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Review: GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition

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Review: GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition
Disclaimer: I am no expert in photography so the basis of this review is based on my full capacity as an ordinary user. If your a professional photographer or videographer looking for a comprehensive review then I beg you to skip this review and look somewhere else but if your just like me who wanted to know the basics of this gadget then this review might help you.

I've been looking for an action camera for years and then I came across with GoPro. I know GoPro has been here for a while but I only knew about it when Hero 3+ was released. So after testing it on the beach and brought it with me during my last climb, here is my honest review about it.

The Good

Stunning HD video capture
GoPro primary function is to record videos and second to capture still photos. Based on my testing, GoPro Hero 3+ has everything you wanted from a video recorder. It is capable of capturing HD movies from 720p, 960p, 1080p, 1440p, 2K and yes even 4K. The Hero 3+ version of GoPro supports "SuperView" which a tech term for capturing videos in ultra wide angle mode. If your not a fan of ultra wide angle view, then you can always switch to Wide, Medium and Narrow views.

As a still camera, Hero 3+ Black Edition can capture stunning 12MP stills at up to 30 frames per second. When you hold down the shutter, it continuously captures stills at 3 to 10 frames per second. It also has a time lapse mode which enables auto photo capture at 1/2, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 second intervals. Below are some of stills that I captured using Hero 3+ mounted on a chesty strap.

Compact and lightweight
The Hero 3+ is thus far the smallest and lightest among all GoPro cameras. Although the black edition which I have now is 20% smaller than the previous models, it is compatible with all GoPro mounts and accessories.

Built for adventure
Want to bring your GoPro under sea water or over the mountain top? No problem. Using different kinds of housing, GoPro can withstand any adventure you can think of. The waterproof standard housing alone can go dip in to the water up to 40 meters deep. If you want to go deeper then there is a dive housing that can go 60 meters or deeper. If your into hiking, trail run, biking and etc., your GoPro can stay with you using different mounts and straps such as chesty (chest mount), head strap, and bike mounts.

The Bad

Expensive accessories
You can buy the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition for Php17,000 to 20,000 but the bundle alone is not enough to be adventure ready. You still need a good pole or tripod, extra batteries or battery bacpac, chesty (chest mount), head strap and probably an organiser whenever your not using it. These extra buys can force you to spend an additional of at least Php10,000. I think this is too much if you compare it against other action cameras such as AEEE and iHawk.

Underpowered battery
GoPro's standard battery can give you two (2) Hours of continuous video recording. This is pretty decent for its size but I wish it has more. You can always buy a Battery BacPac to double your GoPro battery life but you need to spend another $49.99 or approximately Php2000 for it. Or you can buy the Wasabi Power Battery Pack that comes with 2 extra batteries and a wall charger instead which can cost you around Php 1,800.

The Verdict

So do I recommend to buying it? If you're into adventure or you travel a lot, then this all around, small but mighty camera is for you. If your just looking for a video camera for everyday use then GoPro camera is in my opinion overkill and inappropriate. There are far more better camcorders out there that will suit your purpose. But I won't judge if you insist on buying it, after all it is your money to spend.

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