GoPro action cameras have followed a predictable update cycle in recent years, but that’s about to change according to an intriguing new teaser – the video confirms that the Hero 11 Black will release in two different sizes.
GoPro’s unusually revealing trailer gives us some strong hints of what to expect in its next release, which will take place on September 14 at 6am PT / 2pm BST / 11am AEST. For the first time since the original GoPro Session arrived in 2015, we’ll see its flagship action camera arrive in two forms – a Hero 11 Black and a mini sibling.
recent leaks of WinFuture (opens in new tab) suggested that a Hero 11 Black Mini model is on the way. And it looks like GoPro is trying to quell the rumors by posting a teaser video that pretty much heralds the compact action camera, alongside a more standard model that looks a lot like a GoPro Hero 10 Black.
The Hero 11 Black Mini, if that’s what the compact action camera will be called, appears to be the spiritual successor to the GoPro Hero Session, first released in 2015 and discontinued three years later.
Based on the poster on the GoPro website, the Mini won’t be as small as the cube-shaped Session (see below), which weighed just 74g. But that could be a good thing from a usability standpoint, with our review of the GoPro Hero 5 Session noting that the action camera suffered from a short battery life and fiddly controls.
Instead, it looks like the Mini will simply be a Hero 11 Black without the front and rear displays, meaning it should (according to WinFuture, at least) bring the same new sensor and processing power. The two action cameras, however, will likely have different batteries, so we’ll have to wait and see how that affects their respective runtimes.
The Session Reborn?
The arrival of a new Hero form factor would match comments made by GoPro earlier this year about expanding into new “types” of action cameras.
During an earnings call transcribed by financial website The Motley Fool (opens in new tab)(opens in a new tab), GoPro CEO Nick Woodman said that “in late 2022, we plan to increase our hardware offering from the two types of products we have today, Hero and Max, to four distinct camera products.” .
It looks like these four distinct products will be the Hero 11 Black, Hero 11 Black Mini, Max, and Hero 10 Black Bones, which is a drone-compatible model that is currently only available in the US. Apparently, that won’t be the end of the GoPro revamp either, with Woodman adding that “we hope to expand further by the end of 2023”.
All of this marks a shift for GoPro, which has been simplifying its offerings since the GoPro Hero 8 Black in an attempt to maintain its home action camera turf. With the iPhone 14 featuring a new stabilized ‘Action Mode’, it looks like GoPro is again looking to give us more specialized options.
Who will this new Mini action camera be for? We’ll have to wait until September 14 to be sure, but with the Hero 10 Black Bones covering drone cameras, it seems likely to appeal to anyone wanting to mount a GoPro to their helmet – for example, cyclists, mountain bikers, and surfers. Fortunately, its price will also match its smaller format.