Review: GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition

Dec 11, 2013
by Fraktiv  
A short time ago, GoPro took everyone by surprise by announcing their new cameras, the GoPro HERO3+ Black and GoPro HERO3+ Silver, less than a year after the release of their GoPro HERO3 range. The initial reaction online was mixed; whilst new features are always welcomed, many GoPro users have been frustrated at the new products' release so soon after the GoPro HERO3 range, and are now faced with their older cameras being outdated. However, putting all that aside, we delve into whether the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition is much of a change from its predecessor, the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition.

GoPro HERO 3 Black amp 3 Black

The Headlines

• 20% smaller and lighter than the GoPro HERO3
• 30% longer battery life
• 4x faster Wi-Fi connectivity to the GoPro App and enhanced connectivity to the Wi-Fi Remote
• SuperView to increase field-of-view in 1080p and 720p video modes
• New 960p50 and 960p60 video modes
• Wide and medium field-of-view selection is now available in 2.7k and 2.7k 16:9 modes
• 33% sharper lens with 2x reduced imaging artifacts
• Auto-low-light mode automatically adjusts frame rate for low light performance
• Improved mic to increases audio performance
• Price (RRP/MSRP): £359.99, €449.00, $399.99 (US), $449.00 (CAN), $529.00 (AUS)

GoPro HERO 1 2 3 Black amp 3 Black

Practical Features

Getting Naked: The 'naked' GoPro HERO3+ Black is housed in a practically identical body to its predecessor, with the majority of the same external features of the GoPro HERO3 Black. The only real giveaways are the '+' on the front, a new shaped lens, a slightly more tactile 'mode' button and the position of the microphones on the body. As for weight, the 'naked' GoPro HERO3+ Black, with battery, tips the scales at 73 grams (2.58oz), 2 grams (0.07oz) lighter than to the GoPro HERO3 Black. So where is the advertised 20% weight-saving coming from?

Weight No More: GoPro has introduced a new thinner, slimmer and lighter outer case, to make the whole package more compact, contributing to the vast majority of the advertised weight saving. Back on the scales, the GoPro HERO3+ Black comes in at 135 grams (4.76oz) compared to the GoPro HERO3 Black at 163 grams (5.75oz) when weighed with case, battery and a MircoSD card. On top of the weight saving, GoPro has managed to implement some useful improvements to the case, such as larger ON/OFF, REC and Wi-Fi buttons, a less fiddly clasp, making it far easier to open and close with or without gloves, and a clearer view of the red tally lights on the camera, making it easier to see if you're recording.

GoPro HERO 3 vs. 3 Black

Power To The People: The much criticised battery life of the GoPro HERO3 Black has been at least partially addressed on the GoPro HERO3+ Black. The 1050mAh (3.885Wh) battery in the GoPro HERO3 Black has been updated to a slightly more powerful 1180mAh (4.37Wh) battery. Like most media devices these days, the use of the built-in Wi-Fi is its Achilles' heel, so does the new battery make enough of a difference? We tested both cameras, recording from a full battery to flat with Wi-Fi switched ON, in 1080p 25 fps. The GoPro HERO3 Black shut down after 1 hour 17 minutes whilst the GoPro HERO3+ Black shut down after 1 hour 30 minutes, giving us an extra 13 minutes of recording time. With the Wi-Fi switched OFF, we ran the test again and the GoPro HERO3+ Black recorded for a full 2 hours, whilst the GoPro HERO3 Black shut down after 1 hour 35 minutes, giving us an extra 25 minutes on the GoPro HERO3+ Black. One useful but often overlooked feature is that the camera can be turned off, whilst the Wi-Fi remains on, allowing the camera to be powered-up or shut down directly from the app, though of course this continues to use battery life, so it's probably only a feature to use if you have a few spare batteries on hand! Overall, the new battery in the GoPro HERO3+ Black will give you that little bit extra recording time but like its predecessor, it still saps considerable power when used with the Wi-Fi switched on.

Remote Control: One of the key features introduced in the GoPro HERO3 series was the built-in Wi-Fi which, when paired with the GoPro app, allowed for any compatible device to receive a streamed video image from the camera and gave easy access to the GoPro's settings and recorded media. However, slow performance (high latency) meant the video preview was sometimes so delayed that it was practically unusable. With the new GoPro HERO3+ Black though, we found that the advertised Wi-Fi improvements when using the GoPro app and Wi-Fi Remote have indeed made the GoPro HERO3+ Black faster when downloading/transferring files with a reduced lag when using one of the app's key features, video preview. However, we noted that the video preview on our HTC One X and Apple iPhone 5 devices had a much lower latency than our Apple iPod Touch, which suffered around an additional 3 seconds delay, although this is an improvement over the GoPro HERO3 cameras (see video comparison and table below). This supports GoPro's assertion that the app is optimised for iPhone 5 and Android 4.2 devices. Another point to note is that although the connectivity of the GoPro app worked faster on the HTC One X Android device, there was no sound coming through with the live feed, whereas on the Apple devices, sound came through just fine, although it's not always desirable due to the huge lag. No doubt these sorts of issues could be rectified in a firmware and/or app update in the future, and expanding the support for a wider range of video preview resolutions would be a welcome addition too.
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Mobile DeviceGoPro AppLatency on GoPro HERO3 BlackLatency on GoPro HERO3+ Black
HTC One Xv 2.2.591.04 seconds0.76 seconds
Apple iPod Touch 5v 2.23.32 seconds3.24 seconds
Apple iPhone 5v 2.23.28 seconds0.64 seconds

Beam Me Up: Aside from the ability to make on-the-fly setup changes to the camera (a feature which is largely unchanged, although the new modes and settings have been updated in the app for the GoPro HERO3+ Black), the app's other main feature is the ability to wirelessly transfer media from the camera. To test the speed improvements, we loaded 25 photos (approx. 160MB), onto a single 32GB SanDisk Mobile Ultra Micro SD (SDHC Class 10/UHS-1) card and then timed the process for downloading these from each camera to each of the devices running the GoPro app. The results are below:

Mobile DeviceGoPro AppTransfer from GoPro HERO3 BlackTransfer from GoPro HERO3+ Black
HTC One Xv 2.2.598m 10s (0.33MB/s)2m 16s (1.18MB/s)
Apple iPod Touch 5v 2.28m 29s (0.31MB/s)2m 28s (1.08MB/s)
Apple iPhone 5v 2.28m 14s (0.32MB/s)1m 59s (1.34MB/s)

Overall, GoPro's claim of a 4x speed increase is accurate in terms of our real-world test transferring media, which worked out as 3.6x faster on Android, 3.4x faster on the iPod and 4.2x faster on the iPhone using the GoPro HERO3+ Black, meaning this feature is now a lot more usable. However, there is still a significant latency issue with iOS devices other than the iPhone 5 when it comes to the video preview function, with only very minor improvements here on the GoPro HERO3+ Black.

Foreign Affairs: For those who use their GoPros in ruggedised third-party pro-housing kits such as the Genus (shown below), Tehkron and Red Rock cages, the updated case sadly doesn't yet fit in these housings, although the 'naked' GoPro HERO3+ Black camera will fit into the old GoPro HERO3 case. Of course this isn't that much of a problem, particularly as many users are choosing to use their GoPros in the frame mount, but it's something to be aware of if you're planning on buying one of these cages.

GoPro HERO 3 Black fitted inside a Genus GoPro cage with SmallHD monitor RODE mic and LanParte top handle

Performance

Photos: The main reason our review has come out some time after the GoPro HERO3+ Black's release is to due a firmware bug that existed with early batches of GoPro HERO3+ Blacks. This bug caused the still image quality to be substantially reduced - very blurred corners of the image and very low file sizes due to significant image compression - for which there was no manual override. Thankfully, the v1.04 firmware update has largely resolved these issues on the GoPro HERO3+ Black, so despite scrapping a ton of our review criticising the image performance under firmware v1.00, we're pleased to see that GoPro have rectified this with the new firmware.

Most people obviously won't go out to buy a GoPro purely for its still image capabilities, and to be honest, that's with good reason. Whilst the video, audio and Wi-Fi functionality has developed hugely since the GoPro HERO2, sadly there's still only very small improvements to the GoPro HERO3+ Black's still imaging side. Compared to the GoPro HERO3 Black, the GoPro HERO3+ Black features no improvements to capture resolution (megapixel count), field-of-view options, time-lapse intervals, burst modes, continuous photo modes or simultaneous photo + video features, which is a huge shame. Given that advanced features like Protune (offering user-selectable white balance and Cam Raw modes) are available even in the camera's 4K video modes, it's a real shame that Protune modes make no difference to any of the stills settings, especially for users who shoot image sequences or time-lapses. On top of that, consider that the GoPro HERO3+ Black is more expensive than most pocket cameras and smartphones, the majority of which feature a good degree of both video and still image processing modes - some even have raw or HDR modes at much lower price points - whilst GoPro seem to prefer the 'auto everything' approach, even forgoing any manual controls in the GoPro app. Despite this, we thought we'd perform a few tests to compare the crisp new lens on the GoPro HERO3+ Black to its predecessor.

To compare the two cameras as like-for-like as we could, we used a Genus GoPro Cage fitted to a sturdy tripod, and took an image on each camera one after another, ensuring as little movement of the tripod as possible as we swapped the cameras over. Check out the results from our tests below (images have been scaled-down for viewing, full resolution originals can be downloaded here).

Comparison 1: The GoPro HERO3+ Black has an overall darker, more contrasty image throughout a range of lighting conditions. The shadows are more compressed, for example the boathouse and jetty on the extreme right are easier to make out on the GoPro HERO3 Black photo.
Comparison 2: The GoPro HERO3+ Black's new lens appears to be adding a more spherical (fish-eyed) distortion the image, for example the park bench in the foreground. The image is sharper overall, though even after the v1.04 firmware update, there is still some defocusing near the image edges (download the original files above), something that wasn't apparent with the GoPro HERO3 Black.
Comparison 3: The GoPro HERO3+ Black's optics appear to be more realistic in showing a truer colour in the highlights and some mid-tones, for example the stone structures and Buddah figure. However, highlight detail is quite low - notice how the highest branches of the trees are getting lost against the sky in the GoPro HERO3+ Black photo.
Comparison 4: The GoPro HERO3+ Black appears to be dealing with lower light levels better than its predecessor, as well as effectively removing the older model's colour cast. Detail in the tree, for example, is superior on the GoPro HERO3+ Black.
Comparison 5: The GoPro HERO3+ Black's new lens gives a subtly different but noticeable lens distortion. Subjectively, we actually prefer the image from the older model as it's a bit more atmospheric and less contrasty, but that's just our opinion!

Overall, we found that colour reproduction is improved, and in getting rid of the colour casts that have plagued previous GoPros, we thought the images were a bit more realistic, especially in lower light conditions. However, subjectively, we felt that the overall quality of the image wasn't substantially improved compared to the GoPro HERO3 Black. The advertised "33% sharper lens with 2x reduced imaging artifacts" wasn't really holding true for us (for still images), and ultimately it's always going to be hard to quantify something like this in such a precise manner. So let's take a look at video performance...

Video: We performed two tests to compare the video performance. Test 1 used the same locations as for the photo tests, again using the Genus GoPro cage to ensure the position of the cameras was identical for each test, whereas test 2 was carried out at a private trail location.
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Again, it's pretty hard to quantify results from comparing video footage, but in general we found that the GoPro HERO3+ Black indeed had an improved image overall, with less of an image colour cast, richer, more precisely rendered colours and much reduced chromatic aberration/fringing, especially around finer detail objects. Handling of highlights has also been improved, for example evening or overcast skies had better definition rather than looking like a grey/white sky gradient, and the overall image was sharper with marginally less noise. We also noticed that when the camera was moving fast, there was sharper, less blurry motion-blur, meaning the image overall looked clearer. We didn't have the best light conditions for testing the cameras, but in bright, well-lit surroundings, we're sure the GoPro HERO3+ Black's performance will excel. Sound was also considerably crisper and less 'muddy'. Looking at the SuperView mode, you can see from our rough video comparison what SuperView gives you in terms of added field of view, although of course the amount of distortion is quite significant. SuperView does however, put you more 'inside' the image, so we think it's going to be a video mode we're going to see a lot of, despite the amount of distortion. Of course, if the distortion does bother you, in either photos or videos, there are lens correction tools from Adobe which allow simple image correction, although these currently only work with the GoPro HERO3, with support of the 3+ (and SuperView) hopefully coming soon.

Testing the new auto low light mode was a pretty simple affair...set the camera to record in a high frame rate mode (in our case 50fps), then move from a well lit space into a dimly lit space then check out the files to see what happened. As expected, the video recorded at 50fps throughout, but when in the well lit space, the video was made up of 50 frames per second, as expected, whereas when we moved into the dimly lit space, this dropped to 25 frames per second, with each frame being repeated to maintain the original 50 fps setting, thereby giving each frame double the exposure time, to allow the camera to shoot the best possible image in the darker surroundings. Initially, we were a bit sceptical about this feature, thinking it was going to start and stop recording to different files at different frame rates, but GoPro have instead provided a great solution that doesn't start making new files each time the frame rate or light level changes - which could be a nightmare if riding in woods or darker conditions - meaning you still have a single file to view or edit. Pretty neat! Of course the auto low light feature can be turned off to ensure the GoPro's software doesn't interfere with your footage 'by accident', but it's a feature worth playing with to experiment with what works for you.

However, we did notice a couple of things that gave us a little cause for concern. Despite the v1.04 firmware upgrade, on our camera we noticed there was still a sizeable area on the left hand size of the image that never seemed to be sharply focused. Objects in the foreground did - as advertised - appear to be sharper, up to a distance of around 8ft (2.5m), but we felt the camera was a little soft beyond that distance, to infinity. We've found a few reports of this issue on a few blogs and it appears that GoPro are aware of this. Our advice would be to speak to GoPro directly if you feel your camera is suffering this from this focussing issue.

Overall, we think the GoPro HERO3+ Black is better than its predecessor, but the claimed 33% improvement in sharpness and 2x reduction in image artifacts is pretty hard to verify. If we had to figure on it, we'd say maybe 10-15% better overall.

 GoProHero side by side comparison review

The Lowdown

We had expected to see more of an update from the GoPro HERO3+ Black but it is easy to see why GoPro felt it necessary to implement a step up from the GoPro HERO3 Black in terms of improved video functionality and quality of images, although for the latter the improvements were only really made by a firmware update. The improvements to the Wi-Fi functions are largely positive, though also largely dependent on what device you are using. It's a shame GoPro have decided to only optimise the app for iPhones and Android 4.2 devices, when many users may have older smartphones or iPods. The marketing relating to the size and weight of the GoPro HERO3+ Black isn't strictly true, with the majority of these savings occurring in the thinner casing whilst some important issues still remain, such as the cameras getting hot even after a short period of use and the lack of even basic manual controls, for example in photo mode. Ultimately, this left us wanting a bit more out of an expensive bit of gear that should last you a few years.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesWith a few tweaks to some technical and aesthetic areas, the GoPro HERO3+ Black is definitely worth the upgrade if you are currently on a GoPro HERO1 or 2. The step up from the GoPro HERO3 isn't as big though, so you might be wise to save your money now and wait for the expected 4K improvements when the next GoPro arrives. - geebeebee media

Note to readers:
The above tests were done with:
• GoPro HERO3 Black Edition, firmware 3.00
• GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition, firmware 1.04
• GoPro app v2.2.59 (Android) and v2.2 (iOS)
• HTC One X, running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
• Apple iPod Touch 5, running iOS 6.1.3
• Apple iPhone 5, running iOS 7.0
• 2x 32GB SanDisk Mobile Ultra Micro SD (SDHC Class 10/UHS-1) cards
• Genus GoPro Cage

Many thanks to Charlie Sharp, James Smith, Matt Wakefield and Madison UK for the GoPro HERO3 Black and 3+ Black.


137 Comments

  • + 128
 I'm holding out for the GoPro Platinum 19+++ Air Miles Rewards camera so that every time I upload a video and hashtag #gopro I get frequent flyer miles. Oh and it'll have very marginally, but totally worth $167.40, difference in contrast from the GoPro 19++.
  • + 31
 Ha! I'm waiting for the 20. I heard it's going to be even ever so slightly more marginally better than the Platinum 19+++ Air Miles Rewards model.
  • + 6
 Yeah, it'll have 21X Digital Zoom instead of 20X!
  • + 285
 I'm waiting for the enduro-specific version of GoPro.
  • + 19
 i assume the enduro specific one will only increase in size? Bigger go pro for bigger wheels...
  • + 65
 Increase in size? no no, increase in price.
  • + 20
 The rumour has it that one of the world's largest bicycle rim and wheel manufacturers will release a 650B rim with Go-pro mount... they say that it makes sense only thanks to 650B, because spacing between spokes on 26" wheel is too small and on the 29" wheel, the camera would introduce too much rotating mass at a too large radius... know your facts.
  • + 9
 I'm pretty sure there still people out there making sick videos with the first generation GOPROS. This camera trend is getting as ridiculous as the "gotta get that new super iphone/galaxy/htc etc." every 2 months trend, and the same shit with bikes, rims, helmets etc... Money lost total respect, as well as the meaning of having fun...
  • + 2
 This trend (whatever product or business) is very much needed for the continuous growth of a company. Just imagine a stockholders w/o cigar and new private planes at chrismas. Heartbreaking. Everybody should shed some tear when such happens. Big Grin
  • + 1
 No enduro-specific, only 29ers version
  • + 43
 29ers version will be "gopro pink edition"
  • + 4
 Im just waitin for strava to get put in
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2013 at 8:06) (Below Threshold)
 I just got a Prince Albert ring with Go pro mount and GPS tracker. I am heading to Amsterdam to make my Strava profile epic!
  • + 16
 @jezso the founder of gopro quit his job, borrowed $30k from his girlfriend, and worked his a$$ off for the first few years of his company's existence. He sold cameras out of the back of his car. Now he has single handedly revolutionized the camera industry. He shouldn't be rewarded for this effort?

He has done quite a bit to reduce inequality for us. Think: ten years ago if you wanted great quality, POV video you better be a well funded film maker or essentially be a millionaire. Now you can buy a GoPro white for $200 and have near equal film quality as the elite film pros.
  • - 23
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2013 at 8:41) (Below Threshold)
 Hamncheez - sorry for being a hater but can you remind me why do we need gopro cameras in the first place?
  • + 6
 Basically what your saying is GoPro or go home.
  • - 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 11, 2013 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 Totaly Reefe! Kids - don't buy GoPro cameras. Become a Pro and people will give you POV cameras for free. Then they will film you with all sorts of other cameras and if you get PR enough they will pay you so you agree to get filmef with RED one cameras. Otherwise it is just GoPretendPro Mnah just farting around trying to press Hamncheez buttons as he is such a believer. I know in which arrangement GoPros can be good.
  • + 0
 Hamncheez He's rewarded by fools like you who have the endless need of buying new equipment once the next generation shows up, even though yours is still brand new and only used it twice. People like you will always make my day whenever I'm on Craig's list looking for specials...
  • + 2
 Comparison 1 shows that the 3+ adds birds to the view to make it seem happier. I'm assuming the 19++++ would have to throw in some rainbows and butterflies. Ha. Reminds me of when the IPhone 5 "S" came out. "S" stands for "same".
  • + 1
 @hamncheez - I have no doubt that the guy did his best to make this startup profitable I do not doubt that nor do I doubt that he earned what he has. I simply stated how companies, and corporations work. Everything is about consumption wherever you go. People need to buy stuff to fill up their empty lives. No proper humen relations anymore, just showing off. I know it is not everybody like that but the majority is. Personally I support comapnies who make products that last and dont go obsolete after 3 month, just because there is a new version. My 2 cents.
  • + 1
 @jezso I very much agree with you that consumption and trend-following will not lead to a happy, fulfilling life. However, I'm not going to criticize someone who is maximizing profit for his investors. If you have a retirement savings account (like a 401(k)), there is a good chance you own some stock in GoPro. The return he makes for his shareholders grows the economy and benefits the people who have invested with him.

Second, while I do not own any GoPro products, some of my friends do, along with other brands. They seem to perform well and the Hero models are durable. This latest model doesn't make the 3 any worse. If you have a 3, or a 2 for that matter, who cares? They still are great cameras.

@tjet i dont own any POV cameras at all. I, as you probably do, buy most everything second hand.

@ Waki - I'm not going to pretend I know how to run other people's lives. I've seen many people satisfied with their POV cameras.
  • + 1
 I love my hero 3 black...The new one looks cool but it doesn't look that much better..yes the quality looks better but overall I don't think it's worth it..I'll hold out for a few more models
  • - 3
 mnah hamncheez - sorry for being a d... it was completely irrelevant to what you wrote and you did not write anything untrue or stupid Smile ...but while we are on the subject of "I'm not going to pretend I know how to run other people's lives" - it is a wise thing to say, in theory. However in practice it ends up in the way that intelligent people sit quiet while idiots keep on giving advices, because they think they know how to run people's lives and they want to "help so much". So you might want to say something from time to time Wink
  • + 2
 Im waiting for the free range, organic, gopro yoga edition 650b internals
  • + 2
 k that waz a bit too far but im trying to kuh-dazzle
  • + 1
 Well if you are all waiting for the latest all singing carbon cased uber platinum super hero +++++++++ version;





It will be here in 3 weeks.
  • + 2
 I am waiting for the GoPro fix a flat, cook my dinner and get me money edition.
  • + 2
 Waki have some dignity and stick to your word, can't make every fool around the corner happy...
  • - 1
 But I see no sin in this man (apart from suspecting him being a Friedmanist)
  • + 0
 guilty as charged
  • - 1
 Then you are sentenced for a month in a prison cell where you are going to hear recordings of Noam Chomsky reading his books.
  • + 0
 no!!!
  • + 35
 US price in GBP £242
UK price in GBP £359

DONT KNOW ABOUT GO PRO'S MATHS BUT IT LOOKS PRETTY POOR TO ME IF THEY SELL AT £242 IN THE US THEY ARE MAKING MONEY SO IN THE UK THEY ARE SIMPLY MAKING AN EXTRA £117 OUT OF EACH CAMERA SOLD

MADNESS
  • + 60
 THIS IS SPARTAAAAHHH!!!!
  • + 6
 That's good old UK VAT. £71.80 of the £359 price tag go to the fat cats in Westminster. Add the 71.80 to the mark up gopro put on the camera for out of US distributers and that'd be your difference. Seems to be the same with nearly all electronics. Any one going on holiday to the US?
  • + 9
 I think the US price is listed before tax, whereas the UK price includes it....I think
  • + 6
 In France it get more expensive everyday. We're at 450€ today. Probably 500€ next week.
  • + 2
 Guys, EU prices difference vs. US is not the fault of the respective company selling it. It comes down to transfer prices, local tax, customs, shipping, warehousing, overheads, sales margin, etc. Most part of the final sales price of a given product comes from these adders.
  • + 1
 Do the math Smile Import thax in the UK is about 8%
VAT = 20%
Retailers get the camera on a lower price.
When you ad up on 242GPB equals around 315-20GBP
Still 40 quid more expensive
  • - 2
 Talk to your government, not GoPro. It'll only continue to get worse for the people in Europe, yet they keep voting for it. Odd.
  • + 2
 in Denmark we have to pay 405 £
  • + 15
 WHAT THE HECK DOES QUID MEAN???
  • + 1
 pound ^^^^^
  • + 15
 A "quid" is a small squid
  • + 2
 small squid? IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW

And how does lbs mean pounds mean quid mean 16 ounces??
  • + 2
 nooo hahah quid means £1
  • + 6
 MY KEYBOARD DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THAT SYMBOL. Is it some ancient alien power rune?
  • + 5
 Does it come with a cock-mount yet?
  • + 4
 yes, and the Brits still use it as currency, albeit everyone just owns and trades small figurative shares in said rune as the Queen owns that actual original rune
  • + 3
 Quid is the equivalent to bucks in the US. 20 quid, 20 bucks.
  • + 32
 Probably the best review I've ever seen on pink bike! So thorough.
  • + 18
 so is it worth the extra £115 it would cost me , eeeeeerrrrrrrrm NO !
  • + 12
 Hero3 Black just needs color correction, thats all. New wider angle lens is fine but there is nothing more to talk about so I'll stick with mine till they release Hero4. I don't get why all the companies start to do the same thing. Hate you Apple!
  • + 10
 I'm still using the HD Hero2, works great. don't think i'll waste my money on a few little upgrades
  • - 7
flag kranked350z (Dec 11, 2013 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 go with the sony action cam its realy great only like 200 i heard(for the as15)
  • + 8
 I'm gonna wait till the rich kids with their new iphones, xboxes and go-pros sell their old go-pro 3s and snap one up for 1/2 the retail price. Patience is a virtue.
  • + 2
 kranked: I checked out the sony cam at Whistler, it's a good camera but their mounts are f-ing terrible. so much slop it's ridiculous.
  • + 2
 I just find them really bulky and hard to mount. Im surprised they do not have a side helmet mount the camera looks like it would be good for side mounting
  • + 1
 I'm interested to see what the Garmin one will be like, I love the idea of the GPS in it, like the old contour I guess. I don't just use my camera for riding, seeing where I have gone would be great!
  • + 13
 I got the silver 3 , does what I need it for ! I would never pay 300 odd bucks on a different frame rate and shit ! Brother ain't made of money ! I need that for drink and hookers
  • + 11
 Feels like GoPro is turning into Apple. Hero3 to Hero3+. Not much of a difference
  • + 4
 hero3+? I didn't even hear about this! I only heard about the hero 3 being released a week after I got my hero2, I don't think I'll upgrade though, for the average guy just making a helmet cam it's not worth it, I guess it is for the media guys though
  • + 7
 My girlfriend won me a hero 3 black at sea otter so ehhhh, I'll stick to mine. I love her.
  • + 7
 The GoPro or the girlfriend? Wink
  • + 5
 Did you try the go pro out on her yet? Just dont be suprised when you watch the video and end up being severly disapointed. Me and my wife made one. Quite embarising and got deleted right away.
  • + 3
 GoPro is waaaay better than any other camera in it's class.

l bought the Epic Carbine HD1080 for the shop as a demo --- just to see if it would maybe be a good product to sell at Pedal Shop.

THEY SUCK!!!

1. no rechargeable battery option -- that blows and it's wasteful. Today's products, almost everything has a USB rechargeable option. l have Serfas lights that retail for $40, even those have a USB option. Epic claims they can get 1 hour with the cheap batteries, 4 hours with better Alkaline. well, so far, l can't past the 15 minute mark on either version battery.

2. they do offer a plastic water proof case like the GoPro but it's extra --- ask me, it should come with the kit. Matter of opinion of course but with this product battery burn time sucking so bad, if you at least got a good bounty of hardware, you wouldn't feel cheated as much.

3. custom service sucks --- 6 attempts so far, going on 4 weeks... zero help so far... no phone call, no email.. not even an auto reply that they got my notes sent via email.

my big beef with them is that battery thing --- even the tradition camera with a view screen has better battery burn time and those you can get cheap, $100 jobbie has just as good film quality (stick it in one of those water proof bags, you're good to go).

really disappointed with the Epic products and have no plans on selling them.

GoPro is a gajillion times a better product and their customer service rocks!!!


here's a rant about the Epic l posted

www.pinkbike.com/video/342546
  • + 3
 I love everything about the GoPro except the form factor. Such an awkward way of positioning the body. Not very "low profile" which means certain types of mounting won't work. I much prefer Sony's design.
  • + 2
 I upgraded from the Hero 2 to the Hero 3 and that was a big jump in camera features but for the few extra little things with the 3+ it's not worth if for me to switch again. I'll wait until a few years down the road when a newer, even better camera comes out!
  • + 3
 Seems like a marketing con. Make everyone by what they believe to be the best, wait for it to die down and realise the improved version, pretty bs if you ask me.
  • + 1
 I have the GoPro 3 Black edition. I would have to say after testing both mine and the new that the older version has better image quality in terms of contrast and colors. As for sharpness, I honestly can't tell the difference when both are at 100%

As for video same deal: The older GoPro handles video slightly better in terms of lighting/contrast and color.

The only nice thing about the Hero 3+ is slightly longer battery life and a thinner case. I'm hoping the next GoPro release will have improved image quality over the 3+ as I'm not too happy with the results. Also would love to see 720p @240fps and 1080p @120fps for the next model Smile
  • + 2
 I wish to see micro sdhc cards which can handle required bandwidth ;-)

1080p @120fps would be around 60MB/s
720p @240fps would be around 70MB/s
  • + 1
 Exactly! That's one of the biggest external limitations on the cameras. The cards that are available can't keep up with the ever-higher bitrate demands, and any that can are hugely expensive! Therefore, if GoPro do want to add higher frame-rates, they could either use an internal storage system like mSATA, together with a USB3/T-bolt connector or improve on the encoding compression to get the data-rates down. However, both of those directions would likely mean a larger, heavier and much more expensive camera body which would need active cooling (i.e. fans), and as the cameras already get pretty hot, I can't see that happening!

Maybe it's time for a GoPro 'Pro' edition which has higher-end features, internal storage, etc and a 'Prosumer' edition that keeps the current specs but improves and adds features through firmware updates. That would drive the GoPro into new markets and keep the new features coming via tweaks rather than having to buy a new model every time...
  • + 1
 Why wasn't the test done with the latest firmware update from the Hero 3 Black Edition? No one who is looking to buy a Hero3+ who already owns a Hero3 Black is going to have old firmware...

Maybe the reviewers couldn't find enough differences when the Hero 3 Black had the latest firmware..?
  • + 1
 We tested both cameras using the latest firmware (3 Black v3.00 and 3+ Black v1.04 as of the time of writing) and the latest GoPro apps available for iOS and Android. In fact we scrapped an earlier review which found some significant image issues with the 1.00 release firmware on the 3+ due to GoPro releasing the 1.04 firmware for that model in mid-November. Yes, the differences would have been greater if we'd published a comparison of that, but that would not have been reflective of the current firmware or GoPro's efforts to correct issues that have been reported.
  • + 1
 Dear GoPro, I love you camera. I have the GoPro HD Hero 2. But I don´t understand why you make this camera even smaller and don´t make the battery better, so I can use it the hole day in the bikepark. I don´t understand this.
  • + 1
 Go pro Shame on you!!!!!!! you just to be people company how many Billions you need to make ????? how you can sell camera which in temperature 25 f can shot only 4 minute footage and yet it is been keep in inner pocket jacket .I have it just 3 days and it will be return
  • + 1
 I have a 3, but I have never really liked how my gopro works, just always seems like a hassle from my HD,2 and 3. I decided I would try something different and got the Elite Garmin Virb and it is super slick, I like the record button, how its a slide and i can feel it as well as know its recording and the full housing integrated into one, I probably won't buy another gopro, but they do make a nice product.
  • + 1
 I own three generations of GoPro - Hero HD, Hero 2, and Hero 3 Black. In real world experience, I actually prefer the Hero 2 because the image quality is decent and the battery life is very good. For example, I did the Ribbon/Holy Cross ride in 2012 with the Hero 2 and the same in 2013 with the Hero 3 Black. The Hero 2 battery died about 1/2 mile from the end of the ride. By the time I got to the same area in 2013, I had already drained one battery on the Hero 3 and was close to draining the second battery.

If you are gonna run with a Hero 3 Black, purchasing the battery bacpac is a must in my opinion. It will give you close to equivalant battery performace as the Hero 2 / Hero HD. The main knock with the battery bacpac is the battery isn't swappable, it has to be charged via USB wheras the Hero 2/ Hero HD battery bacpac you could swap the battery with it - made it really adaptable to charging and swapping in the field.

I don't use the wireless on the Hero 3.

The Hero 3 is a great camera - not trying to knock it but in my opinion - the Hero 2 in real world experience has been a better camera.
  • + 1
 never owned a gopro but expecting to buy one... i've had several contours which i liked a great deal. biggest thing to me was mounting and ease of use. contours sliding button was by far easier to use. and i liked that you could mount it w/o feeling like a stork... gotta say tho, those images of the new black edition look pretty crisp!
  • + 3
 Why compare a go pro to a....go pro? I would like to see a comparison this thorough for all cameras in this class....go pro, sony, drift, jvc etc etc.
  • + 3
 I got the + and the ''regular 3'' Don't update from 3 to +... But go for the +, if you have an older one.. Smile
Only got the plus version, cause i won it.
  • + 1
 Nice overall review - I have to say, I love my GoPro Black edition but I've had two things that are frustrating. (1) My camera, like many peoples, still regularly crashes for whatever reason and GoPro has no solutions. (2) Internet bitrates just arnt fast enough to render most fast moving gopro footage. It looks super crisp on my computer but then it gets changed from 24 mbps to 5 or 8 mbps for web the the quality just tanks!
  • + 1
 Thanks Bryan, the review took a lot of effort! If you can, try buying/trying a fast microSD card, ideally Class 10 / UHS-1. The one we used is mentioned at the end of the review ^^, and whilst a bit more expensive, it has been pretty solid. The 3 Black we had did lock up once during testing but the 3+ Black was faultless throughout.
  • + 1
 good thing if they make any decent and cheap thing for everyone to have a camera, then everyone has a camera and bike. as result less strength to materialism, less buying used. it makes a better world and pinkbike community gets bigger, full of interesting videos.
  • + 0
 Puny single lense element. Fish eye so the edge of the image is distorted. crappy sound. You have to buy a monitor so you can compose properly. They put a new color engine in. Good to know. There does appear to be better shadow detail. Shoving this thing on your helmet for a whole ride is still going to make for a terribly boring video.
  • + 1
 Only thing that annoys me is that the backdoor is different size, also attachments, so if anything u got for prevoius ones, u have to get again, ate the battery's compatable between the hero3 and hero3+?
  • + 1
 I hope the go pro will have good color quality someday, even when there isn;t a lot of color. You can always tell when someones using a go pro even if everything is perfectly smooth
  • + 4
 wold never buy it but cant wait for claudio to be using one.
  • + 2
 I'm still disappointed with the RIDICULOUS lag with the WiFi app. I thought it would be much faster than my old GoPro2 but to be honest it's still really bad.
  • + 1
 I've been using the first GoPro for ages, I had a bit of spare cash just before I came back from Canada, so bought a GoPro 3 Black I don't think I'll be rushing out to get the + anytime soon...
  • + 4
 When are you giving them away?
  • + 1
 Seems like pov cameras are getting there on video quality, but still have too many other kinks to work out. I'll pick one up in a few years when batteries are better and interface is perfect.
  • + 1
 My main gripe is not that they have a new go pro so close to the other but the fact you need some kind of supper computer to be able to edit your videos if you record in 1080.
  • + 1
 Still no exposure lock? Geez, such a simple and most useful feature. That alone would be worth the upgrade, but as it is, I'm not shelling out more $ for the GoPro 3.
  • + 1
 Hmm can't say I've ever looked at my 3 and thought "you know what, this is just too big and too heavy". Dont think I'll be 'upgrading' any time soon.
  • + 1
 Until go pro matches or exceeds the image stabilization tech of the new sony action cam, they won't be seeing a penny of my hard earned dollars
  • + 1
 I can happily say i own 6 Gopro 3+ cameras Big Grin 2 black and 4 silver, they are the best cameras i've ever used Smile
  • + 9
 Send one to me, I'm poor and could use it Big Grin
  • + 1
 Haha i wish. i need them all for work Smile
  • + 1
 Sounds like you've got a cooler job than me!
  • + 1
 Same here. My job involves being bored 90% of the time
  • + 1
 Next time its going to be like the change from the iphone 5s to the iphone 5c
  • + 1
 making a new camera not even a year after having released the "old" one, does not make costumers happy!!!
  • + 2
 Looks like ill be making the upgrade from a hero 1 to hero 3+ Smile
  • + 2
 I'm still rocking the hero 1 Big Grin don't let us originals down
  • + 2
 Good stuff! haha I think its time for a upgrade
  • + 1
 there colors look more narural to me before all there other gopro almost seemed like they had some kind of filter on them.
  • + 3
 I like gopro 3+
  • + 2
 Whatever happened to duct taping a camcorder to your helmet?
  • + 1
 GoPro we need more fps at high resolution. It makes for better slow motion. I was expecting it with the new + version.
  • + 3
 60FPS at 1080P is more than good enough - if you want more, get yourself a RED, or Phantom...but you wont get that for a +-£300 package Wink
  • + 1
 I dont bother to ride with a camera...
  • + 1
 I use Hero 2 and I am quite happy with it
  • + 1
 Love my Hero 3 would recommend to anyone wanting a good camera
  • + 1
 expensive but i want it, it's like with Apple, the new is already old
  • + 1
 I think I am going to roll Garmin - will pass on GP
  • + 1
 the comments on this article are about 1000x better than the review.
  • + 1
 Have they fixed the reliability issues?
  • - 3
 Not much of an upgrade. Still not enough battery life. Buttons/Interface suck. Additonal wifi layer is nuissance and not a feature.
Its still same old tech.

I want a small waterproof GoPro Windowsphone. No, not "Snapple" or Android. 20m waterproof Windows GoPro Phone with 2k or better, 64gb, big prime superwideangle, plugless charging and fat battery. Gopro: Take a Nokia 1025 and add your freesport knowledge, make it smaller and a little fatter. I just dont want to carry two devices around - so Gopro stays home and at home I want the device to automatically connect to my pc and the cloud and download the stuff automatically. This is value addition and that I am prepared to buy. My Nokia is almost there apart from waterproofing and long service life.

Its not about protecting a niche its about increasing the niche to a full business opportunity.
  • - 1
 Go pro.....no thanks!!!! Your takin the piss with all these models and silly prices!!!! Jog on....I dont care
  • + 1
 LIKE GOPRO
  • - 1
 Still not as good video quality as the Sony Action Cam.
  • + 2
 I just got a Sony from my gf for my birthday Big Grin image stabilization and extra battery life really make it worth it. Just need some powder so I can start using it!!
  • + 4
 I agree, just bought one... The Sony gives a better package... Apart from a chest mount.. You get as / better movies ( I'm not bothered about 4k) with enough modes to do wide angle or slo mo, great battery life, a wifi app that works, and its light witha menu interface that is cpvery simple to learn and use.

And there are way fewer tales of bricking / freezing up and such. That's the deal breaker for me, some of the footage we shoot is "one run"....
  • + 3
 Chest mount? store.sony.com/chest-mount-harness-zid27-AKACMH1/cat-27-catid-All-Camcorders-Action-Cam-Accessories

Or just use a tripod adaptor to attach to a GoPro mount.

I'm not sure how reliable tales of bricking etc. are though, there are so many more GoPros out there, so the total number of failures will be higher and those people are always very vocal (for good reason too).

At some point I might buy the new, slimmer case for the action cam so I can access the side menu buttons while it's still inside the case. Pretty dumb that they didn't include that first time around.
  • + 2
 Plus the as15 is way cheaper they have reduced to price sine they have the new as30 it in generl is better than the gopro.
  • + 2
 Just got the Sony action cam as30 and video quality is definitely superior to go pro; more natural colours, main reason for choosing the camera. Features like gps and nfc are nice additions. Only downside is sparse mounts but handlebar and helmet mounts are sufficient for me.
  • + 0
 yeah there mounts arent the best however in the futer they will probably have better mounts. Also i find the as15 quality better than the as30 imo the colors on the as15 just look for more natural and colder/cooler look
  • - 2
 Has she got nice tits?
  • + 1
 i have the AS30.. with that new case. recommended...
  • + 3
 the new case is a must since it has the button on the side of the case which is veeery useful plus its 35% lighter and a lot smaller than the old one.
  • + 0
 Using a Sony AS15 and feeling good. Bought it at a price about £130, or $220. Considering to get an AS30 later.
  • - 1
 contour all the way!
  • + 1
 Amen brother! Go pro can shove it up their ass!
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