It was a fun Tuesday night here in San Francisco as GoPro Founder and CEO Nick Woodman took the wraps off the company's latest little camera, the Hero3. This new product in the GoPro family ups the ante for helmet-cam to vehicle-strapped action cameras in a few major ways: It's 30% smaller, 25% lighter and has a 2x faster image processor. Sounds great, but the main question we really wanted answered is, what are the specs and, also, what can this little baby do?
Try 4K at 15fps, 2.7K at 30fps, 1080p60, 1440p48, 960p100, 720p120 and WVGA at 240 frames per second. Those are all the maximum frame rates the camera will deliver per resolution. When you see the size of the new Hero3 Black Edition in person you’ll be amazed that you can get 4K images out of this little thing, and all for just $399.99. There are two other editions, the $299.99 Silver Edition and the $199.99 White Edition that scale back some of the formats, frame rates and features, but when you consider the $79.99 Wi-Fi remote comes in the top-level Black Edition, there’s not a lot of reason to buy anything else. Check out the video at top for a look at the amazing images out of the camera.
In addition to all the video specs, the Black Edition will shoot 12 megapixel photos and has significantly improved low-light performance, double that, in fact, of the previous GoPro camera, the Hero2. These kinds of action cameras can't really be about the glass, but Hero3 does have a much sharper lens, reduced distortion and (thankfully) improved sound. Wi-Fi is now built in. Sadly, we don’t get to shoot direct to the CineForm codec in this new version, though I got the feeling that’s something coming in the near future. However, if you run the recent Protune firmware update, that will raise the bit rate to 45/Mbs.
There are a ton of new gadgets and accessories that go with the Hero3, including a new "LCD Touch BacPac," a touchscreen that makes accessing the different settings much easier than the two buttons on previous versions of the camera. A new waterproof housing also lets you take this camera much deeper underwater, up to 197 feet. Check out GoPro.com for all the details.