Featuring several improvements over the original HERO3 in Silver, the Hero3+ Silver Edition includes all of its predecessor’s best features but comes with a noticeably improved lens that produces sharper and brighter videos.
A moderately priced action camera that offers incremental improvements over the HERO3, but nothing radically new.
If you don’t need professional grade video quality and want to save money, this is a great pick.
If you are willing to pay for the cutting edge, go with the newly released HERO4.
The housing of the 3+ Silver Edition has undergone a dramatic makeover. For those unfamiliar with housing, it is basically the transparent “skeleton” in which the camera is housed.
For a camera intended to capture action sports and adventurous activities close-up, you can imagine that the GoPro needs a seriously strong protective layer. In the case of the 3+ Silver Edition, the housing is simpler and more compact than in the original Hero 3 Silver. Unlike the previous design, the new version comes equipped with a top-mounted lever that allows you to hold the camera from any angle.
The new model is also much easier to remove from its housing whilst wearing gloves, which was impossible with the original Hero 3 Silver’s more cumbersome casing. As the mount design at the bottom has remained the same, any accessories created for previous models will work just fine with this model too.
The housing has extra space in its interior for moisture patches (also called anti-fog inserts), which prevent the inside of the case from collecting condensation when the camera is submerged.
With its new design, you can take the Hero 3+ Silver Edition to as low as 40 meters underwater. Overall, the exterior feels less bulky than the original Hero 3 Silver, and it boasts a new quick clip design that allows it to attach to straps or belts faster than it did before.
The Hero 3+ Silver has 3 buttons that control all of its functions. The buttons are wide and easy to hit under “extreme” circumstances. It’s this kind of attention to detail that has garnered the camera such a stellar reputation among action sports enthusiasts.
The button on the front of the camera provides direct access to the cameras menu settings which, once opened, can be controlled by the button located on top of the camera. This is the same button that you’ll push to record videos, take pictures, or capture images in burst mode. The final button is located on the side of the camera and is used to activate Wi-Fi, which will let you connect direct to you phone running Android, iOS, or to any PC.
The camera’s navigation system is unchanged, and remains easy to figure out.
GoPro is known for providing an overwhelming amount of modes and frame rates for recording, and the 3+ Silver continues this tradition. With this model, you can record videos at WVGA, 720p, 960p and 1080p modes and at frame rates ranging from 25 to 120 frames per second (FPS). It contains the usual Narrow, Medium and Ultra Wide field of view (FOV) settings, has resolutions from 848*480 to 1920*1980 and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9.
The silver edition comes with a spot meter option, ideal for shooting brighter scenes from darker places. The camera automatically adjusts the Field of View and other settings to ensuring the best possible output. Another interesting addition is the loping video feature, which allows the camera to continue recording footage and overwriting previous footage, until the shutter button is pressed. When you are trying to capture a specific moment (for example, waiting for someone to complete a trick), this tool does the job.
While its video shines, the Hero3+ provides decent still image performance as well. You can take pictures at 5MP, 7MP or 10MP modes at resolutions from 2624*1968 to 3680*2760. With burst mode on, you can take 3, 5 or 10 pictures per second. Time lapse options can be chosen from a half second interval to 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60 seconds. The improved low light performance and image sharpness deliver excellent quality images. Other notable features include ultra wide angle FOV, f/2.8 aperture and ultra-sharp six element glass lens.
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Being a GoPro, the Silver Edition is rugged & hard-wearing. It is waterproof to 40 meters (131 feet) with its built-in waterproof housing, and is 20% smaller and 30% lighter than its predecessor, the HERO3. A key consideration is that the HERO3+ Silver Edition does not feature as high a standard of video quality as the HERO3+ Black Edition, and does not perform as well in low light conditions. Color and exposure are generally good, but when expanded to larger screen sizes there is a noticeable loss of quality in comparison to the HERO3+ Black Edition.
The Hero 3+ features a renovated, more powerful Wi-Fi system, which ensures up to 4x faster playback and transfer speeds to other connected devices. Connecting two devices is simple and quick- just find your GoPro in your W-Fi enabled smartphone and provide it with a name and a password. Once the initial setup finishes, the two devices will be connected and you’ll now be able to view near-instantaneous GoPro feedback straight from your phone, though there is still a 1-2 second delay (which is a huge improvement over previous versions). The quality of streaming video on the 3+ Silver Edition is quite good, and as an added bonus, you can even control the settings and recordings of the camera using a mobile app.
At 1180 mAh, the battery of the Hero3+ reportedly lasts 30% longer than the original Hero3 Silver edition.
The GoPro Hero3 + comes with waterproof housing, a USB cable, a quick release buckle, a 3 way pivot arm, a flat adhesive and a curved mount, a battery and a vertical quick release buckle. Like all GoPro products, it performs well under pressure.
If you don’t have a Hero yet, we recommend this as a strong buy. If you already have a Hero 3 Silver or Black, you might want to pass on this one, as the 3+ Silver is clearly a release made in time for the 2013 holiday season and doesn’t represent a significant increase in quality over the original Hero 3 model. That said, we are still quite pleased with the Hero 3+ Silver Edition!