The GoPro Hero has been the first choice of first-person moviemakers for a long time now, and today the company has released their latest incarnation, the HD3. Smaller than the HD2 and with a beefed up resolution, it certainly packs a lot into a small package; the new camera is claimed to be 30% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous version.
The headline stat is that the HD3 is capable of shooting in cinematic-quality 4K (3840x2160) and 4K-Cin (4096x2160) modes. That's certainly an attention grabber but the camera will only shoot at 15fps in 4K (just 12fps in 4K-Cin, and less in PAL than NTSC mode) so it's unlikely to be much use to film-makers. Much more pertinent is the improvement in the other modes.
For a start, you can shoot at the above-HD 2.7K resolution (2716x1524) at a very usable 30 frames per second. Move down to 1080p HD and you've got a choice of anything up to 60fps, and in 720p the camera will crack on at an astonishing 120fps, good enough for super-slow-motion footage. That's all through a new 6-element aspherical lens that GoPro promises will deliver better quality, with three user-selectable fields of view. Stills capture is at 12MP resolution at an impressive 30 frames per second.
Audio, which has always lagged behind a bit on GoPro cameras thus far, has also been improved. Wind noise is reduced for capturing sound at higher speeds and overall sound quality is claimed to be better too.
Also updated is the waterproof housing, which now features a flat lens instead of the domed one on previous incarnations for better image clarity and less distortion. The housing is rated waterproof to 30m as before; the remote is waterproof too.
The HERO3 Black Edition – the top model of three available, at £359.99 – includes GoPro's Wi-Fi Remote for triggering the camera. All three of the models from the basic White Edition (£199.99) through the Silver Edition (£279.99) to Black feature built-in Wi-Fi and the remote is an optional extra on both cheaper cameras. The cameras are also compatible with GoPro's app for iPhone and Android, which offers camera control and live preview via your smartphone.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.