GoPro Hero 12 Black review

GoPro Hero 12 Black review: Still the best action camera

Close your eyes and imagine an action camera. Something you can record athletic triumphs, adrenaline-fuelled activities, and slow time-lapses on. You imagined a GoPro, didn’t you?

GoPros are synonymous with action cameras because they’re so good, durable and versatile.

The list of new features I want from a GoPro at this point is short: basically just more battery life and the ability to record longer. The GoPro Hero 12 delivers on both of these dreams (a little bit), and it has increased Bluetooth compatibility.

GoPro Hero 12 Black review

First impressions

GoPros are always nice and easy to set up. Make sure you have a microSD card, and that when you set it up you are somewhere with both your phone and Wi-Fi. Do not wait until you’re about to head out to set it up, because you have to tie it in with the GoPro app nonsense before it’s usable. It’s not just plug-and-play.

It is simple to do, but just you need to make sure you have internet access to do it. You’ll have to download the Quik app on your phone, and you’ll probably end up getting a paid Quik subscription to use with your GoPro. Personally, I hate needing to pay for subscriptions to use expensive technology you’ve already bought, but that’s a rant for another day.

GoPro Hero 12 with stand
Broad accessory support is one of the Hero 12’s highlights.

Other than that, my first impression is that the GoPro Hero 12 is a lot like every other GoPro you’ve ever used in that it’s the same size and shape and still compatible with all your old accessories (this is excellent). It’s exactly as good as you would expect a GoPro to be.

GoPro Hero 12 Black specifications

Dimensions71.8 w x 50.8 h x 33.6 d (mm)
Weight154g (camera w/mounting fingers + battery)
121g (without battery)
BatteryRemovable 1720mah enduro battery
Waterproof rating10m (33ft) without protective housing
60m (196ft) with protective housing
System processorGp2
Video resolution and frame rates5.3k (8:7) 30/25/24 fps
5.3k (16:9) 60/50/30/25/24 fps
4k (8:7) 60/50/30/25/24 fps
4k (9:16) 60/50/30/25
4k (16:9) 120/100/60/50/30/25/24 fps
2.7k (4:3) 120/100/60/50 fps
2.7k (16:9) 240/200 fps
1080 (9:16) 60/50/30/25
1080p (16:9) 240/200/120/100/60/50/30/25/24 fps
Max photo resolution27.13mp (5568×4872)
Audio features3 mics
3.5mm audio mic input with media mod for hero12 black or pro 3.5 mic adapter (sold separately)
Raw audio capture (.wav format)
Wireless audio
Price (RRP)$649
WarrantyOne year
Official websiteGoPro Australia

As you can see from the above, on paper, the GoPro Hero 12 is remarkably similar to the Hero 11. The biggest difference is that it has “up to” twice as much battery life, thanks to some software changes. There’s also a new Lens Mod 2.0 accessory and the ability to connect Bluetooth microphones and headphones for better audio on the go.


The GoPro Hero 12 Black performs like a GoPro, which is to say extremely well.


The design of the GoPro Hero range is unchanging, and that’s great. It means that even if you haven’t updated in 5-10 years, all your stands and accessories will still work, and you’ll be able to find your way around. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, and while that’s basically the same as last year, you’re probably not upgrading from last year’s model but from an older one with significantly slower guts.


I haven’t taken the GoPro Hero 12 Black on many adventures where its durability would be called into question, aside from being swooped by a magpie. Well, at one point I very gently (a little bit) ran it over with a mountain bike, but it was fine. I also dropped it from two metres up onto concrete at one point by accident, and it was fine.

However, I have done extensive durability testing on GoPros in the past, and it passed with flying colours. Like, I ran it over with a car, threw axes at it, froze it, threw it off a roof, played baseball with it. Surprisingly resilient.

Battery Life

Due to some thermal wizardry (and possibly removing the GPS functionality), the GoPro Hero 12 Black has “double the runtime” of the Hero 11. But it’s important to remember that “doubling the runtime” doesn’t mean doubling the record time. GoPro basically made the camera run a bit cooler, so the battery runs a bit longer. This will be noticeable if you’re shooting 4K/120, but if you just shoot HD it won’t make a meaningful difference. I got an extra 16 minutes on 4K/120 (36 mins on Hero 12 vs Hero 11’s 20 mins), which is a big difference, but still not as much of an improvement as I was hoping for.

8:7 Everywhere

The most important thing for TikTokkers is going to be that the 8:7 full sensor recording is now available on every video mode. This means it’s much easier for TikTokkers to record in 9:16 and output vertical video without fiddling around with the aspect ratio in the app as part of the edit.

Software upgrades

The most noticeable change, from my perspective, is the updated editing software in the Quik app. I still hate that the Quik app requires a paid subscription, but it’s fun to play with.

One interesting new feature is that the app will come up with a highlights video for you, automatically editing your longer footage into sizzle reels. I’ve tried this on a few of my videos and got hilarious results. I think the feature is designed for people who do snowboarding jumps or other high-adrenaline activities.

I use my GoPro as a kind of dashcam for my bike and have some nice, scenic videos of taking the GoPro down the coast. However, the Quik software edited it into a dramatic montage of every time I stopped at the lights for pedestrians to cross in front of me. I also edited an older video I had of me repeatedly throwing the GoPro off the roof, and it just returned little snippets of me talking to the camera, and then someone else picking up the camera, with none of the juicy stuff in between.

Professional editors need not worry about AI taking their jobs any time soon. But it’s a fun feature to play around with, and it’s totally optional and easy to avoid if you don’t like the results.

Who is the GoPro Hero 12 Black for?

HERO12 Black
  • Incredible image quality, even better HyperSmooth video stabilization and a huge boost in battery life come together in the latest and greatest GoPro—HERO12 Black
  • Emmy Award-winning HyperSmooth 6.0 video stabilization.
  • 5 hours of 4K recording time per charge.
  • thanks to its improved power management, it delivers 2x longer continuous recording at 5.3K60 (70 minutes).

Really, it’s for anyone who thinks they would like a good action camera. GoPros are still the best available, even if the menu on the camera makes you want to throw rocks. No, it’s not a meaningful upgrade over the 11 for most people, so if you can find an 11 on sale, go for that. But if you’re upgrading from an older model, want a second GoPro, are about to get your first action camera, or really any other reason to get a GoPro, the GoPro Hero 12 Black is an excellent choice. I wholeheartedly recommend it without reservation.

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GoPro Hero 12 Black
GoPros are synonymous with action cameras because they’re so good, durable and versatile, a legacy the GoPro Hero 12 Black continues.
Value for money
Ease of use
Longer battery life on high quality levels
It can now be attached to standard tripods as well as the older GoPro ones
It’s still the best action camera on the market
Not a meaningful hardware upgrade over the previous model
The on-device menu still sucks
You need an app to set it up, then the app aggressively tries to sell you a paid subscription