Alongside its latest action camera, the Hero 12 Black, GoPro has announced a new lens mod: Max Lens Mod 2.0. Combined with the 12 Black, this twist-on lens enables the widest field of view (FOV) currently available at 4K resolution, 60fps from a single camera. While the original Max Lens Mod captured a 155º FOV, the update expands this to an all-seeing 177º.
Getting into specifics, the Max Lens Mod 2 captures a 36 percent wider FOV for traditional 16:9 capture and a 48 percent taller FOV for vertical capture.
More than just a means to a wider FOV, the new Max Lens Mod 2.0 also adds an additional level of stabilization to the mix with Max HyperSmooth. This also makes 360º Horizon Lock possible for all the GoPro Hero 12 Black digital lenses, so tilts and spins will be totally compensated for.
You might be thinking: surely I can capture a wider angle using a 360º camera? And you'd be correct, but that involves two cameras and a composited image. The Max Lens Mod 2.0 makes the widest FOV from a single camera possible, and this extends to 1080p 120fps slow-mo capture for eye-popping, time-bending clips.
If you owned the original Max Lens Mod, you might remember it being quite chunky. The update is smaller, lighter, and double as resistant to scratches, making it an upgrade in every respect.
It looks like the Max Lens Mod's functionality will be the same as its predecessor. Once attached, a swipe down on your GoPro screen will display an option to activate Max Lens Mod mode. Tap it, and your Max Lens digital lenses are made available.
If you want to know exactly what Max Lens Mod 2.0 adds to the GoPro shooting experience, its digital lenses include 16:9 Max HyperView, 16:9 SuperView, 16:9 Wide, and 4:3 Max SuperView. We would have loved to have seen 8:7 and vertical capture with a Max view, but they don't look set to make an appearance, at least not on launch.
As for compatibility, the Max Lens Mod 2.0 is specifically designed to work with the GoPro Hero 12 Black. The original Max Lens Mod was introduced for the Hero 9 Black, and works with the Hero 10 Black, 10 Black Bones, 11 Black, and 11 Black Mini. While it capped out at 2.7K resolution, the update for the Hero 12 Black ups this to 4K, so it should capture more detail as well as a more expansive angle of view.
Both the camera and Lens Mod are available to preorder on GoPro.com until September 13, when they will go on sale globally. The Lens Mod costs $99.99 / £99.99, or $79.99 / £79.99 with a GoPro Subscription.