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GoPro has just announced it’s newest action camera, the GoPro Hero 3! As huge fans and avid users of GoPro cameras, we couldn’t be more excited to hear the news.  My original GoPro Hero HD has survived YEARS of abuse.  From crashing out in MX races and hare scrambles, to riding the jungles of Costa Rica, to blasting down the back straight at Road Atlanta at 140+mph, my GoPro Hero HD has been with me everywhere.   It’s like my best friend.

When GoPro released the Hero 2 it had some definite advantages over my old Hero HD, but I just couldn’t quite justify the cost of upgrading when my old camera was still going strong.

The GoPro Hero3 changes everything.

As the graphic above indicates, GoPro claims the Hero3 Black edition is 2x more powerful than the previous Hero2, which in turn was twice as powerful as my original Hero HD.  What does “Black Edition” mean, you ask?  The new GoPro Hero 3 will actually be available in 3 different versions, designated only by the color of the number 3 on the front of the camera: White, Silver, or Black. Here is a breakdown of the three different levels:

The White Edition will actually only be available through big box retail stores, a camera for the masses, if you will.  The GoPro Hero3 Silver and GoPro Hero3 Black edition will be available through specialized stores who cater to the lifestyle of a GoPro user (hey, that’s us!).  Other than the built in wifi and smaller size, the GoPro white edition is essentially the same as my trusty old GoPro Hero HD.  3 second photo burst, 5 Megapixel stills, and standard HD video formats that have been around for a while.  The White Edition will retail for $199, which is an attractive price, but when you see the advantages that the Silver or Black edition offer, we think you’ll want to pony up the extra dinero.

The GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition is most like the Hero 2 it replaces, at least in terms of video and picture modes.  Don’t let those similar specs fool you though, the new GoPro Hero3 Silver packs a serious punch, and offers several vast improvements over the previous GoPro Hero2.  Firstly, the smaller housing is a significant advantage.  We’ll be able to cram these cameras into even tighter spaces, and the 10-40% weight savings is a big plus if you prefer a helmet mount.  The built in Wi-Fi and some more advanced manual settings set this camera apart from the old camera by a significant margin.  Lastly, all three new cameras feature a new casing with a lens cover that will not distort or blur underwater, a well documented problem with the previous generation (important if you love to scuba dive as I do!).  The new GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition will retail for $299, keeping it right in line with the price of the previous generation.

Lastly, the GoPro Hero3 Black edition will only be available through select retailers who specialize in this type of high end equipment.  It has an impressive list of features, including 4k video (albeit at a measly 12fps), 12 Megapixel stills, and an amazing 30 shot per second burst mode.  The GoPro Hero3 Black will not be available until early 2013, and will retail for $399 (includes the Wi-Fi remote as well).

We are stoked to get one of these to test in house, and will certainly post some sample footage when we manage to get our hands on one.  Meanwhile, check out the promo video that GoPro produced:

 


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