Every September, two things are certain: the leaves will change color, and GoPro will launch a new flagship camera. Today, we’re focused on the latter. The brand recently unveiled the Hero12 Black and Max Lens Mod 2.0. This latest model still shares much of the same hardware, including the body and image sensor, with the Hero11 but features genuinely exciting upgrades. If you’re a content creator who wants to up your game, some of these new features could make the Hero12 a no-brainer.
Suffice it to say, GoPro has upped its game. And if you want to see what features stayed the same for the Hero12, you can read my overview of the Hero11 Black and hands-on review of the Hero10 Black.
One of the most noteworthy upgrades this year is the 9:16 vertical capture mode, which makes the Hero12 a great option for content creators who make Instagram reels, TikTok videos, and YouTube shorts. There’s also BlueTooth connectivity, meaning you can easily connect it to your AirPods or a high-end microphone to give your videos much better audio quality without the hassle of wires and adapters.
Included in the sale is GoPro’s Enduro battery. This battery, along with a redesigned power management system, can enable you to shoot for up to twice as long. So, if you’re recording in 5.3K60, you could capture up to 70 minutes of footage. Of course, if you’re using one of GoPro’s standard batteries, the capture time is reduced, but it should still be an improvement over the Hero11 with the same battery.
Just as the Hero11 maxes out at 5.3K60, so too does the Hero12. But the Hero12 can capture HDR (High Dynamic Range) at 5.3K (up to 30fps in 16:9 aspect ratio) and 4K (up to 60fps in 16:9 and 30fps in 8:7 aspect ratios). However, it’s worth noting that this is most beneficial for creators who use GP-Log encoding with LUT to max out the dynamic range before applying color correction.
Pair the Hero12’s HDR and ability to capture 10-bit color with GoPro’s latest HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilization, and you should have sharp, smooth footage that’s visually dynamic whether you’re on a motocross bike or skiing down a mountain.
New for the Hero12 is TimeCode Sync, and this is another tasty feature for serious content creators. TimeCode Sync enables you to synchronize multiple Hero12s via the timecode in the Quick app. Essentially, you can capture the same moment from different angles and make perfect frame-match edits in post-production.
Speaking of post-production, GoPro is updating the Quick app so that you can edit videos directly from the cloud, eliminating the need to download files locally to your device.
Another notable improvement over the Hero11 is the Hero12’s field of view. The previous model’s maximum field of view was 121 degrees, but the Hero12 ups this to 156 degrees in a full-frame 8:7 aspect ratio, in both 5.3K and 4K. But if that still doesn’t sound like enough, fear not. The new Max Lens Mod 2.0 delivers a 177-degree field of view in 4K60 when shooting in HyperView. The Max Lens Mod is sold separately and costs $99.99.
You can get the Hero12 Black and the Max Lens Mod 2.0 bundle for $479.98, saving you $20. But if you just want the camera itself, it’s $399.99, which is in line with the previous few iterations. The Hero12 Black Creator Edition, which includes the Volta, Media Mod, Light Mod, and carrying case, will set you back $599.99.