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GoPro Hero3 Black Edition Review


cathyfoley

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I recently purchased a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition as an upgrade from my 1st generation GoPro Hero cameras. Here is my opinion of the new camera.

1. The picture quality is a huge upgrade, with 1080P at up to 60 frames per second (fps).

2. Still pictures can be taken at 12mp, as opposed to 5mp with the 1st generation cameras. However, you must be in the 12mp picture mode to do this. If you are taking video, and then use software to pull pictures, you will only get 8mp quality. There is also a mode on the Hero3 to take video and still pictures without changing the mode. The camera will take a still shot every X secs while filming. Again, at 8mp quality.

3. The camera can take burst of photos up to 30 fps.

4. The remote control works great, but it initially took me 2 hours to learn how to sync the remote and Camera because the owner manual is not very comprehensive. In temperatures below zero, the remote operated without issue, as did the camera. With the remote, you see all the settings that are on the camera, and can change or cycle through them from the remote. You can also turn the camera on/off, saving battery time.

5. The camera itself is much smaller than the 1st generation camera, so it requires its own size battery, and a micro SD card (up to 64GB). The waterproof case is smaller and has a locking feature. The lens housing is now flat, so pictures don't appear so "fisheye" like the 1st generation cameras.

So those are the GOOD things......now for the BAD!

1. The battery life is about 1 hour and 8 minutes in warm temperatures. Outside at about zero degrees, I got only 35 minutes of battery life. Since its an entirely redesigned camera, the batteries from previous GoPro cameras do not fit. 1st generation GoPro batteries gave me approx 3.5 hours of continuous video shooting.

2. You need at least a 32GB microSD card at a 10 rating to shoot 1080p

3. The flattened lens housing doesn't shed water drops anywhere near as good as the convex housing on 1st generation camera. For kayaking, the camera needs to be mounted high, or facing yourself (blocking the splash) or be ready to do lots of wiping and losing great footage because the water drops blur the picture. I'm very disappointed with this aspect.

4. I'm not sure the cost $399 plus extra batteries ($19.95 each) and a microSDcard ($30 and up) make this camera a good choice over the less expensive models.

Overall, I give GoPro a grade of B for this camera (4 stars out of 5). It's better suited to skiing, bike riding, etc than water sports where there is lots of splash.

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