September 13, 2023
While mainly used by creators for extreme sports photography, the tiny GoPro Hero had its close-up moment in 2015’s “The Martian” to capture the effect of driving a rover across the surface of Mars. It was also used for some action shots in 2021’s “The King’s Man.” Changes to the new Hero 12 Black bring the action cam closer to something storytellers might want to try. Upgrades include the GoPro Enduro battery, with up to 2x longer runtime than its predecessor, and the Max Lens Mod 2.0 accessory, which enables a vast 177-degree field-of-view at 4K/60 fps.
The GoPro Enduro is included with the basic $399.99 Hero 12 package, which supports 5.3K and 4K resolution video and boasts an improved HyperSmooth 6.0 stabilization system. The Max Lens Mod costs an additional $99.99.
Professional Hero 12 Black features include the ability to capture 5.3K at up to 30 fps in 16:9 format, while the 4K records at up to 60 fps in 16:9 aspect ratio and 30 fps in 8:7. “Video can be captured in 5.3K and 4K in 10-bit,” writes Newsshooter, adding that “you can also capture 4K at up to 120 fps and 2.7K at up to 240 fps” using other aspect ratios, which include traditional 4:3 and full-frame 8:7.
Photography is at 27 megapixels and the camera does 24.7 megapixel video frame grabs.
The addition of GP-Log encoding offers greater dynamic range, and the timecode sync feature works across what GoPro says is an “unlimited number” of Hero 12 Blacks for smoother editing of material shot from different cameras and angles.
Newsshooter calls “the most important part of this announcement” the fact that “finally there is a LOG recording mode with downloadable LUTs that you can use,” qualifying that “currently the only LUT available is GPLOG_Auto_WB.cube.”
The Verge notes that those looking “to record video for platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts, the Hero 12 Black offers a new 9:16 vertical capture mode,” adding that “alongside support for Bluetooth wireless audio devices like AirPods and microphones, the Hero 12 could be a good pick for creators who want to more easily make vertical videos.”
The Hero 12 Black and accessories will arrive in stores today. GoPro is “releasing a $599.99 ‘Creator Edition’ that comes with a grip, a ‘media mod’ attachment with a mic, and an LED light attachment,” reports The Verge, noting that “GoPro is also updating its GoPro Quik app” which “now lets you edit your videos directly from the cloud. There is no longer a need to download videos locally to your device.”