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4.2 out of 5 stars264
4.2 out of 5 stars
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303 of 320 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2013
The GoPro Hero 3 Black is my first GoPro product which I was drawn for its high resolution video capabilities and as I was getting into mountain biking I quite fancied trying to record some of the trails. The Gopro cameras have a great reputation for this sort of use and the professional reviews of the camera were extremely positive at the time of launch so I was pleased to get the camera shortly after.

Quick edit - there's a fairly serious bug with the timelapse option at the moment, if you use the 0.5 or 1 second interval then auto-exposure doesn't work which makes it completely unusable, I found this out when checking footage I'd taken and many shots were almost completely black due to severe underexposure. GoPro confirmed this is a bug in the current firmware and advise using intervals of two seconds or more until it's fixed, I've put this up at the top in the off chance others might avoid this bug before it ruins their footage.

The contents of the box are a bit disappointing as there's no quick start guide giving you a hand to get started, there's no full manual either but I don't mind not having a hard copy as it's easy enough to download and browse when needed. There's no charger either which I can partially understand as many people now have USB chargers although strangely the Gopro's USB connection is the older mini USB type (possibly because it stays in better) so standard micro USB chargers are no good (ones that won't split apart) plus it's recommended to use a higher current adapter which rules out standard USB chargers and normal USB ports.

As you'd expect there's no memory card in the box nor is there onboard memory, the camera needs a quick memory card and with the higher resolution video settings quickly chewing through memory I'd recommend the Sandisk 32GB microSDHC Ultra class 10 card or something similar. I did initially try a Sandisk 32GB class 4 microSD card I had available but it was too slow as the resulting video suffered bad stuttering.

The interface on the camera is a little tricky to get to grips with as it's very similar to old hardware systems in the 80's and 90's where you have a very basic screen and just two buttons, one is used to select and one is used to change option. Thankfully GoPro provide an excellent app for Android (and I assume IOS) so if you've a suitable device you can directly connect to the GoPro over wifi and configure the settings in a very userfriendly method and then you only really have to choose mode and hit record on the camera which is easy enough. The GoPro app also shows a live preview of what the GoPro is seeing making it easy to adjust the fitting although it's delayed by a few seconds so may not be any use for live purposes. There's a wide array of settings allowing you to set resolution, framerate, field of view (super wide or normal), burst speed, timelapse speed, camera orientation etc. allowing you to set up the camera pretty much exactly as you want. The onboard wifi and being able to get a live feed from the camera saves having to buy an addon screen or wifi as I believe you have to on some of the previous models.

Video quality as you'd expect is generally extremely good with sharp, colourful video and great coverage thanks to the extremely wide field of view the camera offers. Sound is disappointing even with the smaller door, there's two with the camera one of which is for lighter conditions and one is for tougher conditions with the latter trading sound quality for durability. I didn't find the sound particularly great with either so I tend to just stick with the tougher door and add in my own audio afterwards.

The Gopro Hero 3 is compatible with the same mounts as previous cameras which is extremely useful as there's a good range of them offering a wide range of flexibility. The pricing is a bit high for what you get particularly with the helmet mount which is genuinely no more than one small bit of plastic and two straps but on the other hand it works well so I'd rather that than a cheap one which didn't work very well. I've been using the camera while mountain biking over proper rough stuff and there's never been a hint of the camera coming off. On putting the helmet on with the GoPro camera it does feel a bit heavy initially as the camera needs to be in its casing to use the mount but I find once I get going I don't normally notice it.

Unfortunately it's now onto the bad which is the camera's unreliability, I've been pleased with the results when the camera has worked properly but it lets me down on a regular basis which I might accept on a £50 camera but on a near £400 one it's completely unacceptable. I initially thought it was just me and I needed time to get used to the camera but I wasn't making any progress so I assumed I had a faulty unit only to find many other user reviews with exactly the same issues as me. I should note my camera does have the latest firmware (released in April I think) and when I initially bought it at Christmas time I also ensured I'd immediately updated it as a bit of paper in the box recommended.

I've tried a variety of different chargers but performance is inconsistent, sometimes I'll take the camera off the charger and it won't power up at all even though it registered it had power and was able to charge. Sometimes a battery pull will fix this, sometimes not which in the latter case means back on the charger and not being able to use the camera. I haven't tested if they've improved this yet as I don't trust the camera but originally if you took the camera off the charger and left it aside ready for use which is reasonable given li-ion batteries can last a good few months with their small amount of discharge, the battery would discharge very quickly and be dead within a couple of days. I now always leave it on the charger to avoid this happening.

The wifi is a great idea both for configuring the camera and using the little remote control (about the size of a keyfob, has the same buttons and screen as the camera itself) that comes in the box. It does seem a bit better with the latest firmware update but I find the wifi unreliable, sometimes the camera refuses to switch it on claiming it has done so in the settings but the blue light which indicates wifi is on doesn't light up and it can't be seen by wifi devices. The other issue is that it really hammers the batterylife to the degree I never leave it on instead only having it briefly powered up to check or configure settings then straight back off. This makes the remote control useless which is a shame as it feels well designed and would be very useful if you could leave wifi on. Batterylife is around two hours which is pretty usable particularly when the batteries are small and the camera gives an audible set of beeps when the battery is approaching empty but with wifi on I've had as little as half an hour out of it which is no use.

I've had other odd issues where the camera has ignored the settings and reset itself back to default and when the autoexposure has defaulted to far too fast a shutter speed and left with near dark photos as if I was in darkness rather than sunlight. I'm waiting to hear back from GoPro about the latter issue.

Edit - GoPro have replied confirming there is a bug in the firmware which means if you use the 0.5 or 1 second intervals with the timelapse mode, auto-exposure doesn't work which makes these settings unusable as over the longer period of time a timelapse is likely to take there's going to be variances in exposure. Until they fix the firmware, they advise using an interval of two seconds or more.

Firmware updates are surprisingly clumsy as they seem to rely on custom information being added such as the camera's serial number and the wifi settings to produce a custom firmware file to put onto the camera. The website allows you to do this automatically using java but my main PC systems wouldn't let it proceed as they were adamant the site was malware, the manual process is a bit clumsier but it does eventually work.

The obvious question is why not return it which in hindsight I wish I had, at the time I'd bought a couple of mounts for it which I couldn't return and given GoPro's reputation I thought it was just a rough launch with teething issues and given a few months they'd sort out the camera. However in its current state I personally think its unreliability just isn't acceptable, there's obviously differing views on how well the camera works with quite a few positive reviews so I'd recommend more so than usual to have a good look round at a range of reviews of this device to get a good feel for it. For the cost and a company which calls itself GoPro I find it unbelievable how poor the functionality of the camera is, I have used cheap £100 cameras that have worked reliably never mind something approaching £400. What's the most frustrating part is that when the camera does work it can produce some superb footage but it's extremely annoying when you either can't start recording because the camera has screwed up or you get home to find it's completely screwed it up. Since reviving the camera to try the new firmware, I've had it out for three runs - the first it did well on which was encouraging, the second it went completely wrong and reset itself at the start to completely different and unusable settings and on the third run something has gone wrong with the auto-exposure which has completely ruined large sections of the video.

I should perhaps also point out that I feel I'm experienced with imaging products, I currently have a micro 4/3 setup for video, an NEX setup for stills/video and a Nikon FX setup for stills. The issues with the GoPro3 I've had are all very basic ones rather than more complex issues with codecs or similar resulting from inexperience.

I've been looking into alternatives and the Sony Action Camera seems to be an obvious one but while the camera looks pretty good, the mounting options seem poor even just for mounting to a helmet which is unfortunate. They do have a bike mount but watching footage back from the GoPro you realise how much your body acts as suspension so footage from the handlebars would likely be unusably shaky.
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308 of 331 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2013
After all the known problems with this camera well documented! I wrote a scathing review due to the lack of customer service.

Now after an email from a Gopro tech, listing several things to correct my issues, the camera and accessories are working faultlessly. Before you throw yours out the window if yours freezes won't charge, stops recording or any of the many other issues reported; make sure the firmware is updated properly. I thought mine had however it hadn't.

1. Manually download the update don't install java! Follow the instructions on the web site.
2. Save it to your desktop and open the zip file.
3. Drag the unzipped files to the sd card.
4. Wait it takes about 10 minutes to update it should display the percentage.
5. Enjoy your fully functioning Hero 3!!!!

The battery Bac Pac has to be connected to the camera the 1st time you charge it. If you don't it will look like the battery is faulty. Once charged it will charge on its own.

32gb are the best as formatted to fat 32 if you use a 64gb shxc cards they are formatted to ex fat and will not upload to an ipad. Camera will see them and they can be updated to a PC.
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on 24 March 2014
I bought the Go Pro Hero 3 Silver Edition for my boyfriend for Christmas. He's always liked the look of them but never used one. He has a DSLR camera and is good with cameras.

I did a lot of research into these and did comparisons with other similar makes of camera. You need to consider what you actually will use the camera for, how often and what you'll do with the videos after as to what camera will suit you. Go Pros seem to come out best in reviews so I went for a Go Pro. As for whether I was going to choose white, silver or black I weighed up what he'd use it for etc. He's into bikes and cycling, airsoft and cars so I wanted a decent one as it'll have a fair amount of use but didn't need everything the black had to offer (you can get the screen attachment/remote and any extras if you feel you want them, rather than getting the Hero 3 Black and paying more for these things).

Needless to say he was thrilled with this present and has since used it a couple of times, testing it out in different situations. We took it to a gig and we were both stunned by its sound recording quality. In the dark and with the bright lights it wasn't up to its usual standard but that's to be expected. In daylight the quality was excellent. The camera itself is easy to use and the phone app is handy and a great extra. Works perfectly well as a remote and as a way of viewing what the camera is seeing. I'd recommend this camera, plus, it's like a Pandora bracelet! You can just keep buying add-on extras each birthday/Christmas - Perfect!
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on 28 November 2013
Make no mistakes the quality of the video recorded with my GoPro surpass anything else I've ever used, including some pretty expensive Canon SLR's. My primary reason for buying was to film 50-100 feet down from the boat and for that it is perfect, a little bit of editing with the supplied software to colour correct the video and I can't imagine getting a better view of what is on the sea floor without going down myself. It works very well in low light conditions. The 3rd generation case doesn't have the fish eye problems of the first 2 generations. I've also used it as a dash mount camera and on my head, in all instances the images captured are superb in their clarity, stability and colour reproduction.

There are a couple of tiny niggles, for a start the door casing can be very stiff until you've used it for a couple of months, I was always scared of breaking it, a bit stupid really because it is very well made. The other is the hit & miss USB charging. It's fine if you just connect it to charge but if you've been doing any data transfer before leaving it to charge it doesn't always seem to work. Again a very small issue that takes seconds to fix (just disconnect and reconnect). This could be corrected with the latest firmware update which I've not applied yet.

The reason I've dropped it a star is the battery life, you really will be very lucky to get an hour out of it and for a dedicated camera I think this is a bit low. I would have been happier paying more for a better/larger battery but will make do with using a spare, just a shame it means interrupting filming.
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on 20 November 2013
I bought my 'White' edition in Walmart in the states ($200 not £200), just before learning to scuba dive and going zip-lining. With little experience I found it worked as advertised straight out of the box, without fault and without any problems whatsoever. I did later upgrade the firmware, via the manual method, but this didn't stop me using it straight away.

Pros;- the original skeleton housing, suction cup and time lapse frame rates of 0.5 or 1 second gave me some superb videos of driving up Mt Haleakla on Maui, and the Hana coast. Used underwater in the waterproof housing down to 90ft, provided no problem either (though I did find the red front colour correction filter trapped minute bubbles which needed to be cleared semi-regularly). Due to the extreme wide angle nature of the lens, what I though might be jerky video from a car bonnet seamed to be ironed out with no effort on my part at all. Sound quality was pretty good in the skeleton housing, and was even fairly good in the waterproof housing at depth too. Battery life was pretty good, well in excess of an hour and a half, using 1s timelapse photos, and you could easily get an average afternoons stop start video from it if turned off in between events.

Cons;- well not really a con more of a learning curve issue - with no LCD backpack I found I had to guess at the aim of the cameras POV, only experience showed me the right way to do it.

Tips;- get the GoPro app on your phone or tablet and use that as a guide to setting up your POV (Point of view). Buy the 'Wasabi' twin battery pack and charger, it's worth it and will work round the world to keep you going. Buy good brand TF cards of at least speed class 10 if you plan to use the fastest time lapse modes.

All in all very happy with my purchase.
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on 26 September 2013
I am a keen amateur photographer and film maker. I have hankered after a GoPro for a while and finally treated myself to one before going on a long weekend trip to Paris. The results are very impressive, particularly capturing the wide open vistas in many parts of Paris with the wide angle lens on this camera. The HD quality is superb and the ease of carrying and using such a small camera is a real bonus. I used a Grenade short handle and an extending GoPole with the camera both of which, for me, are must have accessories. The GoPole in particular is worth it's weight in gold. For POV it's essential, for sticking out and filming back through the safety cage on the Eiffel Tower was fun and for peering over the heads of the manic impenetrable crowd in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre it was essential!

The other plus of using a GoPole with this camera is that it makes a pretty effective Steady Cam if held upright loosely between the thumb and forefinger at the top of the pole.

Downsides: 1) Battery. You need lots as the camera eats them! I took three and a charger to Paris and could have done with a couple more. 2) Monitor. LCD monitor is expensive and drains battery life quickly. Not always necessary, but, useful for reviewing in the field. Using the GoPro App for iPhone or Android is an alternative, although, as other reviewers have reported, there is a 4-5 second delay in preview mode which makes setting up a handheld shot a pain. However, the wide field of view means that the lack of viewfinder/monitor is not a real problem: point at it and you can be sure to have captured it!

In conclusion, this is a great little camera for any film maker. Essential for capturing action sports, but, a great device for more conventional film makers too. Small, light, loads of accessories and mounts. Very usable editing software (Download from GoPro website). It's pure fun to use and gives amazing results. If you enjoy capturing moving images then a GoPro has become the 'must have' device.
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on 29 November 2013
I've had this camera 3 months now and have had a lot of fun doing timelapse and getting interesting table-top and overhead angles for video work at music and theatre performances. The battery life is a bit short, and recharge times a bit long so a spare battery is a must, or alternatively a Battery Eliminator which can be ordered form Cam-Do allowing it to run on mains power.
The one major drawback is the poor response to low light conditions, and lack of an exposure control. For normal use this is not a problem, but when shooting in low light conditions it becomes a massive problem, as the camera tries to compensate for low light the noise rises to intolerable levels often ruining the footage. The best example I can offer for this is imagine a spotlit performer onstage, surrounded by black. The GoPro sees a small amount of light, and a large amount of unlit area, and tries to meet in the middle, overexposing the lit part and filling the blackness with noise.
That said this is a great camera, it's useability and image quality (except for the above example) are excellent, the attachments that come with it are very useful. Despite my earlier grievance, I'm not returning it, just learning it's strengths and how best to use them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2014
I received GoPro HERO3+ camera to use it for few days to be able to write review and in general this is best camera you can get for your money.

First of all, it's full of feature that people who are involved in sports or some adventurous discipline will especially appreciate, and with its view field of 170° or 120° enables even to record 4K video at 15 frames per second.

Second, this camera comparing to its previous models and its competition as well, in this price category, regardless of whether it's day or night shooting, is way ahead providing fantastically looking sharp pictures and videos.

Its design wasn't changed a lot, besides it's a bit thinner and lighter, being waterproof and having locking mechanism that is better than in previous models.

The user will have ability to use its mini USB and Micro HDMI ports, the 3.5mm microphone jack is missing, although adapter cable can be additionally bought.
Also the media format has changed, instead of normal SD cards, this new camera edition is using Micro SD cards, with capacity up to the 64GB.

Its operation is still the simplest possible, having only three buttons, one for start/stop shooting, second for settings and menu navigation and the last one for turning Wi-Fi on/off.

It would need lot of space to describe all of its shooting settings, but most important user can choose between 4 shooting modes: Movie, Timelapse, Burst and Still.

Its only drawback is battery life that I was able to use only for about 90 minutes recording at 1080p resolution that is a bit or even much lower than competition.
Therefore purchasing of additional batteries and Battery BakPak is recommended.

GoPro HERO3+ is great action camera, probably the best one ever made, perfect for people who need device that will record their adventurous events.
Therefore I can fully recommend it to all such people taking into account its price and need for additional batteries that still don't reduce the overall excellent impression.
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on 19 September 2013
Have wanted one of these for ages and finaly treated myself and boy am i glad i did i love it.
i use it to make farm machinery video's with my friends and this camera can take anything its asked to do with results that make you stunned when you watch the footage back.
the HD quality is simply amazing i only use 720p its more than enough for top quality video's and lets my old PC handle the data easier.
so far no problems to report and once you understand the menu system with the two buttons very easy to operate and have lots of fun with.
if your like me wanting one of these but been putting it of for some time because your not shore if there really that good then all i can say is go for it you will never look back and i promise you that you will get addicted to it.
in shore amazing camera that you will get never ending fun out of using ,wish i had taken the plunge ages ago.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2013
This is not the sort of thing that I really need. But heck, it's nearly Christmas, so when it came up in the Black Friday sale, I put it into my basket. Then took it out, as it was still more expensive than I had hoped. The item then showed as all sold. Then went back a bit later, and saw that a few other people had obviously done the same, as it there were now only 98% sold. So I decided it was fate, and clicked on buy again. I now have it, and it is very much as expected, takes very high quality video up to 4k and stills up to 12mp. It is incredibly small. When the rest of the bits that I ordered arrive, it will go on my bike, and maybe a quadcopter is on the horizon as well. For the time being, it is going everywhere with me, just for fun.

For anyone reading some of the negative reviews, it seems very well built, simple to operate, and I have had no problem with a Samsung 64GB microSDXC card
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