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GoPro HERO3 Black Edition: Price, Specs, and Release Date (Best Action Cam Yet?)

by Paul Strauss
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This week, GoPro revealed its new HERO3 series of action cameras, and this batch could definitely give the competition a run for their money. As the dominant player in the action cam space, GoPro doesn’t look like it will be resting on its laurels anytime soon. At the top of the heap is the HERO3 Black Edition, a gadget that will likely be topping many Christmas lists this year.

go_pro_hero_3_black_camera

The HERO3 Black Edition is 30% smaller and 25% lighter than previous models, but that doesn’t mean it’s less powerful. Taking a page from Apple’s playbook, they’re packing more capability into a smaller package. GoPro claims the camera shoots video at twice the resolution and speed as the HERO2, and captures stills 3 times as fast. It’s also got an improved lens, designed to reduce distortion, and offers selection between ultra-wide, medium and narrow fields-of-view.

go_pro_hero_3_black_camera_2

The HERO3 can capture 1080p video at a full 60 frames-per-second, and can also shoot 4:3 1440p video at 48fps, or 720p at 120fps, and a DVD+ quality 848×480, 240fps mode for slow-mo shots. It can also capture 12 megapixel stills at up to 30fps, and even has a razor-sharp 4K mode – though it is limited to 15fps. It actually supports many other modes as well, listed below:

go_pro_hero_3_black_modes

The camera has full Wi-Fi control support, and can be operated with an iOS or Android app – or the included keychain Wi-Fi remote (a $79.99 value). It also includes a durable waterproof housing, which will protect the camera down to depths of 197 feet (or 60 meters.) Here’s an overview of the HERO3 Black Edition from GoPro themselves:

And if you care to check out some footage, look below, then go into full screen 1080p mode for the ultimate experience. Keep in mind, you’re looking at a video after its been uploaded to YouTube – so the video directly downloaded from the camera will likely be even higher quality:

The HERO3 Black Edition is available for pre-order now for $399.99(USD) and is estimated to ship around November 14th, 2012. Be sure to go for the Surf Edition if you want the surfboard mount instead of the standard ones.  If $400 is too expensive for your budget, you can always go for the less-expensive Silver Edition ($299.99) or the White Edition ($199.99), but these sacrifice image resolution and low-light performance. But if you can afford it, I say go for the Black – and if you can’t, save long enough that you can.

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