GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Enhanced
The new generation GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera is finally a little bit smaller and lighter. The HERO3+ camera housing from outside is 20% smaller than the previous generation GoPro HERO3 Black Edition HD action camera. The HERO3+ camera unit itself has no changes in dimensions, but still smaller is simply better and without the housing, the HERO3+ would be useless in allroad motorcycle touring. The difference is essential from the aerodynamics point of view. Most of the motorcycle action cameras are placed in the direct air flow and even turbulence which effects the quality of authentic sound. By carefully planning the point of mounting, the air flow can be mostly avoided. Different shapes and spoilers can direct the air flow just around the camera and the sound becomes again useful for the video. Pay attention to compact mounts that allow to utilize the small size of the new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera.
The new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera looks very much the same as the predecessor, but offers new features and more advanced technique. The HERO3+ WiFi connection to a smartphone or tablet is 4 times faster than before which is interesting for those who control the camera mainly with such tools. A sharper lens provides improved image quality and the HERO3+ SuperVIEW in 720p and 1080p resolutions creates one of the most compelling wide angle perspective. For fast action recording there is even higher fps -settings to deliver the best riding video experiences so far. Advanced low light features bring more quality, details in the shadows and possibilities for challenging conditions.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Functionality
One of the most important features of the new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera is the functionality and the use in versatile situations and conditions. GoPro offers a lot of accessories that respond to different user requirements such as motorcycle riding. There are flat and curved adhesive mounts which are good for recording from helmets, panniers or front fenders. The HERO3+ can be also turned upside down hanging from the bottom surface of the offroad helmet peak still playing upright the video.
There are 2 type of housings for GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera. The skeleton housing is designed for better sound capture and is therefore better for motorcycle recording. The design helps to reduce the wind noise when HERO3+ is mounted to the helmet for example and catches the air flow. The skeleton housing is non waterproof and provides less protection in wet, dusty and dirty conditions which require a standard GoPro housing.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Modes
There are few interesting GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera modes that make the recording easier and raise the quality of videos. Those who prefer to operate the camera with a single button technique, can utilize the battery life to the fullest. The HERO3+ ONE button mode starts automatically video recording when powering the camera ON. The settings are made and stores before and there is no need for further adjustments. This is practical when keeping the camera attached to the helmet or chest mount waiting in OFF mode for the next event.
The new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera brings also efficiency to recording in order to capture as much as possible during the special moments. The HERO3+ has a simultaneous video and still photo capturing mode which can be interesting when recording material with a single run for different kind of use. When riding through an exciting passage both the video and the still photos can be made simultaneously. In the mode the HERO3+ takes automatically still photos in certain intervals while recording the video. The shorter the run, the more frequent the interval for still photos can be in order to capture the special settings in question. The fullest amount of still photos can be made manually with the BURST Photo mode which captures more than enough photos, even up to 30 photos/s.
The new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera provides also better video recording features in challenging lighting condition. When riding in and out of tunnels or recording videos during the sunset or sundown, the amount of light changes rapidly and becomes a true challenge for camcorders. Now GoPro offers a new tool against it. The HERO3+ Auto LOW Light mode will automatically adjust and optimize the frame rate and exposure time for better results than before.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Settings
Setting the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera can be easily done with a smart phone or tablet by using a free GoPro application. The App allows to fully control the camera through the WiFi connection and adjust everything, but also to see the preview and even playback the capture. The GoPro application is very useful tool to operate the camera during the day of ride, but small screens are often limiting and perhaps a tablet would bring a big enough screen to see the playback and valuate the quality when considering another take or angle to shoot.
PROTune Mode for Video Editors
Those who want to put some extra effort on editing the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera video material, can utilize the PROTune mode which opens the full camera potential for further editing with cinema calibre software. The highest 4K and 2,7K resolutions with the lowest amount of frames per second support the fine HERO3+ PROTune features, but also require the most stable camera handling with tripods. Professionals can create stunning videos more flexible than before. The PROTune mode simply captures images with less compression providing more RAW data to work with and integrate with other media sources.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Battery Life
The new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera offers a 30% longer battery life compared to the predecessor. A full battery allows to record less than two hours depending on temperature, settings and use of WiFi connection. A long battery life is highly essential feature on the road and while riding. The camera should always be ready for another shot when an inspiring surrounding comes up. The HERO3+ package includes a USB cable which can be used with a 12V power outlet charger. Unfortunately a full charge takes quite the same time than the recording. Having a spare battery with a full charge would be quite practical and since GoPro offers a separate HERO3+ dual battery charger which is also USB compatible, recharging would be possible at all times. The rider can rotate the batteries and record all day long.
The GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera recording time can be extended to the fullest by utilizing few simple battery saving methods. Adjust the camera mounts using the smart phone or tablet application, but turn off the App once it is done. Otherwise operating with the GoPro Remote while riding is not even possible. By using the remote instead of the App, extends the battery life around 20 to 30 minutes. By taking the camera WiFi off an extra 10 minutes can be generated. Using the HERO3+ without the GoPro Remote in the ONE button mode, the battery life can be extended to the fullest potential. Fortunately the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera can also record and save the capture automatically before powering off which is sometimes a relief.
The GoPro offers a limited edition battery BacPac which attaches to the back of the HERO3+. The GoPro Battery BacPac can be recharged separately from the camera which is practical on the road. Having the battery BacPac on the camera makes of course it heavier which is why I prefer simply to change batteries. Recording with the battery BacPac extends a single standard battery charge, but it does not allow to rotate batteries endlessly between the camera and a separate charger unit. The HERO2 still has one, but I guess the demand was simply too low to keep it on board.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera SD Memory Cards
The GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera uses microSD memory cards that are capable of delivering at least a class 10 recording and card reading performance. I would recommend to use only quality card brands and several microSD cards instead of a single large capacity card, in order to minimize the risk of memory card failures. The moment and setting captured on the card can be a single time event which will never happen again and you do not want to loose it due to a microSD card failure or a loss of data on a large capacity card. Such things are not rare enough. Therefore having several professional grade microSD cards is the safest way. Some of the action cameras do not even work with inexpensive end of cards. GoPro recommends the following brands for HERO3+ cameras:
The micro SDXC extended capacity cards support even up to 2TB storage capacity and the microSDHC high capacity cards up to 32GB which is still enough for most of us. The speed class rating indicates the minimum recording and card reading performance. The class 4 and 6 cards apply for lowest HD up to full HD video recording by providing 4MB and 6 MB/s performance. Therefore the class 6 is the slowest type for some of the HD action cameras on the market. The class 10 applies for full HD video and still photo recording by providing at least 10MB/s performance and the new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera requires at least that, especially when using the PROTune mode or CINEMA resolutions. The fastest class UHS ultra high speed or grade 1 cards applies for real time broadcasting and storing large HD video files by providing over 10MB/s performance which is hardly necessary for most of us.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD Action Camera Comparison
Compared to the challenger GARMIN Virb ELITE HD action camera, the market leader GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition provides professional level image quality and editing possibilities, is about 30% lighter with the housing and offers impressive low light abilities. The HERO3+ sets the bar very high, but the competition brings new features in to the play. Time will tell how HERO3+ answers.
These action cameras are both very good for allroad touring purposes and one would not go wrong with one or the other, but they are quite different from nature. The GARMIN Virb ELITE HD action camera brings GPS and heart rate features into the video recordings which can be fascinating. The VIRB Elite has also bigger 1,4 inch color display for easy view angle adjustments including digital leveling features, camera settings and replay. Also VIRB Elite camera is more aerodynamic and creates less turbulence which can be important from the audio and helmet attachment point of view. Clearly the VIRB Elite is heavier than the HERO3+, but that can be also an advantage in the riding turbulence. From the operating point of view, the VIRB Elite offers at least the same level of practicality as the HERO3+, but on top there is bigger display and more buttons to work with the settings more directly. The GARMIN Virb ELITE HD action camera may be more focused to please the action sports fans by integrating GPS and training exercise features with the recording. The GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition HD action camera is more ideal for most demanding video recording with professional level requirements.
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