Mahananda Bohidar

Adventurer isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind if I were to describe myself. Give me a two-day break and I’d be content with vegetating on the couch and catching up on K-dramas. But, I couldn’t have been more excited to get my hands on the new GoPro HERO12 Black, the newest adventure cam on the block. 


Small yet sturdy, the GoPro Hero12 Black features a blue-splatter finish on grey. Despite its diminutive size, it feels reassuring to hold.

There’s a familiar 2.27-inch LCD touchscreen panel that spans the rear and an 1.4-inch display taking up almost half of the front. I can see some basic shooting info on this screeen. It can also mirror what’s visible on the rear panel. There are only two distinct physical buttons — a power button on the left side and a shutter release on top. On the bottom, the design allows for me to snap on mounting accessories which now includes a standard tripod plate as well.


In terms of the sensor, processor and built-in lens, there’s no upgrades this year. The GoPro Hero12 Black employs the identical Type 1/1.9 (6.3 x 5.5mm) CMOS sensor featuring an 8:7 aspect ratio, which was initially introduced on the Hero11. The Hero12 Black offers its trademark ‘Wide’ fisheye-style snaps, a more linear wide-angle view while minimising the fisheye effect, an ultra-wide SuperView and an even wider HyperView lens that probably delivers the most dramatic results of the lot.

Having missed out on a chance to try it out while doing adventure sports in Rameshwaram, I packed it in for some relatively casual use at a two-day concert in the city. I switch it on as Arivu gets on stage in front a peppy crowd. The quality of videos captured by the action cam were pretty decent despite it being past dusk already. There was a bit of noise in the areas of the arena that weren’t well-lit, but everything on stage was captured perfectly.

Though the cam was shuffled around while recording, the video was stable as a table! The HyperSmooth 6.0 is super impressive and does well no matter what you’re doing while recording — walking, jogging or driving around in a bumpy vehicle. Not one to ignore social media needs, the HERO12 Black features a vertical shooting mode without the need to tilt the camera itself. 

User interface

Even if it’s your first time using a GoPro, the user interface is simple enough to navigate through. The options are highlighted in blue — and those not active are in grey. The touch interface is also easy to scroll through. However, there are different menus that pop-up with a left swipe and a top-down swipe. This takes some getting used to especially as the top-down swipe presents a whole different range of functions — from managing the storage, connecting devices via Bluetooth to activating voice control. I could also toggle between Pro-mode in controls which gives me granular access over camera settings, and Easy mode which offers a simpler point-and-shoot experience. Voice commands are simple enough. “GoPro take a photo” or “GoPro start recording” was easily executed without lags or misunderstandings. I hooked up my Airpods Pro to the Hero12 Black with ease and could easily three more Bluetooth devices, if needed.

I used the native GoPro Quik app on a tablet this time, rather than on a smartphone. One of my favourite features on the app is I can control the camera from my handheld device. 


The GoPro HERO12 Black definitely has a niche audience — ones who are out and about having exciting experiences that they want to capture forever. One might argue that the regular ol’ smartphone can do this too. However, what sets this dedicated action cam apart is its build quality, dimensions, ruggedness and the ability to offer the kind of stabilisation that very few smartphones can compete with. GoPro has a whole bunch of features built-in to keep both amateur adventurers as well as pro-photographers engaged. So, if buying a GoPro has been on your wishlist for sometime, the HERO12 Black would make for a worthy investment. 

Price - ₹45,000
Pros - Responsive display, variety of modes, upgraded Bluetooth connectivity, improved video stabilsiation
Cons - Occasional heating up, toggling between shooting modes on-device can be a little glitchy