GoPro announces the Hero 11 Black and Hero 11 Mini

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’s the Hero 11 Black, but also the Hero 11 Black Mini. No prices to guess that the Mini is a smaller version of the flagship, but how the company has implemented it is a little more interesting than perhaps the old “Session” cameras (their spiritual predecessor).

First, let’s look at what’s new in Hero 11 Black. In terms of design, apart from the different number on the side, there are no changes at all, it even uses the same colors as the 10. Inside, there’s only one hardware change, and that’s a new larger sensor. The Hero 11 Black also now comes standard with the enduro battery pack that was previously sold as an accessory.

Interestingly, the new automatic highlight videos appear to be the flagship feature that GoPro is touting. The idea is, as soon as you come back from your adventure and plug in your camera, it will automatically upload your new footage and automatically create a fancy video for you. It’s intriguing because this isn’t a Hero 11 feature at all, but rather something available to owners of any camera up to the Hero 5, as long as you have a GoPro subscription.

There are, of course, some hardware-specific updates that take advantage of this larger sensor. Not least the jump from 23 to 27 megapixel photos and the introduction of 10-bit color. There’s also a “Full Frame” capture mode that captures everything on the 8:7 sensor in 5.3K. The idea is that you can subsequently punch out different videos with different aspect ratios – in full resolution.

GoPro Hero 11 Black press image.

GoPro

The second benefit of the new sensor is the additional 360 degree horizon lock up to 5.3K/30. This is either a handy tool to avoid lopsided video, or can be used for creative effects when your activity involves some sort of rotation – you can keep the subject level and just rotate the sky, for example.

Maximum resolution remains at 5K/60 or 4K120, but along with Full Frame you now have “HyperView”, which is the entire sensor view squeezed into a 16:9 format. It’s basically the existing SuperView, only with even more pixels. It’s great for first-person shots as it really conveys the feel of the action.

Night owls will find some new tools in the Time Lapse section: Vehicle Lights, Star Trails, and Light Color. The names align with popular effects we’ve all seen before, and now you can run them right from your GoPro right from a preset.

HyperSmooth, the company’s software stabilization, is now in its fifth incarnation and comes with Auto Boost for those extra tough moments. Another new menu option is the ability to switch between Pro and Easy modes. “Pro” is the current default menu system, while Easy removes everything but the best click-and-go settings for most situations.

Perhaps the most interesting news for hardware fans is the new Mini model. It’s exactly the same camera, just without any of the video displays. Instead there’s a limited LCD to see which settings are active and two buttons. The party piece here is that the Mini has two sets of built-in mounting fingers, making it a little more versatile than its bigger siblings. The Mini is also powered by a non-removable enduro battery.

GoPro sticks to its unconventional pricing scheme, which means you actually pay less if you choose to subscribe. The Hero 11 Black retains the $399/$500 (excluding the sub) price of the camera it replaces, while the Mini is $300/$400. The flagship goes on sale today, while the Mini will start shipping from October 25.

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Russell Falcon

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