GoPro recently announced the latest update to its flagship Hero line with three new cameras – the Hero 11 Black, the Hero 11 Black Creator Edition and the Hero 11 Black Mini. But, what’s the difference between the Hero 11 Black and the Mini?
The 11 Black Mini is the first “Mini” GoPro we’ve seen from the brand, offering a more budget-friendly option for anyone willing to make some compromises for the sake of saving a bit of cash.
We’ve put the two cameras head-to-head to help you determine which camera is a better buy for you. Read on to discover how the Hero 11 Black and the 11 Black Mini compare when it comes to price, design, display, features and battery life.
Pricing and availability
If you’re looking for the cheapest GoPro, the Mini is, unsurprisingly, the most affordable option of the two.
The GoPro Hero 11 Black is available to order now at $399.98/£399.98 with a 1-year GoPro subscription or $499.99/£499.99 without the subscription.
The 11 Black Mini, meanwhile, costs just $299.98/£299.98 with a 1-year GoPro subscription or $399.99/£399.99 without the subscription. That’s a $100/£100 saving on the action cam in exchange for a couple of sacrifices on the design.
However, the Mini doesn’t officially launch until October 25th, meaning you’ll need to wait a little longer to get your hands on it.
Design and display
The Hero 11 Black Mini is a smaller and lighter version of the Hero 11 Black with more simple controls. In fact, design is the main area in which these two GoPro’s differ.
The standard Hero 11 Black measures 71.8 x 33.6 x 50.8mm – the exact same as the Hero 10 Black – and weighs 153g. There’s a shutter button on the top, a speaker and folding fingers on the bottom, a Mode button and drain microphone on one side, and battery, USB-C and SD card slots on the other side.
The camera also packs two colour displays: a touchscreen on the back and a smaller 1.4-inch LCD display on the front. The front display was an update that originally arrived with the Hero 9 Black, with Live Preview making it easier for users to record themselves on the camera.
The Hero 11 Black features a water-repelling lens cover and is waterproof up to 33ft. It’s also compatible with over 40 mounts, mods and accessories.
The GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini is a much smaller and simpler camera in terms of design.
If you thought the regular GoPro was compact, the Mini is even tinier at just 52.4 x 38 x 51.2mm and weighing 133g. The camera is more of a square shape, having no need to leave room for a display of any kind (but more on that further down).
The Mini features a one-button design, meaning all you need to do is point and shoot to record 5.3K video. While there’s no touchscreen or Mode button, you can adjust video settings later down the line in the GoPro Quik app.
Not only does the Mini not feature the front screen introduced on the Hero 8, but there are actually no displays at all on this model. Instead, GoPro has replaced the screen on the back of the camera with a second pair of dual-mounting fingers, allowing you to get a low-profile setup.
The lack of an LCD screen will make it trickier to line up shots, but has the benefit of making the Mini an even more durable camera (and, most importantly, cheaper to produce). That said, you’ll be able to send footage to your phone, so you can watch it back straight way.
Finally, the 11 Black Mini is also compatible with more than 40 mounts, mods and accessories.
Performance and features
Where the 11 Black Mini makes compromises when it comes to the design, the action camera delivers the same performance power and features as the standard 11 Black.
Both cameras feature a new 8:7 sensor capable of capturing 5.3K resolution video at 60fps, or 4K at 120fps, with support for more than 1 billion colours with 10-bit colour. You can also record up to 8X slo-mo at 2.7K and save 24.7-megapixel SuperPhoto HDR stills.
The larger sensor has a wide 8:7 aspect ratio that can be delivered as a wide-angle 16:9 shot, perfect for cropping for content creation.
Other features include HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilisation with built-in Horizon Lock, Hindsight to capture the 30 seconds before you hit record, and three new night modes for time lapses: Star Trails, Light Painting and Vehicle Light Trails.
Many of the aspects of the Hero 11 Pro Basil Kronfli praised in our review of the action cam related to the performance and features of the camera – aspects GoPro has carried over to the cheaper Mini.
“The GoPro Hero 11 Black marries impressive video quality with excellent features, best-in-class stabilisation, and a new 8:7 sensor to make it an excellent creator tool”, he wrote in his verdict.
You can find all of these features on both the Hero 11 and the Hero 11 Mini.
The GoPro Hero 11 Black and the Mini both also pack the same Enduro battery.
This battery offers improved performance over those found in previous GoPro cameras. Not only have 11 Black and Mini been given a boost in cold temperatures, but the recording times have also increased by up to 38% in moderate temperatures.
The biggest differences here lay in the design and price of the two Hero 11 Black cameras.
While both cameras offer the same updates in performance and features, GoPro has traded out both displays and several of the physical buttons on the Hero 11 for a more lightweight, streamlined design.
The GoPro is already a compact device, making it unlikely most will opt for the Mini solely for its size. The most compelling reason to choose the Mini over the Hero 11 is its price. If you have no need for the screens or Mode button on the standard GoPro, the Mini is an easy way to save money.
If you prefer to have more control over your shots and prefer the addition of the two displays, it’s worth spending an extra £100 for the Hero 11 Black.