Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs latest generation of sports cameras is its best yet, offering tremendous flexibility, proven durability, và some of the highest available resolutions và frame rates in the business.
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway & picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to oto audio installs and cabin tech, if it"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars và car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance và infotainment Credentials North American Car, Truck và SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror Editors"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpg note: The Go Pro Hero3 sản phẩm line, released in 2012, was replaced by the Go Pro Hero3+ line as of October 2013. See our review of the $399 Hero3+ black Edition và the $299 Hero3+ Silver Edition. The $199 Hero3+ trắng Edition is also available.
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The Go Pro Hero3 is smaller, lighter, and features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. The đen Edition offers a number of ultra-high-resolution capture modes & high frame rates for standard HD resolutions; burst speeds for still photos has been greatly improved. Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs control scheme has a longer learning curve than the simpler slide-n-go setup of the Contour cameras. Only 15fps on 4K video renders this selling point mostly moot for action videography. The Go Pro Hero3 Silver và White editions are strong contenders in the sports camera market, but the faster, more powerful đen Edition is head và shoulders the best sports camera on the market today. Lighter, smaller, sharper The Go Pro Hero3 is 25 percent lighter than the previous-generation nhân vật 2"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs camera. It"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs also 30 percent smaller. However, all of that reduction manifests in reduced thickness with a new depth of only 20mm. The height and width (42mm by 60mm) are unchanged lớn maintain compatibility with Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs line of Bac Pac add-on modules & rear doors for the clear plastic shell.
On the front panel, you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find the new f/2.8, six-element aspherical lens that is supposed lớn offer twice the image sharpness and reduce the amount of barrel distortion at the extremes of its 170-degree field of view. However, the characteristic fish-eye look of the video and photos captured by the Hero3 hasn"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgt been totally removed, as it"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs sort of a hallmark of the action-camera style, adding a bit of drama khổng lồ scenery as it speeds by.
The Hero3 uses the same improved LCD of the hero 2, with its monochromatic dot-matrix display. I found the screen to lớn be easy enough to lớn navigate using the Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs combination mode/power button to lớn change modes và the shutter release lớn make selections. However, there is a bit of a learning curve. Expect khổng lồ spend a bit of time on your first outing just looping through the menus & getting used khổng lồ where the options are. I also found the LCD to lớn be a bit difficult lớn read in direct sunlight.
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The Hero3 (right) is the smallest Go Pro camera ever, edging out the previous anh hùng 2 (middle) & the old-school Digital anh hùng 5 (left). Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The front panel is also home to two indicator lights: one red to lớn indicate that the hero is recording and one blue that blinks khổng lồ indicate that Wi-Fi is active. There are also smaller red indicator lights on the top, back, and bottom panels that are visible from most angles.
On the back panel, you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find the removable cover for the 1,050m Ah lithium ion battery. Swappable batteries are a good idea if you plan on being out shooting all day. Next khổng lồ the battery door, you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find the proprietary Bac Pac connection where the accessory Bac Pacs, such as the LCD and Battery Bac Pacs, connect.
On the right side of the unit (when viewed from the front), you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find the Wi-Fi button that activates & deactivates the wireless connectivity with the Go Pro tiện ích for smartphones or the Wi-Fi remote (which is included with the Hero3 đen Edition, but not the Silver or trắng editions). The details of how the Wi-Fi remote works have already been detailed as part of our review of the Go Pro Wi Fi Bac Pac. However, this built-in Wi-Fi functionality renders the Wi Fi Bac Pac itself obsolete for this new generation -- although you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll still need it if you have a few older anh hùng 2s kicking around.
On the left side, behind a removable plastic panel, you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs greatly simplified bank of connections. There"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs a Micro-HDMI output, shrunken down from the Mini-HDMI of the previous generation, and a micro SD card slot, shrunken down from a full-size SD card slot for space savings. The Hero3 doesn"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgt come with a micro SD card, but supports cards with capacities up khổng lồ 64GB. Finally, there"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs a Mini-USB port, which makes a return appearance, that is used for charging & syncing. However, with the aid of optional adapter cables, this Mini-USB port can also double as a 3.5 milimet microphone input or an analog video clip output. I like to see Go Pro doing more with less space here, but this connection scheme pretty much locks you into only using Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs first-party adapters, which may not be too big a khuyến mãi for some users.
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The Hero3 consolidates the previous generation"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs inputs & outputs down khổng lồ two ports and a thẻ slot. Antuan Goodwin/CNET
On either side of the Hero3, you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgll find a small pinhole microphone for audio recording alongside your video. Go Pro claims that its wind reduction algorithms have been improved for this generation. Lượt thích the previous generation, the camera comes with a swappable Skeleton back panel for its clear plastic case that can be used to further improve audio unique at speeds below 100 mph at the expense of waterproofing.
Rough & tumble shell The Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs clear plastic shell is as much a part of the Go Pro system as the camera itself và has received an update as well to lớn match the smaller Hero3 chassis. Now thinner than before, the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs shell also offers three waterproof buttons that pass your inputs through to the power/mode select button, the shutter release, và the new Wi-Fi button.
The back panel is still removable khổng lồ allow replacement, for example, with the aforementioned Skeleton door or deeper doors that accommodate the Bac Pac add-ons. The door also features a new two-stage lock that that requires a tab to lớn be pushed to lớn the side before the locking mechanism can be lifted và rotated out of place. This adds a bit of extra security, keeping the camera sealed in its case, but I never really had any issues with the old, single-stage lock, so this new, sometimes incredibly difficult-to-open lock seems a bit unnecessary. Users who often submerge their Go Pro cameras might not think so.
Finally, the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs new shell features a new, flat lens that is supposed to work better with the new lens"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpg reduced distortion and offer better underwater image quality.
Like every generation of nhân vật shell before it, the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs clear shell is completely user-serviceable with the ability khổng lồ replace any component from the lens khổng lồ the door lớn the toàn thân itself independently. It also retains compatibility with Go Pro"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs entire catalog of mounting options.
Improved clip processor Next, we come to the improved image processor: the component of the Hero3 that most differentiates the Black, White, and Silver editions.
The black Edition has the newest, fastest processor of the bunch, packing twice the pixel-crunching horsepower of the hero 2 that we loved so much. In addition to delivering video clip that is claimed khổng lồ be twice as sharp as the nhân vật 2"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs with improved low-light performance, the black Edition is able khổng lồ capture 1080p full-HD đoạn phim at up khổng lồ 60fps, 960p Tall HD clip (4:3 aspect ratio) at up to lớn 100fps, 720p HD at up lớn 120fps, và WVGA 480p đoạn clip at up lớn 240fps, making it good for slow-motion video.
Users wanting to lớn capture more pixels also have the option of capturing đoạn clip at 1440p (4:3 aspect ratio) at up khổng lồ 48fps, 4K Cinema at 12fps, or 2.7K Cinema at up khổng lồ 30fps. These ultra high resolutions are too px dense to lớn be displayed on anything but the most cutting-edge monitors and the 15fps cap of 4K Cinema almost renders it useless for anything but slow, panning establishing shots, but I can see the 2.7K and 1440p resolutions being useful for users who want to have some extra pixels for image stabilization or cropping software khổng lồ work with.
The black Edition can also capture still photos at up to 12MP (with 7MP & 5MP modes available) in four different modes: single-shot, time-lapse, burst, và continuous. Time-lapse intervals can be set increments ranging from every half-second lớn a shot every 60 seconds. Burst modes range from 3fps for one second lớn 30fps for a 3-second burst, snapping off 90 shots with one button press. The black Edition also has the chất lượng ability lớn simultaneously capture still photos while it"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs recording clip with intervals ranging from every 5 to lớn 60 seconds.
The Hero3 Silver Edition uses essentially the same processor as the nhân vật 2"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs, so it lacks the Protune mode and its 4K, 2.7K, and 1440p đoạn clip resolutions. Additionally, its 1080p đoạn clip caps at 30fps, 960p at 48fps, 720p at 60fps, và WVGA at 120fps. Still photos max out at 11MP with a maximum burst rate of 10fps over 2 seconds. The Silver Edition also lacks the ability to simultaneously capture photos while recording video.
Finally, the trắng Edition uses an even lower-capped processor. It"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs HD clip caps out at 30fps for 1080p và 960p & 60fps for 720p & WVGA. Still photos are captured at only 5MP with a maximum burst of 3fps over a single second.
Video samples: đen Edition
Note: Be sure to lớn play back the sample in full-screen và in You Tube"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs HD mode to lớn view the full-resolution video.
In sum The $399.99 flagship Go Pro Hero3 black Edition goes head-to-head & toe-to-toe with the đứng top of line Contour+2, which retails for the same price. Both cameras offer great HD video chất lượng and both cameras ship with waterproof, ruggedized plastic shells lớn protect your investment. Both feature built-in wireless connectivity with điện thoại cảm ứng apps: Go Pro uses Wi-Fi; Contour uses Bluetooth. The Contour+2 wins a round with its ability to record & embed GPS elevation and speed data into its videos & the fact that it ships with đoạn phim editing software, while the Go Pro offers neither. I"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgve also noted on many occasions that the Contour is easier for novices to lớn use, with its slide & record control scheme.
The Go Pro Hero3 black Edition (pictured) is the best sports camera yet, but the Silver and White editions are great value alternatives. Antuan Goodwin/CNET
However, the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs smaller chassis, on-device display and controls, and superior resolutions & available frame rates make it the obvious winner in a spec battle. If you"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgre a semi-professional or prosumer sports camera enthusiast, taking an extra day to figure out the Hero3"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgs more complex control scheme is totally worth the greater amount of on-device flexibility of shooting modes.
However, at about four Benjamins, the Hero3 black Edition may be too much camera for your average consumer who only occasionally hits the slopes or is only uploading to You Tube or Facebook. For those who don"https://aryannations88.com/gopro-hero-3/imager_1_29496_700.jpgt need 4K video or want to lớn hold off on buying the Wi-Fi remote, the $299.99 Silver Edition & $199.99 trắng Edition meet the right price points, but come into competition with the newly announced Contour Roam 2.
Go Pro hero 3+ đen Edition$399 / 300 | www.gopro.com
The đen Edition does hold white balance adjustment, Protune & simultaneous photo+video recording above the 3+ Silver & 3 white editions as well. Protune is a setting that records videos with less compression and a more neutral color space to lớn aid in the post production process. Just looking at specs alone, it"s easy khổng lồ see that the đen Edition really packs a punch.
Another area of improvement is Wi-Fi range & speed. Go Pro claims a Wi-Fi range of up to lớn 600 feet with the included Wi-Fi remote and a more limited range with the Go Pro application. I got about 145 feet of Wi-Fi range using the Go Pro application, but did not demo the full range of the remote. However, in my experience, I never lost connection with the Wi-Fi remote, and I have not found an application yet where I would need lớn be two football fields away from the action. Regardless, the Wi-Fi connection was strong & did not falter. I could keep my phone in my pocket while using the Go Pro & it remained connected. Setting up is a snap as well, as the anh hùng 3+ only emits its own Wi-Fi network that is easily joined by a smart device in a matter of seconds.
The choice between the Go Pro application and the Wi-Fi remote was a no-brainer for me. While the remote has its advantages in the range và battery life department (you can save your phone"s juice), the Go Pro application is just too pleasant to lớn use, especially after enduring years of clunky Go Pro thực đơn systems on a monochromatic LCD screen smaller than a postage stamp.
With the Go Pro application, I could make nearly every camera setting with a tap. The Go Pro application also gave me a live preview of the camera, so I knew exactly how lớn set the angle for maximum coverage. One caveat is that the live preview is only available in select capture modes, so gigantic resolutions lượt thích 4K are not possible lớn preview. I could also watch what I shot on my phone, power nguồn the camera on và off, & start & stop recording, all from my i Phone. Other useful features like battery cấp độ status, SD thẻ capacity, camera locator (prompts Go Pro to beep if lost), were welcome additions, và I decided the Go Pro application would be accompanying me on all of my adventures. Of course, I"ll need a backup battery pack for the Go Pro & charging stick for my phone in order to make it through a full day.
The improved microphone on the Go Pro hero 3+ is twofold. First, its overall pickup quality is said lớn be improved, with heightened sensitivity lớn delicate sounds and nuance. Secondly, the wind noise reduction is apparently improved. The latter is a big one, as there"s nothing more vexing than sifting through hours of motorcycle footage with the deafening shrill of wind prompting you to reach for another aspirin. I"ve always wanted more engine sound, less wind noise.
My first test was general audio quality. What could be better than pounding on the drums? I tested the Go Pro hero 3+ with it mounted khổng lồ my head in the case, & then again sitting stationary removed from its case. What I found was that in or out of the case, the Go Pro anh hùng 3+ had some difficulty with bass, primarily during a thunderous cacophony. However, treble sounds like cymbals and snare hits were crisp và clear, particularly with the nhân vật 3+ outside of its case. On the in/out of the case debate, I found the sound lớn be a bit crisper when the nhân vật 3+ was removed from the case, but it was not a huge difference. So yes - small nuance sound pickup was impressive, but bass was a tad muffled. Now if only the hero 3+ had that 3.5mm audio jack for attaching external mics.
My second test was of the wind reduction. I found a rare 45 degree window in this unrelenting New England winter and took my newly rebuilt dirt xe đạp for a spin with the Go Pro mounted khổng lồ the Chesty harness. Now this was a noticeable improvement. At around 45-50 MPH amidst cold, thick air, the only audible wind noise was more of an intermittent lower toned muffling. Gone was the whistling, shrill wail-from-hell. At lower speeds, the wind noise was barely audible, và the nhân vật 3+ really picked up on the ring-da-ding of the two-stroke engine (which is still being broken in and sounds extra rough). I didn"t have a chance to exceed 50 MPH, and I"m really interested to see how the nhân vật 3+ fares at over 100 MPH on my street bike. But based on the improvement at lower speeds alone, I can project improved wind-reduction ability.