GoPro has announced a new Hero12 Black action camera which pushes the camera’s 1/1.9” 8:7 image sensor to the brink thanks to a new Lens Mod 2.0 and a ton of professional-grade features.
Not strictly a “dot upgrade,” in the slightest, the new GoPro Hero12 Black is built from the ground up after feedback from users wanting to do more.
What makes the Hero12 GoPro’s first true professional camera? Well, first off, GoPro has added its own flavor of Log.
GoPro isn’t the first, nor will it be the last to create a lossless codec capable of squeezing every bit of color and dynamic range from an image, but GP-Log has been designed to make the most of GoPro’s GP2 image processor for a maximum 10-bit HDR color output.
GoPro also allows the installation of LUTs for better control and color grading in post-production.
LUTs will be able to take the wide dynamic range and color gamut provided by GP-Log and let content creators create custom looks from their GoPro footage.
Secondly, the GoPro Hero12 Black also has time code that can sync wirelessly with an unlimited number of Hero12 Black cameras for easier multi-camera editing. Thanks to the 24.7MP 8:7 image sensor, users can create 5.3K60 video or 8x 2.7K SmoMotion in a variety of aspect ratios depending on the end destination of the final cut.
The camera can also capture 27 MP photos and offers a 30-second prebuffer in case you miss the shot before taking the picture. That’s a great feature when caught up in the moment.
Max Lens Mod 2.0 Takes Image to the Max
That means a native vertical capture mode has been added, as well as an expanded Hyperview to go along with traditional widescreen 16:9 and tried and true 4:3.
GoPro can even expand that 8:7 aspect ratio even further with the use of GoPro’s new Max LensMod 2.0.
The best way to describe the Max Lens Mod 2.0 add-on lens is that there’s more to see, kind of like how Imax gives viewers a feeling of being immersed into the image.
The Max Lens Mod 2 accomplishes this with a 177° field of view, providing 36% wider and 48% taller coverage than the stock Hero12 configuration.
Add this to GoPro’s 360° horizon lock and Max Hypersmooth image stabilization and viewers will find themselves in the most immersive GoPro experience ever when exposed using 4K60 resolution or 1080p 120 resolution.
The Max LensMod 2.0 can also get the most out of 16:9 Max HyperView, 16:9 Max SuperView, 16:9 Widescreen and 4:3 Max SuperView.
Sadly, the Max Lens Mod 2.0 is optimized exclusively for the Hero12 Black, so it isn’t backward compatible with the Hero11 or Hero11 Mini.
The GoPro Hero12 Black also provides support for wireless Bluetooth external microphones such as Air Pods or wireless microphones like RØDE’s Wireless Me or Wireless Pro microphones.
The Hero12 can connect up to four compatible devices at a time. GoPro also listened to users who wanted more commands available through the camera’s “Easy Controls” voice commands. Users now have nearly complete control of the camera hands-free.
Smooth, yet Hyper
An update to the sixth incarnation of Hypersmooth offers a feature called AutoBoost, which analyzes up to four times more data, and works with Linear and Horizon lock when the camera rotates a full 360°.
When asked what kind of black magic is Hypersmooth and Horizon Lock, a GoPro representative couldn’t give much in the way of detail, but said “It’s a magical pairing of predictive, algorithmic video stabilization and traditional horizon stabilization techniques that enables the camera to rotate completely while maintaining the same field of view.
Beyond that, it’s all secret sauce! To my mind, it’s more like Black Magic. The main benefit though, is that users don’t have to rely on expensive gimbals or resource-heavy stabilization software to get a professional quality result.
Longer Recording Times
GoPro has also tweaked the power delivery system of GoPro’s Enduro batteries to achieve up to 70 minutes of continuous recording at 5.3K60, over 95 minutes at 5.3K30, and over 155 minutes at 1080p30.
That’s twice the runtimes, even with HyperSmooth 6 video stabilization on. Meanwhile, for times when recharging is necessary, the GoPro Hero12 Black will automatically wirelessly upload all media to the cloud, where GoPro Quik will create a highlight reel while you wait.
Lastly, GoPro has added 1/4-20 mounting threads in between their iconic mounting fingers, making the Hero12 Black compatible with standard camera mounts and accessories.
Quik Comes of Age
GoPro has also put a lot of work into developing the Quik mobile app bringing with it some remarkable features. Chief of which, is that coming the fall of 2023 for macOS and 2024 for Windows, GoPro Quik is coming to desktop computers.
No matter the platform, the new Quik app will provide the same features seen in the mobile app, including cloud-based editing with digital lens swapping and reframing, plus auto upload to the cloud and AI-generated highlight videos, all from your desktop computer. There is also the addition of originally produced GoPro music to give users a royalty-free soundtrack to their adventures.
Pricing and availability:
The GoPro Hero12 Black is available for preorder starting today from GoPro direct and its authorized dealer network.
Preorder retail price is $399.99, while the Hero12 Black Creator Edition is just under $600.
The Max Lens Mod 2.0 is an additional $99.99, or $79.99 for GoPro subscribers. All Hero12 products will ship beginning September 13th.
- GoPro Hero12 Black (B&H)
- GoPro HERO12 Black Creator Edition Bundle (B&H)
- GoPro Max Lens Mod 2.0 (B&H)
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