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GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review Roundup



criteria 1
4.5/ 5


Get this for...

Adventure travelers looking to record top-notch video in extreme conditions.

Don't get this for...

Travelers who prefer laid-back settings where that iPhone video camera works just fine.

Bottom Line

This review roundup hunts through expert reviews so you can find out the most important perks and downfalls of GoPro’s bestselling waterproof camera.

Posted April 11, 2014 by

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gopro-hero3+-black-edition-review-roundup-imageIf you love adventure and always take a video camera along for the ride, chances are you already know about the GoPro line.  The GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition (Price Not Found at Amazon) bursts past its bestselling predecessor, the Hero3 ($449.99 at Amazon), with an improved battery life, a new “Superzoom” mode, and even better optics.  In this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review Roundup, I’ll take a look at all those updates so you can decide if this is the right action camera for you.

I’ve hunted through four expert reviews and piles of Amazon customer feedback to find out the most important perks and downfalls of these bestselling extreme sports cameras.  Read on to see all that research for yourself!


GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review Roundup

GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at Engadget

Over at Engadget, James Trew’s GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review calls the new camera an “incremental revision” of the Hero3.  Does that make the Hero3+ a mere imitation, though?  Not at all.

The review suggests that the Hero3+’s improved lens might be its biggest talking point.  GoPro says it delivers a 33% improvement in sharpness compared to the previous incarnation.  According to Trew, the change is noticeable: the new lens offers sharper images, better color tones, and more brightness.

Then he takes a look at the new video modes.  The new “SuperView ” perspective lets you frame the figure at the center of the action with fantastically wide-angle, immersive shots. Another development is Auto Low Light Mode, which shifts priority from frames/second to exposure in low light conditions.  Trew describes the results as excellent, though he says the color representation can be slow to shift to a natural tone in this mode.

The new camera’s slimmer profile, he points out, is just because of a change in the waterproof housing.  The new case is “only” waterproof to 40 meters; the older, heftier one will now be marketed as a diving case.  Finally, this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition review gives an approving nod to the improved battery and WiFi on this new camera, noting that either one could make a difference for action videographers.  Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at techradar

The GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at techradar by Ali Jennings offers an in-depth look at the camera’s updated casing.  This major cosmetic change, he notes, does affect functionality.

Basically, the old safety switch has been replaced by a top-mounted lever.  The lever doesn’t offer quite the same level of underwater protection, but it makes accessing the camera much easier.  This new release feature, combined with the large buttons on the case, make it easy to use the camera under a huge variety of conditions.

Jennings pinpoints the Wi-Fi update as another big change in the new Hero3+.  With faster transfer rates and playback speeds to mobile devices, the improved Wi-Fi is a big step for the camera’s usability.  He also praises the new Superview and Auto Low Light modes.  While this camera isn’t a huge leap from the Hero3, this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition review emphasizes the camera’s superior ease of use and video quality. Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at Pocket-lint

The Pocket-lint GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review by Mike Lowe zeros in on similarities between the Hero3+ and its predecessor.  Minus the external housing, the design of the two cameras is exactly the same.  This could be an advantage, since your old mounts will be 100% compatible with the new camera.  Lowe highly recommends getting a clip-on mini LCD screen called the BacPac ($93.00 at Amazon) so you can see a live preview while filming and take advantage of on-the-road playback.

Lowe notes that the combination of the new lens and processor produces cleaner, sharper images with higher contrast and improved white balance.  While the “low light” option is helpful, he makes it clear that the Hero3+ shouldn’t be anyone’s top pick for capturing video in low-light conditions.  He also suggests that the improved battery life isn’t enough that you’d want to leave those extra batteries out of your kit.

Despite those few features that could use more improvement, this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition review ends with Lowe describing the Hero3+ favorably, as “the best GoPro action camera yet.” Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at CNET

Joshua Goldman’s GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review at CNET is more informative than opinionated.  Goldman praises the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition’s video quality, paying compliments to the frame rate and resolution.  He mentions that the high bit rate gives your videos plenty of detail, and that the image color and exposure are top notch.  He isn’t as crazy about the menu navigation and battery life, though, emphasizing that you’ll want to toss in a few extra batteries when you pack this one up to go.

The huge variety of mounting options for GoPro cameras are a nice perk (though one you have to pay for).  GoPro’s editing software, by contrast, is a total freebie, and according to Goldman it’s pretty powerful and easy to use.

Goldman finishes this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition review by describing the camera as a top-of-the-line option when it comes to shooting options and video camera.  He suggests, though, that its many features might be overkill for very casual videographers. Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Reviews at Amazon

GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition customer reviews at Amazon echoed a lot of the points made by the authoritative reviewers above.  Many customers were impressed by the GoPro Hero3+’s combination of tiny camera and top-notch video quality.  Others liked Superview and were happy with the improved battery life.

The most valuable insight from Amazon is probably the mixed comments about the updated lens.  A couple early reviewers said objects within a few feet of the camera appeared much sharper, while the sharpness of distant objects had actually decreased with Hero3+.  Others say images are much sharper on the Hero3+ no matter how distant the image subject.  One specifically says that any cameras that exhibit problems with the sharpness of distant objects will actually be replaced by GoPro. Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


My Summary: (4.5 stars)

With a slim profile, best-in-class image quality, and plenty of shooting settings, it’s not too surprising that the the Hero3+ has topped bestseller lists since its release.  After looking at everything from authoritative reviews to Amazon feedback, though, I’ve gotten the strong impression that this popular hit has earned its success.

My recommendation comes with a couple caveats.  First, you’ll probably be happier with this travel gift if you pack some extra batteries ($17.99 at Amazon).  Second, while Superview is an awesome perk, don’t expect too much from it unless you usually shoot with your subject near the middle of the screen.  Third, don’t worry too much about the changed casing unless you love deep sea diving (in that case, check out GoPro’s dedicated dive cases).

So, get this camera and strap it on wherever there’s room.  If you’re serious about your action vids, then you’ll love the Hero3+ and its many opportunities for adventure. Check out the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition at Amazon.


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GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review Roundup
Find out the experts’ opinions on this bestselling waterproof camera with this GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Review Roundup.


I'm a travel addict and shopping lover with six years abroad and seventeen countries under my belt. Now that I've settled down in Cambridge, MA for a couple years, TravelGiftList helps me keep up with the world of fun, quirky, and practical travel gifts!


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