- The GoPro HERO11 offers incremental upgrades compared to the previous model, making it less necessary to upgrade.
- A big downside to any GoPro HERO11 purchase is that it requires a subscription for full access to features like cloud support, adding an additional cost.
- One of the big concerns with the GoPro HERO11 is its poor battery life compared to competitors, which limits usability for longer adventures.
- Instead of the GoPro HERO11, look at some of the strong alternatives available from brands like DJI, Insta360, and AKASO that offer similar or better features at a lower price point.
In the world of action cameras, there is no question who is the most dominant player in the space. For the last decade or so, GoPro has become synonymous with the category and is almost a verb for action cameras in the same way Google is for search.
Even so, the GoPro HERO11 isn’t perfect and is by no means a must-buy, especially if you are coming from a more recent GoPro camera.
As is the case with many tech products, buying every new release is often a way to sink money into products that only make for iterative changes year over year. In fact, in some cases, you might actually be better off picking up last year’s model and saving some money all while still getting yourself a very good camera.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you can avoid picking up the GoPro HERO11 today.
What is the GoPro HERO11?
- 5.3K video that gives you 91% more resolution than 4K
- Water-repelling lens cover
- 27MP photo and 5.3K60 video
- HyperSmooth 5.0, AutoBoost for maximum stabilization
Announced to the world on September 14, 2022, GoPro introduced three new HERO11 black cameras, the HERO11 Black, HERO11 Black Creator Edition, and HERO11 Black Mini. The HERO11 Black is the most notable of the three releases as it’s the most common option and the one most likely to be purchased by general consumers.
The HERO11 Black Creator Edition is more for those who are looking to jump into vlogging and filmmaking and not just casual use. The Creator Edition comes with a long-lasting battery grip that includes buttons for one-handed camera controls enabling up to 4 hours of 4K recording per charge.
The HERO11 Black Mini is a smaller version of the regular GoPro HERO11 and offers a one-button design for those who want just the basics out of their action camera. As there is no screen with the Mini, you hope for the best while framing every shot.
Now that you know all three models available in the GoPro HERO11 lineup, let’s take a look at why it’s okay to skip out on this generation.
The 7 Reasons to Avoid a GoPro HERO11 Today
#1: Incremental Upgrades
While buying something new every year sounds like a great idea, it’s only a good idea if the changes between the two product models are very different. In the case of the GoPro HERO11, the changes between it and the GoPro HERO10 are mostly just incremental, which means more evolutionary than revolutionary.
You still get 5.3K video recording in the 16:9 format as well as 5.3K video recording in a 4:3 format, which is the top end of the GoPro HERO11 video modes. You also get the same 27 to 45 degrees of horizon leveling between the HERO10 and HERO11, which again speaks to any updates being incremental at best.
Max photo resolution jumps from 23.25 megapixels on the GoPro HERO10 to 27.13 megapixels on the GoPro HERO11. While this might sound like a substantial jump, the reality is that for many people, they would never notice a difference. To frame these photos, you have the same 2.27-inch Touch LCD display on the rear and the same 1.4-inch Color LCD on the front of the camera. Both models offer the same 33 feet of waterproofing, which again speaks to any updates being more minor than substantial.
#2: Reports of Overheating
According to numerous reports on Reddit, including this thread, the GoPro HERO11 has a tendency to overheat more than previous GoPro HERO models. There is no question that a small action camera like the GoPro can get warm while recording in 4K or 5K. HERO11 owners, especially those who have owned or still own previous models, complain the HERO11 is overheating more than previous models.
According to one Redditor, their HERO11 continuously shuts down while filming 4K and even a warranty replacement suffers from the same issue. This concern was echoed throughout the same thread and many others, which begs the question of whether there may be bigger problems with the HERO11 lineup.
It seems unlikely that with many different use cases being explained on Reddit, the problem can be narrowed down to one specific use case. Instead, it seems as if overheating is more of a widespread concern.
#3: Strong Alternatives Are Available
Even though GoPro may be the dominant name in the action camera space, that isn’t to say they are the only option available for consumers. Brands like DJI, Insta360, and AKASO, just to name a few, are releasing their own product lineups that offer the same or better features than GoPro’s flagship HERO lineup.
AKASO, in particular, makes a very compelling case for anyone who has wanted to get a GoPro but has stayed away due to the high price tag. Instead, you can pick up an AKASO Brave 4 Elite, which captures 4K at 60 FPS for under $200, or approximately half of what the GoPro HERO11 costs at retail.
The popular DJI Osmo camera is one of the best competitors to the GoPro throne and comes from the same manufacturer that is responsible for some of the best drones available. To get more specific, the DJI Osmo Action 3 is a very strong competitor to the GoPro HERO11 and costs almost $70 less before any sales. The DJI Action 2 is an equally solid alternative to the GoPro HERO11 Mini and also comes in at a more consumer-friendly price point, without losing out on many features across both cameras.
Insta360 has seen its fortunes rise over the last few years with the release of a unique product lineup that helps focus on 360-degree video while still offering many of the same action camera features as the GoPro HERO11.
#4: Big Price Tag
As part of the notion that there are strong alternative options available, you can absolutely skip the GoPro HERO11 because of its high price tag. For the standard GoPro HERO11, $349 MSRP is a tall order for people who are not absolutely certain they need an action camera.
If you are someone who snowboards or does action activities regularly, a GoPro HERO11 might be a great option. However, if you are just looking for a camera to help capture memories while you’re on vacation, the $349 price tag is too much.
Even for the GoPro HERO11 Black Mini starting around $265 MSRP is too much when you consider you can get an AKASO for less, or a dedicated camera for around the same price with better photos. Better yet, if photos are your biggest concern, just use your smartphone for photos and videos.
The iPhone 14 and 15 along with a number of Samsung Galaxy S devices all have some form of horizon lock too, which steals from the thunder from the action camera category.
#5: No Pain Points Are Solved
If you take a look at a lot of the online reviews on the GoPro HERO11, there is a lot of agreement that the GoPro HERO11 is better overall when compared to its predecessors.
However, better is relative as the features aren’t so advanced that the GoPro HERO11 is solving any points the HERO10 left untouched. For example, Hypersmooth 5.0 is better on the HERO11 than the HERO10’s Hypersmooth 4.0, but the 4th iteration of Hypersmooth was already a best-in-class stabilization experience.
The same goes for the Mini and Black Creator Edition as none of the features are so different that it’s a must-buy even if you own an existing GoPro camera. To the naked eye, the video and photo quality between the GoPro HERO11 and GoPro HERO10 for 90 plus percent of buyers isn’t noticeable enough to make much of a difference. While a professional photographer might be able to point out differences, the reality is that, for most people, the GoPro HERO10 already provides outstanding results, so the GoPro HERO11 is going to deliver the same.
#6: Don’t Want Another Subscription
For better or worse, GoPro adds yet another subscription into your life and this might be one reason to skip the GoPro HERO11. As subscription fatigue sets in across our entertainment world, adding another subscription, even one that can go as low as $24.99 while on sale ($49.99 regularly) might be reason enough to skip out on the GoPro altogether.
For the subscription, you do get unlimited cloud backup across all of your footage at 100% full resolution. You also get full access to the Quik app on your smartphone or desktop, $100 off your next GoPro, as well as other benefits and features. Ultimately, even if there are some good benefits available with the subscription, it’s yet another cost you have to consider when buying the GoPro HERO11 from the start.
#7: Poor Battery Life
According to GoPro, using the HERO11 in its 5.3K at 60 FPS quality, its very best quality will allow for approximately 61 minutes on a single charge. While this may be a good number in the action camera space, it’s relatively poor in the overall digital camera space.
Because of that, if battery life means anything to you, buying a GoPro HERO11 might be something to hold off on until a GoPro can deliver a longer battery.
The only real option is to buy another battery but that just drives up the overall cost of ownership. The reality is that if you want to capture footage for more than an hour while you are on an all-day adventure somewhere, you can’t.
Best Alternatives to a GoPro HERO11
#1 Best Overall: DJI Osmo Action 4
If you’re looking for the best alternative to the GoPro HERO11 that offers a similar option set, the DJI Osmo Action 4 is the best choice.
While the DJI Osmo Action is actually $50 more than the HERO11, its feature set is actually quite a bit more attractive. This feature set starts with battery life lasting up to 150 minutes while recording 4K at 120 FPS. Better yet, you can use fast charging to get up to 80% of battery minutes in just 18 minutes, which allows you to keep capturing footage all day long.
On top of the already impressive feature set, you can take full advantage of the 1/1.3-inch sensor, which grabs excellent low-light imaging. Alternatively, you can skip low-light photos and go underwater with 54 feet of waterproofing, which definitely surpasses the 33 feet available to the GoPro.
Plus, you get a 155-degree ultra-wide FOV while also selecting from one of three different stabilization modes that easily rival Hypersmooth 5.0 on the GoPro HERO11.
Check out the DJI Osmo Action 4 on Amazon.
Best Budget-Friendly: AKASO Brave 4 Elite
- 4K/60 FPS
- 20MP Ultra HD action camera
- IPX8 waterproof 33 feet underwater camcorder
- 64GB storage
- Touch screen
- Stabilization 2.0
- Built-in 1650mAh battery
- Accessory kit
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the GoPro HERO11 that really delivers a strong feature set at a fraction of the cost, the AKASO Brave 4 Elite is the way to go.
For under $200, the AKASO Brave 4 Elite delivers a great experience with 4K quality at both 30 and 60 FPS. All of these videos drop into the internal 64GB of memory, which can be easily transferred over to a smartphone via Wi-Fi to help reduce onboard memory. This makes it super easy to keep plenty of available memory, so you can take full advantage of video as well as 20-megapixel photos.
The large capacity battery, at 1,650mAh, allows for ample battery life and you can buy the ActionPack extended battery module so you can recharge while on the go. For use in water, the IPX8 resistance of the AKASO provides up to 33 feet of waterproofing for up to 30 minutes, without any need for an extra case. Last but not least, Image Stabilization 2.0 with a 6-axis gyroscope provides steady videos.
Find the AKASO Brave 4 Elite on Amazon.
7 Reasons to Avoid a GoPro HERO11 Today: Summarized
|The update from the GoPro HERO10 is definitely incremental, meaning minimal changes.
|There are numerous reports of the GoPro HERO11 overheating after a few minutes of use.
|While GoPro might be an industry leader, there are plenty of other options on the market.
|The GoPro HERO11 comes at a cost, with a $349 price tag.
|Referring back to #1, there are no new pain points that have been solved with the GoPro HERO11.
|To get the most out of your HERO11, you need a yearly subscription.
|One big complaint of the GoPro HERO11 compared to the competition is subpar battery life.
The GoPro HERO11 is undoubtedly one of the best-known action cameras around and it has plenty of positives that would make you consider purchasing.
However, when compared to other competitors on the market, including previous GoPro models, there are a number of reasons why it would be okay to skip the GoPro HERO11 and not feel like you are missing out on any big features.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Memory Stockphoto/Shutterstock.com.