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on 16 March 2014
I did loads of research before buying this because of the cost. The 2 things that slightly concerned me were the battery life and the reported lens problems. Firstly, if you get one, you'll be amazed by the power this little camera has. The resolution and options for photo and video capture are remarkable. Your main problem is going to be that you'll constantly be trying to think of how you'll mount it to the next thing ( thankfully there are plenty of mounts to enable you to do this ). It's brilliant fun and you'll find that you will actively start to do activities just to see how well it copes.
So, to my two main issues. Apparently the lens issue has been completely resolved now and the focus on the one I received is perfect, whether you're up close and personal or filming landscapes. Secondly, I have to admit that I've already had excursions where the battery has run out just after I've been using it. This was on max resolution with wifi on so there are ways of lengthening it's overall life. To be frank, for a camera this size with the amount of power it churns out, I'm very impressed with the battery life. It will last over 2 hours and you can eek out more using tips from the website.
There are 100s of positives to this unit and I struggle to find any negatives.
Once you buy one join the GoPro community on their website and watch out for tips and tricks aswell as examples of how theyre used which will soon influence the way you film.
33 comments| 280 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is just a brief heads up for people looking to purchase this product. Product now 4 Stars with the new Update (see below)

I reviewed the GoPro 3 when it came out and complained about the battery life, I'm happy to say with the new battery and Wifi hardware in this camera you get a much better recording time. Up to about 110% longer in some modes (30% more in others). The biggest gain to be had is when you are using Wifi, with it recording 1080 50fps and Protune on you can now record for 1 Hr 13mins as opposed to 30mins on the previous camera.

However there is a big issue with the lens on some of the cameras, the one I had for testing was focused as about 2 feet (60cms) as a result anything further away looks a bit soft. GoPro are aware of this and are looking at the problem, however if you get a camera with 0913 in the serial number (digits 6-9) you will probably have this issue.

There does also seem to be buffering on the video output over wifi, the latency is better but this means that the output is not as smooth, which might be important for some. I'll report more once I get a camera without the focus problem.

My advice, hold off on buying one for the moment unless you can guarantee you'll get one without the focus problem (or you don't mind)

**Update, GoPro now have cameras with the fix available (27/11), I've had a look and they have improved things with regards to focus. Also to note the colour accuracy of the 3+ is better than the 3. If using Protune Mode please be aware that your pictures may look a little soft, this is deliberate as sharpness can be added later in post production if required. ProTune is designed to give the most accurate pictures with the most latitude for adjusting later. There is buffering on the Wifi Output which has the effect of making it look quite juddery, it seems to spit out 6 frames at a time, pause briefly and then do the next 6. Some people won't mind and it seems to be the price you pay for better battery life .**
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on 20 June 2014
I have used this camera for diving and when it worked it was excellent, however when I installed the upgraded software last month (May 2014) the camera froze and would not function at all. I looked on youtube and there were lots of customers with the same problem. The upgraded software lets you transfer all of your footage to your iphone wirelessly and you can store it there or upload to facebook etc. All in all its a great camera, light compact and good playback. I would recommend this camera but the only problem I had was it freezing. I am waiting to have it repaired by gopro which is in the usa so might wait long enough.
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on 19 November 2013
I bought one from the UK a couple of weeks ago, I was assured by the supplier, (not Amazon), that it was received the day before from their wholesaler and was the latest issue without the focus problem.

When it arrived it has an 0813 serial number. which from the US website forums also potentially has the problem.
Mine is really very sharp & clear focus at 50cm from the lens gradually out of focus from there. Not a lot of use to me as I bought it to use with a quadrocopter for aerial property photos.

Seems they have set it up for those who want to take arms length "Selfies" of their own face in various situations at the expense of the rest of us. You have to wonder what percentage of their customer base this represents.
Not a lot I would think as most of the videos on their Twitter page are action shots, presumably not taken with the 3+ as they are generally in reasonable focus.

There is also talk on the US forums of people "doing the Focus Mod" along with pic's of the lens cover being forcibly removed with a large pair of pliers - Drastic or what !

At the price they charge for this I don't think it is unreasonable to expect at least software autofocus !

IMHO GoPro have really shot themselves in the foot here.

************** EDIT ******************
I contacted GoPro who told me to clean the lens and asked for a photo illustrating the problem. So I set one up using a 1 metre rule which clearly demonstrated that at the centre point of the depth of field the fixed focus point was only 30.15cm / 11.87 inches from the lens. Far worse than I thought! to be fair everything was super sharp at this point (as it should be).

I questioned this ridiculously short focus distance with them and their reaction was - I quote;

Thank you for providing the photo to help verify the image quality. I was able to review the image and it is up to par with what the customer should expect from the use of our cameras.
(and) The camera was designed to give you a close up view of what the user is doing. The camera was not designed to zoom in and out to take video and pictures from far lengths. - (I assume by zoom they mean crop & enlarge here)

I find this annoying as I made a point of querying with them before buying exactly what I wanted it for. Their reaction at that time was;

GoPro has designed the HERO3+ with a new lens to improve focus and sharpness for both video and photos. The new camera is optimized for improved image clarity at all focal ranges - edges, center, close and distance. If a customer is experiencing loss of clarity or focus at a distance, this is not an expected outcome. It's possible that there may have been an issue with the production of that particular camera or that a camera software update is needed. We will troubleshoot the problem with the customer according to the specific issue that is being experienced and find a resolution. (Clearly not the case!)

Make up your own mind before you buy - me? - I've now got an expensive paperweight.

I subsequently bought a Mobius action cam for my quad. Lighter with far superior image quality and under £60
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on 20 October 2013
Despite some welcome tightening up of the Hero3 features, GoPro have chosen to calibrate the lens's focal length to around 4ft, meaning that anything beyond this range will gradually become blurred. This is either a deliberate act to allow users to take sharp focus selfies, or they ballsed-up during the initial production run and just won't admit it!

If you intend to use an action cam for POV footage, or any sort of aerial cinematography, then DON'T buy this camera: Save some cash and get the original Hero3 Black instead. It's been shown to have better levels of sharpness in a host of realworld user tests against the Plus.
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on 7 December 2013
I phoned Gopro and Amazon before purchasing this product to discuss the lens calibration issue which has affected the first few batches of the Gopro Hero 3 Plus Black camera - I was assured that the latest batch (november 13) is not affected, and that it was possible to purchase a camera without this defect.

It took 6 days for my camera to arrive - slower than usual, and I was hoping this meant that stock was being replenished and I would receive a camera from a new batch.

When the camera arrived I could see that it was from the first batch and did not focus.

I phoned Gopro and they advised that they could RMA the camera and repair it, but that it would take a minimum of 3 weeks. They said that my best bet was to return it to Amazon - doesn't say much for Gopro's customer services.

I phoned Amazon and was told I would be sent a camera from a new batch - I specifically requested a camera from no earlier than November 2013 and was told that this is what I would receive. Amazon dispatched a new camera which arrived the next day. Once again they had sent me a camera from the first batch. I phoned back and spent 40 minutes trying to make the situation clear to Amazon and am now waiting for an email in 3 days time to answer the question of whether Amazon can supply me with a camera that works or not.

Not at all happy with Gopro, and slightly peeved at Amazon for messing things up. Can't give the product more than 1 star as it doesn't work. Might amend if I ever get a working camera.

Come on Gopro - have a little more respect for the people that made you rich, and Amazon, I expected a little more.
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on 4 September 2014
Cheap quality for the housing. The black clip (plastic) on the top to close the back door broke with the waterproof back door after 3 uses (and I have been very delicate with my new toy), as a results, I couldn't use it on my second day of holiday!
the GoPro is good though but I am just extremely disappointed because the diving backdoor is probably to thick or difficult to close for the system to work.
As I can't contact the seller for other than the delivery, I thought I would share my bad experience, especially because the any GoPro accessorizes are quite expensive.
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on 28 December 2015
Bought for my husband's 40th birthday a year and a half ago. He loves it! We've used it loads. Takes great pictures and video. We've taken some amazing underwater videos of our kids swimming. It's light and compact, so ideal to carry around with you. The only problem is that you can't see what you're taking pictures of, so we had to buy the screen attachment as well. Having said that, it's quite a wide angle lens, so it's actually quite easy to capture what you intend without being able to see it.
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Haven't regretted buying this once. Some quick tips for you if you're considering your first gopro though. Cheap mounts are available as an alternative to the gopro accessories. They are all generally as good in my opinion. Buy some extra batteries and an external charger too, you'll need them at some point. Some memory cards aren't advised with this camera, look on the gopro webiste at the ones they sell as these work best. You need a class 10, high write speed card for best use. Lower speed cards will appear to work at first but the footage will be jumpy and the camera often just stops filming seconds into the clip. I suspect some of the bad reviews are people using cheap cards rather than anything wrong with the camera itself. Get a decent capacity too. 32gb is a good minimum if you're out for a day or 2 of occasional filming. For a week of skiing I used up near 100gb filming ~4-6 hours of footage. Without a viewfinder you will get the best results by filming lots and editing just the best bits in. Expect to spend about half/whole of the camera cost on mounts and cards if you don't already have them. Underwater use: I took the 40m rated dive housing to 47m on one dive and it worked great. Normal recreational diving won't exceed this really so most people won't need the separate dive housing. If there is a risk the camera will shake then use the rubber gopro locking plug (I need it for skiing, speedflying, cycling etc). The wifi mode drains battery life. Use a camera tether: mounts break and headstraps fall off. I've chased and recovered after 2 separate cameras that people have dropped while diving and had a friend lose one during a speedflying crash where the mount cracked. I use fishing wire as a cheap tether. If you're underwater use a brightly coloured float attachment so it doesn't sink. The quality difference between earlier gopros and the black is noticeable. I couldn't see this when I first bought it as youtube/internet clips are often poorly streamed. Using friends footage from earlier models in edits I've made shows a noticeable difference in image quality. Don't let the camera distract you too much or detract from your enjoyment of what you're meant to be doing!
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Brilliant. This is my first GoPro, and I have been delighted by its versatility.

I don't intend to write about what it can do - the description does this well - but just to say that, as a first-time user but an experienced photographer, I have really appreciated the versatility of the GoPro 3+ black.

The wireless capability means that the remote control (included) mirrors the back display of the camera itself; perhaps even better is the capability to control it with a smartphone (using the GoPro free app) which allows you to see what the camera is taking as well.

I have confidence in the waterproof housing, and was impressed byt he number of mounts that come with the camera. In addition, I've purchased a floaty back and a telescopic pole - and doubtless there'll be more. But this is actually a testament tot eh versatility of the GoPro.

I've not had any trouble with the reported focus problems of early models. I don't use this for selfies - most of my videos and shots are long range - and I have been very impressed by the quality.

In short - I'm excited by the potential of this compact miracle.
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