GoPro Hero 12 After the Hype Review: Is it Still the Best Action Camera?
GoPro is the pinnacle of action cameras. It has been the trendsetter but DJI Osmo Action 4 was able to dethrone Hero 11 with its excellent hardware and performance. GoPro is back with the 12th generation. The GoPro Hero 12 promises some good upgrades and features but will it be able to take its position back.
- Ultrawide Max Mod 2.0
- Great smartphone app
- LOG mode for better videos
- Lower price
- Rugged and beautiful construction
- Some UI flaws
- Very small upgrade over previous generation
- Power low light performance
GoPro Hero 12 – Price
Price is a positive start for GoPro. It is rare to see premium brands bringing their prices down especially in 2023. But GoPro has brought it down to 39$ and if you have GoPro subscription you can get the camera for just 299$.
I have got the Max Lens Mod 2.0 which costs me 430 Euro. It used to cost 150 euro more a year ago. So, having a lower price GoPro Hero 12 Black is a great start and now it also matches the price of DJI Osmo Action 4
GoPro Hero 12 – Unboxing
Unboxing is good. I would have loved to see Generation 5 or 6 like box with a lot of accessories. But all the companies are working to save the planet so they usually have a very limited set of accessories.
It has a simple box with an egg crate like box inside that holds the camera and accessories.
Appearance and Build Quality
GoPro has gone with their trademark design, the action camera has a very similar, size, shape and weight compared to previous generation. The only change that I have noticed is the different texture and rubberized area around the main frame. Another notable addition is the 1/4-inch mounting hole. It got lost in a few previous variants but now, it’s here and can be used to mount small tripod, gimbals, and sticks. I would still love to see a DJI like quick release mounting mechanism.
The build quality is decent, it has rugged construction and a waterproof body up to 10 meters which is less then DJI Osmo Action 4.
Overall, I really like the texture and the addition of a ¼ mounting hole. As always it has a strong construction and lightweight body making it an ideal action camera.
- Chipset: GoPro GP2 Processor
- Image Sensor: IMX 677L, 27MP, 1/1.9 CMOS image sensor
- Optics: Wide 156° Field of View in 8:7 Aspect Ratio, 177° FOV with Max Lens Mod 2.0
- Resolution: 5.3K up to 60 FPS, 4K 120 FPS and 2.7K at 240 FPS.
- Battery: 1720mAh Battery
- Display: Dual colored screen
- Smartphone App: Quik App
- Weight: 154 grams with battery
GoPro Hero 12 – User Interface
GoPro Hero 12 has a revamped UI. It looks good but I am not a fan of it because I still cannot figure out the way to utilize some functions equivalents of old interface.
GoPro has tried to simplify the process by offering a simple and an advanced setting, which is a good approach but can be irritating for people who are using the old interface for a long time.
There are some new features like GP-LOG mode, the fully functional LOG mode limits the ISO sensitivity between 100 and 400. The camera still fails to deliver overexposure warning, which is essential for an action camera. The LOG mode is a nice addition that many professionals will appreciate.
The shortcuts are also gone, in previous generation I was able to change frame rates with just 2 taps but now, I have to either set a preset or move to advanced setting. I hope to see this getting fixed with the next firmware update.
GoPro Hero 12 gave me another shock, as this happens to be the first GoPro camera that hanged a few times. I think it was the HDR mode that triggered the action. It was shocking and unusual as it does not happen on GoPro camera. In the situation taking out the battery did not work instead a combination of pressing shutter and power button together fixed the problem.
GoPro’s UI this time was full of surprises, it was revamped but has a lot of functional settings changed and many essential options are still missing. So, we can hope for many changes in the next update.
GoPro Hero 12 – Performance
Whatever you throw at the camera during the daytime, it will create stunning results. The auto settings will hit the sweet spot but if you are planning to do post production then I will recommend using 10-bit flat color or try the LOG mode. It’s a new thing and looks great and bound to get refined with time.
Slow motion is on another level, the ability to shot 2.7K videos at 240 FPS and 4K at 120 FPS is just remarkable. GoPro is talking a lot about the 8/7 format. It basically gives you the ability to crop 5.3K video with minimum quality loss.
The night footage is also devastating, colors are made and the quality is nowhere close to what DJI Osmo Action 4 has to offer.
Max Mod 2.0 is an excellent addition to the camera, it gives a whopping 177 field of view which is insanely wide and 5.3K videos perfectly complements the wide FOV.
GoPro Quik App
GoPro Quik app is another excellent part of software, it works greatly on both Android and iPhone and has excellent ability to compose short videos for social media. Moreover, it also provides access to cloud storage. Moreover, you can also use the app as viewfinder for the videos.
- Poor lowlight performance
- No ambient light sensor
- Missing Overexposure warning
- Some UI flaws.
GoPro has always been great and rich with functions and accessories. But in Hero 12 the hardware changes are non-existent, it has the same chipset, same image sensor, same battery and optics. The only different thing is the texture and a ¼ mounting hole. Moreover, the low light performance is still under par. The camera also has a few good additions like the LOG mode, a better smartphone app and lower price. But if you have a GoPro Hero 10 or 11 then I won’t recommend upgrading because it almost delivers the same performance. If you are getting the first action camera then GoPro hero 12 is a great choice.
Look at more samples and details on our YouTube video.