Upping the ante is synonymous with just about every update from GoPro over the past decade or so, the pioneers behind the world’s best-known action cameras are well-versed in taking each new model to the next level so far as functions, features and specifications go.
Over the past few months we’ve been using and abusing the current top model from GoPro, the Hero 11 Black. Looking at it purely through the lens of a cyclist wanting to carry a lightweight, portable, rugged, go anywhere high-resolution still and video camera, here are our thoughts.
Fitted with GoPro’s Max Grip, a small and versatile hand grip that morphs into a tripod, we’ve found the latest GoPro to be the perfect still and video recording device for bike riders. Its small form allows it to be easily stowed in a rear jersey pocket. Place it camera down / grip up and its extremely easy to reach around, grab pull out, switch on and start using. And even easier if you set up voice activation mode.
So far as a genuine alternative to carrying a camera (or a late model phone) goes, the latest model is a big step up from its predecessor. The Hero 11 features a larger 1/1.19in sensor and 27 megapixel camera. And, inanother major change from all previous models, the aspect ratio is now 8:7 instead of the age old 4:3. Why change such a GoPro fundamental? The new aspect ratio allows creators to record a single 8:7 video then crop both landscape and vertical orientation to produce 16:9 clips during editing. This is particularly useful for those using the camera to crate content for multiple channels such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
The new sensor supports 10-bit colour which dramatically help those who go to the effort for grading footage in post-production. This is a little too tech for us – we find the standard out-of-camera colour quality to be spot on. Want to see this? Take a look at the recent video content over on the Bicycling Australia YouTube and Instagram channels.
The camera also features a new ‘HyperView’ mode, great for fitting in wider angles when the Hero 11 is fitted to an out-front mount on your bike. This more takes advantage of the taller sensor to squeeze in the full 8:7 image down to a standard 16:9 frame in-camera. This results in more distorted but super-wide view that GoPro markets as “ultra-immersive”, it sure is!
Stabilisation is a major point of difference with GoPro camera and the latest model provides this in spades. ‘HyperSmooth’ stabilisation is now in its fifth iteration, and is touted as being the firm’s most effective stabilisation to date.
While stabilisation is outstanding, probably the most notable improvement is the full 360-degree horizon levelling, which can maintain a perfectly level horizon even with the camera fully inverted.
Thinking about a GoPro for cycling-related content? Here are our Top 5 takeouts.
Durability and ruggedness: Like its predecessors, the Hero 11 has been designed to be extremely durable and able to withstand various weather conditions and physical impacts. This is particularly beneficial for cyclists who may encounter rough terrain, vibrations, and potential falls. The rugged build ensures the device can handle impacts a lot better than a phone.
Image stabilisation: The latest model’s advanced image stabilisation tech dramatically reduces camera shake and provides far smoother footage – especially when fitted to an out-front mount and used on long, slow, side-to-side climbs and fast, curvy descents. This is particularly beneficial when using the camera on gravel, filming another rider, or running alongside a moving cyclist.
Simpler transfers: The latest model features the simplest image and video transfer and connection method to date. Using the GoPro Quik app you can edit, upload, delete and backup all media in minutes. Gone are the days of convoluted file transfers and unused or wasted media, things seem to be so much easier, quicker & more efficient nowadays.
Water and dust resistance: GoPro’s have always been renowned for their waterproofing qualities – this makes them ideal for cyclists who want to capture their rides wet or muddy conditions. We’ve tested the latest Hero 11 in cold rain, alongside muddy puddles in Mudgee, and underwater in the sea, and it remains like new.
Mounting options and accessories: Like its earlier incarnations, the Hero 11 is compatible with a wide range of mounting options and accessories designed specifically for different activities, including cycling. You can attach a GoPro securely to your bike’s handlebars, helmet, chest, or even your body using various mounts. These accessories provide more flexibility and ensure stable footage, even during fast-paced cycling, on and off-road. As mentioned earlier, we find the Max Grip Tripod to be extremely handy … in fact, it hasn’t been removed since it was first screwed into the base on the Hero 11.
Without a doubt the most impressive, feature packed and high quality GoPro we’ve used. With the permanently attached grip tripod, this small, handy and powerful content creation device comes along with us on every ride. The image quality, ease of use and intuitive operation is outstanding…Kudos GoPro!
GoPro Hero 11 Black Specifications
Dimensions: 71.8 W x 50.8 H x 33.6 D (mm)
Battery: Removable 1720mAh
Waterproofing: 10m (33ft)
Image Sensor: 1/1.9″ CMOS
5.3K: 4:3 (5312×3984)
5.3K: 16:9 (5312×2988)
Photo Megapixels (MP) + image size: 27.13MP (5568×4872)
Time Lapse Mode: TimeWarp, Star Trails, Light Painting and more.
Audio Features: 3-mics | 3.5mm Audio Mic Input with Media Mod for HERO11 Black or Pro 3.5 Mic Adapter (Sold Separately) | RAW Audio Capture (.wav Format)
Rear Display Size: 2.27″ Touch LCD
Front Display Size: 1.4″ Color LCD
User Interface: Voice Control (14 Commands) plus 11 Languages & 6 accents.
More at www.GoPro.com