too fast, but I felt like I had to slow down.
Now might have been a good time to test another flagship feature: auto-generated highlight videos. Over the years, GoPro has made it progressively easier to turn the contents of your SD card into interesting compilations. Now the company takes things into their own hands (the AI) and when they get home and plug in their cameras, they create edits. You’ll need a GoPro subscription to use this feature, but buying a Sub with a camera is substantially cheaper these days, and that doesn’t rule out many people. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, it is not possible to test this functionality.
What we can talk about is the new Night Time Lapse mode. There are 3 in total.
Star trails, light paintings and vehicle lights. All three are pretty descriptive and add some welcome additions to the standard timelapse options, although I don’t think they’re really something most people use on a regular basis. Create great b-roll creative type shots. Or something fun to share when you’re in an area with low light pollution (or near a crazy highway junction at night).
We’ve come this far without talking about what a video or photo actually looks like. GoPro image quality has come a long way in recent years. Last year sharpness improved significantly. There’s no real change this time around, but the colors seem to pop a little more, without the slightly oversaturated look of the old camera, probably thanks to the new 10-bit color. This will be appreciated by professional users who have a lot of data to process in post. HyperSmooth has gained popularity again and is now undergoing its fifth software stabilization. Honestly, the stability is so good at this point that it’s hard to judge how it’s improved.We can’t go back to the pre-stabilization days, so everything before Hero 7 I mentally put my GoPro away. All you need to know is that your video should be smoother and more stable than it should be.
Perhaps you’ve never used a GoPro before, or haven’t used it since the dark ages when it only had a small monochrome display on the front. In this case, it can be a bit overwhelming to use the latest model, with so many features and shortcuts crammed into the rear display.To help with this, GoPro has introduced an “Easy” mode Did. It uses one preset for each of the three main capture modes (Time Lapse, Video and Photo).
In simple mode it’s not immediately obvious what FOV or frame rate he’s shooting at, but it’s 5.3K/30 on 16.
After the test video, a small text will appear in the “Speed” context menu. Time Lapse defaults to Time Warp (still image to stabilized video), which is probably the most useful feature. It also makes sense, as photos default to SuperPhoto, GoPro’s own “automatic” mode.
There are no menu options, but there are shortcuts for changing the “speed” (slow motion) and the amount of horizon lock to use (or not use). Similarly, in Photo mode, you can change the field of view and add a self-timer if you want.For those who don’t want to be overwhelmed with choices, I’m going to complain about having more accessible options No, but regular users will probably want to stick to Pro mode.
Whichever option you choose means nothing if you don’t have time to have fun with your battery. That crappy transition is to showcase the normal battery life section. Last year, the company introduced a new extreme-weather ‘Enduro’ battery pack as an additional accessory. Well, this battery is a standard cell for cameras.
Despite its name, the claims are vague, claiming up to 40% better battery life. This seems to be particularly relevant to performance at more severe temperatures. The most “extreme” weather I was able to test was the normal 94 degree summer heat. There were a few outings where I recorded with the camera always on and GPS enabled, except for a few occasions where I was changing settings etc. This included numerous connections to the camera on my phone and , which includes fetching media wirelessly. On average, the GoPro lasts about an hour and a half, which isn’t as long as I’d hoped, but it’s a 20% increase over last year’s camera in similar tests (without GPS).
Of course, this is always used with WiFi/GPS turned on. If you don’t turn the camera on and off all day, shoot at maximum resolution, or use apps as often as I do, then you can expect something decent otherwise. Either way, if you have to buy it as an accessory, a new battery is included as standard, so you’ll save at least a little bit here.
Of course, this adds up to the overall value proposition. The good news is that the Hero 11 Black is priced the same as last year’s flagship.
$399.98 with subscription, $500 without subscription. As far as I know, there’s literally no reason to buy one without a subscription… But even at the low price, the Hero 11 Black is more expensive than the Osmo Action 3 ($329) or the Insta360 RS 4K Bundle ($300).
$100 (or $2) is a pretty wide range for competing products. GoPro has the richest ecosystem of the three cameras above, but competitors circumvent it with compatible mounts. I found a good balance between sexuality and creativity. However, as previously mentioned with Horizon Lock and others, details vary by brand.
The dilemma when thinking about upgrading isn’t so daunting. Coming from Hero 10, there may not be enough steps up to make it worth it. If you’re on an older model like Hero 8 or earlier, the decision is much easier.
This feels like an iterative update in many ways, but in Hero 9 and Hero 10 he’s had two years of pretty big revisions. Add to this the competition from DJI and Insta360 which is starting to put serious pressure on GoPro.As a result, it may be the best time ever to buy what was once known as an action camera.