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Consistently releasing new versions of your product every year ensures a surge in buzz and sales, but it also comes with some difficulties that only grow larger as your product ages and new rivals enter the market. What do the latest enhancements to the GoPro HERO11 Black imply for a firm whose stock price has dropped 90% from its all-time high in the past few years?
In September, GoPro launched the HERO11 Black and HERO11 Black Mini, and promptly sent out review units to a number of media outlets, including this one. Tech teams must lose a tonne of sleep every year trying to come up with novel features to fit into such a small form factor. This is because there are a number of elements that have recently converged to enhance the pressure to provide something that attracts the attention of camera buyers.
Here are GoPro Hero 11 Black Friday Deals 2022
To begin, there is only so much that can be done to reinvent a product, especially within the confines of a year’s worth of production. Bitrates and framerates increase as planned. Customers, on the other hand, are hoping for something that would get their creative juices flowing and introduce them to opportunities they haven’t had in a while.
The main change is the addition of an 8:7 aspect ratio to the 1/1.9″ sensor. While you may assume that action cameras attempt to be as broad as possible, this new, near-square configuration presents some fascinating alternatives. The sensor measures 6.4 by 5.6 mm, making it larger than the 6.17 x 4.55 mm sensor used in the HERO10. Even if you turn your 360-degree action camera all the way around, your footage will remain stuck in gravity thanks to the new Horizon Lock feature (up from 45 degrees). Eventually, more manufacturers will adopt this method by which a 16:9 letterbox may be flipped around an 8:7 sensor with no loss of image quality.
GoPro’s HyperView, an improvement on SuperView (and possibly a forerunner to the planned MegaView, SickView, and HolyCrapView), utilises the sensor to compress an 8:7 frame into a 16:9 aspect ratio while still providing 4K/120p at a resolution of 5.3K. Some people will adore it, while others will prefer the previous version. The press release from GoPro boasts that your first-person footage will “appear faster and more heroic than you ever believed possible.” This may or may not be true.
The latest version of HyperSmooth stabilisation, 5.0, is reportedly so good that it received an Emmy Award. In addition, three new time-lapse options have been added that work well with star trails, light painting, and car tail lights. An “Autoboost” option lets the HERO11 choose its own stabilising settings, while a “simple user interface” mode is available for those who would rather not wade through a maze of settings.
The filmmakers among us will have seen the 5.3K/60p, 4K/120p, and 2.7K/240p specifications up there. Taking still images with the HERO11 at 27 megapixels isn’t the only option, as you can get 24.7 megapixel images from video. Finally, 10-bit colour provides a lot more grading options, so it’s worth noting.
Finally, the Enduro battery has shown to give significantly greater performance, earning praise from consumers and professionals alike.