Same look, different components
The Hero Black range got a facelift three years ago and the Hero11 Black doesn’t change at this point.
It is inside where the novelties are found, in particular at the sensor level, a crucial element of an action camera. The 23 Mpx sensor comes out in the 4:3 ratio of the Hero10 Black; the Hero 11 opts for a 27 Mpx sensor with an unusual 8:7 ratio. Horizon maintenance has been further improved for 360° motion correction! Finally, the viewing angle has been extended to a maximum of 12mm, referring to the 24×36 format.
Additionally, GoPro has overhauled much of the ecosystem around its camera for greater integration with its Quik app and cloud backup management.
A market dominated by GoPro
In the high-performance action camera market, the Hero 11 Black doesn’t have many competitors. In addition to its biggest, the Hero10 Black, we can mention the DJI Osmo Action 3, released at the same time as the Hero11. Still on the side of the Chinese manufacturers, where you can find the insta360 One RS or even the more modest Akaso Brave 8.
Price and availability: GoPro pushes your subscription
GoPro introduced the Hero11 Black in September 2022 at an RRP of €549, compared to €529 for the Hero10 Black when it launched in 2022.
GoPro’s full subscription is shown at €49.99 per year and allows you to get various benefits such as an extended warranty, price reductions, unlimited storage, automatic footage editing or even editing options in the Quik app. Buying the camera by subscribing to GoPro for 1 year allows the price of the Hero11 to drop to €449.
Finally, a “Creator Edition” kit includes several additional accessories for €845 (€660 with subscription):
- The Volta power and control handle
- a lighting module
- A microphone
- A microSD card
Hero10 Black clone
Placed side by side, it is impossible to physically distinguish a GoPro Hero11 Black from a Hero10 Black. The frames are strictly identical. However, when the Hero9 was refreshed for the 10, the color of the “GoPro” flocking on the front panel allowed them to be differentiated; this is no longer the case with the latest model.
The only distinction is in the device number, engraved on its left side. So the case is still 72 x 51 x 33mm for 153g, that is… 1g less than the Hero10. There is a 2.27″ diagonal touch screen on the back and a rear screen on the front. Two buttons (for power and record) are used to control the camera.
Waterproof and more durable.
The camera can still be submerged unprotected up to 10m with the built-in mounts, which is true from the Hero8. Charging and transfer management is still done via the USB-C socket and the preferred storage medium remains the microSD card. The battery that comes with the camera has evolved a bit, since it is the so-called “Enduro” accumulator, which stands out for its white (and no longer blue) flocking.
This battery allows you to gain autonomy especially in cold climates, even very cold, since here we are talking about temperatures that can reach -20°C. This observation is also valid under milder temperatures.
beware of heating
We were able to shoot for 45 min before the camera shut down due to overheating (at a temperature of 23°C, in 4K 30fps); then I had 50% battery remaining. We let the camera cool down for a few moments, then we were able to completely drain the battery in almost another 45 minutes, for a total of 1h 28min. A good score, as long as you can handle the heat.
In the highest definitions, the autonomy falls mechanically, but it is above all the heating that is felt even more. Mounted on a surfboard or a drone, the effect will hardly be annoying. But handheld camera can be very unpleasant. The question of heating, and therefore autonomy, will therefore depend on the conditions of use.
Some changes in Hero11 are mainly on the software side. The interface hardly varies, but GoPro does emphasize accessibility. New modes are emerging. In a logic of simplification, the Hero11 Black allows you to switch between two modes: a “simplified” one, which limits the management of capture parameters to a minimum, and an advanced, more classic mode, where all settings are available; however, without being too complicated.
Still, in use, we always find that the screen can lack responsiveness to touch, and sometimes you have to try a few times before validating an order, unless you have particularly thin fingers.
Star trails at your fingertips
Among the novelties there are several creative options. Now we can have a “star trails” mode to create timelapses of a starry sky. There’s also a “light painting” mode and an option to easily capture trails left by vehicle headlights. All of these modes play with exposure time and software settings.
It then becomes very easy to produce quite spectacular sequences by limiting the headaches of shooting; which also facilitates post-production.
More than an action-cam, an “ecosystem”
GoPro is driving synergy even further with its Quik app (available on Android and iOS) and online platform.
If the basic editing features are accessible for free, of course you have to go through the subscription box (€49.99/year) to benefit from all the features. The American firm mainly highlights two of them: the automatic download of files to its cloud storage and an automatic editing function of the best moments captured, directly at the time of capture. load.
Automated editing of “highlights” online by AI
Once the camera is synced with your Wi-Fi account and network, simply turn it on when you return home to activate automatic uploading of photos and videos online. At the same time, GoPro’s AI is responsible for analyzing – if the option is activated – your sequences to produce a montage of the most significant actions.
A function that, although it is not perfect yet, is quite useful for those who do not master video editing techniques or who simply do not have time to complete the exercise. This allows you to show quite dynamic sequences of your last ski vacation or your first flight very easily, with a correct result considering the little personal investment that it requires.
A new, sharper, larger sensor with an unprecedented ratio
Alors that the dernière évolution du capteur data de 2020 avec la Hero9 Black, la GoPro Hero11 Black bouleverse un peu plus la donne avec un seulement plus défini (27 Mpx versus 23 Mpx), plus also a new ratio of 8:7 unpublished in the market.
By shooting with the full 1/1.9″ sensor, we can recover more data. According to GoPro, this allows footage to be cropped without too much loss to fit a stream on a smartphone. Full definition is maintained. Then the same: 5.3K up to 60fps.
A very wide field of vision
In addition to this new ratio, the Hero11 debuts a “new focal length” with the “Hyperview” mode. It corresponds to a 12mm lens in reference to the 24×36 format. This allows for even wider capture, but at the cost of holy distortions. This viewing angle should only be used for very specific scenes, after some preliminary testing has been done; portraits should be avoided in particular, as this focal length isn’t particularly flattering on subjects.
A dive always a little tight
GoPro is not really known for the sharpness of its images and it is not this new sensor that will change the situation. We thus find ourselves with an image substantially identical to that of last year, hardly flattering if we cut too much.
Even if GoPro advertises that the Hero11 can capture footage in 10-bit (versus 8-bit on previous models), this will only make some calibration enthusiasts happy, with no real gain on a daily basis.
Almost foolproof stabilization
So the real strength of the Hero11 is in offering a vast multitude of frames with its new sensor, and of course, foolproof stabilization. In fact, the internal stabilizer (HyperSmooth) shifts into fifth gear for greater stability.
There’s also now an “auto” mode that gives the camera complete freedom to adjust the intensity of stabilization after recording, based on the types of movement detected. It is added to the previous “activated” and “boost” modes, the latter generating an important cropping of the image.
Highly efficient 360° horizon compensation
Whereas the Hero10 was limited to “only” 45° horizon compensation as a bluff, the Hero11 can compensate the horizon level of a 360° movement; is a full rotation! In other words, you can make a complete loop with a handheld camera without the image moving, and with a horizon that is always well positioned. This feature was introduced by DJI after an update to the firmware of action 2.
So we rotated a Hero10 Black and a Hero11 Black together. The result is quite surprising. In fact, the two images come from the two synchronized cameras during the same movement. It is also possible to observe the flare caused by the Sun “following” the rotation in the stabilized plane of Hero11. Without it, it would be almost impossible to think that the Hero11 has moved.
In comparison, the Hero10 is a bit old, but until then it was the reference at this point.
Successful association between large sensor and algorithms
The Hero11 Black’s algorithms are so accomplished that it allows for horizon-locking even at 5.3K at 30fps, where the DJI Osmo Action 3 can only achieve this feat at 2.7K. On the other hand, as with the Hero10, you will have to settle for keeping the horizon up to 27° in 5.3K 60fps, 4K 120fps and 2.7K 240fps.
In the age of streaming, 4K is not yet on the horizon. The Hero11 Black is still limited to FHD definition for live streaming. However, Hypersmooth 5.0 stabilization remains active during this.
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