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4 Reviews

Brand: GoPro / Type: Helmets - Cameras

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      11.10.2013 07:58
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      Tough all-terrain (incl. underwater) camera

      The GoPro camera range has become famous for its toughness in adversity and its versatility. Now in its third iteration, the Hero 3 range comes in white, silver and black variants.

      The 'White' is the most basic version, although all three can shoot stills and videos from within their waterproof housings.

      The 'Silver' and 'Black' versions build on this. All variants sport the ability to be controlled remotely via built-in wi-fi with a 200 metre range; they only really differ much from each other in their video modes. The 'Black' can shoot slow-motion video at 120fps as well as the normal 24 fps, the 'Silver' can manage SOME Slo-Mo, but not THAT slow. The 'White' only shoots stills at 5 mega-pixels, whereas the 'Silver' and 'Black' muster 11 or 12 mega-pixels respectively.

      You don't even have to buy the dedicated wi-fi remote control as there's an iPhone and Android app that will do this for you, AND give you a bird's eye view of what the camera's seeing on your phone or tablet screen. You can even save the streamed results at the distant end without bringing the camera back to earth as it were. Curiously, this operates with about a 5-second delay, but for framing still shots, or aiming it prior to leaving it running strapped to the a ski, let's say, the Android app works just fine. You can only really use this for aiming the camera during movies, because the wi-fi link can't carry full HD video continuously. As a viewfinder for stills, it's fine though.

      I first got interested in the GoPro whilst on a recent holiday in South Africa at a game lodge. Jacques, the park ranger was coaxing a GoPro forwards on what appeared to be a portable radio aerial to see if four gambolling cheetah cubs would get curious enough to come closer without upsetting Mum - apparently cheetahs don't regard us as food but this was no reason to push our luck as we were on foot at this point. The results gained were superb up until the point they knocked it over and all we saw was grass!

      On another occasion, a Japanese tourist was fixing his GoPro to the cabin window of the Table Mountain cable car. Little did he know that it's the floor that rotates once the ride gets going but the windows don't so he only saw his GoPro about once in every two minutes and all he got was a movie taken from the same standpoint!

      Always a sucker for a gadget, especially a "gadget with suckers" (see what I did there?), I got to thinking about what I'd do with one. Being both a cyclist and a motorist, I'm getting rather uptight about misuse of the Cyclist's Advance Stop Line, both by the car drivers who ignore the first line and by cyclists who then move forward of both lines. I've already started a 'naming and shaming' album on my Facebook page and I'm thinking of taking matters further. A GoPro fixed inside my windscreen when driving and to my handlebars when cycling would make this a much slicker process than my first efforts with a smartphone.

      Having a waterproof casing as standard and the ability to be triggered from a distance also make staking out the bird table to see what's biting in all weathers an interesting project.

      It can also 'do' time-lapse photography over varying intervals - the one thing it won't do, thinking of wildlife photography, is allow itself to be triggered by movement which would have been nice if only to find out who or what drops fag ends on my car in my own drive! You'd need one of those super-tough Bushnell things for that.

      With a special 'treat' of three laps of Silverstone in a Ferrari looming (can my wife pick a Christmas present or what?) and after all the nasty things I've said about Top Gear and the 'phwoar' mentality, I decided that now was the time to get one and also the additional rubber sucker for a temporary fix on car (and cable car) windscreens.

      Prices for the Hero 3 Silver version vary wildly, from an RRP of nearly £279 on the GoPro official web-site down to £195 from a UK-based eBay seller, so it doesn't take a genius to guess which one I bought from. I'm not sure why one of Ciao's (wash your mouth out Chris) previous reviewers choose to rant about the fact that it had cost him A THOUSAND DOLLARS - his capitals, not mine.

      Being a bit of a rail excursion nerd too, I could also see a application for the rubber sucker, on the OUTSIDE of the coach vestibule windows if you can find one old enough that still has opening windows, that is - it's obviously advisable to avail yourself of one on the many safety lanyard options when shooting from the exterior of a vehicle just in case the sucker doesn't hold for ever. There's a wealth of 'after-market' accessories for these as well as official GoPro ones, and I've even seen one convincing 'probe' made from an extending paint-roller stick! Perfect for standing at the back of crowds and still 'getting your man' in shot, especially using a phone in your hand as the viewfinder.

      Along with rubber suckers, there are handlebar clamps and head straps making you look like a miner with flat batteries.

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      After a bit of a struggle to unwrap it without damaging the packaging too much, these were shall we say a bit of a let down. I had to download the latest software version to even get the wi-fi access to work with the phone app. I don't get this. The website not only boasts about the new wi-fi feature but then warns that this will only work with the latest software - here's a tip guys; put it in yourselves , it's not like you didn't know about it!

      I also thought that not supplying any kind of microSD memory card at all was a bit tight. This is not going to win them many friends during a Christmas morning present-opening frenzy in the same way that the dreaded 'batteries not included' message would. Still, at least you do get a battery, a rechargeable one, and not as one of the aforementioned opinion web-site's other reviewers claimed, admittedly in 2007, "2 AAAs which last about 5 minutes"! If you intend using any of the rapid-fire modes, get a class 10 card so its write-speed can keep up. A 32gbyte class 10 card cost me about £9, and you can even use 64gbyte cards.

      After the dust settles on your Herculean efforts to unpack it, it dawns on you that the black plastic plate that the camera was attached to will make a damned fine table-top rostrum as it has a replica of the fixing shoe moulded into it, and the high quality acrylic lid which sat atop the packaging serves as a fine show case.

      WHAT IT CAN (AND CAN'T) DO

      The camera itself is a tough cookie, being only the size of a matchbox, including the first battery - you can fix another one on behind it, and here's the nice bit, every time you add an accessory to the back, GoPro supply you with a new waterproof back (and others) to fit over it. The same applies to the piggy-backed rear LCD viewfinder.

      Having the waterproof back on impairs sound quality so for the ultimate in recording when not 'doing a Cousteau', they also supply a 'skeleton back', although obviously, you won't want to go snorkelling with this fitted! You can also film upside down, for those occasions when you really have to hang it down from the top of a car windscreen, not standing it on the dashboard.

      As it's something designed to run unattended, there's no auto-focus, in fact it just doesn't focus at all, relying more on good daylight and the extreme 170 degree wide-angle lens fitted. This doesn't stop it producing good sharp results within its parameters.

      Early results from within my car shot on a dull day are nonetheless quite sharp and the movie action is smooth. Being such a wide-angle lens reveals a fish-eye look to the frame edges and gives the impression of hacking along streets at way above the speed limit as the edges of the frame quite literally shoot past. A friend of mine has even filmed himself hanging on for dear life on the pillion seat of a jet-ski in a very choppy Weymouth Bay, using what appears to have been a broom handle sticking out ahead of him. You can even take advantage of its high pixel count to limit the field of view to the centre of the frame, making the results a little less 'fish-eye'.

      Of course, the wide-angle nature of its output also helps to iron out the worst excesses of the rough ride it'll no doubt get whilst strapped to a bungee-jumper's helmet or the handlebars of a trail bike - the jet-ski shots look quite steady. In any circumstance where it might get dropped, some kind of lanyard is advisable; maybe even a flotation aid to help detect it in anything up to 200 feet of water! Any deeper, and it may have gotten wet inside anyway. There is an official flotation aid which affixes to the waterproof case but you couldn't expect this to float the camera AND any attachments, like metal poles.

      ACCESSORIES

      Each to his own I suppose, but essentials for me were the suction cup mount for filming from cars, an extending pole with a tripod screw at the business end and a mounting clamp for bike handlebars.

      Anything else, like a clamp to hold it to a bird table, I'll improvise from one of the above combined with a g-cramp from my shed!

      Comments

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      • More +
        06.08.2013 05:38

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        A great buy for all filming purposes

        I bought the Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition a little while ago because I required a fairly cheap, multi-purpose camera for a mix of sport and normal footage. I do not regret buying this product. I needed a camera so I could film a few short film ideas with my friends. I had heard great praise for the previous generations, so I decided to get this over a few other cameras I was looking at. After many hours of usage, I am confident that I can review this product.

        The Go Pro is the most portable camera I have seen so far. I is meant to film sports in action, so it is extremely lightweight. You can clip it to almost anything with the correct connector, and the Go Pro website sells any connector you need for a fair price. I was able to strap the Go Pro to my head for POV shots, mount it on a tripod for mounted shots, attach it to a pole and dove into a lake, and attach it to my bike and helmet for some footage of me riding. Not once did I feel as if it was going to fall off.

        For such a small camera, the lens size is huge, which is definitely a plus. There are plenty of ways to film your footage. For the short films, we used 1080p at 30 FPS for a professional look, and I used 720p at 60 FPS for the sport footage. The quality is amazing for the price of the Go Pro and its overall size.

        The only problem that I have with it is that it is hard to film using the Go Pro in really dark situations. I would suspect that due to how small it is. For the price, this is not much of a problem, and this issue could probably be easily fixed with some lighting.

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        08.06.2013 19:26
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        AWESOME

        Hi, i have had my gopro for nearly 1 year now, and its AWESOME. I have had it in 15 minus C° And in 25+ and it still works like a dream! I have had it in water for 3 hours, and snow!

        --WATER-- (test)
        Last week me and my friend was in a cheap rubber-boat and we discovered a hole in it... 15 mins later it was out of air. We were close to shore so it was fun. We made a video of the sinking and we swum into shore. (Gopro filming all the time) The Gopro had no problem standing against water :)

        --SNOW-- (test)

        I was carving, it was 15 - C° And i face planted into the snow :-D . I got an awesome video of me flying off a bump and diving into the snow, it looked pretty awesome in FULL HD! No problems with cam :)

        --Summary--

        Gopro white: 4/5 The white edition films FULL HD but only has 3 MP in pictures. (but its not created to take sigle pics actually...)

        I would definitely recomend this to a friend. And if you want a Professional, rough and stylish action camera, this is the one for you!

        It cost me 189 Dollars In Norway and it was worth every cent i spend!

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          05.05.2013 15:32
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          Amazing camera - well worth the money for sports enthusiasts!

          When I was looking into the GoPro Hero 3, I was obsessed with getting the camera at the cheapest possible price. So much so that I was almost willing to start sacrificing the idea of getting the 12MP Black edition. Now that it has been tested in the French Alps skiing, I can confirm it's worth every penny!

          I can see why it may seem like a lot of money for a camera you can take anywhere but, that's simply the point. This camera can be taken ANYWHERE! Strap it to yourself using one of the many attachments to get a point-of-view experience of nearly anything! The camera has many different setting to capture time-lapses, 120fps allowing amazing slow mo quality and amazing 12MP photos.

          The quality of the Black edition is simply outstanding. So much so that my laptop near has a meltdown whenever I download any super high quality video clips. It's small enough to take anywhere although maybe not quite pocket size (yet?).

          The one downfall the camera has, like I mentioned, is that you need a pretty high spec computer to be able to play clips straight off the bat. Otherwise you may find yourself de-compressing videos and very quickly filling up all your laptops storage space!

          I can't praise this camera enough, the quality is everything you would want and more. It's expensive, but as long as your comfortable paying for the quality, I would urge you to do just that!

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      • Product Details

        GoPro Hero3 Black Edition. Helmets - Cameras. Smaller, lighter and 2X more powerful, again. The Wi-Fi enabled HERO3: Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro, ever. No expense was spared during its development, resulting in a GoPro that is 30% smaller, 25% lighte ....