The size of the GoPro Hero 3 has been made more is smaller by its predecessor by 30%. It is also 25% lighter. Its only 20mm deep also. This does not affect the compatibility of the previous accessories as the height and width remain the same.
The lens has been improved to an aspheriscal lense offering less distortion of the 170 degree field of view. Also the sharpness efficiency is double that of the previous glass lens of the Hero 2. The fish eye view however still remains, stereotypical of real life action videos somewhat.
It shares the same LCD screen as its predecessors. It has a bigger power button and the front part of the husk is black connecting to the back control side making it look more up to date.
On the front also are now 2 lights. One indicates that Hero 3 is recording by flashing red the other is for Wi Fi, flashing blue. The extra recording lights you can see from any angle as before on Hero 2.
The Wifi functionality is for the BacPac. It lets you can control your Hero 3 via your smart phone on the GoPro App. Also a WiFi remote is available as standard on the Black Edition but not the White or Silver editions.
The Black Edition costs $399.99 brand new, where as the Silver is priced at $299.99 and White alternatively comes in at $199.99.
The left side of the unit is home to the connections panel, behind a protective shield. There’s a useful bunch of ports here, given the smaller space to work with. A micro HDMI port, a mini USB port for charging, syncing, analog video output and 3.5mm microphone input, and a 64GB capacity micro SD card port.
As before the back panel is removable so you optionally increase your audio quality at under 100mph. This is an increase the sound quality on the microphones on the unit this time around.
There transparent shell made of plastic is now even thinner and smaller. It impressively allows access when this is worn to 3 push buttons, name; Wifi, Shutter release and power & mode selct button – but is still as tough as ever, and is able to withstand whatever you throw at it!
The back panel of the shell has a double lock mechanism to allow extra safety when being removed to house the Bac Pac optional additons, for those who dive deep or push the Pro harder. The front of the shell’s lens has imporved underwater imaging and a reduction in distortion to, on previous models. It is compliant with all the mounts from the past, and parts of the shell are replaceable usign a mini screwdriver.
So why are the 3 Editions $100 more than one another – the answer is on the chip inside the unit not just the wifi remote!
Starting with the top-end Black edition, photo wise the Hero can now take photos at 12mega-pixels. Different setting available are continuous, time lapsed, single and burst. It can take 30 photos in 1 second for a maximum 3 seconds at the press of a single button when activated! It can also take photos whilst recording videos too.
The Black can capture videos1080 full HD at 60 frames per second up from 30fps on the Hero 2. Also it captures 960 ‘Tall HD’ at 100fps, 480p at 240fps, ideal for slow motion videos, and finally 720 at 120fps. It has double the sharpness of the Hero 2. The Black and only the Black edition can even film at 12fps – 4K Cinema shots useful for pan shots. 2.7k cinema at 30fps is available also for the Black, and finally can also record videos at 1440p resolution at 48frames per second.
The Silver Edition shares the same chip as the Hero 2. So it shares the same 1080p maximum res at 30 frames per sec. However it has an 11MP camera and is smaller and lighter don’t forget so still has advantages over its old brother.
The white has only a 5MP camera but shares the same fps as the Silver. It’s burst mode peaks at 3fps but is half the price of the Black, a good entry level model and, again smaller that Hero 1 and 2.