GoPro launched the HERO11 Black, claiming it was probably the most superior and user-friendly HERO up to now — a daring declare that I made a decision to place to the check.
I bent the duty of testing the HERO11 right into a surf journey, setting out on a weeklong tour of the PNW coast with boards in tow and GoPro rolling.
Video has by no means been my main medium. However alongside the way in which in testing the HERO11 Black, I amassed among the finest footage I’ve ever shot. And modifying in Quik (GoPro’s video editor) proved way more intuitive than I anticipated. I returned with a brand new instrument on my belt as a content material creator and a brand-new YouTube channel to show it.
I discovered some enjoyable waves, dreamy campsites, and a brand new ardour for creating video content material with the GoPro HERO11 Black.
Briefly: The GoPro HERO11 Black makes capturing high-definition footage and images simple, and with the Quik app, modifying is streamlined. Some superior options, just like the AI Auto Highlights, generally is a profit or a frustration relying on what you’re doing. However total, the digicam makes filmmaking enjoyable and uncomplicated.
Subject-Testing the GoPro HERO11 Black
Straightforward/Professional: GoPro HERO11 Black Modes
GoPro launched a handful of latest options and features that make the HERO11 Black nearly foolproof to function. Chief amongst them are the dueling person interfaces: Straightforward and Professional modes.
Straightforward Mode automates settings to make utilizing the digicam easy and uncomplicated. Then, Professional Mode opens the hood and lets the person dictate way more intricate settings.
I began testing in Straightforward and shortly transitioned to Professional with out trying again. Among the coolest options — star path timelapses, for instance — are solely accessible in Professional Mode, and navigating it’s surprisingly easy.
Prolonged Battery, Automated Shutoff
One in all my largest frustrations with the early GoPros was that they had been all the time dying. I’d depart them on by chance, or neglect to cost them, or the chilly would kill them. The HERO11 affords a number of options to treatment that.
The primary is the Enduro battery. Enduro is GoPro’s extended-runtime battery, which was an adjunct for the HERO10 however is the default for the 11. I used to be capable of movie for nearly 2 hours at 1080p on a single cost.
Even higher, this digicam holds a cost in freezing temperatures, which I examined by placing the digicam in my freezer in a single day. It was a dangerous transfer, however the digicam fired up the subsequent morning with loads of juice. Gone are the times of wrapping my GoPro in a hand hotter to take it snowboarding.
Capturing surf periods from a tripod on the seashore known as for GoPro’s highest decision and largest body: 5.3K at 30 fps with an 8:7 crop. This eats up a completely charged Enduro in underneath an hour.
In these instances, I plugged the digicam into a conveyable charger whereas filming and was capable of seize over an hour of browsing. The SD card ran out of house earlier than the battery died.
When the battery did die, I used to be capable of cost it from lifeless to 100% in lower than an hour. However that hardly ever occurred.
Killing the battery by by chance leaving it on is not a priority — after 5 minutes not in use, the digicam turns off mechanically. The one draw back was that it typically shut down whereas I used to be managing content material in Quik, and I needed to flip it again on and reconnect.
Timelapse Modes, Gentle Path Capturing
For me, probably the most spectacular upgrades of the HERO11 Black are the sunshine path modes: Star Trails, Gentle Portray, and Car Gentle Trails. These modes seize a long-exposure trailing impact, automating the sluggish shutter method that may be tough to execute on a standard digicam.
These modes yield spectacular timelapse footage. As you may see within the video above, I had an exceptionally good time testing that out. Gentle path portray actually makes me really feel like a child once more.
Hyperview: GoPro’s Most Immersive Subject of View But
Motion cameras are in all probability finest recognized for his or her unparalleled means to seize POV footage, and Hyperview takes that to a complete new degree.
Much like a fisheye lens on a DSLR digicam, the Hyperview digital lens expands the digicam’s perspective for an ultra-wide body. Paired with a helmet or chest mount, this may undoubtedly be the brand new commonplace for athletes trying to seize POV footage.
I didn’t have a helmet or chest mount to check it. However I did check it on a selfie stick whereas skating a pump monitor. And paired with the brand new picture stabilization and horizon lock options of the GoPro HERO11 Black, the footage turned out improbable.
It’s nearly as succesful because the bare eye at capturing the periphery, which makes it excellent for POV footage. But it surely does distort the picture across the edges some, so I choose Superview or Broad mode for some instances.
Greatest Picture Stabilization But, 360-Diploma Horizon Lock
GoPro’s picture stabilization tech basically supplies gimbal-like stability with out the necessity for an attachment. It has been impressively succesful for the reason that HERO7.
Final 12 months, the HERO10 launched 360-degree horizon lock and made it even higher. With the horizon lock on, the digicam will be turned utterly the wrong way up; in the meantime, the horizon stays degree and upright.
It was one of the crucial coveted features of the HERO10, however it was solely obtainable with the addition of Max Lens Mod, which was an attachment accent that price $100. Max Lens Mod is constructed into the digital lens of the HERO11 Black, making 360-degree horizon lock a inventory possibility with none attachments.
I discovered horizon lock to be useful however not good. Throughout turbulent instances the place the digicam flails round abruptly (like skating the pump monitor), horizon lock lags simply sufficient to be noticeable.
Nonetheless, it’s incomparably higher than capturing with out it.
Larger Sensor, Higher Decision
The HERO11 Black is the primary GoPro to return with an 8:7 sensor. That means that you can shoot with a big, almost sq. subject of view. Paired with the brand new capability for capturing video in 5.3K at 30 fps, customers can shoot a large, sq. body at excessive decision, then crop into no matter facet ratio is desired after the actual fact.
It’s a handy asset for creators posting to a number of mediums with totally different body sizes. They’ll not have to shoot totally different fields of view for various functions like TikTok or YouTube. The 11 basically affords one body to rule all of them.
Spectacular Photograph Resolutions
On the HERO11 black, 27-megapixel photographs are commonplace, up from 23 megapixels on the HERO10. That interprets to tens of millions extra pixels and higher picture high quality for photographs.
Though, given the excellent definition of GoPro video, it’s a lot simpler to shoot video and pull a nonetheless body from the footage. Even GoPro suggests this technique lately.
Extra Correct Shade High quality
The place the HERO10 noticed with 8-bit coloration, the 11 sees with 10-bit. Which means it’s able to seeing 1 billion shades of coloration versus the HERO10’s 16 million.
This solves a difficulty that was frequent with previous GoPro footage, the place coloration gradients lacked cohesion. Blue skies, for instance, had been vulnerable to showing stripey.
It additionally permits for extra intricacy in post-production coloration modifying and grading.
HERO11 Black: Subscription Is a Discount
The HERO11 Black is most helpful when mixed with the complete GoPro ecosystem, which incorporates the Quik modifying software program and subscription service. GoPro affords the HERO11 Black packaged with a yearlong subscription for $400.
In any other case, the 11 prices $550. Alone, the subscription prices $50 per 12 months.
With a subscription comes limitless cloud storage, auto-uploads and highlights, reductions on GoPro.com, and no-questions-asked digicam substitute. Subscribers can swap out as much as two damaged GoPros per 12 months for a substitute payment between $69 and $99.
Limitless Cloud Storage, Auto-Uploads
GoPro just lately launched a few priceless new options particularly for subscribers. It now supplies limitless cloud storage, auto-uploads, and use of the Quik app — which, collectively, make managing content material handy.
Connect with Wi-Fi after a shoot, and the auto-upload function mechanically saves new content material to the cloud. That retains your SD card free and doesn’t take up house in your telephone or pc.
Once I was house and in a position to hook up with Wi-Fi, the auto-upload function labored nice. However I used to be on a visit with out Wi-Fi for a big portion of the testing interval. I ended up transferring loads of content material manually.
Auto-highlights is one other new function of the subscription service, which makes use of AI to tug footage from a shoot, piece collectively an edit, and ship it to the person’s telephone mechanically.
GoPro designed this function to enchantment to customers who wish to go from the shoot to the ‘gram shortly and brainlessly. It does a fairly good job by AI requirements. So long as you’re not a perfectionist about your edits, it serves the aim.
HERO11 Black Quik Editor: Professionals & Cons
Quik works nice as a content-management platform, as content material will be saved there indefinitely. From there, you may switch it to your telephone or pc to make use of at your want. For me, it was much less spectacular as video modifying software program.
I used Quik to edit the video above. Whereas the method was intuitive, at the same time as a first-timer, it was additionally irritating. I’m not an enormous fan of automated edits, which is why I didn’t depend on the auto-highlights function to create the video.
However even when manually modifying content material, Quik’s AI obtained in my means. Each time I pulled a clip into the Quik studio, the AI took the freedom of reducing it right into a spotlight.
The spotlight was by no means the precise clip I wished, so I needed to re-trim every clip each time. The problem was palatable at first (at the least they’re attempting to assist). However my frustrations escalated when, as a substitute of saving my edits, Quik reverted them to the AI picks, and I needed to edit the identical clips a number of occasions to get them proper.
For a TikToker attempting to mass produce easy, particular video shorts with minimal effort, Quik’s automations are in all probability an asset. Paired with an honest assortment of royalty-free music and automatic beat syncing, it actually does make primary video modifying accessible to anybody.
However at the same time as a newbie, I choose extra management and fewer automation, so it’d be good to have the choice of turning AI off totally. Nonetheless, I used to be proud sufficient of my Quik edit to submit it on YouTube, and altogether, I’m past pleased with the GoPro ecosystem at giant.
Coming Quickly: HERO11 Black Mini
On Oct. 25, GoPro is releasing the HERO11 Black Mini. It’ll have all the identical performance packed right into a extra compact, simplified digicam with a one-touch seize system. We’ll be testing that out subsequent.