GoPro Tips

Master the Modes: Ultimate Guide to HERO11 Black Mini

Dec 15, 2022


Starting with a cliché like “big things come in small package” isn’t usually our jam, but danggot, it’s true. HERO11 Black Mini is here, and it’s a pint-sized powerhouse.

It packs the high-powered features of its big brother (HERO11 Black), but in a compact, simplified form. Here’s what you need to know about this tiny apex predator.

The New Hotness

Here is the rundown on the Mini.

  1. It has the same new 8:7 image sensor—the largest in any GoPro to date. This unlocks an 8:7 aspect ratio that is taller than the traditional 4:3 ratio sensors, so you capture more at the top and bottom of your frame. That makes the video really shine on vertically oriented platforms, like Instagram.
  2. It has HyperView, the widest digital lens ever on a HERO camera and brings a super immersive look to POV action footage.
  3. There’s also Linear + Horizon Lock built right in. This keeps your horizon line locked even if you’re cartwheeling down a hill.
  4. It’s tougher than ever and is waterproof to 10m (33ft) right out of the box.
  5. It also has not one but twosets of folding mounting fingers, which enables you to tuck it away in the tiniest of places and use it for angles you couldn’t otherwise achieve.
  6. Mini has Enduro Battery technology built right into it, which maximizes recording time even when you get into freezing temps.
  7. And all that comes in a brand-new size and shape. The Mini is just 52.4 W x 51.2 H x 38 D (mm) and 133 grams. Can you say, “iddy biddy!”

Easy vs Pro Controls

The HERO11 Black Mini is equipped with our new Easy Controls. Think of this as a filter to get the simplest settings for shooting high-quality video when you don’t want to think. Just turn on Easy Controls, point and hit record, and know it’ll come out looking great.

Easy Controls allows you to record in three preset mode:

  1. Highest Quality: The highest-quality video resolutions and frame rates to help you capture the best-looking footage possible.
  2. Extended Battery: Mid-range quality video resolutions and frame rates to help you capture stunning quality footage while extending your battery life.
  3. Longest Battery: Standard quality video resolutions and frame rates to help you capture good looking footage while providing the longest battery life possible.

For the majority of users and situations, Extended Battery is going to be the best mode to use. It captures 4K video resolution at 60 frames per second, with the SuperView digital lens selected. That gives you the option to slow your footage down later if you want, and you can even change out Digital Lens (a.k.a. field of view) options in the GoPro Quik app—learn more here.

PRO TIP: The easiest way to change settings on Mini, especially while in Pro Controls, is via the Quik app.

Which brings us to Pro Controls. This unfiltered Mini experience gives you all the tweakable settings options that a GoPro power user could want. To turn on Pro Controls settings, connect to the Quik app, find your Mini camera, and hit the gear cog (i.e. the settings icon) and you can toggle between Easy and Pro. Once you switch to Pro, you’ll have the ability to change resolutions, aspect ratios, digital lenses, frame rates, and much more.

It is also possible to adjust Pro settings on the camera, too. Just hit the status/pair button on the front to turn it on, then press it again to enter into the settings menu, and hit the shutter button on top to select video settings. From there you use the status/pair button to scroll through options and the shutter button to select. You can do it with fewer button presses in the app, but it’s good to have this option, especially if you’re in the water or don’t have your phone with you.

Slo-Mo Breakdown

Once you’re in Pro Mode, you can cherry pick your frame rates. The options available will vary depending on the resolution you’ve selected, but this camera can shoot fast. We’re talking 4K video at up to 120 frames per second (fps) and 2.7K and 1080p video at up to 240fps. What do those numbers mean?

Well, standard video is generally played back at 30fps (sometimes 24fps for more cinematic applications). So, if you shoot at 60fps, that means you can slow it down to half speed. If you shoot at 120fps you can slow it down to one-quarter speed, and if you shoot at 240fps you can slow it down to a wild one-eighth speed—that’s the buttery-smooth, cinematic slo-mo you’re used to in GoPro videos.

HyperSmooth 5.0 with AutoBoost

Our proprietary video stabilization is so good that most people are letting their gimbals gather dust, but did you know that we have different levels of HyperSmooth built into our cameras with the new HyperSmooth 5.0? You can have it on, or on High, or on Boost, which is the maximum, but this has a small tradeoff of cropping slightly in.

How’s a person to choose? With HyperSmooth AutoBoost you don’t have to. The camera will sense the shake and dynamically adjust the stabilization rate and framing as you go. It’s so smooth you probably won’t even notice.

10-Bit All the Richer

For those of you who want to get into the nitty-gritty settings—like ISO, sharpness, color profiles, white balance, shutter speed, etc.—you can find all of that in the Quik app. But the HERO11 Black Mini has a new trick up its sleeve: 10-bit color!

10-bit HEVC recording gives you a whopping 64 times more shades and gradations of colors compared to 8-bit. That means everything is going to look more realistic and life-like, and subtle color shifts will appear nice and smooth. It also will make your footage more flexible for when you want to tweak the look of it.

Think of Video as Capturing Continuous ‘Still Photos’

While the HERO11 Black Mini doesn’t have a dedicated photo mode, you may not need it! Why, because frame grabs from video have gotten bigger and better than ever, especially with the Quik app frame grab tool. If you’re shooting in full frame with the 8:7 aspect ratio at 5.3K resolution, you can pull still photos from your video at a massive 24.7 megapixels (and more than 12MP at 4K).

Here’s how to do it:

  • Connect your Mini to the GoPro Quik app.
  • Tap the View Media icon to find the video you want, then tap the video to open it.
  • As you watch the video, tap the Frame Grab icon when you see a frame that you want to save as a photo or scrub through using the frame grab scrubber.

Night Effects

Yes, there are still more new features, and our Night Effects are among the coolest (and easiest!). They create stunning videoanimations with a simple shutter press, and you can even pull a sweet night light frame grabs from using the technique above.

There are three Night Effects to choose from:

  1. Star Trails captures stunning stars streaking across the night sky. Just mount your camera to a stationary object, point it toward the sky, set your Trail Length to Long or Max, and let Mini work its magic.
  2. Light Painting uses long exposure to create slick brush stroke effects with moving lights, like a flashlight, a sparkler or a candle. Put the camera somewhere stable, set a bit of a delay to allow yourself to get set, set Trail Length to Long or Max, and start painting with lights!
  3. Vehicle Light Trails are for recording the headlights and/or taillights of cars as they zoom by at night. Again, set the camera somewhere stable, point it at traffic, and set the Trail Length to Short.

PRO TIP: If you’re in a very dark environment, you may want to increase your ISO to 1600 and your Shutter time up to as much as 30 seconds, but we recommend doing capturing some test footage to check your settings before committing. This guarantees you’ll get the look you want. Reminder: All of these settings can be adjusted in the Quik app and on the camera itself.

Learn more about HERO11 Night Effects and how to master them here. And snag your own HERO11 Black Mini here.


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