While there are now lots of great action cameras available to film your fitness excursions, GoPro remains a top choice for many. In addition to the Hero11 Black, GoPro also released a new version of their most popular device: the Hero11 Mini. Both action cameras share most of the same features and upgrades, so it can be hard to decide which is the better choice.
Here are the main pros and cons of each, to help you make the right decision when choosing between them.
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GoPro Hero11 Black vs Hero11 Mini [Video]
What’s new with the GoPro Hero 11 Black and Mini?
While we discuss all of the differences between the two GoPros below, here are some of the brand new features that are shared by both of them:
HyperSmooth 5.0 Stabilization: Not only is the camera stabilization here excellent, it also features a new horizon lock which allows your camera to rotate a full 360° without you even noticing on video.
Bigger 8:7 Field of View (FOV): With an expansion to the FOV, the GoPro Hero 11 series feature almost 50% more resolution than previous models. This allows for Full Frame Recording, which is can be very useful, as this allows you to adjust the video to landscape, portrait, or a variety of other dimensions without having to choose beforehand.
Hyperview (12mm) Digital Lens: This new digital lens takes the 8:7 aspect ratio and delivers it as a wide-angle 16:9 shot. The result is video which can really give the sense of speed if used in the right situations.
New Easy Mode: If you are new to GoPro, Easy Mode is a pretty nice introduction to these cameras which will allow you to get great video without being overwhelmed by too many choices.
Hypersmooth Autoboost: With this feature, GoPro cam automatically determine the level of video stabilization you need based on your speed and movement. This allows the camera to keep the widest shots possible for when you don’t need as much stabilization.
10-bit Video: for those who like to edit and color-grade their video, the new 10-bit video is a huge step up from previous models which only could record in 8-bit.
Night Time Lapse Modes: These new time lapse options include Star Trails, Light Painting, and Vehicle Lights. While these are definitely more situational, they are a nice addition to the overall GoPro package, though low-light filming on GoPro is still not its strong point.
One of the most important distinctions between the GoPro Hero11 Black and the Hero11 Mini is the $100 difference in cost. At regular price:
- GoPro Hero11 Black – $499 USD
- GoPro Hero11 Mini – $399 USD
However, if you plan on becoming a GoPro Subscriber (which most will want to given the decrease in cost), then the price difference between the two is only $50. For GoPro subscribers:
- GoPro Hero11 Black – $349 USD
- GoPro Hero11 Mini – $299 USD
Size and weight
While the GoPro Hero 11 Black is already fairly compact, the Mini shrinks things down even further:
- GoPro Hero11 Black: 71.8 x 33.6 x 50.8mm, 153g
- GoPro Hero11 Mini: 52.4 x 38 x 51.2mm, 133g
When comparing the dimensions side-by-side, the difference between the two cameras doesn’t seem as big as they feel in use. If you are wearing these cameras on your helmet, or using a selfie stick, the difference in size and weight does become a lot more noticeable.
The biggest downside to the GoPro Mini is the display. While the GoPro Hero11 Black has both a back and front display, the Mini has neither. Instead, there is a small status screen on top which allows you to see the battery life, current filming status, and how much memory is available.
Not having a display makes the Mini much harder to work with in some situations. You can still see a visual of what you are capturing by pairing your phone, but this is not always ideal. If you use GoPro for vlogging or in any situation where the camera is being controlled by your hands, I would suggest opting for the dual-display Hero 11 Black.
If, however, you primarily strap a go GoPro on (to your bike, body, surfboard, etc.), then the loss of a display is not going to be a big deal. In fact, in the same cases like if you have the GoPro attached to your chest, the top screen of the Mini is actually more useful.
Because the GoPro Hero11 Black is controlled primary with the display, the Mini can be more limited. For example, with the Mini, you will be unable to adjust your custom settings without your phone.
Though with the two available buttons, the GoPro Mini can be adjusted quite a bit. And once you know your way around the options, it can actually be easier and faster to adjust settings on the more simplified menu of the Mini vs the Hero11 Black.
With no display, the GoPro Hero11 Mini is able to provide an additional support for mounting. While both camera have a Folding Fingers mount on the bottom, the Mini also has a mount on the back. This makes the Mini much easier to place when wearing on a chest strap, or worn onto of your head or helmet.
So again, for situations where you don’t need a display, the GoPro Mini is going to be the better choice.
The GoPro Hero11 Black is able to take photos up to 27 Megapixels, whereas photo capture is not available on Mini. So if you plan on taking photos with the GoPro, the Mini may not be a reliable option.
Personally, I have never taken a photo with a GoPro outside of testing. I find it much easier to just take video and grab a photo out of the footage. So for me, the lack of photo support makes little difference.
Both cameras use the same and improved Enduro battery, which lasts a bit longer and works well in the cold. Though with the GoPro Hero11 Black, the battery can be replaced whereas it is cannot with the Mini.
The battery for both tends to allow for around 60-90 minutes of footage depending on the quality. This is more than enough for me, especially since I rarely go that long without turning the GoPro on and off numerous times.
If you need a longer battery life, you can buy more batteries to swap in and out. Though again, this cannot be done with the Mini.
A quick note about overheating.
I have read lots of reports of people having issues for overheating with the GoPro Hero11 Black and Mini, and after testing it myself, I have had no issue here. Yes, if you use these cameras as stationary indoor cameras at the highest settings in 5.3K, they both will overheat in 20-30 minutes. But I would never suggest using an action camera for that purpose (an iPhone would work much better anyways). When used in normal situations where there is movement, I have never had either GoPro overheat.
Other difference between the GoPro Hero11 Black and Mini
Additionally, the Mini is missing out on a variety of other features including:
- Hindsite: This mode allows the GoPro to capture 15 or 30 seconds of footage before you press record. A super useful tool so that makes it so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any great footage.
- GPS: While I have never lost a GoPro, I can definitely see the potential of it happening. Having GPS on allows you to use your phone to help find where the GoPro may have fallen off during your adventures.
So which should you get?
Outside of price, I think the main consideration here for most should be the displays and how you plan on using the GoPro. If you plan on taking handheld video, or vlogging, or taking pictures, then the Go Pro Hero11 Black is absolutely the way you must go.
If you only plan on wearing the GoPro – whether on your chest, helmet, surfboard, wherever – and value the smaller size and easier mounting options, then the Mini is the better choice.
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