GoPro Hero 12 Black: Battery life’s the thing

It’s been nearly 20 years since the first GoPro hit the market. The story since then has been one of several ups and downs, but the line continues to be synonymous with the action cam. After nearly two decades of GoPro, how does one continue to push the state of the art? “Battery life” is always a good answer to anything. No one complains that their devices’ batteries are too good. Heck, look at the just-announced Sonos Move 2. The update is all about the battery.

It’s an even bigger deal in GoPro land, where recording time has been a longstanding pain point. Runtime is the marquee feature for the Hero 12 Black. Here the company is promising up to double what you got with last year’s model.

The stated numbers put 5.3K video (60FPS) at 70 minutes. At the other end of the spectrum, the company says you’ll be able to more than double that to 155 minutes recording in 1080p at 30FPS. Obviously, there are a lot of factors at play greatly impacting that number in one direction or the other, so maybe wait for the reviews to get a better grasp on what we’re talking about in real-life figures.

Another nice addition is Bluetooth support for both headphones and microphones (and the dreaded headphone/microphone combo). That means you will be able to monitor things with a set of AirPods (which get a shoutout in the press release) or add some in-camera voice-over in real time.

Video stabilization has been improved as well. “HyperSmooth 6.0 features next-generation AutoBoost that automatically boosts video stabilization as needed,” GoPro writes, “while maintaining the smallest cropping margin possible with imperceptible transitions between crop levels.”

Image Credits: GoPro

GoPro also debuted the Max Lens Mod 2.0 accessory, alongside the new camera. The add-on improves the captured field of view to 177-degrees with 4K 60FPS video. The lens has three settings: Max Wide, Max SuperView and Max HyperView. So, max, maxer, maxest. It’s scratch resistant and hydrophobic.

The Hero 12 arrives September 13, priced at $400 (that price point was only available to GoPro subscribers with the last gen). That’s the same price as DJI’s recently released Osmo Action 4. The Max Lens Mod 2.0 runs another $100 ($80 for subscribers).