In the very competitive world of the wearable HD sports camera, the new GoPro HERO3 Black Edition stands tall above the rest of the field with the most exceptional video quality of the bunch, but the others have caught up with better features, functions, usability and form factor.
The GoPro HERO3 Black Edition has quite a few excellent features on top of its already outstanding functionality, the most prominent being the 12 megapixel sensor, which is accompanied by a sharper glass lens, both of which result in photos and videos with increased clarity and sharpness and more vibrant colors. It has built-in Wi-Fi, a wearable Wi-Fi remote with an LCD screen and buttons to emulate the camera, and Wi-Fi smartphone App capabilities, which give full camera control and scene preview. The camera is encased in their waterproof and durable housing, and has a plethora of mounting accessories, so that it can be attached to just about anything. It records in a vast array of high-definition video resolutions, frame rates, and viewing angles, making for an incredibly versatile camera. It now includes professional-level resolutions and frame rates and modes, which will be useful for post editing by videographers.
The HERO3 comes in three incarnations, the top of the line Black Edition, the middle-of-the-road Silver Editor and the entry level White Edition, retailing for $399.99, $299.99 and $199.99 respectively. Each of the cameras has built-in Wi-Fi, so there is no need for an additional BacPac, and they’re 3o% smaller and 25% lighter than their predecessors.
The HERO3 Black Edition is a POV (point of view) high-definition sports camera, which uses a 12MP CMOS sensor that can record video footage in 1080p, 960p, 720p and SD formats, and photos in several modes, including still, time lapse, burst and continuous. In addition, the Black can record at 4K, 2.7K and 1440p. It uses a ƒ/2.8 aperture and six element aspherical lens, which is fixed focus and has a 170º viewing angle. It records data onto a microSD card up to 64GB in size, and is powered with an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery (swappable) that gives one to two hours of recording time depending on load and air temperature. The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi to wirelessly converse with the GoPro remote or GoPro App on iOS and Android based mobile devices. The Wi-Fi remote and App interfaces allow camera settings and resolutions and modes to be changed, and with the mobile device, the viewpoint can be previewed. It has ports for a mini USB for computer connection and recharging and external microphone, a mini HDMI for live streaming to a TV or other source. The small and light camera is mostly made of plastic, and is encased within a tough and robust polycarbonate waterproof housing, which protects the fragile camera from impacts, shocks, and the environment. The housing attaches to an assortment of mounts, including a seatpost, curved and flat surface, wrist, tripod, vented helmet, and handlebar, and others, and usually snaps into the mounts using their proprietary quick-release buckle. It’s convenient that the HERO3 has the same height and width size as their older models, so mount systems, and BacPac’s are all interchangeable.
The HERO3 Black Edition kit comes with the HERO3 Black camera, a waterproof housing with optional slotted backdoor, a rechargeable 3.7V 1050mAh Li-Ion Battery, a USB cable, curved and flat surface mounts, a three-way pivot arm, J-Hook and QR buckles, Wi-Fi remote with USB cable, and a vibration plug.
- 51 grams – camera
- 25 grams – battery
- 76 grams – camera with battery
- 19 grams – quick-release buckle
- 106 grams – waterproof housing with quick-release buckle
- 182 grams – total
- 60mm x 40mm x 20mm – camera size
- 72mm x 65mm x 37mm – housing size
- 13mm x 16mm – LCD screen size