GoPro announces the latest version of their popular POV cam with the release of the Hero3+ Black, Silver & White Edition cameras. All smaller and lighter* and better performance and battery life.
With added new features such as SuperView™ wide angle, Auto Low Light mode and 4x faster built-in Wi-Fi combined with a smaller profile and longer battery life, the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition appears to secure its position as the leader in the POV cam marketplace.
But don't think this new form factor* won't throw a wrench into the 3rd-party accessory marketplace!
GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition
The flagship camera gets a boost in power and features and goes on a diet.
At 20% smaller and lighter*, the Hero3+ Black Edition boasts new features like SuperView™ wide angle mode, Auto Low Light mode for improved indoor and evening performance and a 30% longer battery life. GoPro claims the built-in Wi-Fi is 4x faster than the previous model and has a 33% sharper glass lens with 2x reduction in imaging artifacts.
*Note that the new size only affects the waterproof housing – not the actual “naked” Hero3+ cameras
Included with the Hero3+ Black Edition kit:
- HERO3+ Black Edition Camera
- 131’/40m Waterproof Housing*
- Wi-Fi Remote
- Higher Capacity Li-ion Battery
- Quick Release Buckle
- Vertical Quick Release Buckle
- 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
- 3-Way Pivot Arm
- USB Charging Cable
Smaller & Lighter*
While the new smaller and lighter* form factor may be welcomed in most applications, this is also going to throw a wrench in the works for manufacturers and customers who have already shelled-out money in the past 10 months for 3rd-party accessories for the Hero3, which was already smaller than its predecessor the Hero2.
Camera: 74g (2.6oz)
Camera with 131'/40m Waterproof housing: 136g (4.8oz)
No specs are given at this time as far as dimensions or what options/accessories will fit the Hero3+ Black Edition.
*Note that the new size only affects the waterproof housing – not the actual “naked” Hero3+ Black Edition cameras
Improved Video & Photo Quality
With video frame rates of 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 and 720p120, there are a variety of professional settings to capture your live action events. Both the increased capability of 4Kp15 and 2.7Kp30 will give you clean hi-res footage and frame captures.
The Hero3+ Black Edition captures 12MP stills at up to 30fps in Burst mode and an auto time lapse mode at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10 30 or 60 second intervals, while Continuous Photo mode shoots full-res stills at 3, 5 or 10fps while depressing the shutter button.
There is also a Simultaneous Video and Photo mode that combine the ability to capture both video and stills at the same time, so you can get great images without trying to extract low-res video frames.
Auto Low Light Mode
It's not clear if there have been any changes or enhancements to the image sensor but from the GoPro web site it appears the Auto Low Light mode simply adjusts frame rates to accommodate changes in lighting conditions. They do claim to have a Fixed f/2.8 aperture.
The new ultra-wide SuperView mode is available in 1080p and 720p resolutions. The only mention of which frame rates it is available in are listed in the Auto Low Light video setting chart above. At this time, there are no photos or video examples to show the comparison of this new feature.
Other new enhancements touted from the GoPro site are a 33% increase in image sharpness with a 2x reduction in imaging artifacts. Again, no images or videos to show a side-by-side comparison at this time.
Also an improved audio with “Advanced wind-noise reduction technology” is listed on their website, but not sure how that's measured. The audio technical specs listed as follows:
- Mono, 48kHz, AAC compression with AGC (automatic gain control)
- Increased audio range by approx. 10dB compared to HERO3: Black Edition
- Handles approx. 2x greater volume without distortion compared to HERO3: Black Edition
- Supports 3.5mm stereo microphone via optional adapter (sold separately)
GoPro also claims a 4x faster connectivity to the GoPro App where you can preview content in “near real-time” – which would be a huge improvement over the 4-5 second delay of the previous model. It does still say “preview” – not “LIVE view”, so that would indicate that viewing on your portable device during recording is still disabled.
Hero3+ Silver Edition
The Hero3+ Silver Edition is 15% smaller* than its predecessor is claimed to be 2x more powerful, sharper images with 3x reduction in imaging artifacts and also has enhanced low-light performance. GoPro claims improved audio and a 30% longer battery life as well as a 4x faster Wi-Fi connection to the GoPro App.
*Note that the new size only affects the waterproof housing – not the actual “naked” Hero3+ Silver Edition cameras
Hero3 White Edition
The Hero3 White Edition is 15% smaller than its predecessor and now has built-in Wi-Fi but doesn't come with a remote, though it does work with the GoPro App on your portable device. It provides video up to 1080p30 and 5MP photos up to 3fps and features enhanced audio.
*Note that the new size only affects the waterproof housing – not the actual “naked” Hero3 White Edition cameras
I will be posting a hands-on review of the GoPro Hero3+ as soon as I receive a unit to test and compare. Stay tuned…
In the mean time, visit the GoPro website for more information and details/examples as they become available: GoPro.com
Jeff Foster is a published author of several how-to books and training videos in the motion graphics, animation and video production industries and is an award-winning video producer and artist. Visit his web site to learn more about his training methods, tips & tricks at PixelPainter.com