GoPro Hero12 Black

GoPro Hero12 Black Camera Review

When Bill Gates proclaimed, "Content is king," back in 1996, he tapped into a future truth about our digital society.

Today, this phrase perfectly encapsulates our world, where capturing and sharing life’s moments is not just a hobby but a vital part of how we communicate and express ourselves.

The GoPro, invented initially for surfers, is much more than an action camera. It’s a storyteller’s dream, crafted for a generation that constantly seeks to share experiences—from the breathtaking rush of a first descent to the hilarity of a cat’s innate fear of cucumbers. This camera is designed for content creators, adventurers, and anyone who wants to capture life’s moments in the most vivid and engaging way possible.

Compact and rugged, the Hero12 Black is built for it all. The waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant qualities make it a dependable companion. From my initial unboxing to my less-than-gentle care for the camera during my testing period, I was constantly impressed by just how bombproof the Hero12 feels, especially for how lightweight it is.

The Hero12 Black’s video capabilities are nothing short of exceptional. The ability to shoot in 5.3K resolution at 30 frames per second and 4K at 60 frames per second ensures that your footage is not just seen but felt. Every frame is a brushstroke of vivid detail, capturing colors and textures in a way that bring your stories to life. Whether you’re filming a high-octane mountain bike descent or the tranquil movements of fern swaying in the breeze, the Hero12 Black captures it all with stunning realism.

One of the most significant challenges in action videography is maintaining stability. The Hero12 Black’s HyperSmooth 6.0 technology turns this challenge into a strength. It stabilizes your footage, eliminating the jarring effects of shaky hands or rough terrain. This feature is invaluable for capturing POV footage while riding a mountain bike.

Battery life is another area where the Hero12 Black excels. Its improved battery capacity over previous models means you can spend more time capturing and creating and less time worrying about recharging. This extended battery life is essential for mountain bikers who are often on the move and away from power sources. I rarely found myself running out of juice, though I suggest packing a spare battery

The user interface of the Hero12 Black feels familiar and welcoming. Its touch screen is intuitive and easy to navigate, ensuring you can quickly adjust settings to suit your environment. This ease of use means you can stay in the moment, focusing on your adventure rather than on camera settings.

Connectivity with the GoPro Quik app adds another layer of functionality. It allows for quick and easy footage transfer, making editing and sharing your content more straightforward. The app is also a powerful tool, turning your smartphone into a mini editing studio where you can refine clips before sharing them with the world. And with the Hero12, you can also connect your wireless headphones to the camera to serve as a microphone or use voice commands from a distance—pretty nifty.

On the trail, I found the Hero12 to be downright fun to use. Though GoPro has nearly infinite ways of mounting a GoPro to just about anything, I found the chest harness to be the best at capturing the experience of riding a bike. It provided the perfect angle to make the video footage feel like you are behind the bars while still getting a full perspective of the surroundings. 

Another favorite accessory was the Max Lens Mod 2.0. It is a separate, wide-angle lens that screws on to replace the standard lens and provides a 177-degree field of view. With this view, the video playback is downright immersive. That’s because the wide scope feels closer to what the peripheral vision of our eyes can capture when taking in a scene. When I started using this lens, I mostly decided to keep it on for any POV riding. The video I captured with the Max Lens Mod 2.0 was just more engaging to watch.

Shot with GoPro HERO12 Black

While most of the video I tended to capture while testing the Hero12 was POV riding footage, I also experimented with setting up the camera on the trail and hiking back up to film myself riding from a different angle. That’s when having the Remote by GoPro was ideal. Though I could have left the camera on while I hiked back up the trail and rode back down again or tried to use voice control with headphones, it was much more efficient to rely on the Remote to cue recording exactly when I needed it.

I could go on and on about just how many cool settings, features, and modes there are to discover on the Hero12, such as the various timelapse and slow-motion modes. Instead, I will simply reassure you that this is a phenomenal camera that will do more than enough to keep any creative satisfied and inspired for many rides to come.

In the kingdom of content, the GoPro Hero12 Black is indeed a reigning monarch, setting new standards in personal videography. With its robust build, exceptional video quality, advanced stabilization, and user-friendly interface, the Hero12 Black is the ideal companion for anyone looking to document life’s adventures. Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone who loves documenting their journeys, this camera will elevate your storytelling.

GoPro HERO12 Black

MSRP: $399.99

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