GoPro's Hero3: Bring On The Action

Written by Tony Ibrahim     27/02/2013 | 02:05 | Category: INDUSTRY

GoPro's latest action camera brings the Hero out of you

When you think of action cameras, GoPro is arguably the first brand that comes to mind. Their Hero3: Black Edition is a small brute with the photographic talents of traditional cameras.

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It's an easy camera to use. There's a large power button on the front and a shutter key up top, on the kind of camera body people already know how to use—except it's much smaller.

Compared to the generation before it, the Hero3 is 30% smaller and 25% lighter. Shrinking the camera makes it less noticeable when getting your extreme on and, in-spite of being smaller, it takes better quality recordings.

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By GoPro's measure, the Hero3 is two times more powerful than previous models. GoPro has managed to double the resolution, double the frame rate and double its sensitivity to low light in video recordings.

The performance boost shows in the array of supported resolutions and the options available for slow motion recording. Full HD 1080p videos are captured at 60 frames per second (fps); it records HD 720p videos at 120fps, 960p videos at 100 fps and WVGA at 240fps. Impressively the Black Edition can record in 1,440p resolution at 40 fps, capture 2.7KP at 30 fps and 4KP at 15 fps, but the latter two are only possible in Protune video modes.

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Videos aren't the only beneficiary of improvements as still photos are now three times faster. The Black Edition captures 12MP stills at a staggering 30fps and the cam can be used to create Time-Lapse photos. For the first time Go Pro has equipped the Hero3 with a Continuous Photo mode, which captures 12MP stills at 3, 5 or 10 second intervals, at up to 30 photos at a time.

These improvements to photo quality are matched by the GoPro's insatiable thirst for action. The Black edition comes bundled with a water proof case that can withstand water up to 60 metres deep and, like its White and Silver Edition siblings, is compatible with the vast range of GoPro mounts.

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Controlling the Hero3: Black Edition is as easy as using your smartphone. GoPro has developed tailored apps for Android and iOS devices which allow users to stop/start recordings remotely, preview their photo and video libraries and tweak the camera's settings, all from an easy-to-use interface. Going the extra mile, GoPro also include a solid WiFi remote—its big buttons will be appreciated by motorcyclists and skiers as they won't have to take off their gloves to manage the cam.

GoPro's Hero3: Black Edition is available now from retailers for $489.