Hi Nikki here,
Thanks for visiting my website. This is my uncensored review for the GoPro Hero3+ Black edition camera.
I will be covering all the essential details of the Hero3+ you need to know before you get it. I will be talking about the new features of the GoPro Hero3+ compared to the GoPro Hero3. Also, I will point out its biggest flaws which frustrated a lot of GoPro customers.
This is a review site.
What is the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition?
The GoPro Hero3+ is the successor of the GoPro Hero3. The GoPro Hero series are tough small HD cameras/camcorders specifically designed to be used in the most extreme conditions. Over the past few years the GoPro brand has proven to be one of the best in the extreme sports/adventure camera market.
The reason why the Hero3+ isn’t called the Hero4 is that the main core specification is the same as the Hero3. The Hero3+ Black Edition still uses the 12Mpixel CMOS to offer 4k resolution at 12.5 or 15 fps and 4k Cinema with 17:9 aspect resolution of 4096 x 2160 at 12 fps.
And of course there are the 2.7k cinema option at 30fps, 1440p at up to 48 fps and 1080p at 60 fps. Nevertheless, the Hero3+ has a number of significant improvements and alterations, for which GoPro customers have been asking ever since the release of the Hero3.
- A new mode of shooting, called the Superview mode. This mode is available when shooting 1080p or 720p footage. It provides a wider angle than the normal setting, avoiding the usual fisheye distortion that appeared in previous versions of the Hero.
- Smaller and lighter waterproof case. The camera itself is the same size and weight but the waterproof housing is now 20% lighter and 30% smaller. Moreover, the Safety switch on the housing has been simplified, making it easier to open the case.
- 30% longer battery life – GoPro has managed to increase the battery life by adding a bigger battery and tweaking the camera software for better energy optimization. The new battery is 1180mAH compared to the Hero3 1050mAh battery.
The old battery is compatible with the Hero3+, so if you have the Hero3 you can use its battery with the Hero3+ as well for some extra shooting time.
- Faster WiFi – 4x faster transfer and playback speeds to your mobile device. Also, the streaming preview, which enables you to see what the camera is seeing on your mobile device real-time has a longer range.
GoPro claims that you can get a signal from up to 182m/600ft with the new WiFi but on field testing shows these numbers are about 46m/150ft compared to the Hero3’s 14m/45ft. Although it’s not as much as GoPro claims, it’s definitely an improvement. And there is still the 1-2 seconds delay on the preview which is a little bit annoying.
- Improved image quality – Color and detail are noticeably improved over the Hero3, especially in low light conditions.
This is so because of the camera’s better lens and auto low light mode, which means when you shoot in dark conditions the camera auto-adjusts to compensate.
What are the bad things about the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition?
As great as the GoPro Hero3+ might look, there are several flaws worth mentioning.
1. Blurry images – A lot of people have noticed that when taking pictures with the Hero3+ that objects closer than 10ft look sharper, but objects farther away are blurrier than the Hero3. It looks like when GoPro said that image quality is improved they forgot to specify that it’s only for objects up to 10ft away. Nevertheless, many stated that they didn’t notice such a problem with the Hero3+, so it maybe a case of defect copies.
2. Contrast is too high – There are many complaints that contrast in Hero3+ is set too high, causing some loss in detail in shadows. This problem is fixable with firmware update, if GoPro decides to do it.
3. The new smaller waterproof case supports only 40m in depth, compared to the Hero3 case of 60m. Anyway, this change only affects people who use the camera for deep underwater shooting. If you are one of these people, the good news for you is that the Hero3+ camera is compatible with the old case and vice versa. So, if you already have the Hero3 you can use the old case with the Hero3+ for some underwater action.
What are the good things?
Now let’s take a look at the most significant advantages of the GoPro Hero3+ Black edition.
1. Hero3+ doesn’t freeze up – One of the biggest complaints about the Hero3 is that it often freezes up unexpectedly resulting in lost footage, which is very frustrating to everyone.
No one likes to mount the camera on their head, go skiing, diving, motorcycling etc. and afterwards to see that the camera froze up and most of the action was never recorded. Fortunately GoPro took care of that problem with the Hero3+.
2. Battery life is increased more than 30% – In Hero 3 you would normally get about 20-30 min of recording time before the battery dies. In Hero3+ you get a little more than 2 hours! That’s more than 200% increase. Now you can record a lot more footage without worrying about the camera dying.
3. Case buttons are bigger and more sensitive – Another annoying thing about the Hero3 was that the external case buttons were very small and hard to use in the middle of action. For example if you have skiing gloves on, or if you are underwater etc. The GoPro has made the Hero3+ buttons bigger and easier to use.
4. Improved microphone/audio recording – The cracking background noises you would usually hear when recording with the Hero3 are gone in the in the Hero3+, giving an overall better audio quality.
These are the most noticeable changes, improvements and flaws of the GoPro Hero3+ Black edition.
The main changes GoPro has made with the Hero3+ are with the casing, the battery life, the WiFi and the lens. And even though the GoPro Hero3+ isn’t as big leap as the Hero3 was compared to the Hero2 its improvements are still worthy of recognition.
The Hero3+ is basically the Hero3 perfected, its most annoying downsides fixed with a couple of new features. So, if you are wondering between the Hero3 and Hero3+ I strongly recommend the Hero3+.
All the updates and fixes are definitely worth the extra $70, in my opinion.
And if you already have the Hero3, you are satisfied with it and the improvements of the Hero3+ don’t impress you much, then I recommend you wait for the Hero4.
But if you are annoyed with all the Hero3’s flaws and are looking for a camera that resolves these issues then you should seriously think about purchasing the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition.