You've already sold your Hero2 in preparation; you've read all of the literature that you could get your hands on; you've waited patiently with bated breath, and now the next generation of GoPro is finally here. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition - Adventure has arrived, and we assure you that it's worth the wait.
Just looking at the external appearance of the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition, the difference in iterations couldn't be more night and day. The camera has been reduced in size by 30%, and the camera weight was reduced by 25%. In fact, the Hero3 tips the scales at an alarmingly low 2.6 ounces. The camera body has received a black backing treatment, and the front now boasts a more accessible and progressive user interface. And GoPro didn't simply stop redesigning at the camera body, the new external housing not only bolsters the durability of the body, but it's also fully-waterproof at depths up to 197' (60m).
Now, let's get into the guts of the Hero3. The lens makes use of a new flat design with a waterproof housing. It's what GoPro calls a six-element aspherical lens. What does this mean? Simply put, the lens has been designed to operate evenly across more light conditions than ever before. For the camera nerds; it's an f/2.8 -6.0 lens. So, you'll experience sharper image quality whether it's blisteringly bright or the sun has nearly disappeared. And in low-light conditions, specifically, you can expect twice the light performance in comparison to the Hero2. The new lens also allows Ultra-wide, Medium, and Narrow field of view modes, and you can operate the White Balance in either auto or manual modes (3000k, 5500k, 6500k, Cam Raw). Now, you can expect crystal clear resolution from sunrise to sunset. Possibly more important for your mounted shots, the lens has made huge gains in decreasing distortion, so you can say goodbye to frame-warble when the Earth is berating your rig.
And speaking of resolution, the Hero3 Black Edition boasts ultra-high resolution video modes of 2.7kp-24 and 4kp-12. The frame rate is twice as powerful as the Hero2, capturing at 4k Cinema 12fps, 2.7k Cinema 30fps, 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60fps, and 720p 120fps. Basically, if you love slow-motion shots, the Hero3 is a godsend. And did we mention that all of these rates can be run from Ultra-Wide mode? Awesome. For time lapse, GoPro also stepped up the Hero3's game by increasing the available intervals. You can select from seven lapse intervals ranging from 0.5 to 60 seconds. The still camera also lays waste to prior Hero iterations. For the Hero3, still mode shoots at 12 megapixels and up to 30 photos per second. You can select blasts of 3, 5, or 10 photos-per-second concurrently with any video mode. Also new to the Hero3, GoPro included advanced camera settings like looping video, continuous photo, and Protune Mode.
Not to be one sided in the improvement department, the Hero3 also made dramatic gains in sound quality. By engineering a new wind-noise reduction system, the redesigned sound recording will capture all of the subtleties and profanities of your gnar. And now, you also have the option of recording your sound in Mono, 48kHz, and AAC compression w/AGC media formats. This means you don't have to eat up your cards' storage if ambient sound is only going to make a cameo in your edit.
We hate to admit it, but we've been holding out on you. The Hero3 is not only Wi-Fi ready, but newly included for the Black Edition package, at a $79.99 value, is the Wi-Fi Remote. Waterproof, wearable, and capable of controlling up to 50 Hero3 cameras from a range of 600 feet, the Wi-Fi Remote will turn your entire filming strategy on its head. Not impressed? How about finally gaining access to the GoPro Application for your iOS or Android smartphone and tablet? With the remote and GoPro App in tow, you can both fully control any camera in your Wi-Fi range and view live scene previews.
As for the knitty gritty, the Hero3 has the following inputs: Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, and a 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapater. It's also compatible with newest Mac OS versions down to Mac OSX 10.5 and the latest Microsoft Windows version down to Vista 7.
Simply, the Hero3 Black Edition is everything that you've been wanting and waiting for.
The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition - Adventure is available in one color and one size. Included in the package is the following: Hero3 Black Edition Camera, 197'/60m waterproof housing, Wi-Fi Remote, assorted mounting hardware, rechargeable Li-ion battery, 1 quick-release buckle, 1 J-Hook buckle, 1 curved and 1 flat adhesive mount, and 3-way pivot arm. It does not include a memory card.
Please note that the Hero3 Black Edition requires a MicroSD Class 10 or higher memory card. It can also support up to a 64GB capacity.