GoPro’s action cams have followed a predictable upgrade cycle for the past few years, but that’s about to change according to an intriguing new teaser – the video confirms that the Hero 11 Black will launch in two different sizes.
GoPro’s unusually revealing trailer gives us some strong hints of what to expect at its next launch, which will take place on September 14 at 6am PT / 2pm BST / 11 AEST. For the first time since the original GoPro Session arrived in 2015, we’ll see its flagship action cam arrive in two form factors – a Hero 11 Black and a mini sibling.
Recent leaks from WinFuture have suggested that a Hero 11 Black Mini model is en route. And it seems GoPro is attempting to own the rumors by posting a teaser video that pretty much announces the compact action cam, alongside a more standard model that looks very much like a GoPro Hero 10 Black.
The Hero 11 Black Mini, if that’s indeed what the compact action cam will be called, looks like it could be the spiritual successor to the GoPro Hero Session, which first launched in 2015 and was discontinued three years later.
Based on the poster on GoPro’s site, the Mini won’t be quite 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 GoPro Hero 5 Session review remarking that the action cam suffered from a poor battery life and fiddly controls.
Instead, it looks like the Mini will instead simply be a Hero 11 Black without its front and rear displays, which means it should (according to WinFuture, at least) bring the same new sensor and processing power. The two action cams will, though, likely have different batteries, so we’ll have to wait to see how this affects their respective run times.
The Session Reborn?
(Image credit: Future)
The arrival of a new Hero form factor would jive with comments GoPro made earlier this year about expanding into new “types” of action cameras.
During an earnings call transcribed by the financial website The Motley Fool(opens in new tab), GoPro CEO Nick Woodman said “at the end of 2022, we plan to increase our hardware offering from the two product types we have today, Hero and Max, to four distinct camera products”.
It looks like those four distinct products will be the Hero 11 Black, Hero 11 Black Mini, Max, and Hero 10 Black Bones, which is a drone-friendly model that’s currently only available in the US. This apparently won’t be the end of the GoPro shake-up either, with Woodman adding that “we expect to expand that further by the end of 2023”.
This all marks something of a change for GoPro, which has been streamlining its offerings since the GoPro Hero 8 Black in an attempt to stick to its home turf of action cameras. With the iPhone 14 introducing a new stabilized ‘Action Mode’, though, it seems 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 find out for sure, but with the Hero 10 Black Bones covering drone cameras, it seems likely to appeal to anyone who wants to mount a GoPro on their helmet – for example, cyclists, mountain bikers, and surfers. Hopefully, its price tag will also match its smaller form factor, too.