GoPro’s are no doubt the best action camera in terms of image quality. With their latest release, the HERO12 Black, they are claiming to have crafted the “most versatile, most capable, most feature-packed” camera to date. Those are some heavy claims and you might wonder if it’s the ideal choice for FPV drones. Before purchasing one to review, here is what we know about this new camera so far.
To learn more about action cameras for FPV flying, check out our buyer’s guide: https://oscarliang.com/action-camera/
Where to Buy?
Accessories: Max Lens Mod 2.0, Volta, Media Mod, The Remote, and over 40 other accessories.
Specifications and Features
Design and Dimensions
- Dimensions: 71.8 mm x 50.8 mm x 33.6 mm
- Weight: 154g with mounting fingers and battery, 121g without battery
- Waterproof: 10m (33ft) without housing, 60m (196ft) with protective housing
- MicroSD card rating: v30 or UHS-3 recommended
- Battery: Removable 1720mAh Enduro Battery
- System Processor: GP2
- Image Sensor: 1/1.9″ CMOS
- Field of View: 156° in 8:7 aspect ratio
- Video Resolutions & Frame Rates:
- 5.3K at up to 60 FPS
- 4K at up to 120 FPS
- 2.7K at up to 240 FPS
- 1080P at up to 240 FPS
- Maximum Resolution: 27.13MP (5568×4872)
- Frame-grabs from Video: 24.69MP from 5.3K video
- 3 built-in microphones
- 3.5mm audio mic input with Media Mod (sold separately)
- Raw audio capture in .WAV format
- Wireless Audio Support
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Automatic cloud uploads and highlight video creation with GoPro subscription
- Voice Control: 14 commands in 11 languages with 6 accents
- Compatible with Quik App, GoPro Labs, Open GoPro
Please note that Horizon Lock is unavailable when recording at the highest performance settings.
Build Quality and Design
The HERO12 Black boasts a compact and durable design, crafted to withstand extreme environments. It’s waterproof down to 33 feet without any additional housing, which makes it an ideal companion for any underwater or action-packed adventure. If you’re into surfing or even extreme winter sports, this camera has got you covered.
The durable design also makes it great for mounting it on FPV drones for cinematic shots. At 154g including battery it is a bit on the heavy side, but it is about the same as the previous generation, the Hero 11 Black at 155g. So it shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you are already used to flying with a GoPro on your quad.
Power and Battery
Battery life has often been a contentious issue with action cameras, but it seems like GoPro has turned a corner. The HERO12 Black offers up to 2x longer runtimes than its predecessors. More efficient processing allows the camera to shoot up to 70 minutes in 5.3K60 and an incredible 155 minutes in 1080p30. The included Enduro battery ensures the camera keeps running even in colder temperatures. The extended battery life makes this camera a reliable companion for long hikes or even multi-day adventures.
Video and Image Quality
With the new HDR video feature, your footage is about to come alive like never before. The camera combines multiple exposures into a single frame to provide more vivid color and even exposure, all in brilliant 5.3K30 or 4K60.
The HERO12 Black offers cinema-quality video resolutions in a pocket-sized form. From full-frame 5.3K to slo-mo capture in 2.7K240 and 4K120, the camera gives you the flexibility to capture the most intricate details.
Photos and More
The camera takes 27-megapixel photos with a host of additional features, such as SuperPhoto and HDR photo modes. For those who love post-production, the RAW photo mode provides unprecedented flexibility.
8:7 Image Sensor
The HERO12 Black’s 8:7 image sensor offers a unique, extra-large field of view, perfect for capturing more of your experiences. This sensor allows for versatile horizontal to vertical capture transitions without even rotating the camera.
Hyperview and Hypersmooth 6.0
Feel the speed of your activity with Hyperview. And if stabilization is a priority, the Hypersmooth 6.0 feature makes your videos look impossibly smooth, taking Emmy-winning video stabilization to the next level.
Max Lens Mod 2.0
Transform your HERO12 Black into the ultimate POV camera with the optional Max Lens Mod 2.0. This accessory offers an ultra-wide field of view and unbreakable stabilization at a stunning 4K60 resolution.
The HERO12 Black is not just an action camera; it’s a miniature Hollywood studio. With 10-bit color support, you can capture over 1 billion colors for a smoother gradation and more realism. The new 10-bit GP log video profile and timecode sync also make multi-camera editing a breeze.
Creative Modes and Capture Options
From creating time-lapse videos to capturing footage with the Scheduled Capture feature, HERO12 Black gives you multiple modes to explore your creativity. Voice commands in 11 languages and wireless remote operation add to the versatility of this powerful little device.
After capturing, the Quik App makes managing, editing, and sharing your photos and videos incredibly simple. Auto-highlight videos are generated for you, making it easier than ever to share your adventures.
How Does It Compare to the DJI Osmo Action 4?
Here’s a specs comparison table between the GoPro Hero 12 Black and DJI Osmo Action 4. Both cameras offers impressive features and image quality. The DJI Action 4 offers better low light performance thanks to its larger image sensor, however the GoPro 12 offers overall slightly better image quality, higher resolution, not to mention the support of 8:7 aspect ratio is great for social media.
|Feature||DJI Action 4||GoPro 12|
|Image Sensor Size||1/1.3-inch||1/1.9-inch|
|Field of View (FOV)||155°||TBC|
|Video Resolutions||4K: 3840×2160@120fps||5.3K: 5312×2988@60fps|
|2.7K: 2688×1512@120fps||4K: 3840×2160@120fps|
|1080p: 1920×1080@240fps||2.7K: 2688×1512@120fps|
|Aspect Ratio||4:3 / 16:9||8:7 / 4:3 / 16:9|
|Max Video Bitrate||130 Mbps||120 Mbps|
|Slow Motion||8x @ 1080p||8x @ 1080p|
|Digital Zoom||Up to 4x||Up to 4x|
|Stabilization||RockSteady 3.0+||HyperSmooth 6.0|
|Screens||Front: 1.4-inch||Front: 1.4-inch|
|Rear: 2.25-inch||Rear: 2.27-inch|
|Water Resistance||up to 18m||up to 10m|
|Operation Time||up to 160 mins||up to 155 mins|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi + Bluetooth||Wi-Fi + Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||70.5×44.2×32.8 mm||71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6 mm|
|Price||USD $399||USD $399|
Looking at specs, the Hero 12 Black does seem like a versatile camera packed with features that will satisfy both newcomers and experienced users. I cannot wait to get mine to test it and see how it performs on an FPV drone. I will update this review once I have more experience with this camera.