If you ask people what comes to mind when they think of an action camera, they’ll probably say GoPro. The company has built a reputation for rugged, durable cameras that can be tossed into a bag or pocket and pulled out again after a day on the trail without any worry about damage. While a few other brands can do certain things better, most people would still get a GoPro when given the choice.
The Hero 12 Black represents a solid bump in features over last year’s Hero 11 Black, with Bluetooth audio, HDR video, and GP-Log capture all adding up to make a significant improvement. The camera has the most expansive field of view on any single-camera action camera at 177o and can be dunked in up to 10m without special housing.
With GoPro’s Quik editing software, it’s easy to combine GoPro and smartphone footage into lively clips, although you’ll need a subscription for automatic uploading and generating highlight clips. The software is also useful when planning trips, with a Trip Planner that can suggest activities for specific locations and weather conditions.
Another new feature is Timecode sync, which helps with multi-camera edits in video editing apps like Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CC. The Hero 12 Black also supports a variety of mounts and accessories and has improved stabilization. It has 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi for uploading to GoPro’s cloud storage and the ability to pair with a mobile phone via a USB-C port for even nippier transfer speeds.
The Hero 12 Black is priced at the same level as the previous model for GoPro Members and is available now. It will cost a little more for non-members, but GoPro continues to offer exceptional value for money compared to other action cameras on the market.
Despite its small size and asymmetrical shape, the Hero 12 Black feels substantial. The metal body is solid, and the buttons are clearly labeled and positioned well. The touchscreen is easy to use, and the camera has a valuable range of shooting modes to suit any outdoor adventure.
One of the more notable additions is the ability to record vertical videos on the Hero 12 Black, which makes it easier for creators to produce attention-grabbing content for social media. There’s also the ability to capture various fun, nighttime timelapse and light painting photos. The addition of GP-Log encoding should please anyone looking to take more precise control of tonal adjustments and color grading in post-production. These features will make the Hero 12 Black stand out against rivals from other action camera manufacturers. The only thing missing is the ability to shoot in 8K, but this isn’t a considerable miss, considering what GoPro does best with their cameras.