GoPro HERO3 Launches at Midnight With Impressive Specs


It's official, the GoPro HERO3 is now out for sale and she looks powerful. CEO Nick Woodman announced the new HERO3 as the smallest, lightest, most powerful way to document your life. If that is not enough it is also Wi-Fi enabled and can capture 4k video (4,000 pixels) at 12 frames per second and 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second. (Picking jaw off the floor!) Read on to hear more about this radical new camera. 

At 12:01 AM PST time, the new GoPro HERO3 was released for sale. The Hero3 is 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than its predecessor. It also has a 2x faster image processor, 4x higher resolution, 2x faster frame rates, 3x faster photo capture, 2x better low-light performance, sharper lens, waterproof to 60M, improved sound and if that all wasn't enough they also included built in Wi-Fi which combined with the new phone app will allow you to live-stream your images or video. Using the free GoPro App which is currently out for IOS and soon to be for Android you will also be able to use your smartphone or tablet as a live video remote control - yep seriously!

The new HERO3 will come in three flavors; Black Edition is $399, the Silver is $299 and the White is $199. The lower end models will result in a sacrifice in quality but still include the Wi-Fi. Smart move to offer the three pricing strategies to help keep their competition at the pricing low end like the new ContourRoam2 on their toes. With that here are some more specifics on the Black Edition which is the one most will be excited to get their hands on.  The top of the line Black Edition (pictured below) is capable of capturing video at up to 4K res -- if you're willing to drop the framerate down to 12fps. You can also choose to shot 1080p at 60fps, 1440p at 48fps, or even 720p at 120fps for those times when you want to slow it down super slow and still capture in HD. Those desiring a cinematic look will appreciate the ultra-high resolution 2.7kp-24 and 4kp-12 (Protune only) video modes. The Black edition also includes a remote that can control up to 50 cameras at once with a 600ft range and the remote is waterproof to 10 feet deep.

The HERO3's reduced-distortion, 6-element aspherical lens combines with user-selectable Ultra-wide, Medium and Narrow field-of-views to deliver more perspective-capture options than ever before. Add the totally updated flat-lens waterproof housing that delivers stunning image sharpness both above and below water and you've got one of the most powerful and durable image capture solutions on the planet.

The HERO3: Black Edition's photo performance is 3X improved, now boasting 12MP burst capture at a staggering 30 frames per second with 2X better low light performance compared to previous models. Still Photo and Time-lapse Photo modes remain the same but are now joined by a new Continuous Photo mode that captures continuous 12MP stills at a steady 3, 5, or 10 photo-per-second rate, up to 30 photos at a time.

Here's what comes included in the Black Edition box.

  • HERO3: Black Edition Camera
  • 197’/ 60m Waterproof Housing*
  • Wi-Fi Remote + Key Ring
  • Remote Charging Cable
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • QR Buckle
  • J-Hook Buckle
  • 3-Way Pivot
  • 1 Curved Adhesive Mount
  • 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
  • Assorted Mounts and Hardware
  • USB Charging Cable

Demand for the camera is so high that the website for GoPro has been unable to handle the amount of traffic at their midnight release with users experiencing website issues. If you can get in, here is the link to find out even more about this new amazing little camera. GoPro HERO 3 Website

We are looking forward to putting the HERO3 through a few tests of our own and look forward to sharing a review with you all. 

Correction has been made in the article. When filming at 4k the frames per second will be 12 not 15.

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Jens Marklund's picture

From what I can understand, the White and silver versions are the old sensors, with a new lens/house and wifi built in - correct? 

That is what it appears Jens.

Jens Marklund's picture

The White version only has the "Medium" field of view at 1080P. So my guess is that the White is just cheap version without full fisheye at 1080P, Silver is a Hero2 in a new form factor (which includes new features as well), Black is the Hero 3.

Charles de LA FOREST's picture

I don't get it... How can $199 (151€) can become 249€ ($326)...  Yes 249€ is the price advertised on the website here in France...

Same goes for the silver, $299, 349€... 

4k, 15 fps? I thought 24 fps was the minimum before getting a 'stopmotion' effect?

Joop van Roy's picture

 Well, 15fps is more than today's high-end DSLRs can manage ;-)

Still a joke.

David S Kalonick's picture

Yeah, all those amazing videos from an incredibly small device is laughable. When I base jump, I prefer at least a 5D Mark II strapped to my helmet.   

if you intend to speed the footage up to 24fps that feature could be useful, or if there in no motion in your shot... I think it's a feature that will be rarely used and if you can't shoot everything at 4k why would you shoot only some?

Malcolm Debono's picture

Very interesting. Would appreciate if someone can explain to me how wifi works on these though. I'm assuming you require a wifi network right? I'm thinking of getting the black version as b-cam (well, more like 3rd camera but anyway) for some wide shots during weddings and would like to be able to monitor it through my phone while using another camera.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Specs are impressive, the video is even more so.

If you look at the specs page on GoPro's site, you will see that White Balance is a user selectable feature on the Silver and Black models. They list Atuo, 3000, 5500, 6500, and "CAM RAW"... I'd love to find out more about that...


Whatever the specs are, that was a really awesome video!

Anyone know what the dynamic range on these guys are?

It is a real joke. Like Charles said. Same here in Germany

The Black Edition for 399,99$ should cost around 304€ to have the same price.
But we shall pay 449 € that would be much more. much much more.... It would be around 589 $$$$

so Why? do we get a golden Gopro3?

I would love to get this edition as well but nit for this price!

Maybe buy them off EBay once they're available probably a lot cheaper.

well first of all you need to understand that prices in USA come with no taxes and your prices in germany have a 19% VAT.

So the real price should be 474$ with 19% VAT, so 361€ would be the right price, still 449 is a bit too high but don't forget the VAT.

If you order from USA you will pay the 399$ + custom clearance fee on the courrier who posts it ( about 25€ in spain ) + Post costs ( 20€ ? ) + 19% VAT to your goverment ( 60$ ) so you will end up paying 406€ aprox.. 

i would wait for or to have stock and the price should be closer to the US + VAT.

"So the real price should be 474$ with 19% VAT, so 361€ would be the
right price, still 449 is a bit too high but don't forget the VAT."

Well, it your example, the "real price" should be $399 + Customs clearance fee + VAT. You can either count the US sales tax OR VAT, but not both. Aside from that, from what I understand, the fee to bring non-eurozone
goods into eurozone is a good chunk of change. Plus, since it's an electronics
product that uses wireless transmission, it has to be cleared by the EU
equivalent of the American FCC or Canadian CRTC, which will also cost
money to the manufacturer.
And to be even more picky, your way is not the right way to calculate the real product price, given that the resellers add ~60% to the price they buy it at. So it's:
( (cost from GoPro to make it) + (fee to clear it with European FCC) + (cost to comply with label regulations, etc. ) + ( customs clearance fee ) )x 1.6

Note: "label regulations", customs fees and CRTC are the reason why Apple products are 5-10% more expensive in Canada, cause CRTC has to OK any communications product and all labels must be in English in French, so you can't just bring a US product into Canada and sell it - it does cost money to sell across the border, even when we are 1) RIGHT next door to US 2) speak the same language and 3) have a free-trade agreement.

Let's assume that there is a 60% markup on the $399 price. That means that stores buy it at ~$250. Same 60% markup in on €449 => real cost is €280. Difference between $250 (€191) and €280 is €89. That's how much more it costs to bring goods into the Eurozone.

harry's picture

 It's true.  Never understood why people think you can just convert $ to Euro or Euro to $ when it comes to the same product being launched on both sides of the pond.  There are many factors that factor into prices to increase for export. 

Not many people comprehend how the EU taxes items no matter where you purchase them.  If the sale didn't originate from the EU the purchased item will be taxed as it enters the delivery system and stop by border customs for whichever country.

I just jizzed in my pants watching that video

To be honest, its a nice piece of tech but way to early. The Hero2 was released in early 2012? No wonder why many people are pissed

Jens Marklund's picture

The Hero 2 was released almost exactly a year ago. I guess competition and a faster increase in technology regarding video cameras, made them pick up the pace.

This makes the sony camera everyone raved about, a joke.

 really? to be honest I didnt google the release date but I felt like its been 2012. Well ok, makes sense then.

I like that they're at least trying to get into 4k territory since that's where video is going anyway.  Shows how much everyone else besides RED is dragging their ass on 4k feeding us 1080p cameras. There is no reason we shouldn't have affordable 4k video with the resolution of some of the current megapixel monsters out there.

I love my GoPro, but it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Compression has a big role to play when it comes to 4K. RED and ARRI give you 4K at RAW quality. Yes, this is 4K, but it ain't gonna be the same 4K as RED and ARRI, cause you simply won't be able to fit enough footage onto an SD stick of a GoPro without seriously compressing the footage. I think what COULD take on RED/ARRI when it comes to 4K quality is Canon's 1D-C with a 4K sensor in a dSLR body.

Is there a way to live stream yet.  I have the ap and can control the hd hero 2 from my phone but can broadcast this feed yet?  if so how? thx

Very cool -- especially 1080p60 and 720p120! Not sure I see the need for timelapse, though, when my DSLR can deliver much nicer (RAW) files. Still, I was really close to the new Sony because of their framerate. Looks like my decision was just made for me.

As a FCP editor I absolutely hate getting mp4 files from GoPros. 

Or dealing with their "useful" CodecStatus app that just magically comes with GoPro's Cineform Studio, no questions asked whether you want it or not.

BTW, I can't help but think the whale footage is faked -- probably composited, and possibly not with the GoPro (how close would they have to be to the whales to get that field of view?). Call me cynical.