The Hero Reborn: GoPro Hero3
Smaller, lighter, sexier and twice as powerful, the new GoPro HERO3 has been unleashed. JESSICA BRACEY goes to see what the action camera is packed with.
Just one year after the release of the GoPro HERO2, the world’s most versatile camera has been revitalised to suit your every needs. Boasting Hollywood tech specs in a compact device that fits in the palm of your hand, this time there are three versions to tickle your adventurous taste buds at a wallet friendly price. Launched yesterday at an exclusive event at London’s Red Bull Studios, the hype around GoPro’s latest offering was bubbling as onlookers waited to hear the all-important specifications.
Eagerly anticipating fans, adrenaline junkies and tech geeks across the globe have been waiting to see what they could possibly do next with the one-size-fits-all camera, and this time GoPro have raised the bar by not just releasing one product but three that progress in price and spec.
Photography Monthly got their hands on the latest GoPro HERO3, and what a difference compared to its predecessor. A quarter the size and weight, 2x faster image processor and increased low-light performance, built in Wi-Fi, new battery idle mode and an added microphone for improved sound quality. Not only that but it now accepts micro SD cards, has a rubberised feel that is easier to handle, a 10 pin USB port for faster transfer, more secure locking latch on the housing and a battery that is much easier to remove. The most impressive addition is the 4K cinema quality video recording that is more than three times the standard of a Full HD 1080p camera. Conducted research by GoPro found that devices with the same spec to the HERO3 will set you back around £3000, this comes in at a tenth of the price for the same quality. Reportedly being the only action camera manufacturer to go beyond 1080p, the upgrade to 4K is quite a jump.
In the action camera market, which has been going strong for the past two to three years with manufacturers such as Sony bringing out their own versions, GoPro’s 10 years of experience show that they are leading the way.
Speaking about the significant changes to the GoPro, Rhys Jones, UK Brand Manager for GoPro said: “It’s a couple of levels up from the Full HD that we’re used to. It’s always been a camera for the enthusiasts and amateur film makers, but now the idea is to offer it to a more professional level. You can go to the cinema and see it on the big screens and it would blend in perfectly.”
When asked what’s in it for the stills photographers among us, he said: “You’ve got the 12MP camera, so the main advantage of the GoPro over other cameras is the size and the mounting system which means that you can put it anywhere you can’t put a normal camera. We also have time lapse modes where you can take 12MP photos every half, one, two, five, 15, 30 and 60 seconds, and you can also do a continuous photo where it will do a burst of photos in one second. On the new silver and black editions you can adjust the white balance to suit the conditions you’re shooting in, which is also a new development.”
Here at Photography Monthly we have experimented with the GoPro in the past by attaching it to everything from a Harley to a dog. As the world’s most versatile camera we asked what’s the most bizarre video GoPro have seen captured on the model. “Everytime you think you’ve heard the most random and strangest thing, there’s something above and beyond. We’ve had someone attach it to a model helicopter, surgeons have worn it whilst performing surgery in the hospital, along with any sport you can think of,” said Rhys.
At the GoPro HERO3 presentation, TV presenter Ortis Deley from The Gadget Show introduced the new product and said that it is definitely something on his Christmas list. “The GoPro HERO3 isn’t just one camera, it’s a range of three that people can strap to the side of their snowboards, motorbikes, surfboards and helmets. They’re the innovators of the market, every other technology brand out there has an action camera but GoPro have just raised the bar beyond anything anyone could dream of. It’s a fantastic little camera, I’ve got a couple of production ideas where that bit of kit will fit in absolutely perfectly.”
Introducing new accessories to accompany the GoPro, the LCD Touch BacPak is a handy addition so you can see what you’re filming. With touch screen control to scroll through different settings and playback footage, in housing function, slow motion playback, integrated speaker and 3.5mm headphone jack, this neat accessory comes at £79.99. The additional Battery BacPak is available for £49.99 for those that want longer shooting life when on the move and features double battery life, independent charge and pass through charge. All mounts from previous GoPros will fit the HERO3 so there is no need to refresh your entire kit. One GoPro development that took Photography Monthly’s fancy was the new iOS app which is currently free to download for all users. You can have total control of the HERO3 via your iPhone, iPad and iPod to see a live preview of your footage, playback and live stream it to the web instantly.
Key benefits include:
*Wearable, mountable design
*Immersive, wide angle capture of your favourite activities
*HD video and 12MP photos
*Built-in Wi-Fi enables remote control via included Wi-Fi Remote or live video preview and remote control on smartphones and tablets running the free GoPro app
*Rugged housing is waterproof to 60m and captures sharp images above and below water
*Compatible with all GoPro mounts for attaching to gear, body, helmets, vehicles and more
*Compatible with LCD Touch BacPac and second generation Battery BacPac
*Backwards compatible with older generation BacPacs
*New advanced camera settings: Looping video, Continuous Photo, Manual White Balance control and Protune Mode, allows users to shoot photos while recording video and more
1080p at 30fps/ 720p at 60fps
Three second photo burst
Flat Lens Housing
1080p at 30fps/ 960p at 48fps/ 720p at 60fps/ WVGA at 120fps
10 second photo burst
Flat Lens Housing
HERO3: Black (which comes in three different editions for the same prices, including: Standard, Surf and Motorsports)
4K at 12fps/ 2.7K at 30fps/ 1440 at 48fps/ 1080 at 60fps/ 960p at 100fps/ 720p at 120fps/ WVGA at 240fps
30 photos per second burst
Professional plus low light performance
Built-In Wi-Fi with included remote
Flat lens housing
The white and silver edition of the GoPro HERO3 is available now and the black edition is due to be released next month.
For more information about the GoPro HERO3 visit the website.
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