Sunday, June 23, 2024
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GoPro Hero 11 Mini review

A sleek new GoPro for skiers, surfers, skateboarders and travellers

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A GoPro is an excellent investment for any active traveller who wants to capture their adventures in high-quality footage, but which one do you choose? GoPro just made that choice simultaneously easier and more difficult with the introduction of the GoPro Hero 11 Mini, a pared-down, sleeker and more affordable variant of its flagship Go Pro Hero 11. Here’s what we thought of it:

GoPro Hero 11 Mini: design and features

The focus of the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini’s design is primarily on its form factor. While it weighs in at 4.7oz/133g, only slightly less than the flagship GoPro’s 5.5 oz/156g, its square shape and compact width make it an ideal fit for handlebars and helmets.

There are four notable physical differences between the Hero 11 Black Mini and the flagship Hero 11 Black. The most significant of these is the Hero 11 Black Mini’s smaller size. It’s 13% smaller than its predecessor, making it more compact and easier to fit into tight spaces – and pockets. It boasts two sets of folding fingers for mounting, to the Hero 11 Black’s one set. However, the Hero 11 Black Mini lacks both front and rear-facing screens, which makes framing shots a guessing game. Nevertheless, this feature reduces battery consumption, which is essential since the Hero 11 Black Mini’s 1,500mAh Enduro battery is built-in, and rechargeable via USB-C, but not replaceable. As a result, the Hero 11 Black Mini is best suited for shorter shoots.

GoPro Hero 11 Mini: performance

GoPro cameras are designed to withstand the toughest conditions and capture high-quality footage – and the Hero 11 Mini does just that.

We found that the absence of front and rear displays wasn’t a significant issue. That’s largely because it’s effortless and quick to connect the camera to a smartphone and firing-up the Quik app, which presents a live preview and, after the shoot is done, easy viewing of low-resolution previews. The camera also offers the option to capture 24.7 MP SuperPhoto HDR stills from its 5.3K video files, making its lack of a dedicated photo mode irrelevant. Given that it’s got no LCD screens, settings are best tweaked and changed via the Quik app. It’s straightforward, but we recommend familiarizing yourself with the on-device controls to switch between different resolutions, such as between 5.3K at 60fps and 4K at 120fps. Whatever we experimented with the video quality was excellent, with HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization in particular impressing for the smoothness it lends to potentially jerky motion video.

Although the built-in battery’s lack of replaceability is inconvenient, it is possible to power the Hero 11 Black Mini using a USB-C cable connected to a portable battery. To make it even more convenient, GoPro also offers a USB Pass-Through Door, allowing the camera to remain waterproof while connected to a power source.

GoPro Hero 11 Mini: verdict

While it may not have the dual displays of its predecessor, the Hero 11 Black Mini is a perfect choice for those who prioritize portability and weight savings. With a significantly smaller form factor than the flagship action camera from GoPro, it competently fulfils a unique niche. Though it lacks a photo mode – something travellers might be annoyed by – the built-in battery and simplicity of this action camera make it ideal for extreme sports and any scenario where saving weight is crucial. If you’re likely to want to record bike rides and extreme sports rather than go vlogging or TikToking then the smart, sleek and lower-priced GoPro Hero 11 is for you. If, however, you want maximum creative control and the ability to use a third-party microphone then opt instead for the pricer GoPro Hero 11.