Amateur Photographer verdict

The GoPro HERO12 Black creates some well-lit, great looking footage. Plenty of features and stabilisation that is second to none.
  • Well priced
  • Portrait video recording for social media
  • Lots of shooting modes and features available
  • Hardy design and build
  • Overheats with a lot of use
  • Not really an upgrade on HERO11
  • Poor low-light performance
  • Mediocre battery when shooting continuously

The GoPro HERO12 Black is GoPro’s latest addition to its action camera line-up. Notoriously well-known as the market leader in ready for anything, well-built cameras, GoPro’s latest model overall holds on to the core GoPro characteristics whilst also offering some additional features to its recent predecessor the GoPro HERO11 that will be welcomed by serious creators and action fans. The HERO12 looks pretty much the same in design as previous editions, with the addition of a speckled design on the body. The price is also the same, RRP $399.99 / £399.99 for the standalone camera, making it one of the cheaper vlogging and action cameras available.

The camera is available to purchase with an accessories bundle ($449.99 / £449.99), containing 2 Enduro Batteries, The Handler, Head Strap 2.0 and Carrying Case. You can also get the HERO12 Black with its industry leading 177° field-of-view Max Lens Mod 2.0 for $499.98 / £499.98. The Max Lens Mod 2.0 can also be purchased separately for £99.99.

At a glance

  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photo and Video
  • 1.5 hours at 5.3K30 and over 2.5 hours at 1080p30
  • Bluetooth audio support for AirPods + other Bluetooth audio devices for wireless sound recording and voice control
  • 5.3K60, 4K120 and 2.7K240 video resolutions
  • HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilization with 360° Horizon Lock
  • 27MP photos with 24.7MP stills from video
  • Waterproof to 33ft
  • GP-Log and LUT support
  • Optional Max Lens Mod 2.0 lens accessory available enabling ultra-wide angle, 177-degree field of view in 4K60
  • $399.99 / £399.99
The HERO12 looks pretty much the same as previous editions, with the addition of a blue speckled design on the body. Image: Jessica Miller

GoPro HERO12 Black: Features

Along with price and design, the GoPro HERO12 Black also contains some of the same features as its recent predecessor the HERO11 Black and has the same GoPro Enduro (1720mAh) battery as the 11 Black, front and back screens, as well as being the same dimensions (71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6 mm), processor, and weight (154g).

The HERO12 offers two interfaces – Easy and Pro. In the Easy mode, the camera adjusts settings for you which is great if you are starting out and getting to know the camera – or even if you are using the camera casually and just want great footage. The Pro mode unlocks all the features available and allows you to have more control – but with that comes more to learn and get your head around. Getting to know the camera, Easy Mode was the default mode I chose, but when spending longer with the camera and wanting to get more out of it with less restrictions, it made sense to change to Pro.

Like the HERO11 Black, the HERO12 Black features the same 1/1.7-inch 27MP 8:7 sensor that can capture 16:9, 9:16, 4:3 and 8:7 footage. It can shoot at up to 5.3K 60fps and 4K 120fps, in 2.7K it can capture 240fps. Plus, up to 8x Slo-mo, 4x 120fps at 4K, 8x 240fps at 2.7k. As well as 27MP photos, 24.7MP stills can be captured from video.

The GoPro Hero12 features a range of video shooting modes and angles. Image: Jessica Miller

The GoPro HERO12 Black has a big range of shooting options and features:


  • TimeWarp
  • Star trails
  • Light painting
  • Vehicle light trail

The above modes are all available in 8:7 ratio, previously just standard video.

  • Hindsight: Captures 30 secs of footage before recording – if pressing shutter too late you will still get the shot.
  • Scheduled capture: Auto capture shot up to 24 hours in advance
  • Duration capture: 15 secs – 3 hours long.


  • HyperView
  • SuperView
  • Wide
  • Linear
  • Linear+Horizon Lock
You can change between different modes with ease Image: Jessica Miller

The new additions to the camera include vertical 9:16 recording in 1080, 4K and 5.3K resolutions, a 1/4-inch thread mount between its flip-out feet, Timecode Sync, upgraded HyperSmooth 6.0 video, HDR video mode, and improvements in audio – with support for wireless audio from Bluetooth microphones, wireless earbuds like Airpods. Plus, up to 2x battery life thanks to some software improvements.

Image: Jessica Miller

A feature carried over from the 11 Black is the file transfer to phone using a USB-C cable, supported by phones with a USB-C port. But one feature that I noticed was missing between the spec sheets, was the HERO12 doesn’t have built in GPS – which is a standard element in the HERO11. The GoPro Quik App allows further control of the camera even if it’s set up further away as well as editing.

The GoPro Hero12 supports microSD cards and is charged via USB-C Image: Jessica Miller

GoPro HERO12 Black: Build and handling

Weighing 154g with the battery, the HERO12 Black camera body is the same as previous releases (71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6mm). The camera is ultra-rugged and built to be used in any situation. It feels robust and like it could take a beating, which is ultimately what you need from an action camera.

Opening the latch where the battery, charging port, MicroSD card slot is located, was quite fiddly and needed some prying, but essentially gave me the confidence that it is reliable and nothing was getting in or out of there easily.

The front of the camera features the lens and a front screen (1.4″ Color Display) as well as a LED light on the front sharing current recording status and microphone. The front screen is great for selfies and vlogging but can also be turned off – which is handy if you are recording in public and want to be discreet.  

Front screen in use, great for vlogging and selfies Image: Jessica Miller

The rear screen is a 2.27″ Touch Display. A shutter button remains at the top, with power button at the side, with. The screens are well lit and very responsive, making them easy to use. When the camera is switched off the power button also has the capability to activate quick-fire recording

The new addition of the 1/4inch thread mount in the centre of the Folding Fingers for accessories is great for use on tripods. Making it a very flexible camera for different situations and needs. The Folding Fingers still allow for use with other accessories using typical screws. I used a few accessories by different brands, and this worked well, so the camera is very versatile with any existing kit you may have. If it had a magnetic mounting option as well, it would match up to the likes of the Insta360 GO 3 I recently reviewed in terms of mounting and shooting flexibility.

Use the GoPro Hero 12 with a tripod or other accessories via the Folding Fingers Image: Jessica Miller

The HERO12 is waterproof up to 33ft (10m), and the hydrophobic lens sheds water to keep shots crystal clear. With the Protective Housing, which is sold separately ($49.99 / £49.99), waterproofing increases to up to 196ft (60m).

The camera body provides a single USB-C port allowing for charging and transfers. Connectivity is also available from 4.2 Bluetooth and 5GHz WiFi. It does also contain one MicroSD card slot for storage.

The f/2.5 aperture lens that delivers a 151-degree field of view can be increased to 177 degrees Max Lens Mod 2.0; which means you will get wider and taller shots.

GoPro HERO 12 Black: Performance and image quality

There is no progression in image quality from the GoPro HERO11 to the 12, with photo resolutions up to 27.13MP (5568×4872) and the same photo modes available. Images can be recorded in JPEG as well as RAW, and there is also a PRO manual mode for adjusting more settings yourself.

Video footage can be captured up to 5.3K 60fps, 4K at up to 120fps, and 2.7K footage at up to 240fps. Both video and images can be created in 9:16 vertical format without needing to rotate the camera, which has become a standard addition in most new action cameras now for short-form content creators. The HDR video mode can now shoot up to 5.3k30 and allows for greater detail and colour.

The 8:7 aspect-ratio sensor captures footage that is ready for editing. If using the 5.3K resolution, clips can be cropped easily within the GoPro Quik app to 1:1, 16:9, or 9:16 while retaining a high resolution. As well as adjusting Horizon levels and changing lens type – Linear, Wide, SuperView and HyperView. Likewise, images can be edited within the app, and cropped to 1:1, 16:9 and 4:3 ratios in both portrait and landscape orientations. Having cropped some of the images I took on the camera within the app, I think some quality is actually lost when changing between different ratios.

Original photo taken on GoPro Hero 12, 8:7 ratio, Linear lens. Image: Jessica Miller
HERO12 Black · f/2.5 · 1/1790s · 2.71mm · ISO100
Cropping within the GoPro Quik App
Cropped to 4:3 ratio Image: Jessica Miller
Cropped to 9:16 portrait Image: Jessica Miller

Images are generally very good, with the details and colours in bright sunny scenes looking crisp. The real downside is the low light performance. When in Night photo mode I found the screen to be very laggy. While the timelapse and light painting type features are exciting and fun, generally image and video quality in low light could do with some improvements. The HERO12 Black did not fare so well in a dark, artificially lit room at events like the AP Awards. Visuals are very grainy and generally low quality, you would be better off using your phone.

The GoPro Hero12 doesn’t deliver great results in low light conditions. Image: Jessica Miller

The HERO12 Black comes with a 1720mAh Enduro battery, offering longer running times. Approximately 1.5hr at 5.3K 30, 2.5hours at 1080p30. I found the battery life faired rather well, especially when using for sporadic vlogging and longer stints on a bike ride. I did notice the battery drop quickly when changing between lots of different settings for recording segments.

Despite some reports saying there has been improvements in the overheating, I still found the HERO12 Black was getting warm when used out and about for long periods of time and changing through the different settings. Your surroundings of course will also influence this, as it happens, I was using the camera on a nice sunny Spring day in the UK.

I tried out the GoPro voice control to start and stop recording video. I found myself shouting at the device as it took quite a few attempts to start recording. This feature seems to work best when speaking directly to the microphone at the front or speaking towards the top of the camera – rather than behind. When telling the GoPro to stop recording, it’s worth mentioning that this piece of audio is kept in the video – so will need cutting out before you use it!

When testing the camera on a bike ride, I found the wind sound was particularly prominent, but stabilisation was superb and all footage remained smooth. The Linear+Horizon Lock mode in particular was great for keeping shots straight. Speaking and general audio in videos overall is very good despite the wind noise, though if you are by a busy road for example, this remained quite loud.


The GoPro HERO12 Black creates some well-lit, great looking footage – if you aren’t shooting in low light. There are plenty of features to get your teeth into and the stabilisation is second to none – making it a great action camera and suitable for all kinds of users. It’s also ideal for vloggers and social media creators who want to cut 16:9 and 9:16 content from the same footage.

The HERO12 is a great little camera but overall, nothing here is exactly groundbreaking, it’s very similar to HERO11 Black. So if you already have the HERO11, you’re not really missing out on much. If you are choosing between the two, chances are the HERO11 will soon see some bigger price drops (and for basically the same camera – you can’t go wrong!) But, if you are likely to use some of the newer pro features in filmmaking– Timecode Sync and Log colour profile the HERO12 might be a better option.

The GoPro Hero 12 fits nicely in the hand Image: Jessica Miller

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