Customer Review

167 of 201 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid until they resolve the focus problem, 19 Nov. 2013
This review is from: GoPro HERO3+ BLACK Edition - Camcorder - (12MP, WiFi) (Electronics)
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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Comments

Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Dec 2013 21:49:12 GMT
 says:
Don't accept that excuse from Gopro - that was an initial response they were churning out, but have since been admitting that the camera is faulty. I've spoken to them twice now. Send it back and ask them to fix it.

Best way to take test shots is to shoot a full-size still of grass and trees in sunny weather - this very clearly shows that the camera is only in focus for a few feet. It should focus to infinity.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2013 09:42:16 GMT
Bob K says:
That was more or less what I sent them but with a one metre rule at 45 degrees in the foreground to exactly identify the point of focus.

Overall including the first enquiry I emailed them 4 times re this.
I guess this fiasco is costing them so much they are trying to duck & dive where possible.
Not good!

Posted on 9 Dec 2013 11:03:19 GMT
I sent my back to Gopro in the States and waited 3 weeks for a replacement to come back - guess what exactly the same problem!
Mines going back to Wiggle now and I will wait 6 months until this is sorted until I get another one.
Pity because apart from the focus it is a fantastic bit of kit.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2013 11:25:17 GMT
Bob K says:
Not having any other GoPro to compare the 3+ with I do not know if I am nit picking about the focal point being only 30 centimetres in front of the camera - but I really do think not!

Has anybody a 3 they can do the same test with as I did?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2013 11:25:19 GMT
Bob K says:
Not having any other GoPro to compare the 3+ with I do not know if I am nit picking about the focal point being only 30 centimetres in front of the camera - but I really do think not!

Has anybody a 3 they can do the same test with as I did?

Posted on 27 Dec 2013 11:45:56 GMT
micros2u says:
No such issues with Gopro 3 (non + version). Aerial video superb on multirotor

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Feb 2014 19:18:53 GMT
Hi there, do you know if this problem has yet been resolved? ie. is there a newer serial number model / firmware update? Thanks

Posted on 22 Feb 2014 13:37:21 GMT
D S Coull says:
I was on the verge of buying but nervous of the fact it potentially had a problem.

Went to Gopro website and no means of contacting them via on-line form or email.

Posted a link to this page on to their Facebook page and asked if the problem had been resolved.

My post was deleted and no contact.

Make your own mind up, I know I'll not be taking a chance with a company like that.

Posted on 13 Mar 2014 21:07:25 GMT
Bluntknife says:
I was going to buy the Black edition this evening as it's just what I need for my hobby however I do not want to buy one and risk this hassle. Once they've acknowledged the issue publicly and announced they've recalled them from all retailers I'll buy one. I don't want to buy old stock.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2014 16:30:16 GMT
P. Smith says:
Maybe that's why Groupon are doing a good deal on the black edition at the moment. As you say, I'll wait to buy until I'm sure this problem is fixed.
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