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October 17, 2012

GoPro Goes 4K, HERO3 Camera with 1080p 60FPS Shipping Soon

[Update: GoPro has announced three camera models, full details here] We knew it was coming sooner or later, but I don't think many suspected that the new camera from GoPro would be quite this powerful. Industry pros and others were invited to a GoPro event in the Bay area tonight where the brand new 4K capable HERO3 Black Edition camera was introduced. Sony and JVC have been trying to get in on the action with their own POV cams, but when it comes down to specs, this new pocket cam from GoPro might be in a whole other league -- and it's even going to be compatible with the new Protune firmware upgrade that was just released. Click through for everything we know so far about the camera.

Here are the specs so far (thanks to Stu Maschwitz for the info):

  • 4K: 15fps
  • 2.7K: 30/25/24 fps
  • 1440p: 48/30/25/24 fps
  • 1080p: 60/50/48/30/25/24 fps
  • 960p: 100/48
  • 720p: 120/100/60/50 fps
  • WVGA: 240fps
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Availability: November
  • Price: $400

The styling of the device is only a slight departure from previous models, but the more aggressive lines are definitely representative of the high-performance contained within. The rumors hadn't been quite clear, but it was becoming more and more apparent that the company was going to bring out a new high-end model before the end of the year. 1080p 60fps had been a frequent request by GoPro users, and the company has delivered that and more.

We will update as we learn more information about the camera and get the rest of the details about the impending pre-order.

Link: GoPro HERO3 Pre-order -- Website

[via GoPro Twitter & Stu Maschwitz]

Your Comment

85 Comments

Heh, 15 fps.

What a joke. It's a start, but I mean...

October 17, 2012

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Tyler

4K at 15 FPS is a "joke?" 1080p at 60p is a "joke?" For $400?! Those are basically the same framerates as the RED SCARLET which is $10K. How spoiled digital filmmakers are these days!!!

October 17, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I feared that I would be called spoiled, as well, for feeling the same way. There is NO denying that them stating that it can shoot 4K was solely to garner attention and increase the "wow" factor. 4K at 15fps is essentially useless. There is no getting around that. I don't think that stating that makes anyone spoiled at all.

That being said, I don't think anyone will be less than grateful for 1080p60! and 120 fps at 720p? That's insane! This is an amazing camera for the price.

October 17, 2012

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Trevor

Who knows, there could be a future firmware upgrade to at least bump it up to 24p.

October 17, 2012

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Sean Woods

You'll benefit from the stills this bad boy can take. You're not meant to film at that frame rate??

October 17, 2012

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Travis

It's rare to ever shoot video at 15 frames per second. I only know of 3 times in mainstream media off the top of my head, 1 in making the nitro scene in Gone in 60 Seconds, 2 with the really fast blurry face in Jacob's Ladder, 3 and a similar fast blurry face on Doctor Who: End of Time where everyone on earth turns into the master. It's very uncomfortable and only used for stylized shots.

October 17, 2012

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Chris

people shoot clouds and streams or waves and that sort of thing at half frame rate all the time.

It's just a bonus feature, not a main shooting resolution. No one would complain about it if it just did 1080p60.

Heh...this isn't 2014...

October 24, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

This will be good for action radiography, wanting to accurately speed up your footage with the frame rate, like what they would do in 1920s silent film comedies, or martial arts movies

October 17, 2012

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Rambobuttplug

You can pull 4K stills of high speed action like a burst mode on a stills camera, except it’s not just a burst – it is on as long as the camera can record. - so yeah 4k at 15fps is awesome!

October 17, 2012

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John

Exactly. That's why I really badly want this camera - 720p @ 120 FPS?!?!!?!? Holy cow poop! The only thing I'm annoyed about is the distortion but who cares when you have 720p @ 120FPS!!!!! :O

October 18, 2012

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Tyler

Indeed. it never seems to be good enough.

October 17, 2012

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Travis

Very spoiled! I've been saying that for a while now, but it's increasingly obvious.
OTOH, some of that mentality is indirectly related to the need these companies have to keep evolving...

October 17, 2012

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Daniel

I am sure that if you compared HERO3 footage with SCARLET footage, there would be a universe of difference between the two, even with the SCARLET in 15fps mode. There is a reason that GoPro cameras are so cheap: they sacrifice quality and features for affordability and size. This may be “high end” for GoPro, but they cater much moreso to athletes and hobbyists than they do professional videographers. Which is fine: different strokes for different folks. But let’s not pretend that the 4K capability on this camera is anything but a novelty; a neat engineering trick that helps marketability. Few filmmakers, spoiled or not, have any use for 15fps in the real world—you can’t even burn it to a DVD—save undercranking. But even then, you’d need one of 24, 25, or 30 to splice that footage with, unless you want your whole film in fast-motion. Lower resolutions and it starts to look impressive, but I would still probably class it in the category of “B-cam” for most of your readers.

October 17, 2012

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Yeah, but would you strap a Scarlet (or three of them) on the hood of a Formula One race car? Or above the goalie post in a hockey game?

Professional Videographers have a lot of uses for small decent quality cameras in angles that would be unheard of before. I've seen these in the background of Storage Wars - they just provide more options.

As far as the half speed of 4k... yeah, that's kind of a gimmick... but it's not that 12fps or 15fps is unwatchable... its' just everything will start having the cadence of a Harry Hausen Stop Motion Animation

October 17, 2012

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Good points.

October 17, 2012

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lol - Smart Boy

October 17, 2012

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Arif lalani

yeah let's just not start comparing scarlet and a gopro even if it is spec related

October 17, 2012

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Joe

But very situational. It's a video camera, not a still camera.

October 18, 2012

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Tyler

it's also a $400 camera... 4K for $400 :P :P

October 17, 2012

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I work in film restoration, and old 16mm was either shot at 24fps, or 15. 8mm and Super 8 were both 24fps (quite rare) or 18. It's not as bad as you might think.

Maybe not practical for "normal" shooting, but it's not like it's a slideshow either. Quite usable.

October 17, 2012

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BStan

Neato!

4K at 15fps is really only for those guys that shoot action sports and want a series of stills... but for that use, it's a total game changer.

October 17, 2012

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How much I want one

October 17, 2012

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Luis

Oh my good god!

October 17, 2012

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Travis

I'm all for the higher framerates at 1080p and 720p, and the wifi capabilities are definitely rad.

But 4K at 15 fps? Really? What good does that do anyone? It's like when Red said that the Scarlet could shoot 5K. Yeah, 5K stills. Great. It's all just an attention gimmick.

Also, I wonder why they never announce bit depth and color subsampling schemes. I'm assuming it's still 8 bit 4:2:0, but maybe they'll surprise us (probably not).

That being said, the inclusion of wifi capabilities is definitely rad. I'm all for that. This is a pretty sweet action camera for $300.

October 17, 2012

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Trevor

Excuse my repetition.

October 17, 2012

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Trevor

Don't forget the GoPro audience - these are people that use it for capturing sports - a great little camera to put it anywhere.

Put the GoPro at the bottom of a motor cross jump and shoot 4K at 15fps and you can assemble a pretty amazing multiple exposure image like this:
http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Red+Bulls+High+Rise+MVk0ok3ugerl.jpg

And do it at a fairly decent print resolution.

Film wise - yeah maybe not so much use... but then again why do you really need 4K?

October 17, 2012

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More pixels = more information to play with in post.... Less ugly gradation as well. 4K images are simply amazing. Certainly where video is heading, before 3D becomes the norm.

October 17, 2012

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Travis

The resolution will not affect how the footage holds up in color grading... Bit depth and chroma subsampling will, however. An 8 bit 4:2:0 4K video may be large (in terms of resolution) but doesn't have enough manipulatable color information to matter a whole lot, especially if you're really trying to push the footage with a look. I'd take 1080p 4:2:2 video over that.

October 17, 2012

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Trevor

Preferring 4:2:2 1080p over 4:2:0 4k is totally clueless. 4k 4:2:0 has the same vertical chroma resolution as 1080p 4:2:2 and double the horizontal resolution.

October 17, 2012

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Asdf

Yeah yeah 4k... no need to hash that up again.

It's a GoPro. It's not about the amazing picture quality... it's about all the cool and exciting places it can go that make the camera unique (not to mention it's the best of the POV cameras in terms of quality).

October 17, 2012

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Huzzah!

October 17, 2012

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Trevor

Was that with a gopro? I have 3...and I've never been able to get such a crisp output from mine to render a composite that looks as good as that. I've tried a few times because I do these with my 1DmkIII :)

So in theory, sure, you could do stuff like that, but it's not practical. It's really just marketing hype.

"4K" is the video buzzword just like more MegaPixels was for the last 8 years in DSLRs...

Frankly, if they left that part out of this release, would anyone have been disappointed? No, the rest of the specs are excellent and everyone is excited for the cam. In this case, they're marketing hype is going to cause them some negative backlash. It's an unneeded distraction.

October 17, 2012

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sean

I'm excited for the 2.7K: 30/25/24 fps. Also the better low light.

October 17, 2012

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Sean Woods

That's what I'm extremely keen to see as well.

October 17, 2012

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Travis

So a GoPro can now shoot 1080p 60FPS, but a Canon 1DX with Dual Digic 5+ processors can't? Hopefully this'll set a new standard for the DSLR market too, though Canon just came out with their new line of processors. Maybe it's the sensor's likeliness to overheat? I'm not sure... but I really do hope DSLRs follow through soon.

October 17, 2012

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Antony Alvarez

Firs time poster,
this is amazing! Who could complain about a 400 dollar gopro with 2.5K at acceptable frame rates? Then 1080p at 60 fps, even alot of cameras above that price point cant do that. Yes probably the image quality wont be excellent, but this is a crash cam we're talking about here, a pretty good one to.

October 17, 2012

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Xiong

no builtin stabilization ?

October 17, 2012

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Shoot 2.7K and stabilize in post - easy!

October 17, 2012

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JWise

true it will definitely be wide enough

October 17, 2012

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Joe

What's actually quite confusing here is the way they bounce between width dimensions (4k and I'm assuming 2.7K) and verticle dimensions (1080p, 720p). I'm guessing 1440p is a vertical dimension...

https://twitter.com/5tu/status/258410072529575936/photo/1

October 17, 2012

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or is that 4k a vertical dimension? It says 4Kp.... which may mean this is more than 4k.

October 17, 2012

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the "K" counting is horizontal and is in the past used to describe film-scans. "P"'s is vertical and is from the TV system of counting the lines vertically... So 1440P would mean 1920x1440P and 2.7K would mean roughly 2700x1525progressive (assuming 1.77:1 aspect ratio), And 2.7 K really puts this as THE crash-cam to go to, even in productions with way more expensive A-cameras, in my mind :)

October 17, 2012

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Seriously, some of you call yourselves photographers and filmmakers? And you don't know what 4K 15fps is good for? Has anyone here shot timelapse lately? Maybe the hackers at Chdk will give us a hack and drop the fps to a frame every 1/3 or 1/2 second! Then we mount the camera on a raft and hit the Colorado River for 3 weeks and film the Canyon using 6 camera pointing in all directions to build a surround timelapse of rafting the Canyon's whitewater. Sure you can do this with Canon's or Red's, but that's going to cost between $10k and $100k where you also then risk those non-waterproof cameras going into a rapid and losing the entire kit. A little imagination guys.

October 17, 2012

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JWise

Previous GoPros already have a timelapse feature built in :)

October 17, 2012

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As 11MP stills recording .jpgs - not ProTune flat 4K video. Big difference for storage and quality.

October 17, 2012

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JWise

Being able to pull decent stills off action cameras is probably a good approach, anything to limit the nausea factor. There are some post tricks that seem to work as well. Overall, I think it takes immense skill and precise editing to produce watchable action footage. Definitely not just shoot, post to 'Tube, and vomit into a sic-sac.

October 17, 2012

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nocturnal_264

2.7K: 30/25/24 fps!!!
Seriously, was just about to buy a HERO 2 (for B cam and surf work) and then this hits. 2.7k in multiple formats??? 120 fps in 720p?? Are you kidding me??
Will definitely buy.

October 17, 2012

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marklondon

What is the sensor size in this? What is the dynamic range? Shouldn't we be concerned more with the final image quality/DR over the resolution? We all know that DSLR 1080p is quite different than what the BMCC can put out at that same resolution.

Koo posted about the JVC 4k camera back in January:
http://nofilmschool.com/2012/01/wanted-3k-3k-red-scarlet-jvc-you/

And Joe posted about the 4k, 16-bit spy/creeper Flea cam back in July:
http://nofilmschool.com/2012/07/forget-3k-for-3k-how-about-4k-16bit-raw-...

Despite having massive feedback on those posts, there wasn't any followup, and I'm assuming it's because no one has decided to use these on features or projects that they hold dear to their hearts. 4k is great, but I think you might be confusing our need for specific features for being spoiled.

Btw, we better not see this pop up in the "Great Camera Shootout 2013" - the iPhone was enough of a joke.

October 17, 2012

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Finally a camera with 1080 60p. I can almost hear the trolls of the future scoffing that it doesn't have 1080 120p.

October 17, 2012

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Mike Hendzel

This made my night hahaha

October 17, 2012

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