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Master the Modes: The Ultimate Guide to HERO11 Black

Oct 03, 2022

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Hello, and welcome to the ultimate guide to HERO11 Black.


We’ve got new features, new settings and, most importantly, an all-new image sensor to unpack! But before we look at what’s new, it’s important to remember that HERO11 Black is a GoPro through-and-through. This means its built tough and can take a beating, it’s waterproof straight out of the box down to 10 meters, and it’s compatible with existing GoPro mounts, accessories and Mods, including Max Lens Mod.


Let’s dive in.


New, Larger 8:7 Sensor


HERO11 Black not only features the largest image sensor we’ve ever had on a GoPro—clocking in at 1/1.9”—but it unlocks an entirely new aspect ratio. GoPro cameras have always featured a sensor capable of a 4:3 ratio, but with the HERO11 line, we’re debuting an 8:7 aspect ratio. It still shoots video up to at 5.3K resolution, but now it does so in a format that’s much closer to square.


When is it ever better to be square? Good question! The captures a 13% taller field of view, which allows you to capture more of the scene around you, creating more immersive, more versatile content.


Most importantly, shooting in this new 8:7 aspect ratio means you now can crop a single clip to different aspect ratios in the GoPro Quik app—and still maintain an incredibly high resolution. You’ll be simultaneously capturing extra-tall 9:16 vertical shots for Instagram and TikTok AND high resolution 16:9 cinematic shots ideal for YouTube or the silver screen. You can also zoom in on the best sections of your 8:7 videos to create high resolution closeups—delivering up to 24.7MP frame grabs (also via the Quik app).


That’s not all the new sensor does. This bad boy also delivers the highest resolution, highest 10-bit color depth, highest level of video stabilization, widest field of view ever featured natively in a HERO camera.



PRO TIP: HERO11 Black defaults to a simplified user interface right out of the box called Easy Controls, which come pre-loaded with the best Video, Photo and Time Lapse setting options and on-screen shortcuts to easily change your digital lens or turn on slo-mo.

You can turn on the more advanced Pro Controls to access 8:7 capture options, and unlock all Protune setting options, by swiping down on the back LCD to access the camera dashboard and then swiping right to left to reveal the Controls option.

10-Bit Color Video, 27MP Photos, Crispy 24.7MP Frame Grabs + Night Effects


Shout out to the pros and post-production bros out there—this 10-bit color depth is for you! But for the rest of us Average Joes, what does the jump from 8-bit to 10-bit really mean to the naked eye?


Technically speaking, it means over 1 billion shades of color vs. 16.7 million in 8-bit. That’s 64X more colors captured—what a difference two bits makes! Those shades mean the colors in your GoPro content will look truer to how your eyes perceive them in the real world. Shade, gradation in the trees, the horizon in the sky will look less like bands and more like a continuous changing color, and sunsets will look more lifelike. That’s the power of 10-bit color depth.


And if you’re tweaking things in post-production software (like Premiere, Resolve, or FinalCut), you’ll be able to do much more manipulation to the look of the image without it falling apart.


And let’s not forget about the power of photos in HERO11 Black. That fresh, new, taller 8:7 sensor means more details and higher resolutions in still photos and frame grabs. For stills, we’re talking 27MP (up from 23MP on the HERO10 Black) in photo mode. And if you’re shooting 5.3K video in 8:7, you can now pull incredibly detailed 24.7MP frame grabs, which is up from 19.6MP on the HERO10 Black. This is high enough resolution to transcend a simple social media post—blow it up, print it out and frame it for your family gallery wall.


PRO TIP: If you’re not sure if you want video or stills, or you might want both, we recommend shooting at 5.3K at 8:7. This will ensure you get the highest video AND the highest frame grab resolutions.


HERO11 Black also has three new Night Effects presets that make capturing professional quality Star Trails, Light Painting and Vehicle Light Trails content as easy as tapping a settings option. Access Night Effects by tapping the Time Lapse Mode options while in Pro Controls.


The Most Immersive Digital Lens Ever: HyperView


The new sensor love doesn’t stop with resolutions. It also enables HyperView, the widest 16:9 field of view ever native to a HERO camera.


GoPro cameras introduced the SuperView digital lens nearly 10 years ago, and it’s been a high-action fan-favorite field of view ever since. SuperView takes the full readout from the 4:3 sensor and dynamically stretches it into a traditional 16:9 video (aka the preferred aspect ratio for everything you watch on TV, in a movie and on YouTube). This creates a very immersive video, perfect for first-person POV.


With HERO11 Black, meet HyperView. HyperView is SuperView cranked up to 11 (get it?). This FOV utilizes the whole sensor, now maxing out at 8:7, effectively capturing even more scenery into that 16:9 frame and delivering the most immersive FOV. The best example is that HyperView does an even better job of capturing speed. It’s a dramatic effect, but it’s awesome.


PRO TIP: Try combining slo-mo and HyperView. Set your video to record 4K60 with the HyperView digital lens and HyperSmooth 5.0 on. This combination will allow you to slow your footage down to 40% or 50% speed (depending on if your final video will be 24p or 30p, respectively) for nice looking slow motion while also keeping your video super smooth in an ultra-immersive perspective.

Believe the HyperSmooth 5.0 + Built-In 360° Horizon Lock


The Emmy Award-winning technology behind GoPro’s HyperSmooth stabilization also gets a bump with HERO11 Black, again, thanks to the new, larger sensor.


With HERO11 Black, we’ve introduced HyperSmooth 5.0, which delivers ultra-high-quality shake-free footage with ease. And HyperSmooth 5.0 comes with AutoBoost. This automatic stabilization mode strives to preserve the widest field of view possible while achieving highest stabilization performance. It does so by dynamically adjusting the field of view, in real-time, when large movements are detected.


HyperSmooth 5.0 also comes with a Horizon Lock option. No matter how much your camera bumps, shakes, tilts or whirls—even spinning up to a full 360°—the horizon will stay perfectly locked and levelled. Previously, this was only available with the help of the Max Lens Mod accessory.


PRO TIP: Max Lens Mod still delivers the widest field of view ever, and it is compatible with HERO11 Black. So swap the standard lens cover for Max Lens Mod for an incredible 155° field of view.


Horizon Lock is available using the Linear + Horizon Lock digital lens in both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios when filming at resolutions up to 5.3K30, 4K60, 2.7K120, and 1080p120.


The results must be seen to be believed. Our Linear digital lens does an incredible job of eliminating any fisheye effects, so your footage looks like it was shot with a beautiful cinematic lens and adding Horizon Lock really cranks it to 11 (there it is again!) by keeping the entire shot level no matter what orientation your camera finds itself in.


PRO TIP: The following four resolution and frame rates combinations only support Horizon Leveling, which means your camera can tilt anywhere from 27° to 45° and the horizon will stay perfectly leveled.

  • 5.3K60
  • 4K120
  • 2.7K240
  • 1080p240


Enduro Battery + Runtimes


The Enduro Battery is an absolute beast, and it now comes standard with HERO11 Black at no extra cost. While it might look like the previous generation of battery with some new white flare, it dramatically improves camera runtimes in cold temperatures and delivers up to 38% longer recording times in moderate temperatures.


This is massive for those of us who are into winter sports, or simply choose to live in colder climates. Afterall, cold weather is a battery’s worst nemesis (#science!). Plus, Enduro charges a faster than the OG standard battery. So what are you waiting for? Let the runtimes roll!


To provide even more power, in addition to including Enduro in-box, we’ve also redesigned the heat sink, optimized our firmware and implemented extended runtime settings. We understand that the nuances of how resolutions and frame rates translate to power consumption isn’t always straight forward. For those who agree, HERO11 Black features two Video Modes: Highest Quality and Extended Battery.


Just choose the type of use you want, and the camera will limit the available settings selections to those that give you the longest battery life.

    Sit Back, Relax and Let Auto Highlight Videos Deliver Your Memories


    Editing video can be hard work, so why not let the robots take first crack at it? OK, maybe not robots exactly, but at least artificial intelligence (AI).


    Up until now, if you transferred your video clips to the GoPro Quik app, the built-in AI would auto-edit a video for you that’s synced to music, and you could just tweak it to your tastes from there. Cool, but that could be tricky if you didn’t have much free storage on your phone.Now there’s a way better way. If you have a GoPro Subscription (a steal at $50 a year), you just plug your camera in to charge when you get home and walk away. Seriously, just go about the rest of your day. And while you do so, all of the new clips on your camera will auto-upload to GoPro’s cloud service where they’ll not only be safely stored until forever—at the original capture resolution—but they will be automatically edited into a highlight video for your viewing and sharing enjoyment! It’s like a happy surprise after a day of shredding.

    While we can’t give away all the magic, we can share that GPMF, or GoPro Metadata, captured by our cameras, tracks things like GPS path, speed, elevation, g-force, change in scene, camera temperature and facial expressions. This helps the Quik engine to identify key moments to include in a highlight video, creating a memorable recap without you ever having to scrub through a single video file—you can learn more about the process here. You can, of course, still make tweaks later.


    While GoPro’s AI is getting better and better and cutting video, there are still some things you can do that will help you end up with better edits:


    1. Capture shorter clips. Quik will include up to 75 clips taken within a 12-hour window. Uploads that exceed 75 clips will use two clips from the beginning, two clips from the end and an assortment of the rest.

    2. Add a Hi-Light tags while filming will help the AI prioritize including it. (Bonus points: Whooping it up can help, too!)

    3. Ditch the outtakes early. If there was a bad run, missed wave, bungled jump, etc. that you know you aren’t going to want to save, do a quick sweep through your camera and delete the files before you plug in to charge. That way they won’t make it into your edit, and you won’t ever have to look at them again (or risk them getting out into the public, thank goodness!).


    PRO TIP: You now have the option to automatically clear your SD card after your footage has uploaded to the GoPro Cloud. You can turn this on in the Preferences menu on your HERO11 Black camera by following Preferences > Auto Upload > Auto Clear and selecting ON or OFF.


    So there you have it: The ultimate guide to mastering HERO11 Black. We hope you feel inspired to go out and start capturing life’s moments. And if you’re inspired enough to start sharing your content, check out the HERO11 Million Dollar Challenge for your chance to earn an equal cut of a $1 million purse.

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