GoPro or Go-slow with the HERO 3 Black?


The GoPro HERO 3 Black is a premium model of the popular GoPro series of rugged HD cameras.  I've seen a lot of videos pieced together from these cameras and they real allow you to capture the action.  Most of the people I know have been using older models.  When it was time for me to purchase one, I jumped in at the top.  Owning the HERO 3 Black has not been the most enjoyable experience.



The HERO 3 Black boasts the widest variety of video an image options in the GoPro series.  You don't just get 1080p video recording, you get 2.7k and 4k!!  That is pretty insane, of course the FPS on those settings drops to 14 FPS.  At 1080p you can dial it up to a more reasonable 60 FPS or if you don't mind dropping it down to 720p you can slow it down (or speed it up?) to 120 frame-per-second.


The companion app for Android or iOS seems promising if you can get it working. The wireless remote is also a plus when you are trying to capture a moment and do not have the Go Pro within arms reach. The case and mounting options are feel very durable. There is also a wealth of Go Pro accessories available from online merchants or from places like Wal Mart and Best Buy.  Image and video quality are simply astounding and the other options like time-lapse and burst are great compliments to this swiss-army-knife of digital cameras.  


Unfortunately, there are quite a few cons to owning at GoPro HERO 3.  First off, the firmware update process was a bit of a pain. Then there is the wireless problem with the GoPro companion app.  It seems to a problem that's plagued the camera for at least a year.  Online forums talk about the connectivity problems going back to October of 2012.  The battery life is miserable.  With wireless on and recording in 1080p mode, I averaged 45 minutes of use before the beast had to be plugged back in.  That's almost not useable for some adventurous types.


In summary, I wish the GoPro HERO 3 Black was easier to use with the mobile app and boasted a better battery life.  Will I use it anyway? Oh heck yeah!  YouTube videos in-action coming soon...

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