GoPro Hero 12
The GoPro Hero 12 is pretty solid, but competition is catching up
Head out for a vacation – whether it’s on the beaches or in the hills, you’re likely to bump into someone using a GoPro. No longer the preserve of extreme sports enthusiasts, a GoPro finds itself equally as often thrown into holiday backpacks and wedding celebrations, all for that two-punch combo of insane video quality coupled with legendary durability.
The latest Hero 12 Black builds on the big upgrades introduced in last year’s Hero 11 Black (with its new 8:7 ratio 27MP sensor) with subtle evolutionary upgrades in almost every department, not to mention a huge coat of software polish.
Externally, the Hero 12 rocks the same dimensions as the previous generation, retaining that all important compatibility with accessories including cases and batteries. There’s an all-new blue-speckled paint job that serves as the only visual cue distinguishing the new model from previous GoPros. Crucially, the Hero 12 now has a standardized tripod head mount (aside its regular flip-down mount), which is such a huge convenience – no more adapters needed!
Now, with the Hero 12 offering the same lens and sensor, you get the same movie modes and frame rates, up to 5.3K resolution 60 frames per second (fps) along with slowed-all-the-way-down 2.7K 240fps video, and there’s an optional new Max Lens Mod 2.0 which gives you a new, insanely-ultrawide 177-degree field of view. All of these come with GoPro’s butter smooth Hypersmooth stabilization.
The almost-square format sensor allows you to record across the full sensor area, so you can later choose a vertical or horizontal crop for Instagram or YouTube. This works across all modes, although there’s now a dedicated vertical 9:16 mode for social media mavens. Video quality is as expected – great in good lighting but a little soft on details in low-light.
New this time around is HDR video, available at 4K60fps and 5.3K30fps, which brings out detail in shadow areas when shooting in situations where the brightness levels keep changing. Video creators and professionals will enjoy the new GP-Log mode, which allows fine-grained colour correction while editing, but if that sounds like Greek and Latin to you, there’s a streamlined Easy mode that lets you (or kids or parents in the home) operate it without having a degree in GoPro!
You can also pair AirPods or any Bluetooth earbuds to the Hero 12 and use them as a wireless microphone. This is really neat – not only can you record clean audio while operating the GoPro from a distance, but you can also pass on voice commands to the GoPro through your earbuds! Just say “GoPro Start Recording” when you’re ready, and off you go!
Across the board, the biggest draw for folks coming from previous GoPros will be the bump up in battery life, thanks to better thermal management and software tuning…and the omission of GPS functionality, a feature GoPro claims wasn’t being used by a lot of users. The improvements are pretty dramatic, nearly doubling run time compared to previous GoPros – in cool weather, you should see around 60 minutes of 5.3K/60fps video and nearly 150 minutes at 1080p/30fps, before the thermal management kicks in. All in all, pretty solid stuff, but in using the DJI Osmo Action 4 and the Insta360 Go3 for a short period, one gets the feeling that the competition is closing in on GoPro’s heels.
Price: INR 45,000