Reviews |GoPro Hero12 Black Review

GoPro Hero12 Black Review

Elevating Professional Creativity

GoPro Hero12 Black

Price when reviewed



Our Verdict

The GoPro Hero12 Black, on the surface, mirrors its predecessor in design and basic specs like resolution and frame rates. Yet, delve deeper, and you’ll discover subtle but significant enhancements. Noticeable are the blue specks in the paintwork and a practical 1/4″ thread nestled between the mounts, eliminating the need for an adapter when attaching to a tripod or standard grip. Inside, the camera maintains the sensor from the Hero11 Black but adds the versatility of filming in all modes with an 8:7 aspect ratio, offering greater creative freedom in post-production.

What makes the Hero12 Black stand out is its refined usability. The integration of standard tripod compatibility and the effortless pairing with Bluetooth audio devices, such as mics or headphones, streamlines the filming process. This model isn’t about flashy new features; it’s about enhancing the user experience and workflow efficiency.

At its core, the Hero12 Black retains the renowned GoPro image quality, consistent with the Hero11 Black. However, it’s the overall user experience that elevates it. The camera has evolved to cater to professional filmmakers, offering advanced features in a compact form. This evolution isn’t about drastic changes but about refining and optimizing what GoPro does best, making the Hero12 Black a subtly yet significantly improved successor.

What is the GoPro Hero12 Black?

Once again, the new GoPro Hero12 Black offers what appears at first to be a minor leap in specifications and performance. As we’ve discovered in the past, those small tweaks can make a significant difference to the use of the camera.

This year’s GoPro Hero12 Black release sees a significant leap towards professional-grade action cameras. Building on the foundation of the Hero11 Black, the Hero12 Black introduces features that cater specifically to the needs of professional filmmakers and content creators while still maintaining the user-friendliness that GoPro is known for.

One of the first features that had instant appeal was the ability to pair with Bluetooth headphones and microphones. This greatly enhances audio recording quality and flexibility, making it ideal for vlogging, high-quality scene narration, and capturing clear audio in dynamic environments.

GoPro Hero12 Black

Wireless timecoding is something all new for the small camera bit that will enable easy multi-camera setups, allowing seamless synchronization of an unlimited number of HERO12 Black cameras. This integration is particularly beneficial for professional editing workflows in software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere, simplifying post-production.

Another feature that will appeal to pros is the fact that the Hero12 Black optimizes file encoding, resulting in smaller file sizes without any compromise on image quality. This upgrade is crucial for managing storage, especially when dealing with high-resolution footage.

When the Hero11 Black was released, GoPro finally upsized the sensor from the standard 1/2.3″ to 1/1.9″ and coupled it with an 8:7 aspect ratio for plenty of flexibility. Now that the 8:7 aspect ratio is available in all video modes and offers unmatched flexibility in post-production cropping, it enables you to tailor your content ready for various platforms and formats without losing vital image details.

The new features enhance the camera’s utility in professional settings. For instance, Bluetooth microphone compatibility opens up new possibilities for audio recording, which is essential for producing high-quality content. The wireless timecode sync is a great move by GoPro and will enable filmmakers to make use of multiple cameras easily, which will simplify workflow.

While these Pro features certainly have appeal for action camera enthusiasts, the GoPro Hero12 Black continues GoPro’s ability to design easy-to-use cameras that are tough and can be taken anywhere. For most people, the impressive resolution, auto edits, extended battery life and ease of use should find broad appeal.


  • Max video modes: 5.3K60 / 4K120 5.3K30 8:7 / 4K60 8:7
  • HDR Video modes: 5.3K (16:9) 30, 25, 24 fps 4K (8:7) 30, 25, 24 fps 4K (16:9) 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • Digital Lenses: HyperView, SuperView, Wide, Linear, Linear + Horizon Lock
  • Video stabalisation: HyperSmooth 6.0
  • Video file format: H.265 (HEVC)
  • Colour video bit depth§: GP-Log with LUT, 10-Bit, 8-bit
  • Maximum video bit rate: Up to 120Mbps (5.3K / 4k)
  • Photo Intervals: 0.5, 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 60s, 120s
  • Simultaneous Bluetooth Devices: Up to 4
  • Processor: GP2
  • Dimensions: 71.8 W x 50.8 H x 33.6 D (mm)
  • Weight: 154g

Build and Handling

The GoPro Hero12 Black’s build is almost a mirror image of its predecessor, the Hero11 Black, with a few subtle but noteworthy enhancements. While retaining the robust and compact design of the GoPros, we’ve come to know that the Hero12 Black introduces a sleek new aesthetic with the addition of blue dots in the paintwork. This gives it a fresh look while maintaining the classic GoPro feel. The notable omission of the red circle around the record button streamlines the design, aligning with the camera’s sleek, professional appearance.

One significant physical addition is the 1/4 “-20 thread on the base. This small but crucial feature marks a departure from the traditional GoPro mounting system. However, the two-prong mount is, of course, still integrated, indicating a shift towards universal compatibility and ease of use. This threaded mount integrates seamlessly into the camera’s base, maintaining the compact form factor while expanding its mounting capabilities.

Whether you’re attaching it to a standard tripod, gimbal, or other accessories, the process is now more straightforward and doesn’t require additional adapters. This enhancement is particularly useful if you switch between varied mounting setups; I still hope that GoPro will launch a quick-release mount that can rival the ease of use and security of the DJI OSMO Action.

GoPro Hero12 Black

The user interface of the Hero12 Black has been slightly reworked, making navigation more intuitive than before. While the interface remains familiar to existing GoPro users, these subtle tweaks in design and layout contribute to a smoother experience. Accessing various shooting modes, settings, and new features is now more straightforward, making the Hero12 Black as user-friendly for beginners as it is efficient for professionals.

The Hero12 Black maintains the signature build quality of GoPro cameras while introducing thoughtful design elements and usability improvements. The addition of the 1/4 “-20 thread significantly enhances its adaptability in the field, and the refined user interface just makes navigating settings that much easier.


GoPro, as a company, has always listened to its customer base and tried to provide what its users want. While the big resolutions and framerates are taunted by many, it’s often the smaller features that are more important.

With the GoPro Hero12 Black, it shows that the company is still very much in tune with its users. For many, the simple fact that they have invested in innovating with the power management system, which effectively doubles the recording time compared to the Hero11, is a feature that many users will welcome.

Delving into video capabilities, the Hero12 Black introduces High Dynamic Range (HDR) in video recording. This new feature brings a level of vividness and detail to footage that was not possible in the Hero11 Black or any GoPro before and will be especially beneficial in contrasting light conditions such as sunrise and sunset.

GoPro Hero12 Black

One of the big pro features, and one that will appeal to all content creators, is the introduction of Bluetooth audio support; this enables easy pairing with devices like Apple AirPods and opens up new options for high-quality audio capture.

HyperSmooth 6.0 stabilization technology also sees an upgrade. It builds on its predecessor’s capabilities with more effective horizon levelling, which is one of the most peculiar image stabilisation effects that you can apply.

The Hero12 Black also introduces the Max Lens Mod 2.0. This new lens mod, offering an ultra-wide 177° field of view at 4K 60fps, dramatically expands the camera’s wide-angle capture capabilities, providing more immersive and dramatic footage than what was achievable with the Hero11 Black.

For the professionals who need additional features for post-production, the Hero12 Black’s inclusion of GP-Log with available LUTs is a significant boost, as it enables a greater degree of control over colour grading.

Another Pro feature is the wireless timecode sync capability, allowing the synchronization of multiple HERO12 Black cameras; this is definitely a feature that I’m looking forward to testing out. This functionality simplifies complex multi-camera editing workflows, particularly in software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier.

A feature many content creators welcomed with the Hero11 Black was the 8:7 aspect ratio, although it was limited to some resolutions and shooting modes. Now, Hero12 Black can film in an 8:7 aspect ratio across all video modes. This aspect ratio offers flexibility when it comes to the framing and post-production cropping options. Additionally, the camera introduces optimized file encoding, reducing file sizes without sacrificing image quality.

The Hero12 Black also debuts a Vertical Capture Mode, catering to the growing demand for content tailored to vertically-oriented social media platforms. This mode allows for the easy capture of vertical videos even when the camera is mounted horizontally, adding to the device’s versatility, again all due to that sensor and aspect ratio.

The updated user interface of the Hero12 Black makes navigation and accessibility more intuitive. This refinement ensures that the camera’s features are easy to find and use, whether you’re new to the system or an experienced user.

If you’re into night photography, then GoPro has added new Night Effects for still images; these include light paintings and star trails for added creative fun.

At its heart, the GoPro Hero12 Black is still very much an action camera with ease of use. The launch of the Hero11 Mini earlier in the year was one of the greatest GoProsGoPro’s ever made and a real return of a camera for the real extreme sports enthusiast. The Hero12 Black adds a greater breadth of features that will appeal to the mass market but may find special favour with professional content creators looking for a little more than has previously been on offer from GoPro and other action cameras.


Depending on the type of GoPro user you are, this new model either gives you more of the same or a whole set of powerful new features that you won’t be able to live without. For extreme sports enthusiasts and general users, the Hero12 Black offers more of the same excellent video quality in a small box that you can take anywhere. It’s simply excellent, and I really can’t see a reason why you wouldn’t be extremely pleased with the results. The reason to opt for the Hero12 rather than the Hero11 Black for those users would purely be for the extended battery life, and for that, the Hero12 Black is worth the additional expense,

However, the performance of professional users and content creators is in another league compared to the GoPros that have come before. OK, you have the same resolutions and frame rates, but then you have so much more. For content creators, the ability to use that full 8:7 aspect ratio in all video modes is a huge benefit, as is the ability to record social-ready content; it just makes sense. Then there’s the integration with social apps, easy video recording, and editing – it’s all now just easy, or at least easier. It’s not quite a mobile phone, but it’s close.

Professional users also get a huge boost in capability with the new camera. The GP-Log has obvious benefits for blending footage in with other camera systems. Likewise, the timecodes enable syncing to a level that has previously been impossible with these cameras.

GoPro Hero12 Black

And finally, for both creators and pros, you have Bluetooth connectivity. Most Bluetooth items that connect to a mobile phone will connect to the camera. However, Bluetooth mics that sync with a transceiver should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. In this test, I used Apple Pods and Alexa Ear Buds, both of which connected with absolute ease.

These new features really do make this camera feel like quite a leap forward, but only for those users who can and will take advantage of what’s on offer. When it comes to the rest of the camera, the Hero12 Black builds on an already rock-solid foundation.

The Hero11 Black set a high standard with its advanced HyperSmooth stabilization, high-resolution video capabilities, versatile shooting modes, and improved low-light performance. The Hero12 Black builds upon this, maintaining the image quality and robust build characterized by its waterproof and durable design.

Overall, the GoPro Hero12 Black upholds the high-performance standards set by its predecessor but elevates them with key enhancements. These improvements – from streamlined mounting and advanced post-production compatibility to extended battery life – ensure that the Hero12 Black’s performance for pros and content creators is a significant step up. However, I do feel that for the general user, the Hero11 Black is still exceptional and available at a bigger discount.

Final Thoughts

This camera is not just an incremental upgrade but a significant leap forward, especially for specific user groups. GoPro has once again demonstrated its ability to understand and cater to the evolving needs of action camera enthusiasts and professional content creators.

For the general user or extreme sports enthusiast, the Hero12 Black continues to deliver the trusted GoPro experience with robust build quality, remarkable video stabilization, and exceptional ease of use. The extended battery life is a welcome improvement, further enhancing the camera’s convenience for all-day adventures.

GoPro Hero12 Black

However, the true potential of the Hero12 Black is unlocked in the hands of professional users and content creators. The addition of features like the full 8:7 aspect ratio across all video modes, GP-Log for advanced post-production, and wireless timecode sync radically transforms the Hero12 Black into a formidable camera for professional filmmaking. The ease of integrating Bluetooth audio devices, including high-end microphones, further cement, although it does check compatibility, its place as a versatile camera that can adeptly handle diverse shooting scenarios.

The streamlined mounting options, courtesy of the new 1/4″ thread, make the camera more adaptable than ever. For professionals and content creators, the Hero12 Black is undoubtedly a worthy investment, offering advanced functionality. For the average user, the Hero11 Black remains a solid choice, especially considering the cost savings. But for those looking for the latest in action camera technology, the Hero12 Black is the new benchmark, combining GoPro’s renowned durability with some quality updates.