Small and compact; Excellent video quality; Sturdy and waterproof case; More affordable than competing cameras
Sticks up awkwardly on helmet; Short battery life
With its top-notch video quality, compact design and waterproof case, the GoPro Hero3 is an excellent action camera, but we wished it offered a bit more juice.
Whether on surf, snow or sand, GoPro cameras have been synonymous with daredevil first-person acrobatics, and the company's latest, the GoPro Hero3, continues that trend. This $299 camera delivers superb video, but with a multitude of challengers, is it still tops?
DesignContour+2 and Drift Innovation Ghost HD. However, the Hero3 has a wide variety of mounting accessories, which makes it just as versatile whether you're filming on a surfboard, in a car or on a bike.
On the front of the Hero3 is its lens, with a small monochrome LCD on the left, below which is a power button. The top houses a record button, while the right side has a plastic cover for its miniUSB and microHDMI ports.
By comparison, the Contour+2 measures 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 5.8 ounces, and that's without its waterproof case. Likewise, the Drift Innovation HD Ghost is an even bulkier 4.1 x 2 x 1.3 inches and 5.9 ounces.
GoPro users can also download the free CineForm Studio, which offers some good editing tools. What's missing is a one-click video uploader for social networks.
Among the cameras we tested, the GoPro Hero3's video quality was the best. Colors were true and saturated, details were crisp, and contrast was excellent. We give the GoPro a slight edge over the Contour+2, as well as the Drift HD Ghost. The reds and blues of ski jackets were most lifelike, and the GoPro was better at picking up individual snowflakes as they fell.
Recording video continuously at WVGA resolution and 30 fps, the GoPro lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes on a charge. That's two hours less than the Drift HD Ghost, and an hour less than the Contour+2. To be fair, GoPro sells a battery BacPac for $49 that should double its endurance.
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|Size||2.25 x 1.6 x 1.2 inches|