The GoPro Hero3 White Edition is part of a series of three new action cameras launched by GoPro in 2012, which also features a more expensive Silver Edition and Black Edition. Priced at around $199 the White Edition is the most accessible camera of the Hero3 range and serves as a replacement of the older GoPro HD Hero. The new GoPro Hero3 series is almost 25 percent light than previous generations and also around 30 percent smaller. This big reduction results in a much thinner camera.
On the front panel, you will find GoPro’s new f/2.8, six-element aspherical lens that offers twice the image sharpness and improved colour richness. This new lens also reduces the so called ‘barrel distortion’ which often occurred at the extremes of the camera’s 170-degree field of view. However the characteristic fish-eye look of the videos and photos captured by a GoPro camera has remained.
Compared to the GoPro Hero we reviewed last time, the Hero3 now has a LCD screen. Although the dot-matrix display looks old-fashioned, we found out the screen allows you to easily navigate through the camera’s settings by using the power button to change camera modes and the shutter button to select settings. However we did spend quite some time getting used to the menus and options, but once you get the hang of it changing the camera’s settings becomes easy.
The front panel of the GoPro Hero3 is fitted with two indicator lights: one red indicator to show that the camera is recording and one blue indicator that blinks to tell you that Wi-Fi is active. Considering the GoPro Hero didn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity we were glad to see we could finally connect our action camera to GoPro app on our smartphone. Behind the back panel you will find the camera’s lithium ion battery. Because you can now swap batteries you can spend the whole day recording.
We also like the fact that GoPro has simplified the Hero3’s bank of connections, which now holds a Micro-HDMI output and a microSD card slot. Although the camera doesn’t come with a microSD as standard, it does support cards with capacities up to 64GB. Which is doubled compared to older action cameras. This GoPro also has a Mini-USB port, which you can use for charging and syncing. This Mini-USB port also doubles as a 3.5 mm microphone input. GoPro claims that its wind reduction algorithms have been improved for this generation, however on the mountain we still had wind noise.
The Hero3’s clear plastic shell is now thinner than before but remains though and durable with better waterproofing. The shell keeps the camera sealed securely and the shell’s new flat lens reduces image distortion for better underwater recording and photo quality. As with all GoPro camera shells this one is completely user-friendly and you can easily service it yourself. It’s also compatible with GoPro’s wide range of mounting options and accessories.
Compared to the Silver and Black edition versions of the GoPro Hero3 series, the White Edition uses a lower-capped image processor. This is probably due to its lower price and the camera is capable to record 1080p at 30fps and 960p at 60fps. Photos are captures at only 5 Megapixel with a maximum burst option of 3fps over a single second. For editing your recordings you can try the free Antix App.
All in all, the GoPro Hero3 White Edition may be the entry-level of the Hero3 range, but is very much complete when it comes to essential recording modes, image quality and built-in Wi-Fi all packed in a much smaller and thinner package. It’s a great camera for this price point and for those of us who want even better image and video quality you only need to purchase the higher-tier Hero3 models.
- Smaller, lighter and thinner design.
- Features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Good recording and image quality.
- Plastic outer shell is much thinner.
- LCD screen difficult to read in sunlight.
- Getting used to the settings takes time.
- Wireless remote only sold separately.