Initial Impressions of the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition

Early this fall GoPro released their new Camera. Following in the iPhone’s footsteps they elected to go with an incremental “s” like upgrade, which they called the GoPro Hero 3+. Like the previous models, it comes in multiple models, the Silver and the Black edition. I was able to get the GoPro Hero3+ black edition when it first came out. It was a much needed upgrade from the Hero 2, which was starting to show its age.

First off the Camera body is the exactly same size as the Hero 3, and 20% smaller than the Hero 2. On top of that the new hero 3 + housing is another 20% lighter. This plays an important role in keeping the camera from shaking which results in better footage.

The new black edition has two new settings that I was excited about. Superview mode, is a film mode with a 4:3 aspect ratio “squished” so to a modern 16:9 standard. It sounds like it would be terrible, but some how GoPro manage to work around that. While it does distort the objects on the side, otherwise it’s not noticeable in most cases.

Auto Low light, is another new feature when filling in at a high frame rate such as 48fps, or 60fps. When the camera sensor is not getting enough light it’ll drop the frame rate down to 24fps, or 30fps, and double each frame. This is really handy when filming on trails that keep going in and out of the woods. However I was a bit disappointed that when using Superview mode, only the 48fps auto low light mode was available. Youtube doesn’t support 48 fps, it drops it down to 24fps, and for fast pace video is too choppy.

In addition to those new features it is much faster at processing information. Using your smartphone as a viewfinder, there’s only a 1 second delay as opposed to the 3-4 encountered on the previous year’s model. The speed at which it transfers photos is very impressive. In most cases it only took 2 seconds to transfer a high res photo from my camera to my phone.

The new additions to the GoPro make this best GoPro yet. I think for most POV shots, the Hero3+ black edition is a must have. Between the lightness, the superview and auto low light modes really makes this camera extremely well rounded.

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