The GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini is a small action camera made for mounting primarily to bicycle and motorcycle helmets.
This is a classic use case for GoPro action cameras, but they’ve become less suited to this scenario in recent generations. Sure, image quality, stabilization, and performance have all improved, but those cameras have also gotten a lot bigger in 2020 with the GoPro Hero 9 Black.
They’ve gotten a little bulky, and the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini is here to bring back dinky style without compromising on performance. It’s also cheaper than the standard Hero 11 Black, although we wouldn’t recommend buying this model just for the drop in price – the dual screens and greater flexibility of the regular Hero 11 Black are easily worth the $100/£100/AU$150 for many .
Go Pro Hero 11 Black Mini Pricing and Availability
The GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini was announced in September 2022 with its sister Hero 11 Black. There is no direct predecessor. In 2021, when the Hero 10 Black came out, there was no Mini model.
It’s a little cheaper than the Hero 11 Black, as well as being smaller. It costs $299 / £299 / AU$499 when purchased with a GoPro subscription or $399 / £399 / AU$639 without a subscription. This subscription offers a replacement if you damage your camera, unlimited cloud storage, and discounts on accessories purchased directly from GoPro.
In comparison, the standard Hero 11 Black will cost $399.98 / £399.98 / AU$649.95 with a GoPro subscription, or $499.99 / £499.99 / AU$799.95 without one.
GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini Design
You can think of the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini as a GoPro Hero 11 Black minus the two screens. There’s a small screen at the top, but there’s an image preview offered here without using the Quik app on your phone.
We’ve seen other screenless action cameras like the original Insta360 Go. But this one is more sophisticated as it has the same core hardware as the Hero 11 Black. This includes a relatively large 1/1.9-inch sensor and GoPro’s GP2 processor.
The Hero 11 Black Mini weighs 133g, making the standard GoPro Hero 11 Black 15% heavier. And it’s remarkably narrow at 52.4mm.
The sacrifices made are probably worth it if you use your GoPro almost exclusively mounted on something like a bike handlebar or a helmet. In these situations, a preview image of your footage will be of limited use anyway.
If you’re planning on using the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini with a selfie stick, we think you’ll miss the screens a lot. Instead, take the standard Hero 11 Black.
There are other commitments as well. The GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini has a non-removable battery, which will be a big turn off if you normally carry two or three spares with you to extend your shooting time.
The GoPro calls it the Enduro battery, but its 1500mAh battery capacity is actually less than that of GoPros since the Hero 8 Black. There are no big, bright screens to power, of course, but the battery-saving effect won’t be as apparent in ‘set it and forget it’ situations where the Mini thrives, like displaying a regular GoPro. off pretty quickly anyway.
You’ll have to recharge the GoPro 11 Black Mini using an external battery while recording, and the GoPro doesn’t make unusual claims about its charging speed.
The lack of a hot-swap battery may limit the appeal here more than the lack of a proper screen, for the target audience. But you will get a super streamlined and simple experience here.
A small screen on top of the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini shows the basic parameters. You will see the battery life, the amount of space remaining on the memory card, and the currently activated mode.
A side button lets you switch between three presets – 5.3K, 4K and 1080p – all shooting using SuperView FOV at 60fps. GoPro suggests that you choose between them based on how much battery life you’ll get, over anything else. You’ll likely see at least 50% more runtime recording at 1080p instead of 5.3K. Of course, 5.3K offers much better scope for editing and better image quality.
To use other modes, of which there are many, you will have to wirelessly control the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini through the Quik app on your phone.
GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini Features
In most other areas, the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini matches the standard Hero 11 Black. It can record 4K videos at up to 120fps, 2.7K at 240fps and 5.3K at up to 60fps.
There are also advanced low-light video modes that take advantage of longer exposure times to achieve high-quality time-lapses. You can paint in the air using a light source like a torch, turn car headlights into beams of light, and shoot at night to see the path of the stars as they cross the sky.
However, there is no dedicated photo mode. GoPro allows you to capture high resolution images from 5.3K images. There’s no obvious technical reason why the GoPro can’t add photo capture. It’s more likely that he felt that these modes would dilute the Mini’s steering and that the camera wouldn’t deliver a photo experience to match. The 24.7 MP still images are pulled from high-res video capture, so you’re probably not missing much from the Hero 11 Black’s HDR photo mode.
The Hero 11 Black Mini features GoPro’s latest Hypersmooth 5.0 stabilization technology, and this allows for horizon locking at up to 27 degrees of camera rotation in higher modes. And a full 360 degree rotation in modes below the top frame rate at every resolution. In all cases, you should use Linear field of view, because otherwise there won’t be enough spare image information around the frame to make this possible.
Either way, you can expect excellent stabilization from the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini. You can thank the unusual shape of the 8:7 sensor.
GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini Initial Thoughts
For some, the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini won’t make much sense. It strips the GoPro Hero 11 Black to the bare essentials, forcing you to control the camera with a phone app if you want more than the basics.
However, it makes perfect sense if you mount your action camera to a helmet 95% of the time, making the standard GoPro design’s dual screens a dead weight.
You don’t miss any main video modes. And while anything beyond the fundamentals needs to be accessed via the phone app, the stripped-down style ensures you don’t end up with 30 minutes of footage in the wrong mode thanks to an inopportune screen swipe.
The biggest issue here, for the right kind of action camera user, is the battery. It’s non-removable, which means you’ll be restricted to the Enduro cell’s runtime – and many current GoPro users carry some spare batteries to allow them to shoot longer.