GoPro is back with its latest action camera in the Hero 12 Black, bringing longer recording runtimes and a nod toward social media video. The company says you can expect up to twice as much time to record footage compared to previous GoPro cameras, driven largely by more optimal software and improved battery.
Battery life improvements come with GoPro’s Enduro battery, which comes with the Hero 12, but the camera is also compatible with the company’s standard battery. If you plan on using one as a backup, you’re not likely to experience the longer runtimes.
What’s new with the GoPro Hero 12 Black
GoPro claims the Hero 12 Black could muster up to 70 minutes of continuous recording at 5.3K resolution at 60fps. Knock it down to 30fps and you’re looking at 95 minutes, or as high as 155 minutes of continuous recording at 1080p. These numbers are based on turning on GoPro’s HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilization throughout.
More professional users will find log recording profiles to make colour grading in post-production much easier. This way, you can use footage and match color LUTs (look up tables) that come from other cameras and sources for more uniform visuals. There’s even a feature to sync together multiple Hero 12 Black cameras while recording, and then edit with the sync in place using apps like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Da Vinci Resolve and other video editing programs.
Interestingly, GoPro also outfitted the Hero 12 with a standard screw mount underneath to attach to a tripod. That will matter if you have certain content in mind, now that there’s a new 9:16 vertical mode aimed at social media. With that aspect ratio, it’s much easier to simply record footage, move it over to your phone and then post it on apps like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube Stories.
A new AutoBoost mode boosts video stabilization without cropping too much. Basically, the unique 8:7 aspect ratio lets you choose whether you want to crop for vertical or widescreen playback. New Bluetooth support allows you to pair wireless headphones or earbuds with the camera to hear the action like a director.
A new Max Lens Mod
GoPro also announced a new accessory in the Max Lens Mod 2.0, a camera attachment that goes ultra-wide. It enables a 177-degree field of view in 4K at 60fps, though you can adjust that in the settings for a more linear point of view. Max HyperView is the ultimate in that it takes the 8:7 aspect ratio to capture significantly more footage you can use in either vertical or widescreen video.
The Max Lens Mod 2.0 features glass with double the scratch resistance than its predecessor, plus a hydrophobic lens coating that is slippery when water drops make contact to keep things clear. Even without the new lens, the Hero 12 Black touts improved low-light performance for both video and still images.
Then there’s GoPro’s cloud support through the Quik app on iOS and Android or a GoPro account on a computer. If you upload it while charging, the software generates a highlight video automatically after the upload finishes at full quality. You can then take the video and edit it yourself.