Review: GoPro Hero 11 Black

If you line up a GoPro 9, 10 and 11 side by side, I challenge anyone to see an immediate difference, because as far as I can tell, there isn’t one.

Resolution and Other Techie Stuff

But under the bonnet, things are very different. The biggest single change is the new sensor which has grown in size to 1/1.9 inches and now has available an 8:7 aspect ratio for shooting, and ups the ante for resolution increasing to 27.13MP up from 23MP.

Now of course this aspect ratio means you can shoot almost square still images in high resolution, but there is another bigger benefit if you are a TikTok’er YouTube’er or Instagram’er. If you shoot video at 8:7, you have the option to crop in editing to 1:1, 4:3, 16:9 or even 9:16 for these platforms. If you use the GoPro Quik app, these presets are already there (assuming you don’t mind smartphone editing of course). It also means you can shoot stabilised 4:3 video with a Superview (GoPro’s widest lens setting).

Another change is you can now shoot 5.3K and 4K at 120Mbps bit rate, an increase of 20% over the Hero 10.

And with the Hero 11, GoPro has opted to go the 10bit colour rate for the very first time. If that is pure gobbledygook to you it simply relates to the number of colours the camera can record, in this case it is 1billion, up from the 16.7 million of the Hero 10.

This means that in shots of the sky with a brilliant sunset say, the gradient between the colours will be considerably smoother and colour definition overall much better.


Also scoring a makeover is GoPro’s already impressive stabilisation I mentioned earlier. There is a new mode they call AutoBoost which basically means the camera has ‘smarts’ and can detect any shake automatically and switch on the Hypersmooth system.

Shot on GoPro Hero 11 Black in  Supervidei 2.7K Handheld

In conjunction with the stabilisation, like the Hero 10, the Hero 11 has a horizon lock system which basically means as the camera is taken off the horizontal plane (tilted) it will keep the horizon straight in the image. The Hero 10 allowed this up to 27° but the 11 covers a full 360° which means there is a hell of a lot of image processing going on in that sensor which is very impressive indeed.

The other big difference here is that the Hero 11 does all this out of the box whereas the Hero 10 needs the Max Lens Mod.

There is a minor limitation though, in that the maximum frame rate / aspect ratio pair when running at 5.3K is 30fps and 16:9. If you need a faster frame rate, you need to drop the resolution to 4K.

Showing the Horizon Lock

New Imaging Modes

There are three new imaging modes built in: Light Painting, Vehicle Light Trails and Star Trails.

An example of Light Painting is being in a dark room and waving a torch about. The camera shutter will stay open, and the Hero 11 creates a short video clip giving the impression of electronic brush strokes created by the light. Vehicle Lights Trails are similar but used to create the same thing from the lights of moving vehicles. Finally, Star Trails creates star lines caused by an open shutter and the rotation of the Earth.


Sometime back GoPro launched the Enduro battery as an option, but now it ships with the Hero 11. This is said to give you up to 80 minutes of shooting time. GoPro says the Enduro is more efficient when the camera is in “idle” mode.

The Enduro battery is also said to be more efficient in extreme cold.


If you are one of those that just want the minimum off fuss to get your stills or video, the Hero 11 now has two modes, Easy Mode and Pro Mode.

Easy Mode simply gives you less options to choose from, letting you basically point and shoot. If you switch to Pro Mode, you get access to all functions and settings of the camera to tweak and experiment to your heart’s content.

The Downside

All these new features are of course very welcome, but there a few things most users wish GoPro would address. The biggest of these by reading through various Facebook Groups is an overheating issue which many say has been a curse since the GoPro Hero 8. I have an 8, 9 and 10 and have never had this issue personally. A number of observers have suggested a lot of people have every function turned in the camera – many of them superfluous to the current operation – and this will not only cause overheating but also minimise battery life, so this is worth checking.

Another solution, and one I often employ, is to remove the battery altogether and use a PowerBank connected via the USB-C. The drawback to this is of course you’ll lose the full portability, but if you have a GoPro mounted on a car, boat, trailbike etc it is a worthwhile option. You need to remove the battery door, sure, but GoPro do also sell a “pass through” door for this very purpose.

The second gripe is the low light usability. There was hope the larger sensor might have knocked this issue on the head but sadly not. Again of course GoPro do make an add on option, the Light Mod, but this needs a shoe to sit in. The easiest way to get this is via the Media Mod (which I have on my 9 and 10 permanently). Why? Because I prefer to have external audio from a Sennheiser MKE200 as against the on-board mics or the mic in the m Media Mod.

I can also use the Hollyland Lark C1 if the situation calls for wireless mic capability.


The GoPro Hero 11 retails at $549.98, but much to many dealer’s chagrin I’d venture, you can buy through the GoPro online store with a “subscription” and save $200.

The subscription model offers a few extras, the most notable being automatic Unlimited Cloud Storage. Also included is the GoPro Quik app getting some extra features such as the Speed Tool for slo-mo effects, filters for snow and water and some themes and original music to add to your videos.

You also get offered discounts on GoPro accessories purchased from the site.


The GoPro is without question the de-facto “standard” in action cameras. I wrote a few years back that many others – Nikon, Canon, Sony included – tried to muscle in on the market but none really took off (despite the Sony offerings being very, very good).

DJI is still hanging in there of course, although with the Action 2, I feel they went slightly off the rails and thus brought out the Action 3 which is more conformist, and is in some ways, I think, superior to the GoPro.

But if it’s an action camera you want, then the Hero 11 has all the things you need with the caveat of the low light and potential overheating issues.

But I have to say at this point, a GoPro is not designed as a “Swiss Knife” camera. There are some things it is just not designed for. I have seen users ask questions about using the GoPro for wedding photography for example …

I suggest a good maxim is the one used by a popular outdoor store. The GoPro is for “BCF-ing fun!”

You can get more information from the GoPro website at

Review: Hollyland Lark C1 Wireless Mic Kit

I’ve looked at a few Hollyland products in the past – the Solidcom M1 system, Lark M1 wireless mic package and the MARS T1000 Comms System. I have been impressed by the quality of the products and their overall usability in general.

Yesterday I received the newest addition to the stable, the Lark C1 Wireless Mic kit.

Housed in a small case that doubles as a charger and battery, the Lark C1 components consist of a receiver unit that plugs into your smartphone or tablet and a pair of small clip-on wireless mics that come pre-paired.

There are a few permutations of the Lark C1 kit; you can get either Android (USB-C) or iOS (Lightning) versions and these can be either twin mic like I received, or single mic. There is also a range of colour schemes if that sort of thing is important to you. Mine came in black with yellow highlighting.

The unit comes most fully charged, and to top it up, simply plug in the supplied USB-C cable to the charge unit and connect it to a suitable USB port.

The receiver has a pair of LEDs – one for each mic – showing the current status of each (constant blue for connected and flashing blue for disconnected), and a single push button for pairing if required – the mics are pre-paired out of the box but if for some reason that pairing is broken, it only takes a couple of seconds to get them back and operational again.

The mics themselves are a bit more generous with controls having an on/off switch, status LED, a pairing button that doubles as a noise cancellation button and a USB-C charging port. The LED status is the same as the receiver with added ability to flash red when the battery is getting low and show green when noise cancellation is on.


I admit to being initially tricked as for the life of me, in the documentation I could not find out where the Lark C1 stored files it has recorded. My error was due to thinking it would work along the same lines as the Sennheiser Memory Mic.

But in fact, Hollyland has made it a lot simpler than that.

You see, the Lark C1 is just a mic system; it needs host software to record with. Depending on your device (and this includes some tablets and even Action cams such as the DJI Action 2 and 3) these apps and devices include the built-in camera, Voice Recorder (Android) TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

On the Hollyland website there is a complete table listing of all compatible phones and the apps that will work. Click here to go there.

Therefore, in use, it’s simply plug the receiver into your phone and wait about 2 seconds for it to be recognised, turn on the mics, wait under second and then start talking. I used the native Voice Recorder app on my Samsung A71 without a hitch. I also successfully tested it on a Samsung A7 tablet.

With the noise cancelling system, again, a simple approach has been taken. Noise cancelling is either off, weak or strong. In technical terms, when set to weak, noise will be reduced by -1db and when strong by -14dB.

The range is excellent too. I tried it from every room in the house with the phone / receiver in my office and it stayed connected every time. I then ventured outside with the full house between me and the unit and then went back another 20 metres with still with no loss.

Hollyland say you can get up to 200 metres range with line of sight which is more than adequate for most circumstances this system will be placed in.


Each of the mics is said to work for up to 8 hours before a re-charge is needed, but Hollyland has put some thought into the receiver side, as with a pass-through USB-C port on it, you can also charge the receiver when it is use by simply plugging a cable from it to the charging station. And then of course you can also top up the mics as needed, saying during a break in recording. The specs say that all up, you may get up to 32 hours’ worth of recording out of a charge.

LarkSound App

I found the companion app called LarkSound – which you have to download from Play Store – to be a valuable adjunct. With this running, you can tell at a glance how much juice is left in the mics, what level noise cancellation value is set, the volume levels via a meter (and you can increase or decrease the volume) and whether the audio is to played on the device’s speaker whilst recording.

You can also get the serial number of each component here, which you do need should you ever have to contact Hollyland Tech Support.


If you do a lot of smartphone audio recording and feel you need better quality audio as well as far more flexibility, then you are exactly the market the Hollyland Lark C1 aimed at.

Sound quality is excellent, you have the choice of your own app / device to record with, the wireless range is more than adequate for most uses and the price, at AUD$315 from Amazon Australia, is not a budget buster. If you want seriously good audio for your vlogging, podcast, small / short film production or other projects where a simple but very effective system is needed then the Hollyland Lark C1 is worth your consideration.


New Plug to Record iPhone and Android Wireless Microphone: Hollyland’s Lark C1

Hollyland Technology has announced the Lark C1, an ultra-compact, feature-packed wireless microphone system that can be plugged into mobile phones and offers a range of up to 650ft (200m). The Lark C1 lets you simply plug the receiver into the phone to record audio, and playback without unplugging. You can record audio without interruption, because the transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) are usable while charging, and the receiver can be connected to a power source to charge your phone during operation. This product is available in an iOS version with Lightning connector on the receiver (with one or two transmitters) and an Android version with USB-C connector on the receiver (with two transmitters).

Android wireless microphone, iPhone wireless microphone

The transmitters can be clipped onto clothing like a wireless lavalier microphone, for professional vocal recording. The system’s 48 kHz/16 bit sound capture gives incredibly rich details from all directions, delivering Hi-Fi sound quality from 20 Hz right up to 20 kHz. In the iOS version, the MFi-certified Lightning interface ensures uncompromising sound quality and reliability. The advanced audio processing algorithms and Active Noise Cancellation let the Lark C1 deliver crystal-clear digital audio with background noise removed. The product is available in either black or white.

As well as mobile phones, the Lark C1’s Android version can add wireless microphone capability to some other products, such as the DJI Action 3 and Action 2, making it a perfect vlogging microphone.

Ultra-long recording duration, usable while charging

With two transmitter units in use, the Lark C1 Duo features an ultra-long duration of 32 hours from a fully-charged charging case, with each transmitter operating for 8 hours each time for a full day of uninterrupted audio recording. The entire system is usable while charging, including the smartphone.

Advanced in-app controls

Hollyland’s LarkSound app offers advanced controls and features to enhance your recording experience. The mic status is clear at a glance. You can view the transmitter battery level, adjust the noise cancellation level, or control volume and real-time playback through the phone and Bluetooth devices.








Review: Hollyland Lark M1 Twin Wireless Mic System

When the Hollyland Lark M1 turned up the other day, I alluded that on first glance, it seemed that it and the DJI Mic were very similar beasts.

Now that I have had a bit of a play, indeed they are, in what they do. Where they are drastically different is in the price however, with the Lark M1 at AUD$195 and the DJI Mic at AUD$509.

So, with such a huge price differential, what does the Lark M1 give you? What might be missing?

The packaging idea of the Lark M1 is very similar to the DJI Mic – and indeed, just about every pair of wireless earbuds you can buy these days. A container with a flip up lid acts as both a carry case and a charging station. The Lark M1 has a USB-C slot on the base for this purpose. I do prefer the DJI version with the USB slot on the front though.

With the Lark M1 you get two mics and a single receiver, and these are pre-paired at the factory, but if the pairing is lost then they can be re-paired if needed.

The mics have a simple spring-loaded clip to attach to a collar or shirt pocket for example, and controls are minimal with an on/off switch and a multi-function button used to activate pairing and turn on or off noise cancelling.

The mic is located on the front (a piece of translucent blue tape is over it initially and needs to be removed which caught me out initially) and you also get a custom fitted noise reduction fluffy.

The receiver us not much bigger than the mics and has a combination spring loaded clip / cold shoe mount. Again controls are minimal. A pairing button also doubles up as a volume up button and a mode switch backs up as a volume down button. There is a separate on/off button, a 3.5mm interface port and an LED indicator.

The mode button is used to switch the receiver between camera mode and phone mode. In camera mode it can be set to either stereo or mono. The mode button is also used to change the gain on the receiver. Out of the box, this is set to medium but can be switched up or down (high/low).

To connect the receiver to the camera or smartphone, the system comes with all the appropriate cables (3.5mm, USB-C and Lightning).

If you are using a Sony, Canon or Fujitsu camera, the manual also gives you useful information on what settings on the camera to use.


The important specifications you need to know (with the equivalent DJI Mic figures in brackets) are:

  • Transmission Range 200 metres (250 metres)
  • Weight: RX 17.5g (24.9) TX: 11.8g (30g)
  • Runtime: 8 Hours (5.5 Hours)
  • Charging case maximum recharges: 2 (1.8)
  • Unit Charging Time: TX 90 mins (70 mins) RX 90 mins (70 mins)
  • Max Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 110dB (114db)

Sound Quality

If I was hard pressed, I would say the DJI system has the better audio. It seems cleaner and crisper to me in a very short test. I’ll do a broader one later and post the results here.

But can I hear $300 worth of difference? Short answer is no.


The Hollyland Lark M1 is, at the price, excellent. In comparison to the DJI (and similarly the RØDE Wireless Go II) it doesn’t have the same feature set such as an LCD control panel, or the party trick of the DJI unit of the transmitters also recording internally, but if all you want is a budget twin wireless kit that works easily and gives great audio recordings, at $195 the Hollyland Lark M1 is quite remarkable.

Hollyland Launches Solidcom C1 Full-Duplex Wireless Intercom Headset System

Hollyland’s Solidcom C1 is a new full-duplex wireless intercom headset system featuring advanced DECT 6.0 with encryption technology. Solidcom C1’s 1.9GHz DECT ensures reliable and secure communications in a radius up to 1000ft. This comfortable headset-based system boasts battery life up to ten hours, and is portable and hands-free – it requires no beltpacks and can operate effectively without hubs or base stations.

Clear and secure communications

DECT 6.0 provides excellent transmission stability with doubled user capacity per channel. A dual-antenna diversity scheme helps ensures uninterrupted team communication in complex environments. DECT 6.0 encryption technology prevents outsiders from listening in.

The Solidcom C1 headsets ensure clear, accurate audio quality for effective teamwork, even in noisy environments, thanks to a wideband frequency response of 150Hz-7KHz and premium AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation). The directional microphone captures the speaker’s voice clearly while minimizing unwanted noise, and it mutes automatically when the mic boom is raised.

The Solidcom C1 master headset creates a reliable wireless communication radius up to 1000ft line of sight. So your team can stay connected and move freely anywhere within event areas such as weddings, conferences, small churches, large filming sites, etc. The optional Solidcom C1 Hub base can provide the same coverage if you prefer not to use the master headset configuration. The battery-powered hub also offers additional functions, such as cascaded connection of up to three systems, A/B grouping, and a one-key mute and announce function to communicate instantly with all headsets.

Comfort and ease of use

Each headset weighs only 168g, lighter than most mobile phones, ensuring it is comfortable to wear for hours. The headset is exquisitely crafted with PC-ABS materials, guaranteeing outstanding flexibility and durability. The system is ready to use, automatically pairing up right out of the box.

Each intercom headset comes with a spare lithium battery for convenient field replacement, keeping the system up and running with minimal downtime. The batteries are rechargeable externally with a dedicated multi-port charger. Batteries require only 2.5 hours to reach full charge, and provide up to 10 hours run time for each headset (5-6 hours for the system master headset).

Learn More:

Price is USD$999

Firmware Update Enhances Hollyland’s Solidcom M1 Full-Duplex Wireless Intercom System

Hollyland has enhanced the Solidcom M1 full-duplex wireless intercom system with a free firmware update that adds multiple new features that improve ease-of-use, communications quality, and flexibility. The Solidcom M1 is the new generation 1.9GHz full-duplex professional wireless intercom system that supports eight-channel beltpack simultaneous communication plus cascaded connection of multiple additional devices, and this firmware update makes it even better. The firmware can easily be downloaded and installed by users via Hollyland’s website.

Adjustable microphone gain

With the new firmware, microphone gain can more easily be adjusted by users to better suit their communications environment and preferences. This helps improve voice intelligibility and user comfort. The belt pack now provides a button-selectable microphone gain selection screen with three environment settings – Noisy, Standard and Quiet – allowing gain to be adjusted from -2dB to +6dB.

Flexible working modes

Eight new working modes have been added. These include Announce, Talk and Listen, Listen-only, Force Listen, and so on. These modes increase communications flexibility and can be selected based on current team tasks. The original group functions are still available for users who prefer not to use the new working modes.

Belt pack names and network enhancement

Belt packs can now be individually named from the app or device web page. This makes it easier for system operators to identify team members and individual belt packs based on role or function. Finally, the firmware update adds new network configuration settings to make it easier to assign dynamic or static IP (Internet Protocol) addresses for each device on Wi-Fi networks. This helps prevent many potential network configuration problems.

Hollyland Solidcom M1 firmware upgrade instructions

Download and installation:

Find out more about Solidcom M1 at


Review: Hollyland MARS T1000 Communications System

Way back in the dim distant past I used to be a CB radio fan. No, not the freaky type as described in that ghastly country and western song “Convoy” (some time in the 80s), but a general-purpose user who was fascinated by communications technology.

And it never quite left me. There is some sort of magic in talking to someone via 2-way and a mobile phone experience just doesn’t cut it in the same way.

And whilst the smartphone has certainly revolutionised communications, there are many areas where radio reigns supreme.

In the area of filmmaking and events for example, radio comms is a must as information and instructions are needed on a real time basis, often between a large number of personnel including director and crew.

So when comms specialist Hollyland contacted me and asked if I’d like to review their MARS T1000 wireless intercom system I said of course “yes please”!

And a week or so later it arrived in a large box and comprised of a base station unit with a headset and 4 belt pack sender / receivers with headsets.

Base Station

The base station either be powered by a supplied 240v – 12v adaptor or alternatively, using optional F970 batteries.

There is provision to install a couple of these on the top of the base station, and Hollyland say that if fully charged, each battery will supply up to 20 hours of operation. A bonus is that when operating on battery, change over to the second can be achieved without losing power.

There are 4 USB-A ports for charging the belt packs, a USB-C port for firmware updates and an RJ45 Ethernet port. Two RF antennae are supplied and are screwed in on the rear of the unit.

Controls and menu functions are very straight forward and that of course makes the system very easy to use and there is little to master beyond a volume control, up / down buttons that (double duty as left and right buttons), remote mic mute and a menu confirm button.

Belt Packs

The belt packs are equally no-fuss making for easy understanding and operation. Unlike “cheap” walkie talkie type units, these are solidly built with metal casings. The top of the belt pack has a single rotary on / off / volume rotary control, two built in RF antenna and a 3.5mm headset port. The right-hand side has a single talk / mute button, USB-C port for external charging and a Tally port.

(Tally ports are used to communicate to an operator of say a camera or playback device that they are live on air).

For tripod or other externalmounting, the base of the belt pack has a standard ¼” thread.

Fully charged belt packs are good for 8 hours use.


There is not too much to report here. The headset is a typical over the ear unit with an expandable headband and a mic on the end of an arm that has about a 300 degree of rotation. A 1 metre cable with a 3.5mm plug is connected for plugging into the belt pack.

There are no controls on the headset itself with things like volume controlled from the belt pack.

In Use

The system was very easy to set up and basically does what it says on the tin. From a comfort point of view, the headsets can be worn for an extended period with no pressure points to give a headache. The ear shell fully covers the ear, which in a hot environment I am guessing there may be a sweat issue.

The MARS T1000 is a full duplex system meaning that conversations can be two way simultaneously. In our test, this worked flawlessly and is a major advantage over off-the-shelf walkie talkies. The ability for the user of the base station to mute a unit that has been left “open” inadvertently is a bonus.

The MARS T1000 uses the 1.9GHz wireless frequency and we found it good for 150 metres in line of sight with no issues. The manufacturers claim 300 metres, but that would have to be under absolutely perfect conditions which are rarely if ever found on set!

What I didn’t pick and found via a bit of accidental research is that this is – perhaps coincidentally – the same maximum distance as an SDI cable.

If you need more than the five headsets that come with the system (by the way you also get spare antennas, headset shells and carry bags included in the price), you can daisy chain a second base station via the Ethernet port. That is the maximum though, you cannot keep adding base stations after the second.


For use on a small set, in a church AV setting, local theatre group etc, this a relatively inexpensive way of keeping everyone in touch.

The MARS T100 is a rugged, solid system that as I mentioned previously, does exactly what it says on the tin and does it very well.

If you haven’t considered such an investment before, I’d suggest it would be a worthwhile investigation. Sure you can buy 5 walkie-talkie units such as those by GME at Jaycar etc, and they will do an admirable job but with major restrictions compared to the flexibility of the MARS T1000.


Videoguys in Melbourne have the Hollyland MARS T1000 system listed for AUD$3149 and Videopro put on a price tag of AUD$3030 according to their website.