10 best GoPro Hero12 Black features + price, date, specs
The GoPro Hero12 Black has been announced. Read up on the specs, date, price, Max Lens Mod 2.0 and where to buy in Australia.
GoPro has never been a company to rest on its laurels. For years it was head and shoulders above the competition, yet it still kept pushing the best action camera and POV video space forward. In recent times, however, the pack has begun to catch up. In particular, the DJI Osmo Action 4.
As such, it was with great interest that Finder joined an early preview session of the GoPro Hero12 Black, which was officially announced on 6 September 2023. Can GoPro take yet another giant stride forward for the sector.
The session was led by Pablo Lema, Head of Product at GoPro, who made himself available to questions. Here's everything I learned.
How much is the GoPro Hero12 Black in Australia?
The GoPro Hero12 Black will cost $649.95 here in Australia. This is the same as the subscribers' price for the Hero11 Black, but there's no division this time around between members and punters. That's a different story with the Max Lens Mod 2.0 (more on that below), which is $169.95 for punters and $135.95 for members.
I don't like this approach. I think it's less about a discount for subscribers and more about a punishment for non-subscribers. But, there's a good reason to subscribe anyway.
As with the GoPro Hero11 Black, there's a creators kit bundle, which comes in at $949.95. It comes with the Volta Grip, Media Mod and Light Mod.
When is the GoPro Hero12 Black release date and the pre-order start?
Pre-orders for the GoPro Hero12 Black start 6 September 2023. The camera goes on sale 13 September 2023.
Where to buy GoPro Hero12 Black in Australia?
The GoPro Hero12 Black is available through the GoPro store. It is also widely available through all major technology retailers and camera stores, as well as online markets.
10 best features of the GoPro Hero12 Black
There's plenty more than 10 killer new features with the GoPro Hero12 Black, but these are the ones that stood out to me.
1. Battery life
Despite using the same Enduro battery we saw in the GoPro Hero11 Black, huge improvements to the efficiency of the processor and encoding sees the battery life doubled. You can get 70-minutes of video at 5.3K60, 95-minutes at 5.3K30 and 155-minutes at 1080p30, even with HyperSmooth 6.0 active.
The results of GoPro's own internal test are as follows: "2x longer runtimes before hitting thermal limits in high powered modes like 5.3K60 and 4K120. 15 to 20% longer run times in modes like 4K60."
2. Image stabilisation
Speaking of HyperSmooth 6.0, the next generation of this incredible image stabilisation system has a new mode. Called AutoBoost, it allows the stabilisation to dynamically alter itself as required by analysing a scene 4 times more than its predecessor. The net result is better stabilisation with less cropping.
3. Bluetooth mic
You can now wirelessly record a second audio track simultaneously from a Bluetooth mic to the GoPro. This allows you to have your GoPro mounted in the distance or outside, while you narrate from a different location. You'll capture the ambient sound and the voice as two files. Up to 4 Bluetooth devices can be connected at once.
4. Full frame at full res
You can now capture the full frame 8:7 aspect ratio in all video resolutions and modes, including TimeWarp, Time Lapse, Night Lapse and Night Effects. These can be cropped into 16:9 vertical or horizontal aspects, or 4:3. You can capture specifically in vertical mode now, too. Sadly, there's been no change to the sensor which remains 1/1.9." Lema informed me this was because there isn't enough user-demand for low light shooting, but I find that hard to swallow. It likely comes down to the impact it will have on the form-factor.
5. 1/4-20 mount
A small but very welcomed design change sees a new mounting system appear at the base of the GoPro Hero12 Black between the folding fingers. It's a 1/4-20 screw mount, which is what we see with traditional accessories like tripods. It breaks the GoPro out of the company's existing ecosystem, and is a particularly handy feature for professionals. Professionals will also appreciate the ability to timesync an infinite number of GoPros together.
6. Easier interface
With the aim of making the settings more intuitive for newcomers, GoPro has changed the wording to make it more reflective of what each mode actually does. Deemed "easy controls," you can also now access all modes through the GoPro itself. You don't have to revert to the app.
HyperView is the latest ultra-wide lens setting that creates an even wider field-of-view. It does this by taking the 8:7 aspect ratio and reshaping it into a 16:9 view. All of it! There's a HyperView Max mode, too, if you have the Max Lens Mod 2.0 accessory attached. This opens up the shooting angle to a category-leading 177-degree field-of-view.
8. Quik desktop announced
The Quik app is expanding in a big way. Starting 1 November 2023, subscribers will be able to use the app on their Mac desktop. And in "early 2024," the Quik app will come to PC, too. Files are automatically uploaded to the cloud when the GoPro Hero12 Black is charging, and all your editing happens off-device. So, you can transition between app and desktop in the same edit easily. Quik will even automatically produce a highlight video after an upload. Best of all, you can play with any video or still from any camera in the Quik desktop app.
9. Photo power tools
Not only can you capture 24.7MP stills from a video, but you can take 27MP shots directly. There are some funky additions to photos, too. This includes being able to apply shooting modes like Night Effects to a still image. You can now also use the Interval Photo feature to export stills at set intervals (incremental from 0.5 seconds to 120 seconds) from a recorded video.
10. Colour and HDR
While 10-bit colour isn't new for GoPro, there's now a GP Log system at play with Look Up Tables (LUTs) for more flexibility in post. Plus, the HDR has been improved. The GoPro Hero12 Black takes more exposures simultaneously now, and is able to combine them together for a more effective HDR right up to 5.3K and down to 2.7K240 slow-mo.
What is the Max Lens 2.0 mod?
The Max Lens 2.0 mod replaces the stock lens on the front of your GoPro camera. It is capable of producing a wider field-of-view across numerous shooting modes. The Max Lens 2.0 mod is a good GoPro accessory for those planning a lot of POV shots, or looking for a more immersive video.
It does increase the size of the GoPro's front footprint, jutting out from the body a bit more. But it's 2 times more scratch resistant than the original Max Lens mod.
What is the new Extension Pole and Waterproof Shutter Remote?
Whatever you can do I can do better? Not to be outdone by DJI's excellent telescopic selfie stick, in October 2023 GoPro will launch an extension pole. Starting at 25cm and extendable to 1.2m, it can use the new 1/4-20 mount or the existing folding fingers system. But GoPro adds to it with an included waterproof remote so you can activate the camera at length.
The remote is compatible with the Hero12 Black, Hero11 Black and Hero10 Black range. No price was provided at the time of writing.
See our list of the best action cams in Australia.