GoPro Hero12 Black Review: Is It Still the BEST Action Camera?

Are you an adventure junkie wanting to capture all your thrilling experiences with the best action camera on the market? Look no further as we bring you the GoPro Hero12 Black, the latest addition to the GoPro family. With its exceptional features and cutting-edge technology, the Hero12 Black has set new benchmarks for action cameras. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into every aspect of this device, from its stunning image quality and impressive stabilization to its innovative features and accessories. Join us as we explore whether the GoPro Hero12 Black is still the reigning champion in the world of action cameras.

GoPro Hero12 Black Review: Is It Still the BEST Action Camera?

Welcome back, it’s Chris Nichols here with petapixel. Today, we are going to review the GoPro Hero12 Black Edition. Now, I know you guys might be thinking, “Oh, Chris, why are you reviewing GoPros? They’re just silly action cams.” But let me tell you, they’re not just for extreme sports enthusiasts. These cameras have more uses than you might think. Jordan and I have used the GoPro 11 Black Edition for family vacations, underwater adventures, and even for cinematic work. They are versatile and have a wide range of applications, which is why it’s worth taking a closer look.

Introduction to GoPro Hero12 Black

The GoPro Hero12 Black Edition comes with a range of new features and improvements. In this review, we will discuss these changes and whether they make it the best action camera in the market.

Build and Design

The Hero12 Black Edition has a similar design to its predecessor, the Hero11. It has the same battery, micro SD port, and USB-C ports. Additionally, all the accessories from the Hero11 are compatible with the Hero12. The only noticeable difference is the new blue paint finish on the Hero12, which some might find either aesthetically pleasing or reminiscent of accidentally spray painting your camera. Another significant change is the addition of a quarter 20 screw hole on the camera body, which allows for easy mounting on tripods and selfie sticks.

Image and Video Quality

The Hero12 Black Edition uses the same 27-megapixel sensor as the Hero11, allowing for high-resolution still photos and 5.3K video recording. However, the processing unit in the Hero12 has been improved, resulting in a substantial increase in the overheating threshold. While the Hero11 allowed for 45 minutes of continuous 5.3K video recording, the Hero12 can now handle up to 70-75 minutes, making it a significant upgrade for those who require longer shooting times. Additionally, battery life has been improved in other recording modes by approximately 10-15%.

Field of View and Lens

The Hero12 Black Edition introduces a new 2.0 Ultra Wide adapter lens bayonet, allowing for an incredibly wide 177-degree field of view. This wide-angle lens captures everything in front of you and opens up possibilities for creating 360-degree videos when using two GoPros together. The camera also retains the 8:7 ratio sensor found in the Hero11, enabling open gate recording and the flexibility to choose between horizontal, vertical, or square compositions.

GP Log Format

One of the significant improvements in the Hero12 Black Edition is the addition of the GP Log format for video recording. This new log format provides a flatter profile with increased dynamic range, allowing for more flexibility in post-production grading. GoPro will also provide LUTs (Look Up Tables) to assist with grading, further enhancing the camera’s capabilities.

Bluetooth Connectivity

The Hero12 Black Edition now supports Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for the use of Bluetooth microphones and earbuds. This feature enables mono audio recording with auto gain control. Though you can’t set audio levels, the camera records ambient sound while capturing your voice. Additionally, if you use earbuds, you can monitor audio feedback during playback, providing a significant improvement in audio monitoring compared to previous models.


The GoPro Hero12 Black Edition offers several significant improvements over its predecessor. The increased overheating threshold, improved battery life, enhanced field of view, and the addition of the GP Log format make it a compelling choice for action camera enthusiasts. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a content creator, the Hero12 Black Edition proves to be a versatile and powerful tool. With its range of features and capabilities, it remains a top contender in the action camera market.

[Original Source: Hey welcome back it is Chris Nichols here with petapixel today we are going to review the GoPro 12 Black Edition I know you guys are thinking oh Chris why are you reviewing GoPros they’re just silly action cams but they’re not I mean despite what gopro’s advertising might Make you think this isn’t all about tubular surfing shots and radical BMX videos that get you totally stoked these actually are used as family cameras Jordan and I have taken the GoPro 11 blackout we’ve used it for you know family vacations and ocean stuff and Pool stuff and we’ve also used it for a lot of cinematic work where you need a small compact wide-angle camera to put for example in the cockpit of an airplane just like we did in our documentary so these absolutely have lots of uses for lots of people and That’s why it’s worth taking a look at Thank you [Applause] so while we head down to the fishing spot I thought I’d do a bit of vlogging it’s a good opportunity to talk about pic flow now we’ve talked about this next Generation online gallery image collaboration software and how good it is but the first hundred people get an Exclusive petapixel discount you get 50 off the software but I also want to touch on some other interesting features that have to do with video you see just like you do with photos you build these online galleries where you upload your videos and then you can invite collaborators editors people to leave Comments and make annotations up to 4K you can actually write in the video make tags set up markers choose selections I mean it’s very powerful that way now it is still in beta but that means it’s gonna be final soon and again the first hundred people that want to order that Also get 50 off now let’s just talk about our review situation here today first so this is the only day that we could shoot today and it is both Smoky and rainy at the same time I don’t know how that happens but the health and index warnings are off the chart luckily The GoPros both rain and smoke proof so it’s going to be fine we won’t Jordan took it out to the cabin did some family stuff got some good things and today I’ve got my fishing rod Jordan’s very unhappy we’re gonna go fishing so that’s why I’m wearing my rainproof jacket and My waders you’re going to hear some rustling in the audio sorry about that but I could be peeing my pants right now and I’m the only one that would know now here’s the 11. here’s the 12. externally they’re identical I mean same battery same micro SD Port same USBC ports I Mean all the accessories are going to work interchangeably across both of them now the 11 of course have the classic just black rubber finish but the GoPro 12 now has this blue paint finish which is either supposed to be reminiscent of a field of beautiful stars and a far Away Galaxy or you left it on your garage floor and then you did some spray painting and it landed on it now the GoPro 12 still has this sort of dual Wing mounting system for all the GoPro accessories but behold they have made the arms the wing slightly thinner to Accommodate a thicker central portion there which now has a quarter 20 screw hole for standard Universal tripod mounts this is something we’ve been asking for well for centuries or whenever the GoPro was first invented and it’s finally here built into the camera body this is going to simplify Using it on a tripod this is going to simplify mounting situations using on selfie sticks without having to worry about a separate accessory they should have done this so much more long time ago okay so let’s say you already have a GoPro 11 like Jordan and I do why move Up to the GoPro 12 what’s really changing here well the first thing I want to mention we have the exact same sensor okay this is a 27 megapixel sensor for still photos and you can shoot 5.3 K video on both however the GoPro 12 does step things up probably With a better Processing Unit because the overall overheating threshold has been substantially improved on the GoPro 11 you could shoot 45 minutes in 5.3 K video this you can now shoot up to 70 75 minutes roughly in 5.3 K video that is a huge upgrade and honestly probably worth The price of admission Alone Now battery life has been improved in other record modes slightly by about 10 to 15 percent now there is a really cool upgrade in terms of field of view with the GoPro 12 and that’s it they’ve added this new 2.0 Ultra wide adapter lens bayonets on the Front of the GoPro 12 and gives you an insanely wide 177 degree field of view so I mean you just capture everything in front of you there’s even possibilities for doing the 360 videos if you pay tear up two GoPros together now the GoPro 12 Has the exact same sensor it’s an 8 7 ratio sensor it’s almost square and we really love this because it unlocks open gate recording and what this basically means is you’re recording this almost square footage and then later you can decide if you want a horizontal composition or a vertical composition or Leave it almost Square I mean it’s really nice that you have that flexibility now also on the GoPro 11 you have the option to choose to shoot vertically or horizontally or Square but it was kind of buried down in the menus the nice thing is now on the GoPro 12 When you go into all your record modes it’s right there you can very quickly choose what kind of composition you want or you could just leave it Square do open gate and that does unlock some very interesting potentials with their latest app which we’re going to talk about in a Bit here’s another big upgrade for the GoPro 12. so the GoPro 11 had protune which was gopro’s flat profile they’ve used it in many many models before this and it’s just like a nice flat profile that could deal with contrasty light you can grade it afterwards get some nice Results gives you fairly good dynamic range but the GoPro 12 now has a brand new GP log format so this log format is going to be flatter to give you more dynamic range GoPro is going to provide some Luts but we haven’t quite got them yet they’ve got a package but Jordan Wants to hang great anyway so we can see what it can do and he worked onto the cabin and said actually it was very easy to work with and he liked the results that he got okay so while I set up my ride here we’re trying out actually a Very interesting feature Now new on the GoPro 12 and that is that it could connect to Bluetooth microphones bluetooth earbuds so I got my jabber for Elites in right now and you’re hearing me talk now it is mono only and it’s Auto gain you can’t set levels but the Camera is recording both Ambient sound around as well as what I’m talking about the other cool thing is if I’m using earbuds I also get audio feedback now oddly enough I cannot monitor audio while recording that’s kind of strange but what I can do is I can hear when the Camera starts and stops recording it gives me an auditory beep for that and then in playback I can hear everything in monitor in the earbuds after this is a huge benefit I mean this is something that Sony hit pan as Sonic should have been doing for so long in their Mirrorless cameras and it takes

GoPro Hero12 Black Review: Is It Still the BEST Action Camera?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the key features and specifications of the GoPro Hero12 Black?

    The GoPro Hero12 Black comes with a 23.9MP sensor, 5K video recording capability at 60fps, HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization, TimeWarp 3.0, and a waterproof design up to 33ft (10m). It also offers enhanced low-light performance and improved dynamic range.

  2. Is the GoPro Hero12 Black compatible with previous GoPro accessories?

    Yes, the Hero12 Black is compatible with most previous GoPro mounts, harnesses, and accessories. However, it is important to check for specific compatibility with older models.

  3. What is HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization and how does it improve video quality?

    HyperSmooth 4.0 is GoPro’s advanced image stabilization technology. It uses enhanced algorithms and sensor data to deliver even smoother and shake-free videos, resulting in improved video quality for your action shots.

  4. Can I use the GoPro Hero12 Black for underwater activities?

    Yes, the Hero12 Black is built with a waterproof design that allows you to use it underwater up to 33ft (10m). However, for deeper dives or extended snorkeling, it is recommended to use an additional dive housing for better protection.

  5. Does the GoPro Hero12 Black support external microphones?

    Yes, the Hero12 Black features advanced Pro 3.5mm mic compatibility. It allows you to connect external microphones for improved audio quality and recording professional-grade sound.

  6. What improvements does the GoPro Hero12 Black offer over its predecessor, the Hero11?

    The Hero12 Black brings various significant improvements over the Hero11, including a higher resolution sensor, enhanced stabilization with HyperSmooth 4.0, advanced TimeWarp 3.0, improved low-light performance, and better dynamic range, all contributing to superior video and photo quality.

These FAQs should provide you with a comprehensive overview of the GoPro Hero12 Black and help you understand why it remains one of the best action cameras in the market.

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