GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini Review
The team at GoPro delivered a fantastically versatile device in the GoPro Hero 11 Black, not only is it one of the most impressive action cameras around, it’s also handy with a media mod for recording vlogs by making use of its front and rear facing screens. So why the heck would they release another camera with very similar specs but leave the screens out all together? The GoPro Hero 11 Mini is here to answer that question.
The mini takes everything great about its larger sibling and makes it a bit more compact and a lot more ready for action which is really what its purpose is. This is designed for attaching to a fast moving car or an extreme sport helmet and delivering all the quality of a Hero 11 Black but with less wind resistance and a tad lighter. The lack of screens also makes it more durable with less that can break on it.
The design is slightly more cube shaped with dual mounting fingers on the bottom and the back. Having a choice of two angles to secure the cam from is a definite plus and it’s one you wouldn’t have with a screen on the back.
Surprisingly, performance is almost identical to the Hero 11 Black with the same sensor, video resolutions and frame rates like 5.3k 60, 4k 120 and 2.7k 240. It even has the powerful G2 chip installed which seriously sped up this series from its predecessor.
But one thing it can’t do is take photos. It’s an odd exclusion but not terrible as framing the right photo would be difficult anyway. This device is video first and includes the timewarp mode plus an option for a 24.7mp frame grab, but it’s just not the same.
The Hero 11 Black Mini is actually very easy to use with one button simplicity and a tiny status and settings display on the top. The controls are simple and intuitive, and the menu system is easy to navigate. Even if you’re not a camera expert, you’ll be able to set and forget because you don’t want to think about your camera while you are jumping out of a plane or diving to the depths of the ocean, you just want to press record and know it’s going to work.
On diving, the Mini can go to around 33FT (10m) which is the same as the full bodied version, I did think that with less components it might do a little better. But I’m no scientist so what do I know?
There’s voice activation mode as well, so if you don’t mind yelling instructions at your camera this is another option for using the device. It is very well calibrated, but I prefer to press the buttons.
Most of the settings you miss out on by not having screen access can be adjusted via the GoPro Quik App. If you change your settings frequently this might be frustrating, so it’s better to make a decision and stick with it. The app has come a long way since first introduced and is now really a vital part of owning a GoPro, even if you don’t opt into the subscription.
Battery life is said to be around 73 minutes when shooting in 5.3k, and it isn’t far from the truth. But the one big issue with the battery is that it’s fully internal, you can’t swap it out. So be prepared to charge it with a power brick if you are on location via the USB-C slot in the side behind a half sized version of the standard battery door. This is also where your micro sd card goes.
Watch the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini in Action
Overall, the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini is an impressive action camera. It’s small, lightweight, and packed with features. The video quality is stunning, and the stabilization is amazing. I still prefer to use the big brother with its screens but I also don’t tend to shoot the type of footage that something like this would be great for.
I’m dreaming now, but something I’d love to see for this cam is a version of the media mod with a screen and hdmi output so you can have the best of both worlds all in one setup.