gopro hero3
October 18, 2012

Small Cameras To Shoot The Things You May Never Do

The point-and-shoot and pocketable camcorder markets have been all but overtaken by the booming smartphone craze. As the saying goes, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

While the camera packed inside a smartphone might not be technically up to snuff against a dedicated shooter, it is always nearby. Dedicated sharing tools also make it incredibly easy to instantly share snaps and videos with the world. So how does a company who continues to make these dedicated gadgets win over those who are inclined to record their every waking moment with their phone? With plenty of high-definition videos of extreme skiing, mountain biking, surfing and cliff jumping. Oh and a really cool camera, as well.

GoPro makes really small, heavy duty cameras capable of shooting high definition images in a very small package. Yesterday, the company announced their latest update, the GoPro Hero3. By the numbers, the new Hero3 looks to be a further improvement of a camera which has already received much praise from customers and reviewers alike. According to GoPro, these new rugged shooters are 30% smaller than previous models and 35% lighter. For all the reductions in size and weight, the Hero3 models manage to capture images with 4 times the resolution, offering 2 times the low light performance from the previous Hero2 and reduced distortion. The Hero3 even comes equipped with Wi-Fi and can be paired with a new dedicated remote or smartphone app.

The new Hero3 comes in 3 varieties: White, Silver and Black.

The Hero3 Black Edition shows off a bit, capable of capturing videos in 4K at 15 frames per second or 2.7K videos at 30 frames per second. Thrill seekers can also capture 1080p videos in full HD at 70 frames per second and 720p HD at 120 frames.

Stills should come through bright and clear as well after passing through the Black’s 12 megapixel sensor. Capable of taking pictures in 30 frames per second bursts, this camera can even record time lapse photos in intervals ranging from 0.5 to 60 seconds, a very handy tool for those looking to capture something slower than snowboarders or speeding motorcycles. GoPro has also said these new cameras will leave some of the old wide-angle distortion found on their previous models.

The Silver Edition is a small step down from the Black, packing an 11 megapixel sensor with the ability to capture 1080p at 30 frames and 720p at 60 frames. Finally, the White Edition makes use of a 5 megapixel camera which can also shoot 1080p at 30 frames.

On the outside, the Hero3 brings back some familiar controls from previous models, albeit in a smaller package. The Power/Mode button remains on the front of the device, as well as a shutter button and Wi-Fi button. Each of these models are Wi-Fi enabled, which means they can be used with the smartphone app or dedicated remote. The new remote, by the way, is nearly the same size as the camera itself and can control up to 50 GoPros at once. The Black Edition has one of these remotes included in the box, though it can also be purchased as an extra accessory for $80.

GoPro also announced a few other accessories for these new cameras, including an extra LCD screen and an extra battery.

The Hero3 Black Edition starts at $399, the Silver at $299 and the entry-level White at $199. GoPro is currently taking pre-orders for these new shooters; The White Edition shows an estimated ship date of October 22 while the Black could ship by November 14th, just in time for the holiday dog sled rides.

Image Credit: Woodman Labs, Inc

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