The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is a small, durable camera / camcorder designed to endure extreme conditions. With more than a decade of experience manufacturing top-of-the-line extreme sports and adventure cameras the team at GoPro certainly know what they are doing. Although there a lot of rival companies releasing excellent designs in the field, GoPro are considered amongst the elite in terms of design and manufacture.
So what’s so special about the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition? Well it is the standout product in the Hero3 range, which we should add includes some good models like the Silver Edition (mid-range) and the White Edition (entry level). There is also a Surf Edition designed specifically for those who want to capture images and film of extreme water sports. Apart from the special mounts for attaching the ‘surf’ model to a surfboard, the surf addition to the range is identical to the GoPro Hero 3 Black in terms of spec and design.
The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition benefits from a number of upgrades that sets it apart from the other models in the range. One of the main additions to the Black Edition package is a Wi-Fi remote control feature that allows hands free control of the camera. This is particularly useful if the camera itself is attached to a helmet or positioned somewhere that is awkward to reach, this feature will no doubt appeal to adventurous enthusiasts and will serve them well.
In addition to the excellent WiFi feature, the Black Edition is fitted with a 12MP camera. In comparison to the other models in the range this is a decent upgrade. The Black Edition also has the capability to shoot at 7MP and 5MP if required.
The feature that is most likely to win over the camera’s target audience is the Black Edition’s 30fps maximum burst rate. This is a great advantage for shooting extreme sports or any subject that requires fast work. The Black Edition can take quick consecutive shots and this is great for shooting fast moving objects.
Considering the Black Edition is designed for use outdoors in extreme conditions that would render ordinary cameras useless, it comes as little surprise that this camcorder is made of tough stuff. The camera itself is really small at just 60mm w by 40mm h and 20mm d. GoPro claims the Hero3 is 30% smaller than its predecessor, and weighing in at just 74 grams, it’s also 20% lighter.
But that’s enough about the camera, what about the video capabilities? As with the camera the Black Edition employs some distinct advantages over its brother models. The Silver and White editions have a maximum resolution of 1080p at 25fps, whereas the Black Edition can capture 1080p Full HD video at 50/48/25fps in PAL mode (60/48/30fps for NTSC capture). 720p recording can be captured at 100/50fps, which enables playback of high-definition movies in slow motion, and this neat feature is something that is not possible with the other models in the range.
The alternative video settings are:
• 1440p at 48/25/24fps (48/30/24fps for NTSC)
• 2.7K at 25fps (30fps for NTSC)
• 2.7K Cinema at 24fps
• 960p at 100/48fps
• WVGA capture at 240fps.