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Best GoPro HERO 3 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
With the HD Hero2, GoPro established itself as the go-to name to use it cameras. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition ($399.99 direct) can be an impressive upgrade for an already excellent product, shedding pounds the dimensions and adding features like 4K (or Ultra HD) video recording capability. There are a few issues with the Wi-Fi implementation-namely problems with battery life-but the excellent video quality, simplicity, and plentitude of mounting options keep carefully the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition near the top of the pack. It’s a fairly easy pick for our Editors’ Choice award to use it cameras.
Design and Features
The Hero3 is actually a slimmed-down Hero2, measuring 1.6 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches (HWD) and 2.6 ounces versus 1.6 by 2.4 by 1.2 inches (HWD) and 3.3 ounces. You get the same silver cuboid design, with two control buttons, a monochrome LCD, and a wide-angle lens. Competitors, just like the Sony Action Cam($179.99 at Amazon) or Drift Innovation HD Ghost($279.99 at Amazon), have significantly more bullet-like designs, which will make them more well suited for side-mounting on helmets and goggle straps.
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Each of the controls basically tell you both main buttons; one on the front and one at the top. Leading button acts as a power toggle and mode selector; tapping it cycles through video recording, still capture, burst still capture, and the settings menu. The most notable button is utilized to get started on recording, grab an image, and navigate through the menu system. It is usually a lttle bit cumbersome to dig into menus and settings, but which has been true of most GoPros. Both button setup, combined with the LED indicators and loud audible beep, helps it be simple to trigger recordings even though the camera is mounted on helmets.
Along the left edge are micro HDMI and mini USB ports, in addition to a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 64GB. Additionally, there are two LED indicators on the facial skin of the Hero3; a red one indicates recording status while a blue one indicates Wi-Fi status. On the proper edge is a tiny Wi-Fi On/Off button, with three small drilled holes for the microphone above it. The trunk houses the battery compartment and another small red Resulted in indicate recording status.
There are always a ton of accessories designed for the Hero3, which range from various mounts to attachable BacPacs that add things such as an LCD screen. The Black Edition includes the camera, a waterproof housing (submergible to 197 feet), a Wi-Fi remote, rechargeable battery, 3-way pivot arm, curved adhesive mount, flat adhesive mount, and a USB charging cable. The Wi-Fi remote is waterproof and enables you to trigger recording wirelessly, but during testing we found it cumbersome to pair and somewhat unnecessary if you don’t have a multi-camera shoot (the Wi-Fi remote can control up to 50 GoPros). In addition, during testing, the Wi-Fi feature was an enormous draw on battery life. You can setup an ad-hoc network between your Hero3 and a smartphone, and utilize the free iOS or Android software to regulate recording, use your smartphone as a viewfinder, and transfer files for uploading to the net.
Video Quality and Conclusions
The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is easily the most versatile action camera available. Where most cameras can do 720p60 and 1080p30, the Hero3 may also do 720p at 120 fps, 1080p60, and even 4K video at 15 fps. Sony’s Action Cam recently added 1080p60 with a firmware update and the Drift HD Ghost tops out at 1080p30 and 720p60, but neither support 4K.
For testing, we sent the Hero3, Sony Action Cam, and Drift HD Ghost out with this photographer on his latest ski trip. Video quality at 1080p60 on the Hero3 was excellent, with crisp details, true-to-life colors, and smooth frame rates. Despite having challenging lighting conditions, the Hero3 captured video that was packed with detail and low on image noise. The Sony Action Cam, alternatively, was struggling to match the Hero3 in clarity or crispness, with video that was noticeably grainier and lacked the same degree of sharp details that the Hero3 captured. The Drift HD Ghost’s video lies somewhere within both, with sharp details and pleasantly saturated, if not completely accurate colors. More demanding video enthusiasts may also be thrilled with GoPro’s inclusion of Protune firmware, that allows much larger control over color correction.
We also tested out the Hero3’s 4K shooting mode, that you won’t find in virtually any other action camera, and even most high-end consumer camcorders for example. The footage is bound to 15 fps, so that it is pretty choppy, nevertheless, you just won’t be in a position to find this degree of detail in virtually any other competitor.
Still image quality is good, so long as you can live with the distortion introduced by such a broad angle lens. The Hero3 can shoot 12-, 7-, or 5-megapixel stills, and includes a number of burst or time-lapse photography modes. Burst shooting can capture 30 shots in another, while continuous shooting mode can capture 3, 5, or 10 photographs per second. Time-lapse mode offers 0.5-, 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 30-, and 60-second intervals for shots. Images shot at 12MP are sharp and packed with detail, but nonetheless no match for an excellent point-and-shoot with a contact lens.
If you are looking for an action camera that may keep up with all your extreme exploits, the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition ought to be near the top of your list. It’s filled with features and shooting modes, like the unrivaled capability to capture 4K video, and offers a few of the crispest video we’ve observed in the category. It’s eminently simple to use and gleam huge diversity of mounting possibilities. Our only gripe may be the huge battery drain due to the built-in Wi-Fi, nevertheless, you also don’t ever need to use that feature. Having said that, the Hero3 Black Edition is packing enough goods to handily nab our Editors’ Choice.