HERO3 Black Review

Overall, the consensus is the the HERO3 Black Edition is a huge improvement on past GoPros and a great purchase for those willing to spend a little extra. However, anybody buying this camera needs to know the following five things:

  • Accessories: Expecting an SD card in the package? Or perfect sound capturing out of the box? Unfortunately, you are going to have to invest more money into your HERO3. The same goes with the mounts- you’ll have to purchase most special mounts as well.
  • Battery life of about 4 hours: The battery life is not bad, especially considering the power in this little guy.
  • Poor sound capture when placed in a waterproof case.
  • Make sure all firmware is up-to-date, otherwise you might get glitchy performance.
  • An improvement on past GoPros: This camera is 30% smaller, 25% lighter and 2x more powerful than previous models.

HERO3 Black Reviews on Amazon!!

The Essential Details

SpecsDetails
Frame Rate60fps @ 1080p, 120fps @ 720p, 48 fps @ 1440p, 15 fps @ 4K, 12 fps @ 4K Cin, 30 fps @ 2.7K, 24 fps @ 2.7K Cin, 100 fps @ 960p, 240 fps @ WVGA
Recording MediamicroSD
SDHC memory card
Total Pixels12 megapixels
Still Image Quality12 megapixels
FeaturesShockproof
Waterproof
What's In The Box?197’/ 60m Waterproof Housing
Wi-Fi Remote + Key Ring
Remote Charging Cable
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
QR Buckle
J-Hook Buckle
3-Way Pivot
1 Curved Adhesive Mount
1 Flat Adhesive Mount
Assorted Mounts and Hardware
USB Charging Cable

 

The Black Edition is the premium version of the HERO3, and is an improvement on its predecessors in every way. It is an extremely compact camcorder that can quite literally fit in a big pocket, and it will attach to anything if you have the proper mounts (not included). While more expensive, the Black Edition is a giant leap forward from the white and silver editions of the HERO3 in terms of video quality, size, and weight. It has a ton of capabilities that will make the power user happy, but beginners will find simple operations to be straightfoward as well.

What’s Included?

If you have used a GoPro camera before, the exterior will look familiar to you, but what’s “under the hood” has been vastly improved. When you purchase a GoPro HERO3 Black Edition, you will get:

  • 197’ / 60m Waterproof Housing: The improved waterproof housing and the new flat lens enable the device to reach to a depth of 197 feet underwater. There is a safety slider lock on top of the case, which will prevent the case from accidentally opening underwater. The waterproof case fits the camera snugly.
  • Wi-Fi Remote: The camera features a Wi-Fi button for accessing Wi-Fi settings easily. You can also control the GoPro using the GoPro app on your smartphone or tablet or by using the remote control.
  • Assorted Mounting Hardware
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • 1 Quick Release Buckle
  • 1 J-Hook Buckle
  • 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount: These mounts are the same as those on older models, so you can use your previously bought mounts with the HERO3 Black Edition as well.
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm
  • Note: HERO3: Black Edition / Surf contains 1 Surfboard Mount and Tether; 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount not included.

HERO3 Black Reviews on Amazon!!

Video Capabilities

What is most impressive about the HERO3 Black Edition is its video capabilities, which have a 4K resolution- four times the rate of normal HD videos! The Black Edition sports two 4K modes offering different frame rates and aspect ratios. The default mode records 4K videos at 15 frames-per-second (fps), while the 4K cine mode records videos at 12 fps. As the human eye is only capable of processing 10-12 images per second, the 4K videos recorded by the Black Edition may seem a bit choppy, especially those including lots of action and rapid movement. Nonetheless, the huge frame size of the recorded 4K videos allows you to grab still images, which you can use as stand-alone photos.

If you want to shoot better quality videos than 1080 pixels, the HERO3 Black Edition lets you record videos at 2.7K in 24 or 30 fps. These are the same frame rates that are used in television and film. The 24 and 30 fps settings are available for lower resolutions too. If you want to record mountain biking or any other video which requires a 4:3 aspect ratio, you can use the 1440p at 48fps feature. The Black Edition records 1080p full HD videos at 60fps. However, the most amazing HD frame rate is provided in 720p mode. The HERO3 black edition can record 720p videos at 120 fps!

GoPro provides a free editing software called CineForm Studio for basic editing purposes. This software can convert 120fps videos to 24 fps ones, therefore making them five times slower. The final output is quite impressive; the experience of watching normal fast action videos at super slow-motion is breathtaking. When used as a stand-alone camera, HERO3 can capture some great images too. The 12MP sensor, coupled with various time-lapse settings and burst mode, captures images that are detailed, vibrant and colorful.

The GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition in action on the slopes:

Wi-Fi Controlling

If you want to use the waterproof WiFi remote for your Black Edition, it won’t matter whether your camera is mounted on a pole or 60 feet underwater- the remote works from anywhere. Well, not anywhere, but up to a distance of 600 feet! It is also capable of controlling 50 GoPro devices at once. You can install the dedicated GoPro app in your tablet or smartphone and see what you are recording as it happens. As mentioned, you can change shooting mode, start and stop recording or activate photo burst mode from a distance of 600 feet. Always be sure to turn off WI-Fi when you are not using it, as it will drain your battery quickly if you don’t.

Other Improvements

A definite improvement of the HERO3 is its improved audio quality- if you compare a video recorded by HERO3 and older versions, you will hear that the Black Edition provides clear, usable sound, comparable to DSLR audio inputs. If you want the best sound for your video, you should also buy the 3.5mm stereo mic adapter.

Underwater sound is improved, as the camera is equipped with a waterproof backdoor that has openings to recording sound, and GoPro has improved its wind noise reduction system too. As a result, you will get minimum audio distortion during windy days or high speed travels. Another noticeable improvement of the HERO3 Black Edition is its enhanced low light performance. In completely dark places, the HERO3 records videos featuring lots of dynamic range, which allows most of the areas to be captured. Whether in nighttime, indoor, or sunny conditions, the camera captures great video.

The HERO3 also comes with a simple yet powerful menu system, somehow making controlling an entire video camera with just two buttons easy and intuitive. A really nice touch is the option to go back directly to the record mode from anywhere in the menu. While users of other GoPro models have to cycle through all the other options in order to reach the exit button, HERO3 users can long press the record button and go back to the record mode instantly. While the tiny HERO3 does not yet produce cinema-caliber videos or DSLR-like images, it is definitely best in class. In fact, it created the mico-camera class al by itself! By checking out the offers listed on the right side of this article, you may find a suitable deal for you.

HERO3 Black Reviews on Amazon!!

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