The GoPro HERO11 Black is the latest addition to GoPro’s family of action cameras. This iteration of the popular camera offers a range of features and capabilities, from its compact form factor to its HyperView FOV mode. But is it worth the upgrade from previous GoPro offerings?
In this review, we’ll go over the HERO11 Black’s features and performance to help you decide whether or not it’s the right camera for you.
Let’s start with the most obvious selling point — the form factor. Like all GoPro cameras, the GoPro HERO11 Black is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for capturing action shots. Measuring 71.8 mm x 50.8 mm x 33.6 mm and weighing just 154 g, the waterproof HERO11 is built with durable plastic and Gorilla Glass. That means the action camera can fit into tight spaces that might be too hazardous for other cameras.
The HERO11 also retains the integrated mounting system from previous GoPro models. Its built-in folding fingers allow for easy attachment to standard GoPro mounts. Plus, its small size and convenient carrying case also make the HERO11 easy to transport and store.
The protective battery compartment houses the camera’s cold-resistant Enduro Battery along with the microSD card slot.
Video capture and image quality
Moving on to the inside of the camera, the GoPro HERO11 Black features a brand new 27 MP 1/1.9-inch CMOS image sensor with a nearly-square 8:7 aspect ratio. With this new larger sensor, the camera records video at resolutions up to 5.3K in 16:9, 4:3 or 8:7.
Recording at a maximum bit rate of 120 Mbps, the HERO11 uses the H.265 codec and MP4 video format. It can capture video at up to 240 frames per second in 1080p or 2.7K resolutions, giving up a maximum 8x slow motion. At 4K, the maximum frame rate is 120 fps, while 5.3K offers frame rates up to 60 fps.
More exciting for action video producers, the HERO11 adds 10-bit video recording to capture more vibrant and accurate colors. Up until this point, GoPro action cameras could only record in standard 8-bit color, capturing up to 16.7 million colors. When capturing footage in the new 10-bit color mode, the HERO11 can capture 1.07 billion colors. It’s a big upgrade, especially if you plan to do significant color correction or color grading in post-production.
All of this adds up to a pleasing image straight out of the camera and some additional flexibility in post-production. The HERO11 captured the rich golden hues of the fading evening light as well as the vibrant green of fresh grass sprouts after a rainstorm. Overall, our footage exceeded expectations.
Along with video recording, the HERO11 captures RAW photos at 27 megapixels. In addition to its dedicated Photo mode, the camera supports up to 24.7 MP frame grabs from video files. We liked keeping the camera in video mode as much as possible, so it’s nice to have the option to grab still photos after the fact without much loss in quality.
Displays, menu and camera control
For monitoring your shot, the camera features dual LCD displays, allowing you to see what’s being captured whether you are in front of or behind the camera. On the front of the camera is a 1.4-inch color LCD. Taking up nearly the entire back of the camera, the HERO11’s 2.27-inch rear touch LCD makes it easy to navigate and control the camera settings. The menu also makes it easy to quickly switch between your most used modes and settings, though deeper controls are still available as well.
To support the unpredictable nature of action video capture, the HERO11 offers a QuickShot shutter button on the top of the camera. This turns the camera on and starts recording with a single press. On the side of the camera is the Mode button, which toggles the camera between Video, Photo and Timelapse capture modes.
You can also control the camera via the GoPro Quik app or using one of the 14 voice commands available in 11 languages and 6 accents. This option is great for solo filmmakers who need to quickly control the camera, but you’ll need to have the proper commands memorized to get full use out of this feature. And of course, the camera needs to be able to hear you over the environment. In our testing, we almost never used voice commands, but when we did, they worked adequately.
Finally, a status light allows for a quick visual indication of the camera’s status, making it easy to see whether or not the camera is recording.
To combat the inevitable shakiness of action camera footage, the GoPro HERO11 features HyperSmooth 5.0. This latest iteration of GoPro’s in-camera video stabilization offers four modes: off, on, Boost and AutoBoost.
There is a significant improvement when using HyperSmooth, and we shot most of our footage with it on or in AutoBoost. We found the regular Boost mode to be too intense for our mild adventures. Panning the camera with Boost on gave us some weird warping at the edge of the frame, which we found distracting. However, it could be a good option in the right circumstances. Any minor warping will be much less distracting than giant bumps and shakes. AutoBoost, however, provided a good balance that kept footage looking natural while still eliminating the larger jolts.
Overall, we were impressed with HyperSmooth 5.0’s performance — and good thing, too. When trying to capture fast-moving action, it’s nice to know the camera is recording usable footage without any extra work from the camera operator.
The GoPro HERO11 Black offers a number of field-of-view modes, including the all-new HyperView along with SuperView, Wide, Linear and Linear + Horizon Lock.
The newest FOV mode, HyperView, is made possible thanks to the larger 8:7 image sensor. This FOV squeezes in more from the top and bottom of the frame, giving you an almost surreal perspective. The more familiar SuperView is similar, though it doesn’t take advantage of the extra sensor height. In both cases, there is noticeable fisheye distortion at the edges of the frame, giving the footage that classic action cam look. The wide and linear options are much less extreme. We swapped between these two FOVs the most during our tests.
The one thing missing from the field of view options is any sort of telephoto capabilities. This is not the camera to bring with you on a bird-watching expedition. Though the HERO11 does offer up to 2x zoom, this is all digital and does not get you much closer to your subject. This is to be expected, though. As an action camera, the GoPro is meant to be strapped in as close to the action as possible. That’s why it’s so small and so tough.
Also new to the HERO action cam lineup is Horizon Lock. Previous models had a horizon leveling feature, but the HERO11 can automatically keep the horizon level, even as the camera rotates a full 360 degrees.
We tried this feature out in our testing and we were shocked at how well it worked. It was honestly bewildering, even after having watched GoPro’s marketing footage. In fact, we shot the same test twice to confirm the result. However, in both cases, the camera held the horizon almost completely still, even as we swung the camera around in a full 360-degree spin.
Special shooting modes
The GoPro HERO11 offers a variety of special shooting modes that can produce different creative effects. Let’s take a closer look at what each mode offers and what we saw in our experiments.
It’s not hard to imagine the application for slow motion in action video. It’s not surprising, then, that the GoPro HERO11 offers up to 8x slow motion in 2.7K and 1080p, shooting up to 240 fps. Even at its top resolution of 5.3K, the camera can shoot up to 60 fps.
To test the camera’s slow-motion capabilities, we recorded a cat leaping for a toy butterfly on a string at 240 fps. The resulting footage captured the feline’s ferocity and grace.
If you’d rather speed up the action, the HERO11 also offers a number of built-in time lapse settings. Or, you can set your own custom intervals from 0.5 seconds all the way up to 60 minutes between each frame.
The Time Warp setting allows you to toggle between fast and normal speed footage. We used it to compress a walk through a local trail while still highlighting the more interesting moments along the way. Other modes include standard time lapse and night lapse modes. The time lapse menu is also where you’ll find GoPro’s new Night Effects options.
With the HERO11 Black, GoPro introduced three new Night Effects that allow you to create interesting time lapse videos at night. The Star Trails mode produces a long-exposure time lapse to capture the light streaks created by stars in the sky as the Earth rotates. Similarly, the Vehicle Light Trails mode assists in capturing time lapses in urban areas, with light streaks from passing vehicles providing an eye-catching effect.
The last new Night Effect is Light Painting. Creative videographers have used past GoPro models to create light painting effects, but the HERO11 makes achieving this effect much more intuitive. Our first-ever attempts at light painting looked surprisingly cool and were surprisingly easy to capture. We simply selected the Light Painting mode, got out our sparklers and started recording. We ended up with some spectacular squiggles. This is a really fun, if niche, feature.
Unfortunately, outside of the special night modes, the GoPro HERO11 Black is not a strong low-light camera. While the HERO11 excels in bright outdoor light, it struggles to produce a clear image inside. In our testing, we saw mild noise as low as ISO 400, but it starts to become distracting above ISO 1600. You can still see what’s going on at ISO 3200 and 6400, but you won’t capture that clean GoPro aesthetic you get in direct sunlight. We recommend setting your maximum ISO to 1600 in most situations.
Along with these special night shooting modes, there are also several options for controlling when and how footage is recorded. Schedule Capture lets you select a specific time for the camera to start recording. Duration Capture allows you to place a limit on how long the camera will record.
Most useful, Hindsight creates a recording buffer of up to 30 seconds. This allows you to hit the record button up to after the action and still get the shot — very handy in unpredictable situations.
Adding to its durability, the new GoPro is waterproof down to 33 feet and features a water-repelling lens cover to keep your shots free from water droplet distortion. Plus, the built-in microphone features a drain compartment to allow water to escape.
To get a sense of the underwater image quality, we took the HERO11 down to the river for a quick plunge. The river itself was a bit muddy after a recent rainstorm, but the footage was clear and surprisingly vibrant. Moreover, when the camera reemerged from its brief swim, the lens stayed clear of droplets, making for a smooth transition into and out of the water.
Livestreaming and WebCam capabilities
Like previous GoPro models, the HERO11 allows you to live stream to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms — as long as you have a GoPro Subscription.
However, with the help of the free GoPro Webcam desktop utility, the HERO11 can also be used as a 1080p USB webcam for livestreaming or video calls. The app is minimal, with options to preview the shot and switch between narrow, linear, wide and SuperView lenses. The simplicity made it easy to jump in a start using the camera. For us, the camera showed up as a webcam option automatically.
This is a nice bonus, especially if you don’t already have a webcam. Even if you do, the feature offers a great way to add another angle to your stream. For instance, we used the second camera to show off a craft project during a Discord call.
However, keep in mind that the camera will need to stay tethered to your computer via USB while in webcam mode. That means it’s probably not a good way to livestream your outdoor adventures. For that, you’ll need to shell out some cash and subscribe to GoPro in the Quik app.
With the HERO11’s new Enduro Battery, GoPro promises dramatically improved battery life in cold weather and up to 38 percent more recording time compared to the HERO10 Black. In our tests, we were able to capture around an hour and a half of footage while walking for a few hours on a local park trail. We started with a full battery and used the camera normally, often switching between resolutions and frame rates and reviewing footage on both the camera and using the Quik app.
Later, we recorded continuously at 5.3K and 30 fps for just under 70 minutes before the battery was fully depleted.
Using the Quik app
To make it easier to review footage in the field, the GoPro HERO11 Black pairs with your phone via the GoPro Quik app. It was convenient to connect to the camera and see what we had captured so far, all without transferring media off of the camera. We could also set highlight markers and trim selected clips, allowing us to transfer only the footage we wanted to the phone for further editing. This meant we could save and share clips without waiting for large video files to transfer to our device.
When we did eventually copy the footage from the camera to the phone, it took about half an hour to transfer 34 files containing a total of 84 minutes of footage. The entire process was easy and intuitive. We didn’t encounter any errors or interruptions during the transfer.
Quik editing tools
Once the footage was on the phone, we could take advantage of the Quik editing tools. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have a large amount of footage to sort through. To solve this, the GoPro Quik app can be used to create short, shareable videos automatically using GoPro’s editing AI.
The results aren’t perfect, but there are options to refine the edit that the app creates. You end up with a fun video that can feel a little cheesy. However, it’s a good option if you want to quickly create a custom video of your adventure to share with friends. The ability to crop the video for different aspect ratios within the app is a nice touch.
Editing and color grading
For professional applications, you’ll likely want to skip directly to more robust editing software. We offloaded the footage onto a mid-tier computer with an older graphics card, but despite the aging tech, the footage playback smoothly in Adobe Premiere Pro, even in 5.3K.
Pairing the Flat picture profile with 10-bit capture gave us nice-looking footage that was easy to color correct. We found that the Flat profile gave us the most detail in the shadows and highlights, as we would expect. If you don’t need the extra latitude of the Flat picture profile or you don’t plan to color grade, the Natural picture profile gives you ready-to-use footage straight out of the camera.
Another note to keep in mind: Since the camera uses the HEVC codec to record 10-bit footage, we needed to upgrade to the HEVC codec pack from Windows to view the footage in our system viewer.
GoPro HERO11 vs. HERO10
The GoPro HERO11 Black is the newest version of the popular GoPro HERO series of cameras. It has many of the same features as its predecessor, the GoPro HERO10 Black, but with some key improvements.
To start, the HERO11 Black has a larger 27 MP sensor compared to the HERO10’s 23.6 MP sensor. The new sensor is also larger with an 8:7 aspect ratio, allowing it to capture video in the brand-new HyperView field of view.
With HyperSmooth 5.0, the HERO11 also offers improved video stabilization over the HERO10, and the HERO11’s Horizon Lock feature comes in handy in more extreme shooting situations. The HERO11 Black also adds the night shooting modes Star Trails, Light Painting and Vehicle Light Trails to help you capture creative shots more easily.
Overall, the GoPro HERO11 Black is a great upgrade from the HERO10 Black, offering improved photo and video quality, as well as some fun new features. On the other hand, the HERO10 is still a highly functional action camera. If you already own a HERO10 or just want a more affordable action camera option, there’s no rush to upgrade to the HERO11.
Should you purchase the HERO11 Black?
The GoPro HERO11 Black is an impressive action camera with a lot of fun features. It has a larger 27 MP sensor with an 8:7 aspect ratio, improved HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization, and the new Horizon Lock and night shooting modes to help you capture creative shots more easily. It also pairs with the GoPro Quik app to make it easier to review and edit footage in the field.
While we wouldn’t recommend it as a primary camera for most vloggers or professional filmmakers, it’s a good option for adding a unique second angle. On the other hand, the GoPro HERO11 Black is an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture exciting moments without the hassle of a more complex camera.
- 10-bit video recording
- HyperSmooth 5.0 Stabilization and Horizon Lock
- Fun night shooting effects
- Disappointing low-light performance
- Warping at the edges with HyperSmooth Boost
- Quik-edited videos can be a little cheesy
- Action sports enthusiasts
- Travel videographers
|Image sensor||1/1.9-inch CMOS|
|Video res/FPS summary||5.3K (8:7) 30/25/24 fps 5.3K (16:9) 60/50/30/25/24 fps 5.3K (4:3) 30/25/24 fps 4K (8:7) 60/50 fps 4K (16:9) 120/100/60/50/30/25/24 fps 4K (4:3) 60/50/30/25/24 fps 2.7K (16:9) 240/200/120/100/60/50 fps 2.7K (4:3) 120/100/60/50 fps 1080p (16:9) 240/200/120/100/60/50/30/25/24 fps|
|Aspect ratio support||16:9, 4:3, 8:7|
|Digital lenses||HyperView SuperView Wide Linear Linear + Horizon Lock / Leveling|
|Video file format||MP4|
|Slo-mo||8x – 2.7K; 1080p 4x – 4K 2x – 5.3K|
|Zoom (Video)||2x (1080) 1.4x (2.7K+)|
|Time lapse||Includes TimeWarp, Star Trails, Light Painting and more|
|Livestreaming||1080p60 w/HyperSmooth 4.0 + 1080p60 recording|
|Webcam mode||up to 1080p 30 fps|
|ISO range – video||100-6400|
|Audio features||3-mics | 3.5 mm audio mic input with Media Mod for HERO11 Black or Pro 3.5 mic adapter (sold separately) | RAW audio capture (.wav format)|
|Photo megapixels (MP) + pixel dims||27.13 MP (5568×4872)|
|Photo frame-grabs from video||24.69 MP from (8:7) 5.3K Video 21.16 MP from (4:3) 5.3K Video 15.87 MP from (16:9) 5.3K Video|
|RAW photo capture||27.13 MP (5568×4872)|
|Waterproof depth||10 m (33 ft)|
|Battery||Removable 1720mAh Enduro battery|
|Dimensions (W x H x D) (mm)||71.8 W x 50.8 H x 33.6 D (mm)|
|Weight (camera w/mounting fingers + embedded battery)||154g|
|In the box||HERO11 Black camera | Rechargeable Enduro battery | Curved adhesive mount | Mounting buckle | USB-C cable | Thumb screw | Camera case|