GoPro single handedly established the action camera segment, but its dominance has been questioned over the last few years with heated competition from rivals like DJI and Insta360. While the company has remained firm on focusing its attention on action cameras, rather than exploring other product categories like its competition, the GoPro Hero12 Black is a convincing successor that plays up to its core audience. And you know what? It might be just enough to make its latest offering one of the best action cameras around.
One look at the GoPro Hero12 and you might be scratching your head wondering what’s different about it. Sure, it’s very similar in design to the previous GoPro Hero11 Black, but it’s what's under the hood and a few new additions that make it a worthy successor. Boasting a maximum 5.3K video resolution capture, double the battery life, and a class-leading 177-degree field of view, it’s everything that enthusiasts crave in an action camera — but there are still more features that make it ideal for today’s content creators.
Making it an even more attractive option is the fact that it’s accompanied with a starting price of $400 — which is $100 less than its predecessor. You can also pick up the Max Lens Mod 2.0 for $100 (or $80 for GoPro subscribers) that effectively gives it that extra wide 177-degree field of view. Pre-orders are available right now, with global availability starting on September 13.
GoPro users already familiar with the Hero11 Black may not be too enthused about the specs attached to the Hero12 Black, but it’s still one of its key selling points. Noticeably absent is the 1-inch sensor that rumors hinted to make an appearance here. Despite that, it’s no slouch when you graze over the specs below.
|Main display||2.27-inch LCD|
|Front display||1.4-inch LCD|
|Size||2.82 x 2 x 1.32-inches|
|Video Capture||5.3K 60fps|
That’s because the GoPro Hero12 Black tops out a 5.3K 60fps recording, with a maximum 240 fps capture rate at 2.7K resolution. Other familiar specs include its 27-megapixel camera, 120Mbps bit rate, 2.27-inch rear touchscreen display, 1.4-inch front screen, and 1,720 mAh battery. It’s also flaunting the same size and weight as the Hero11 Black.
Like we said, these specs don’t push the boundaries, but there are two qualities that really make a strong selling point.
Double the battery, wider coverage
Wider coverage is always coveted amongst action cameras, so this is one area that GoPro does right with the Hero12 Black. Swapping out the included lens with the optional Max Lens Mode 2.0, it extends the field of view to a whopping 177-degree. It’s a class leading field of view that lets you capture more the action and scene, making it an even more valuable vlogging camera.
Moreover, the GoPro Hero12 Black supposedly offers double the battery life over its predecessor — with up to 70 minutes of continuous recording at 5.3K 60fps. Given how it’s packing the same 1,720 mAh battery as before, it’s able to achieve this extended range thanks to a redesigned power management system.
Use your AirPods to record audio
One of its new features we’re excited about doesn’t actually revolve around video. Rather, it’s focused on recording audio. Instead of having to buy a separate wireless microphone system of some kind, or buying a mic adapter, you could actually just pair your AirPods and use it as a wireless microphone.
Seriously, it’s a feature we wish more camera makers offer, but it essentially will let you pair any Bluetooth wireless earbuds to use an audio source while recording. Recording audio with the built-in mics should be no issue as long it’s no more than arm’s reach, but anything farther than that typically isn’t advisable.
That’s why we’re enthusiastic about its support for Bluetooth devices, so you don’t have to spend extra money on getting better audio when you’re farther away from the camera.
More features for content creators
If using a pair of AirPods to record audio isn’t enough to convince you the GoPro Hero12 Black means business, it offers even more tools for content creators who want to produce videos quick and easy. For starters, it tucks away 1/4-20 mounting threads in addition to the standard action camera mount — making it incredibly convenient to use existing camera accessories with it.
Secondly, simplified controls make it easy for beginners or first time users to get acquainted with all of the controls and settings. There’s also a vertical capture mode that lets user capture video content for social media, all without having to physically position the GoPro Hero12 vertically. And lastly, professional video editors will have even more control with GP-Log and LUTs (Look Up Table) support so that it gives them better color grading control in post.
The GoPro Hero12 Black is fundamentally an action camera that focuses its attention on what enthusiasts crave. Sure, it’s not a tremendous overhaul, nor is it trying to redefine the segment, but it absolutely caters to content creators and serious users. These iterative upgrades all lend to helping it appeal to a wider audience that wouldn’t necessarily think of action cameras as primary content creation tools.