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Action Cameras

GoPro Hero12 Black Creator Edition Review: Action Camera Perfection!

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The GoPro Hero series has been the undisputed champion of action cameras for years, capturing adrenaline-pumping moments and breathtaking landscapes for adventure seekers and content creators alike. The latest iteration, the Hero12 Black, promises advancements across the board. But does it deliver a revolutionary leap or a familiar, albeit refined, experience? In this in-depth review, we deep dive into the GoPro Hero12 Black’s features, performance, contents of the package, included accessories, video and picture quality, and ultimately, help you decide if it’s the right upgrade for you.

Design and Build Quality
The Hero12 Black retains the iconic GoPro design – a small, rugged cube built to endure the harshest environments. Its compact size (59.4 x 81.5 x 27.0 mm) and lightweight design (117 grams) make it perfect for capturing action on the go, whether it is strapped to your chest for a mountain bike ride or mounted on a helmet for a whitewater rafting adventure. The camera’s durability is legendary, constructed from a toughened polycarbonate shell that can withstand drops, bumps, and even light crushing.

It’s also waterproof up to 10 meters (33 feet) without needing additional housing, making it ideal for underwater adventures. One of the most noticeable changes is the addition of a front-facing LCD screen, a feature long requested by vloggers and selfie enthusiasts. While some might prefer a larger screen, its current size maintains the camera’s compact and portable nature.

The 1.4-inch LCD offers a live preview of your shot, allowing for precise framing and composition, especially when using the camera in first-person view. The two physical buttons (shutter and power) and a single-action record button remain in place, offering intuitive control even when wearing gloves or navigating through menus with wet fingers. Voice control also makes a return, allowing for hands-free operation for those moments when touching the camera isn’t feasible.

What’s Inside the Package?
Cracking open the Hero12 Black Creators Edition box reveals the following:

GoPro Hero12 Black camera
Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
Curved adhesive mount
Mounting buckle
Mounting accessories
USB-C cable
Carrying case

While the Hero12 Black comes with the essentials for basic operation, GoPro offers a vast ecosystem of mounts and accessories to expand its functionality, which can be purchased separately. These include head straps, chest mounts, bike mounts, and even a 360° capture mod for immersive content creation.

GoPro Quik App
The GoPro Quik app remains the central hub for controlling the Hero12 Black and managing your footage. The app has undergone a slight redesign, offering a more user-friendly interface with improved navigation and easier access to crucial functions. Through the app, you can connect to the camera via Wi-Fi 6E for faster transfer speeds, preview your shots live, adjust settings, and edit your captured content on the go. The app also offers a suite of automatic editing tools with various presets and templates to help you quickly create polished videos for sharing on social media.

Features
The Hero12 Black boasts several key features that cater to both casual users and seasoned action videographers. It comes packed with a new 8:7 sensor, a departure from the traditional 4:3 format used in previous models. This allows for native 5.3K video capture at 60fps, perfect for creators who want flexibility for various social media aspect ratios without compromising quality. It also shoots stunning 27MP photos, capturing crisp details even in challenging lighting conditions.

GoPro’s ever-evolving stabilisation technology, HyperSmooth, takes another leap forward with version 5.0. This in-camera stabilisation system delivers butter-smooth footage, even in the most demanding scenarios. Whether you’re hurtling down a mountain bike trail or wrestling waves on your surfboard, HyperSmooth 5.0 ensures your videos remain watchable and professional-looking. This feature is a game-changer for capturing action without the need for bulky external gimbals.

For those who crave complete creative freedom, Protune mode offers granular control over video settings such as white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and colour profiles. This level of control allows experienced users to capture footage that perfectly matches their creative vision. In addition, the Hero12 Black allows you to live stream your adventures directly to social media platforms such as YouTube or Facebook.

Video and Picture Quality
The Hero12 Black delivers exceptional video quality, pushing the boundaries of what an action camera can achieve. The new 8:7 sensor allows for native 5.3K capture at 60fps, as mentioned earlier, offering incredible detail and smooth motion, perfect for capturing fast-paced action sequences. For those who prioritise frame rate over resolution, the Hero12 Black can record in 4K at a silky smooth 120fps, ideal for slow-motion edits and creating cinematic effects.

Photo Quality Sample

The image processing within the Hero12 Black has also been improved, resulting in better colour accuracy and dynamic range. This is evident in scenes with high contrast, where details in both highlights and shadows are preserved, creating a more natural and balanced image. The low-light performance, however, shows minimal improvement over the Hero11 Black. While the noise reduction algorithms offer some improvement, dedicated low-light cameras still hold an edge in capturing clean footage in darker environments.

Here’s a breakdown of the Hero12 Black’s key video recording resolutions and frame rates:

5.3K: 60fps, 30fps
4K: 120fps, 60fps, 30fps
2.7K: 240fps, 120fps, 60fps, 30fps
1080p: 240fps, 120fps, 60fps, 30fps

Other Features
GoPro’s signature Timewarp feature gets an upgrade with Timewarp 3.0. This allows for capturing hyper-lapse footage with even more control over speed and smoothness. You can now set custom durations and frame rates, allowing for creative flexibility in your time-compressed videos.

The Hero12 Black also shoots stunning 27MP photos, capturing crisp details and vibrant colours. The HDR mode offers an improved dynamic range for photos taken in scenes with high contrast, ensuring all details are preserved. The camera also boasts a burst mode capable of capturing up to 30 frames per second, perfect for capturing fleeting moments or action sequences.

Accessories Ecosystem
While the Hero12 Black comes with the essentials for basic operation, GoPro offers a vast ecosystem of mounts and accessories that significantly expand its functionality. These accessories cater to a wide range of activities and shooting styles, allowing users to capture unique perspectives and immersive footage. Some of the popular options include head straps, chest mounts, bike mounts, and 360° mods.

Battery Life
When it comes to battery life, the Hero12 Black shines. GoPro claims improvements in battery efficiency suggesting 155 minutes of battery life on a single charge. In our tests, we easily achieved a little more than an hour’s worth of battery life, before the device needed a recharge. If you invest in a second battery you might be able to go beyond the 2 hours mark without needing the juice the battery up.

Connectivity
The Hero12 Black boasts the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, offering significantly faster transfer speeds compared to previous models. This translates to quicker sharing of your captured footage and a more streamlined workflow from camera to post-production. Additionally, Bluetooth connectivity remains solid, allowing for easy pairing with your smartphone for remote control and previewing footage on the go.

Verdict
The GoPro Hero12 Black is a solid evolution of the Hero series, offering a handful of key improvements over its predecessor. The new 8:7 sensor, front-facing LCD screen, and HyperSmooth 5.0 stabilisation are undeniable upgrades for content creators and action enthusiasts. The overall video and picture quality have also improved and it shows. If you crave smooth, high-resolution videos of your adventures, the Hero12 Black delivers.

Price: AED 2399

Videography and Photography by Ryan Chris

GoPro Hero12 Black Creator Edition AED 2399
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Hero12 Black retains the iconic GoPro design – a small, rugged cube built to endure the harshest environments. Its compact size (59.4 x 81.5 x 27.0 mm) and lightweight design (117 grams) make it perfect for capturing action on the go, whether it is strapped to your chest for a mountain bike ride or mounted on a helmet for a whitewater rafting adventure.

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Action Cameras

Insta360 Launches Ace and Ace Pro Action Cameras

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Insta360 has launched the new Ace and Ace Pro wide-angle action cameras. The flagship version of the camera is Insta360 Ace Pro. Co-engineered with Leica, it boasts truly superior imaging performance courtesy of an elite 1/1.3″ sensor, 5nm AI chip, and Leica SUMMARIT lens. Creators can enjoy stunning 4K120fps video, 48MP photos, PureVideo for low light shooting, PD fast charging to 80% in just 22 minutes, and more. Insta360 Ace is the budget-friendly option, with the key differences being a smaller 1/2″ 48MP sensor, regular lens, and standard charging.

Both cameras are also packed full of unique, smart shooting features that utilize the latest in AI developments. Practical elements like a vlogging-friendly 2.4″ flip touchscreen provide excellent creative flexibility. Meanwhile, innovative functions such as the option to pause or cancel a recording, gesture and voice control, plus the brand new AI Highlights Assistant and custom-keyword-based AI Warp feature transform the shooting and editing experience.

“With Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro, we’re bringing smarter action capture to thrillseekers around the world,” shares JK Liu, founder of Insta360. “We’re making significant steps in AI, which has allowed us to bring in new features that we think not only make the video creation process easier for users but unlock completely new ways to make shots truly stand out.”

As a major determinant of a camera’s image quality, Ace Pro’s premium 1/1.3″ sensor immediately sets it apart from many of its competitors. It captures more light and offers far better dynamic range, making it capable of high-level performance even in fast-moving action scenarios or with challenging lighting. Not only that but Ace Pro was co-engineered with Leica, bringing all their expertise in optical design and imaging to the camera.

Ace and Ace Pro also have a unique, dedicated shooting mode for low light: PureVideo. Powered by a 5nm AI chip, the cameras use a custom-trained AI neural network to denoise the footage for a clearer image in real-time. Meanwhile, that big, beautiful sensor on Ace Pro captures huge levels of detail with impressive stabilization, even at night! This expands the use you’ll get out of the camera, from twilight strolls to late-night urban shooting.

During the day, Ace Pro comes packing heat with built-in Active HDR (High Dynamic Range). This is especially helpful for shooting scenes with both bright and dark areas, with more details in the highlights and shadows and more vibrant footage. A serious amount of work has also gone into colour accuracy. Ace Pro delivers accurate and rich colours, excelling even when underwater.

AI is a key element in the overall image quality too. Insta360’s dedicated R&D teams have specifically trained computational photography models, based on the cameras’ unique lens and sensor data. These models underpin the 48MP Photo Mode and 4K30fps PureVideo, enhancing both the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range in low light, surpassing all other action cameras on the market in the process.

Ace Pro’s robust 2.4″ flip touchscreen lets you see exactly what you’re shooting at all times, making framing your shots a breeze. This flexibility makes the camera incredibly useful for vlogging, selfies, hard-to-capture angles, and various action scenarios for optimal preview. What’s more, a magnetic mounting system lets you quickly mount your camera and seamlessly switch between accessories. Less fussing with screws and knobs, more filming the action.

Internally, a series of new features solve problems that have plagued action enthusiasts for years:

  1. Clarity Zoom – want a close-up but the image quality becomes too poor? Ace Pro can zoom in and out 2x without any loss in quality.
  2. Gesture Control – use hand signals to start/stop recording or take a photo! Perfect for group selfies, noisy environments, or if using voice control doesn’t feel right (though it has this function too)
  3. Cancel Recording – failed the trick? Messed up a line? Instantly cancel the recording and go again, saving space on the SD card and fewer files to sort through.
  4. Pause/Resume Recording – the time between shots? Hit pause and record to keep everything you want to film in one continuous file for easier file management and editing.
  5. Photo Grab – you’re filming a video when an ideal photo op presents itself. Keep filming and take a photo at the same time but in far higher resolution than a screen grab from the video.

The Ace series comes equipped with a unique Stats Dashboard and is the first action camera to integrate seamlessly with your Garmin device or Apple Watch, allowing you to overlay your videos with GPS, speed, and other data. Share your adventures with a new level of detail, whether you’re cycling, running, or enjoying the great outdoors.

AI Warp is another new creative tool, the latest addition to Insta360’s expanding Shot Lab lineup. Through preset or custom keywords, you can add dynamic effects to your videos. This premium AI feature is highly customizable, giving your footage an incredibly unique twist based on any prompt you can think of. As Insta360 continues to embrace the game-changing capabilities of AI, you can expect more features added to Shot Lab on the Insta360 app heading into 2024.

The Ace series also features Insta360’s signature eye-popping shooting modes, including the ability to shoot timelapses, hyper lapses (in TimeShift mode) and so much more. The infamous Invisible Selfie Stick effect is also possible with the Ace series via the new AI Selfie Stick Eraser, rendering your selfie stick invisible in shots for an immersive third-person experience. With their waterproof design, the Ace series can handle depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters). Plus, the Dive Case allows you to take your camera even deeper, down to 196 feet (60 meters).

It isn’t just water where these cameras shine, either. They operate smoothly in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), making them ideal for winter sports shooting. The cameras utilize Insta360’s cutting-edge FlowState Stabilization technology, ensuring your videos remain incredibly smooth, no matter how intense the action gets. 360° Horizon Lock takes things to the next level by keeping your videos perfectly level, even when you’re on the move. So, whether you’re racing down a mountain trail or capturing high-speed action shots, your footage will remain steady as a rock.

Ace Pro also prioritizes convenience with fast charging. The battery charges to 80% in just 22 minutes (full charge in 46 minutes), ensuring you spend more time capturing the action and less time waiting. These action-ready cameras are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers who demand high-quality performance and durability. Whether you’re exploring the ocean or conquering snowy mountain peaks, the Ace series stands ready to capture your most thrilling moments.

Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro are available to order globally. Insta360 Ace retails for $379.99, while the flagship option, Insta360 Ace Pro, is priced at $449.99.

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Action Cameras

Review of the Canon PowerShot V10 in the UAE

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When it comes to vlogging, smartphones are mostly the go-to devices a vlogger or content creator would reach out for. However, a few companies are trying to change the status quo and we have already seen new cameras launched in the market, marketed as “cameras for vloggers.” And now, it’s Canon’s turn with its new PowerShot V10.

This is a vlogging camera that seamlessly merges the impressive capabilities of the G7X III with a host of features specifically designed for content creators of today. It comes with an ultra-wide lens, a convenient flip screen, built-in microphones that deliver excellent audio quality, and the option to let you easily connect an external microphone for even better audio.

It also has the ability to record 4K video using a larger sensor than most smartphones out there in the market and is pocket-sized. In addition, the camera cleverly incorporates a fold-out stand, eliminating the need for a tripod in most situations. You also get face-tracking autofocus and image stabilisation.

The V10 is thoughtfully designed to offer effortless one-handed operation, with a shape that ensures a secure grip. It can be comfortably used with either hand, as the prominent central record button conveniently rests under your thumb, whether you’re left- or right-handed. One of the stand-out features of the V10’s design is its compactness when folded.

It occupies minimal space in a bag and can even fit into larger pockets. When packed down with the folded stand and screen, it closely resembles the size of a traditional compact camera. Moreover, it weighs a mere 211g, making it exceptionally lightweight. While this design does involve certain trade-offs, such as a small screen and limited physical controls, these compromises may not pose a significant issue for the intended target audience.

The core of the PowerShot V10 is built around a 20MP 1-inch type sensor, which is coupled with a 19mm equivalent f/2.8 ultra-wide lens. It enables you to record videos in Full HD at a smooth frame rate of up to 60 frames per second, with sensitivity settings reaching up to ISO 6400. Additionally, the camera supports 4K video recording at a maximum of 30fps, with a maximum ISO of 3200.

For handheld shooting, the camera offers digital image stabilisation to ensure steady footage. However, it lacks lens-based optical stabilisation. The autofocus system relies solely on contrast detection, as there is no phase detection capability on board. Nonetheless, given the capabilities of the lens, this limitation may have minimal impact on overall performance.

At the top of the camera, you’ll find a pair of high-quality built-in stereo microphones, ensuring excellent audio capture. Moving to the back, there is a collection of control buttons and a convenient 2-inch touch screen that can be flipped forward to face you, allowing you to vlog.

On one side of the camera, there is a USB-C port that serves dual purposes — it allows for charging the internal battery and enables the camera to be used as a webcam. On the other side, you’ll find a 3.5mm microphone input for connecting an external microphone and a Micro HDMI output for seamless connectivity with external devices. Underneath the camera, there is a standard tripod thread, allowing you to mount the camera on a tripod, and a small compartment designed to hold MicroSD memory cards.

Canon has also enhanced the V10’s lens by adding a built-in three-stop ND (Neutral Density) filter. In the camera’s menus, you can toggle the filter to be on, off, or set to auto for both stills and video. When activated, you can audibly hear the filter click into place in the optical path. While a three-stop ND filter may not be extremely powerful, it still allows for the use of more suitable shutter speeds in brighter conditions, resulting in smoother motion in videos compared to not using a filter.

Canon has also partnered with Smallring to launch a vlogging kit for the V10. This vlogging kit includes accessories such as a mini cage that securely attaches to the V10, providing three additional quarter-inch tripod threads and replicating the existing one located at the bottom of the camera. The cage also includes two cold shoe adapters that can be screwed into the threads, allowing you to mount accessories such as microphones or wireless receivers.

In addition, Smallrig has designed a small rubber cap that can be easily slipped over the camera, serving as a lens cap. And if your filming plans involve outdoor environments and utilising the built-in microphones, wind mufflers will prove to be highly valuable accessories. Smallrig includes a pair of metal rings that can be stuck to the top of the camera, allowing the fluffy wind muffler to be magnetically attached. The attachment is secure enough to withstand strong winds while remaining easy to detach when not in use.

The V10 offers four primary modes: Auto Movie, Smooth Skin Movie, Movie IS Mode, and Manual Exposure Mode. In Auto mode, the image stabilisation feature is initially disabled, although you have the option to enable either of the two IS modes through the menus if desired. In Movie IS mode, you default to the most powerful Enhanced stabilisation option, which can also be adjusted in the menu settings.

Smooth Skin mode applies a digital smoothing effect with five adjustable levels, which the default setting falling in the middle range. The Manual mode grants you control over the shutter and aperture settings. However, to adjust each value separately, you’ll need to tap the settings icon first. That being said, I usually set the camera to a shutter speed of 1/50, an aperture of f/2.8, and leave ISO and ND at Auto, eliminating the need for frequent adjustments.

Tapping the top left icon or pressing the squiggly button allows you to switch between movie and photo modes. While the V10 is primarily designed for video, it also has the ability to capture 20-megapixel photos. Here are some of the photo samples I was able to capture using the V10:

The V10 offers UVC (USB Video Class) and UAC (USB Audio Class) support, allowing you to use it as a USB webcam. This feature enables you to use the camera for video conferencing, streaming, or online content creation. Additionally, the camera has the capability to live-stream up to 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, providing an option for real-time broadcasting.

To streamline the process of transferring images and footage from the camera to online platforms, Canon has developed an updated smartphone app. This app simplifies the task of getting your content out of the camera and onto the internet, ensuring a seamless and efficient workflow. Here’s a sample of the 4K video mode on the V10:

The PowerShot V10 is Canon’s most impressive dedicated vlogging camera. It inherits the exceptional image quality of the G7X III, but what sets it apart is the purpose-built design for video recording. I am glad they exchanged the zoom capability for a wider fixed lens, because a wide lens is ideal for handheld vlogging or product demos, providing a wider coverage. While optical image stabilisation is absent, digital stabilisation effectively minimises most shakes, albeit with a slight crop.

The inclusion of a built-in ND filter with an Auto setting ensures appropriate shutter speeds when shooting outdoors. The stereo microphones deliver excellent audio quality, and if necessary, there is a microphone input available. Moreover, the camera’s compact body fits comfortably in one hand, with the record button conveniently placed under your thumb.

One of the standout features is the built-in stand, which allows for effortless angling of the camera, enabling quick setups without the need for a tripod. Canon has genuinely considered the needs of video creators and addressed them effectively with the V10.

Using the V10 for filming was an incredibly positive experience. It is evident that this camera was specifically designed with vloggers and video creators in mind, prioritising their needs over the constraints of a hybrid camera. If your main focus is video work, the V10 should definitely be one of the options you could consider.

Price: AED 1799

Canon PowerShot V10 AED 1799
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The V10 is thoughtfully designed to offer effortless one-handed operation, with a shape that ensures a secure grip. It can be comfortably used with either hand, as the prominent central record button conveniently rests under your thumb, whether you’re left- or right-handed. One of the stand-out features of the V10’s design is its compactness when folded.

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Action Cameras

Video: Canon Powershot V10 4K Video Test

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The Canon PowerShot V10 is a vlog and still camera in a new highly portable form factor with components from the popular G-Series line that lets you create impressive videos on the go. With stereo sound capture, a built-in stand, and easy live streaming, this cam is ready to go when you are. Check out our 4K video test in this video:

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