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  • Fitri Aiyub

GoPro Hero 11 Black Review : 20 Years worth of R&D | 10-Bit 5.3K!

So here it is.. The “king” of action cams. Pioneers, trend setters, call them whatever you want! Whenever someone mentions an action cam, they’d ultimately assume a GoPro. Fun fact, GoPro was founded back in 2002, which makes 2022 their 20th year anniversary, So in a way.. The GoPro Hero 11 Black is approximately 20 years worth of research and development. So what does that actually look like?


First things first, my last experience with a GoPro, believe it or not.. was with the Hero 5. Yeah.. a really long time ago. and i’ve gotta say this is near perfection. It even just looks like it's capable of anything you throw at it. Knowing they’ve been literally releasing one every year, it gets hard to keep track of what’s different. I mean, aside from the 6 year generational gap from the Hero 5 to this 11 Black, then of course!.. The difference is night and day. So do forgive me if I come off a little enthusiastic than most.

To mention a few, I love how it now comes with a front screen and this very responsive 2.27” rear display. I love this solid latch design they’ve got going, the foldable mounting points, and even the replaceable front lens.

But if you're coming from the Hero 10, if I'm honest, it’s pretty much the same. So don't expect any crazy differences here.

So yeah, maybe the whole “releasing a new model every year” thing, could be taken down a notch. I feel that camera brands just need to pull a James Cameron. Like go quiet for a good few years, innovate, then come back with a blockbuster. But of course, that won't be a good business model. Especially in a highly competitive market with brands such as Insta360 which is fully modular, DJI just released their Osmo Action 3 (Which I have with me actually and will be talking about it in a separate video, and not to forget Sony with their RX0 series..

But still, I think GoPro could actually do that. Disappear for a bit and still make an impact whenever they come up with something new.

The menu system for one, is just so easy to use and familiarise yourself with. Only a few minutes on this, you’d pretty much figure out your way around it, even if you’ve never used one before. So from a user experience standpoint, this is very well done and very much invites any new comers who've never owned an action cam.

Because as a camera that comes with only two buttons on it – like most action cams do, the menu experience HAS to be a good one. Which is a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially if one of its main functions is to be rugged above all else. So in a way, this huge exposed touchscreen on the back could be more fragile than they claim it to be, because’s still glass in the end. Seeing some of these photos online of cracked screens on a Hero 10 is just terrible. Which is also probably why they still sell a protective case.

But yeah, not as painful as seeing an LCD screen on a DLSR or Mirrorless… Yeah I dropped my camera once when it was on a tripod. I don't ever want to talk about it. It's something I'm still getting over.


But even without the case, it’s still capable of up to 33 feet underwater. And I just love that you could just swipe up or down on the left slider to change frame rates. I think that would be very useful if you’re interacting with this camera on the go, like popping it off its mounting to capture something cool in slow-mo, then switching it back immediately to normal speed.

It's the little things like having all your resolutions which tops at 5.3K50fps, aspect ratios and frame rate settings, segmented inside its own page. While lens angles can be chosen by swiping up on the right slider, from Linear + Horizon lock such as this footage of me karting, all the way to HyperView or a 12mm focal length.. Which I found to be way too wide for my liking and stuck with just the SuperView or 16mm that was also shot on another karting track.

But yeah, I truly scratch my head a lot when it comes to reviewing some of these action cams, because there's only so much "action" you can do before you feel less inspired to just go do something. Which is also another reason why I believe they fitted a front screen now from the Hero 10, thinking people would be vlogging on this camera, which also makes me cringe a little.

Don't get me wrong, it's great addition to have because I think by now, most creators who record on the go like car-commentary shows or interviews might take advantage of this, such as our own "Making The Cut" series on our Features channel (Do check that out in the card above), having the option to just power this through the USB-C and have it run for as long as you require is very helpful for those situations, and also factoring the front screen (as I just mentioned) when you might have the camera facing towards you and backed against a wall or away from you, so yes having a front screen helps.

GoPro's Hypersmooth is pretty much as smooth as it gets, while running shots in lower light conditions, some warping might be more visible when it comes to those conditions, to which also just does not perform as great as I was expecting it to, when comparing to other action cams I've tried in this past year that doesn't do well in low light either. I know I shouldn't be expecting too much out of a 1.19" CMOS sensor, but still.. Factoring how this is a lower megapixel count of 27.6 active pixels, compared to Insta360's ONE RS' 48MP sensor, I really was rooting for this to perform better. But I think that's just a flaw across all action cams anyways, so maybe in that matter GoPro might need to consider this as an opportunity to pioneer something else which most brands struggle with when it comes to low light.


But the main complaint I have with most action cams is the battery life, which this GoPro comes with 1720mAh removable battery, that can also be purchased additionally if you're always worrying about battery life. They even sell it in packs of two if you need more, which cost only about $40 so yeah – I suggest just getting extra batteries. Because even in my experience where I was just not pushing it to its limits, only recording in 4K, I can already foresee this dying on me if I'm out in the middle of nowhere and have no place to charge it.

So yeah.. Get. More. Batteries.


If you really must know how much this would cost you compared to a year older Hero 10 Black, this Hero 11 Black, it's exactly the same, which retails at $350.

But you do get the newer 27MP sensor in this one. Other than that, you're looking at basically the same camera. Aside from the faster reading speeds of 120 Mbps at 5.3K & 4K, compared to 100 Mbps in the older version.

Final Thoughts

I think if you've got anything lesser than a Hero 7, this might be a considerable upgrade, but anything later than that, I think you're not really missing out on anything groundbreaking per-se.

But yeah, I really do believe that the Hero 12 coming out next year might just be another similar story, with the tiniest improvement and to be very frank with you, not something I'd be as enthusiastic experiencing knowing what this version had already shown me.


Written by Fitri Aiyub

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