GoPro is back with another Hero—but this time, it's focusing more on your social space.
Last April Fool’s Day, there was a story about creating a large circular cinema camera sensor that would be used to capture single footage that could then be used for multiple aspect ratios. It was a joke, to be sure.
To anyone but GoPro, it seems. That’s because the action camera company has developed a larger GP2 sensor for its new GoPro Hero11 action camera that can capture 16x9 and 8x7 vertical video from the same video file. Cue "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias.
I Can Be Your Hero, Baby
With the introduction of the 1/1.9-inch GP2 image sensor, the GoPro Hero11 will enjoy a 16% increase in the camera’s field of view, and will be able to use the same video clip for both traditional aspect ratios and social media-centric vertical video without the need of reorienting the camera or cropping the image in post, which could result in the loss of detail. All with the same waterproofing of up to 33 feet (10 meters).
The Hero11 is also capable of capturing 5.3K video in 10-bit color at up to 60 frames per second, with over one billion shades of color and a higher dynamic range. The result is better gradients without banding so that the image looks more like the creator sees it.
The Hero11 also shoots 2.7K video at 100 fps and 1080p at up to 240fps.
Fifth Generation HyperSmooth 5 offers both linear and horizon lock, which keeps the footage locked to the horizon, even when the camera rotates a full 360 degrees. Whatever the secret sauce is that GoPro uses to accomplish this is anyone’s guess, but the result is simply remarkable when the camera remains still in mid-air while the subject does a barrel roll in front of it.
GoPro has also added a new dynamic algorithm that only applies HyperSmooth when the camera detects shaking. The result is the widest field of view possible throughout the recording, rather than having it applied in an all-or-nothing fashion.
Moreover, in situations where the camera is capturing slow-motion video at higher frame rates, Horizon Leveling will keep the image steady at an angle limit of up to 27 degrees. Shooting in standard 4:3 mode will also provide even better stabilization when SuperView is enabled.
The Hero 11 also has two control modes—easy and professional. By default, the camera automatically creates the settings to capture with point-and-shoot simplicity. But for more advanced users who want full control of the image, the user can go into professional mode and adjust every setting for the perfect image.
Other features include livestreaming in 1080p and three new time-lapse effects including star trails, vehicle trails, and night painting. There's also a faster burst rate between 30 fps or 60 frames in six-second, and the ability to shoot burst mode in RAW.
The GoPro Hero11 Black also comes with the new Enduro battery, which lasts up to 38% longer battery life, while the camera optimizes performance to reduce battery drain by managing video quality and frame rates. The result is an additional 10% more battery life while still capturing a good image.
The GoPro Hero11 Black Mini is just like its big brother, managing to preserve about 80% of the features of the Hero 11, but with a smaller image sensor and eliminating the dual LCD screens. Users will rely on their mobile phones to frame their shots, and the result is even better battery performance from the Enduro battery hard-wired into the smaller form factor.
The Mini has dual mounting fingers built into the bottom and the back of the cube-like design, enabling users to more comfortably mount it in just about any camera position. It's also waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters) and supports GoPro’s Mod line of accessories.
The One App to Rule Them All
The real killer feature, though, is running in GoPro’s Quik app, where the Hero11 will automatically upload video clips from capturing the day’s action, and GoPro’s backend will curate an Auto Highlight video reel for users to share, complete with synced music, visual effects, transitions, and more. All wrapped around a set theme determined by the video clips being used.
All the Things on Offer
It's interesting to see GoPro try and capture the digital content and social market with this new offering. With smartphone cameras becoming the norm, GoPro is providing budget solutions while still keeping to its extreme sports roots.
The GoPro Hero11 comes in three models—the Hero11 Black for $499.99, the Hero11 Black Creator Edition for $699.99, which comes with a directional Mod microphone, external mic input, high output LED light, and two cold shoe mounts, plus an HDMI port connection. Finally, there’s the Hero11 Mini for $399.99.
GoPro subscribers can also save an additional $100 off on all camera purchases. Users can join the GoPro subscription for about $50, and it offers features including camera replacement, additional discounts, and more. A deal even if all you’re doing is buying a new camera.