GoPro HERO3: Black Edition – Smaller, Lighter and 2X More Powerful!

October 18, 2012

by GoPro and Scott Simmons, Studio Daily

It was a fun Tuesday night here in San Francisco as GoPro Founder and CEO Nick Woodman took the wraps off the company’s latest little camera, the Hero3. This new product in the GoPro family ups the ante for helmet-cam to vehicle-strapped action cameras in a few major ways: It’s 30% smaller, 25% lighter and has a 2x faster image processor. Sounds great, but the main question we really wanted answered is, what are the specs and, also, what can this little baby do?


Try 4K at 15fps, 2.7K at 30fps, 1080p60, 1440p48, 960p100, 720p120 and WVGA at 240 frames per second. Those are all the maximum frame rates the camera will deliver per resolution. When you see the size of the new Hero3 Black Edition in person you’ll be amazed that you can get 4K images out of this little thing, and all for just $399.99. There are two other editions, the $299.99 Silver Edition and the $199.99 White Edition that scale back some of the formats, frame rates and features, but when you consider the $79.99 Wi-Fi remote comes in the top-level Black Edition, there’s not a lot of reason to buy anything else. Check out the video at top for a look at the amazing images out of the camera.

In addition to all the video specs, the Black Edition will shoot 12 megapixel photos and has significantly improved low-light performance, double that, in fact, of the previous GoPro camera, the Hero2. These kinds of action cameras can’t really be about the glass, but Hero3 does have a much sharper lens, reduced distortion and (thankfully) improved sound. Wi-Fi is now built in. Sadly, we don’t get to shoot direct to the CineForm codec in this new version, though I got the feeling that’s something coming in the near future. However, if you run the recent Protune firmware update, that will raise the bit rate to 45/Mbs.

There are a ton of new gadgets and accessories that go with the Hero3, including a new “LCD Touch BacPac,” a touchscreen that makes accessing the different settings much easier than the two buttons on previous versions of the camera. A new waterproof housing also lets you take this camera much deeper underwater, up to 197 feet. Check out for all the details.

Smaller, Lighter… Better

Weighing in at a scant 2.6 ounces, the HERO3: Black Edition is 25% lighter and 30% smaller than previous models. Learn More »

2X Faster Video Performance

The HERO3: Black Edition captures professional, cinema-quality video at 2X the resolution and 2X the frame-rate of previous models while delivering 2X better low light performance. Slow-motion aficionados and industry professionals will love the HERO3: Black Edition’s 1080p-60, 720p-120, WVGA-240, 960p-100 and 1440p-48 high frame-rate video modes while those desiring a cinematic look will appreciate the ultra-high resolution 2.7kp-30 and 4kp-15 video modes. Learn More »

3X Faster Photo Performance

The HERO3: Black Edition’s photo performance is 3X faster, now boasting 12MP burst capture at a staggering 30 frames per second with 2X better low light performance compared to previous models. Still Photo and Time-lapse Photo modes remain the same but are joined by a new Continuous Photo mode that captures continuous 12MP stills at a steady 3, 5, or 10 photo-per-second rate, up to 30 photos at a time. And for those that like pulling still images from video, 4kp15 video mode captures 8+MP video at 15 frames per second making it perfect for pulling still images from video. Learn More »

Sharper Lens, Less Distortion

The HERO3’s reduced-distortion, 6-element aspherical lens combines with user-selectable Ultra-wide, Medium and Narrow field-of-views to deliver more perspective-capture options than ever before. Add the totally updated flat-lens waterproof housing that delivers stunning image sharpness both above and below water and you’ve got one of the most powerful and durable image capture solutions on the planet. Learn More »

Updated Audio System

Understanding that sound quality sound is as important as image quality, GoPro engineers completely redesigned the HERO3’s audio system to be as adept at capturing the subtle, natural sounds of voice and music as it is at capturing the immersive sounds of sport. Also improved is GoPro’s already famous wind-noise reduction, ensuring that you’ll hear more of your passion, be it your engine or expletives, and less of the wind during high speed activities. Learn More »

Built-in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Remote Included

The HERO3 Black Edition features built-in Wi-Fi and includes GoPro’s Wi-Fi Remote accessory. The Wi-Fi Remote is normally available as a $79.99 accessory but is included with the HERO3: Black Edition. The Wi-Fi Remote is waterproof, wearable and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi-enabled GoPros at a time from a range of 600′. The HERO3’s built in Wi-Fi means it can also be controlled by iOS or Android smartphones and tablets running the GoPro App. The GoPro App enables full camera control and live scene preview on any compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

The HERO3: Black Edition is compatible with all GoPro mounting accessories and older generation BacPacs™ along with the newer generation LCD Touch BacPac and 2nd generation Battery BacPac. However, as all HERO3 cameras have a new size and shape they require HERO3-specific Wrist, Skeleton and 3D housings so be sure to check for HERO3 compatibility when purchasing any new housing accessories. Learn More »


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