Not everyone will want the smaller camera, but for some people it will be their only option.
GoPro’s annual Hero Black update brought a bit of a surprise this year. Instead of the usual flagship camera, a “mini” version was also introduced. Unfortunately, only the regular Hero Black was available at the time of the announcement, so he’d have to wait until October 25th if a scaled-down version caught his eye. And you had to wait a little longer. But finally here it is, an interesting proposition. The pitch is simple, of course.
Hero 11 Black, but smaller. From the front, the Mini is about 3/4 inch narrower than the regular Hero 11 Black. But it’s also a bit taller and about 5mm lower.It’s obviously smaller overall, but there’s a much smaller difference than the Session cameras and the flagships of the time.However, like this camera, the main drawback is the lack of a viewfinder/display. This is a big deal, so the size reduction should really address your use case. All I can say here is that probably not for most people.
As an overview, at the time of writing, the Mini sells for $299.98 with a GoPro subscription, while the regular Hero 11 Black sells for the same price at $349.98 ($449.98 / $549.98). cause). subscription offer). This can be a difference of $50 or $100 depending on the overall trade-off and the relatively small difference in size. And there are other differences besides the lack of screens to consider. For example, there is no photo mode this time.
To be clear, you can pull pictures from the camera (just above this sentence), but you’ll pull frames from the video. It’s fairly easy, but not as easy as selecting photo mode and pressing a button (again, there could be 16 photos.
9) for materials. I have to say you can’t, as you may be under the impression that you can definitely do photography natively.
Of course, as I said, there is no touchscreen to affect menu access. You can navigate the settings via a small display on top. This will take GoPro veterans right back to the days of the Hero 4 (and before). The options here are somewhat limited, with only capture modes, mode settings, and some (but not all) general settings to choose from. You do everything else via the app.
Personally, I prefer to do most things myself with the camera and use the app when the camera is mounted out of reach, but I find it difficult to do almost everything with Quik. I didn’t think so. This is only an issue if you’re doing something where your phone isn’t nearby. Surfing, for example, can require a little bit of pre-planning to make sure you’re ready before you hit the water.
I have noticed that in this situation the camera immediately goes into standby mode. Mini will automatically turn off after just 8 seconds of inactivity (15 seconds in the settings menu). This is obviously to save battery life, but it also means power cycling the camera, possibly reconnecting to it via WiFi, and picking up where you left off if you’re pausing to think. To do. Adding an option to change the duration seems like an easy solution, but for now it is.
If you’re used to using GoPro’s video presets, you should know that the Mini only has one. Unlike the regular Hero 11, it offers a lot with the option to create your own options for different shooting scenarios, but the Mini has the essentials and nothing more. This means you have to change the video settings for each shot (like life before GoPro introduced presets), but that was missing for me.
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to battery life. The bad news is that the sealed design means you can’t replace a new cell if it runs out of juice, and the good news is the Mini uses a new long-lasting enduro his battery. GoPro claims about 1 hour of continuous recording at the highest quality. This feels about right, given the short amount of time we spent with the camera and it’s consistent with the Hero 11 Black, which uses the same battery.
Since the recent redesign and addition of the 5.3K video mode, you may run into issues with the camera overheating when recording indoors when the camera is in a fixed position. In response, the company released a software update with a new “Stationary/Tripod” mode.
I didn’t have this issue when I tested the Hero 9, 10, and 11, but it happened pretty quickly (less than 10 minutes) on the Mini when shooting at 5.3K/60fps. In low power mode, the problem disappeared, so everything was fine at 1080p, for example. GoPro’s message here is that the Mini is an outdoor camera designed to attach to you or your gear. So if this is what you’re looking for in a potential static/indoor application, this isn’t the camera you want, according to GoPro.
If that sounds like a lot of words about what you can’t and shouldn’t do, the good news is that from now on, it’s all about what Mini can do. A short version of this is pretty much everything my brother can do. However, it’s worth highlighting a few distinctive features, as well as some unique to smaller cameras.
The first thing I wanted to make sure is that the Mini has a full 360 degree horizon lock. This is a new feature of the Hero 11 Black and one of his standout features this year. Given that it has the same sensor and everything, there was no reason the Mini couldn’t, but consider that confirmation anyway. The same applies to the new Hyperview mode which narrows down each pixel of the sensor to 16.
9 videos. Incredibly attractive, even mundane activities can appear surprisingly dynamic. Of course, there’s also full-frame capture here, so you can capture everything the sensor sees and cut out different mobile-friendly or desktop videos from the same source file.
Naturally, the beauty of the Mini is that it’s all body-mounted. Its small form factor and light weight make it more comfortable to attach to your head or helmet. In fact, you could say the Mini is all about being a helmet camera. His second pair of fixing fingers, especially on the back, facilitates fixing in the direction of travel.
And I feel like that’s the essence of the Mini. If you don’t need all the features and just want an honest action camera with all the video credentials of the Hero 11 Black, the Mini is for you. It also feels like a good secondary camera for another angle and if you’re using his full size GoPro for drone FPV footage (instead of a dedicated ‘Bones’ camera) the Mini is a great choice for that Optional. skeleton).