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GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review

goprohero3

Features video resolutions up to 4K, 12MP photos up to 30 frames per second, built-in Wi-Fi, SuperView, and Auto Low Light mode. Waterproof to 131’. $399.95, www.gopro.com

From GoPro:

Capture and share your life’s most meaningful experiences with the HERO3+ Black Edition. 20% smaller and lighter than its best-selling predecessor, it delivers improved image quality and powerful new features geared for versatility and convenience. SuperView™ is a new video mode that captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective, while Auto Low Light mode intelligently adjusts frame rate for stunning low-light performance. Combined with 30% longer battery life, 4x faster Wi-Fi, a sharper lens and compatibility with all GoPro mounts and accessories, the HERO3+ Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro yet.

From Pro Kiteboarder Damien LeRoy:

Compared to the previous GoPro Hero3 the new Hero3+ housing has been trimmed down to reduce its overall footprint. The actual camera is unchanged in size. A positive result is that Hero3 Black owners can upgrade their housing to the new one. The main functional difference is that the slimmer case is now “only” waterproof to 40 meters. The previous heavier case has been rebranded as a dive case for those who wish to sink a further 20 meters (60 meters total).

Photo Damien LeRoy

Photo Damien LeRoy

Beyond the size of the housing, there are a couple of notable design changes to the Hero 3+ housing that are worth mentioning. It features larger buttons that are much easier to use, especially with a gloved thumb or finger. The two-stage hinge from the dive case has been replaced with a much simpler one-pop mechanism, almost reminiscent of that found back on the HD Hero2 housing.

On the inside of the camera is the same sensor as the Hero3 Black Edition, which grabs video in a dizzying assortment of modes and frame rates. You can start as low as WVGA resolution and work up through 720p, 960p, 1080p, 1440p, 2.7K, and 4K.

The GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition includes a handheld wireless remote that allows you to control all of the camera’s functions from far away. This feature alone is worth the upgrade over the other Hero models, especially for kiteboarders who want to mount their camera where they cannot reach it. Pairing the remote with the camera is not very intuitive, but it’s easy as long as you follow the directions.

On the new Hero3+ GoPro has added SuperView, which basically takes the broader, more inclusive view of 4:3 and formats it in 16:9. GoPro pitches it as the “most immersive wide angle perspective,” but in lay terms it’s all the footage you’d get in a 4:3 recording mode, just more TV-friendly (no black bars, bigger view). The other new option is the somewhat self-explanatory Auto Low Light mode, which will sacrifice frame rate when lighting conditions are poor in exchange for a correctly exposed shot.

Photo Damien LeRoy

Photo Damien LeRoy

Another standout from the Hero3 to the Hero3+ are the new optics. GoPro claims a 33% improvement in image sharpness compared to the Hero3. My experience so far is that is a noticeable improvement.

The battery has also been upgraded for longer record time. The wireless feature on the Hero3+ Black is a big step up from the Hero3 Black camera as there is a shorter delay time in the feed back to your phone or tablet.

I’ve only had this camera for a short amount of time, but my experience so far is that the new GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition shoots better video with a significantly sharper image, has more recording options, a better battery, Lowlight and SuperView settings, better wireless, and a smaller, lighter case. GoPro has also released new accessories to give you more mounting options. I haven’t been able to find anything to complain about. This really is the best GoPro ever.

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