October 17, 2012

GoPro Launches Three HERO3 Cameras, Including 4K and 1080p Models, Pre-Order Now Live

GoPro's surprise announcement of the new HERO3 product line included an unexpected model, the new HERO3 Black Edition, which is capable of 4K and 2.7K resolutions. Two other cameras were also introduced, the Silver Edition and White Edition, which are lower-priced versions that max out at 1080p. WiFi is also standard on all new GoPro models. You might be wondering, how much better is the image quality on this new Black Edition camera? Check out the launch video below for some samples and more information about pre-ordering the camera.

HERO3: Black Edition

Specs for the $400 Black Edition Camera (Estimated Shipping: November 14, 2012)

|

HERO3: Silver Edition

Specs for the $300 Silver Edition Camera (Estimated Shipping: October 22, 2012):

|

HERO3: White Edition

Specs for the $200 Silver Edition Camera (Estimated Shipping: October 22, 2012):

GoPro has also created a very handy way to compare all three cameras on their website. It's looking like the Black Edition is the biggest overhaul (and obviously their flagship model), but if you look at the other POV or action cameras out there, nothing can touch 2.7K resolution at full framerates, and it means that you've got some room in post to crop if you need to. The HERO3 comes with basically everything you would need to get started, and even includes the WiFi remote, so unless you're really strapped for cash or you plan on throwing the camera off a mountain, the Black Edition makes a lot of sense.

If you're having trouble telling the difference between which model is which, GoPro has gone rather subtle, and the edition of the camera is differentiated by the 3 on the front -- with black, silver, and white corresponding to those specific models. Low-light performance has also been improved on the Black Edition camera -- how much so is unclear -- but the sensitivity gets better the more you pay, starting from White and going to Black.

You can check out more information about the cameras on GoPros website, and you can also find the pre-order links below.

What do you guys think about the separate models? Which model are you choosing? Is anyone not choosing the Black Edition?

Links:

Your Comment

72 Comments

But can it film 1080 @ 120fps? ;)

October 17, 2012

-3
Reply

Nope, "only" 60fps in 1080. But 120 is enabled in 720 :)

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply
Lukas

120fps @720 is definitely acceptable!!! (at least to me it is)

October 17, 2012

0
Reply

Why would you expect a $199 camera to shoot 1080 @ 120fps.... When most $8000 cameras can't even do it...

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Tom

Don't you know that no camera is good enuff unless it's 8K, 960fps, ND filters, no moire, full frame and available for free and delivered to your doorstep on demand?

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply
Bobkat

8k? WHY NOT 12K?

October 17, 2012

1
Reply

LMAOOO u guys are funnny

October 17, 2012

2
Reply
that arab guy

lololol

Y U NO FULL FRAME 960 FPS 32K

October 17, 2012

2
Reply

You forgot to include that the footage comes already color-graded and edited.

October 27, 2012

-1
Reply

Wow o_O... How to say... Unexpected? 4K at 400$? I try to repeat myself but something is wrong... Just crazy...

October 17, 2012

-2
Reply
Tatum

Amazing for a $400 camera.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Scott

wow that video was awesome as always

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply
Joe

Yes it does 4K.
Yes it's $400.
Then again, it looks like $400. As a wise man once said - i'd rather have better pixels than more pixels.
(no alexa promotion intended here ;)

October 17, 2012

2
Reply

Make sure you're not watching the 360p (default) version.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Alec

i did.

October 21, 2012

-1
Reply
Markus Haken

That top video is amazingly cut and has fantastic sound design.

What really interests me, is have they fixed the underwater casing? The previous Gopros had an awful underwater case that created a "secondary" lens and made a lot of blurry underwater footage - looked nothing like in their promo videos.

I hope this isn't the case with the Black version.

Does anyone know if they have a proper underwater case this time around?

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Daniel

I was wondering the same thing. I doubt they would use a third party solution for their official video so that has to be the case. The underwater shots blew me away!

October 17, 2012

2
Reply

Yes they integrated a flat lens like their dive kit into the main housing. Yay!

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply

Awesome. It seems pretty clear that in 10 years from now, there won't be 100,000$ cameras anymore.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Daniel

There will always be expensive cameras. No production would look serious with a camera everyone can afford. It's almost as much to do with appearance than with actual ability.

October 18, 2012

2
Reply
Edge

At 2:00, is that the casing that comes with the camera?

October 17, 2012

2
Reply
Daniel

Looks like still H264, even at high bitrate. Which, I think, is fine for a lot of applications. Not like BMD and Raw or ProRes or whatever, and not like Alexa or RED by a long shot... but it might be a great "crash cam" or specialty camera. I think we'll all have one or two of these in our kit.

October 17, 2012

1
Reply

thats crazy..this would be great as a b camera, something to put in tight corners, in cars, and for pov shots

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

B Camera..? People have used
GoPros on national commercials as A camera.

Why have we never seen footage like this
reel out of the Scarlet. And this
camera has better slo-mo rate than Scarlet.
1280X720P at 120fps GoPro..while Scarlet is...
1K at 120fps.......1K...???

October 17, 2012

2
Reply
sammy

1k, which is almost the same as 720p, in 16bit raw...might want to think about how much more data that is.

But who wants to put $15,000 on a crazy stunt when they can use a tiny $400 camera that nevertheless has an amazing image? On the other hand, you won't see GoPros shooting the third Hobbit movie. These two cameras aren't competitors.

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply
Gabe

1k is more or less 720p ;)
And dont even compare a scarlet to a gopro. Two entirely different cameras, two entirely different design philosophies and intended users.

October 17, 2012

-3
Reply
john jeffreys

Amazing specs, but Im not sure any of their camera ever delivered an image that can be compared to the promo vids they always put on. So much post prod its not realistic anymore... I like the products but there is a bit of an exaggeration that deceives me every time.

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
Guillaume

Yeah..know what you mean.
No RED camera ever looked this good.
But it's all just Noise Reduction and CC

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
sammy

Yeah? So why'd Red Bull use Red One's to shoot Felix, instead of these new GoPros?

These new GoPros look awesome, but please tone down the hyperbole.

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
Gabe

Red Bull shot with Red because they're making an IMAX documentary of the whole jump. They needed 5K resolution and high bitrate. And Raw also ain't that bad.

October 17, 2012

-1
Reply
FabDex

Here is uncompressed version of the first clip (Black edition)
http://fil.io/FL82vTNAs/Footage%20from%20GoPro%20HERO3

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
AlexeyD

Just to clarify, this isn't uncompressed (that would be kind of insane to download) but rather this is the 1080p version of the H.264 video, which is very handy if you want to see it on a nice big screen device like something in your living room that you might not have a direct internet connection to (or want to deal with buffering and the like).

October 18, 2012

-1
Reply
trackofalljades

This video can now be downloaded here as well: https://vimeo.com/51618708

October 25, 2012

1
Reply
trackofalljades

4K yes, but at 15 fps... It's simply useless and there only for marketing reasons and people fall for it by saying it's shooting 4K [like NFS, no offence]. No it's not 4K, if you can't really use it, you can't say it's 4K.

But useable 2.7K and 1080p at 60fps, built in wifi and wifi remote and what looks like a dive case are good enough reasons to upgrade for me.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply

Oh god, you people whine about anything.
Be happy that it does 720p at 120fps, and 2.7k at 24fps. Your shitty GH2 cant do that.

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
john jeffreys

Gosh, there is always someone complaining about people who are """complaining""".

You're not a very nice guy are you?

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

There are things called still images. That's what 4K at 15FPS is for. High-end DSLRs don't manage 15FPS in burst mode and you can't mount them in all of the places you can stick a GoPro.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

well the 1DX kinda does, 14fps or whatever

October 17, 2012

2
Reply
john jeffreys

will grabbing a still from 15fps footage be hard? especially if it is in a place where the camera is constantly moving.

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
Joe

It depends on the "shutter" speed. Several people on this and the last post seem to think that the images from this 15 fps will have the same motion blur/ghosting that you get when you set the shutter on your HDV camera to 15. Now I don't know cause I haven't investigated too much and their site doesn't seem to say, but 15 fps doesn't mean that the "shutter" will be open and exposing the sensor for 1/15th of a second. If it does than that would seriously limit the options for what those images could be used for especially on a camera that is designed to move and shake as much as this one will.

October 18, 2012

-1
Reply

If it's anything like last GoPro's...you have no control over the shutter...there is no aperture, so the exposure is controlled by shutter speed. Bright sunny days have that Gladiator/Domino Scott Brothers stuttery look and night/dawn/dusk or dim days have that Miami Vice/Public Enemies Michael Mann look. Ha ha.

October 24, 2012

0
Reply
Daniel Mimura

It does 30fps stills bursts if I got it right...

So yeah it can be used for that, but that's a very limited use

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

Animation 101 You can speed up people's movement
or have someone move at half speed and film them at
15fps. It adds an odd/off effect.
Obviously not for dialogue though.

October 17, 2012

-3
Reply
sammy

what is the video compression and codec?

October 17, 2012

1
Reply
ico

The codec is mp4 which sucks big time. On FCP and Media Composer you MUST transcode. Okay I take that back on FCPX you dont need to transcode but who uses FCPX? Seriously? I still use FCP7 which is a damn workhorse and leatherman(tool that does everything, think American swiss army knife).

If Gopro uses a codec other then mp4 such as AVCHD or better yet ProRes I would get bunch of these.

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Ben Incahutz

MP4 is a container, not a codec. I believe the GoPro uses h264 as the codec, which is the same as AVCHD.

The question really is which h264 profile. Contrary to popular opinion h264 profiles all the way up to 14bit 444.

October 18, 2012

-2
Reply
Asdf

Actually, now that I check, AVCHD doesn't allow higher resolutions than 1080p, or better sampling that 420. I don't think MP4 suffers from the same resolution restriction at least.

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Asdf

FCP X is very capable, and many people use it. Give it another shot if you dismissed it at launch.

October 18, 2012

-1
Reply

I use FCP X exclusively now. For the most part, it's phenomenal.

October 18, 2012

-1
Reply
Swested

You don't use FCP X because you are old, resistant to change, and lack any creative ability. It is the best, most progressive, and most intuitive editing system in the world; people hate it at first and then it ends becoming the standard, much like anything else Apple makes (their phones, laptops, mobile devices, etc)

October 18, 2012

-1
Reply
john jeffreys

I'm curious, do you even know why Avid is still the standard for editing feature films?

I'll give you a hint, it's because of actual features it has, not because its users are old and uncreative...

October 19, 2012

0
Reply
Gabe

Yeah, iPhoto and Aperture are the de facto standards the world of photography.

October 19, 2012

0
Reply
Ben Incahutz

If you use the ProTune firmware upgrade you get 35Mbps which is a higher bit rate than many DSLRs and a flatter game profile so you can do more with the grading. No it's not Raw, but should be quite versatile for the price, expendability, size, and versatility of the camera.

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

This is amazing, and to think my company just sold our GoPros to move on to Sony and now this...Man GoPro you got us again. Like others have said the 4K is ok not really great but come on...this and a black magic cam go hand in hand. I will use it for Action Sports so the 60p full HD and 120p is great to me. Add Protune and custom white balance, this becomes a tool for shooting films like never before.

October 17, 2012

0
Reply
Russell

I like how this article has the different graphs to compare all of the cameras.

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Karl Walsh

If the Black Edition video was shot using only those GoPro's, I am really amazed. Everyone critizising on the Hero 3 has to keep in mind what this camera is all about. It is a small wearable action camera that due to it's popularity has started integrating "wishes" from filmmakers (which by itself is very cool). The 3rd generation here definitely wow'd me. It's a hell of a deal!

And to be blunt, if you cannot tell your story with this camera, not even an Alexa will help you...

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Raphael

Looks great! But...

Does anyone know of anywhere that will ship to Australia? B&H won't, Amazon won't, and until the wi-fi certification paperwork is done, we can't buy it locally (with extra cost anyway). Any ideas?

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

Lemac

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Steve

you should be able to get it by Christmas....

October 18, 2012

0
Reply
Peter

Looks great, ut I can't shake the feeling that not all shots inside the video were made with the GoPro. Some heli-shots appear to be made over extended ranges, which can only be achieved with a real helicopter, not a drone which the pilot always wants to keep in line of sight. And mounting this under a real heli seems to be beyond the point of being lighter.

Also, what good is having more resolution if the codec is still 4:2:0 instead of 4:2:2? It doesn't eally change much in the grade...

Sorry for being skeptical, but I was just pretty disappointed with the results of a drone shoot with Hero2s this Summer...

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

Yping his n y pad hich eaves ut ome haracters. Orry bout hat...

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

You might be right, but FWIW there are certainly drones these days (that these guys could afford) that have no requirement for line-of-sight whatsoever...you can control them in first person through goggles (and you can do pretty amazing things with range too).

October 21, 2012

0
Reply
trackofalljades

I do not know what regulations there are in the US concerning private UAV's (ie: drones) that are operated via first person view. Over here it is not permitted to solely operate them FPV. You are required to have a second person (that can also intervene via his own remote) that can visually see the drone at all times.

October 22, 2012

0
Reply
Raphael

I have no idea what the law might be here, but I have a feeling not everyone cares...there are certainly some amazing videos out there shot from heli drones and RC airplanes of stuff like bridges and cities and the Statue of Liberty that definitely go well beyond any possibility of line-of-sight.

October 23, 2012

0
Reply
trackofalljades

i think this one is perfect for you and let get it one It depends on the “shutter” speed. Several people on this and the last post seem to think that the images from this 15 fps will have the same motion blur/ghosting that you get when you set the shutter on your HDV camera to 15. Now I don’t know cause I haven’t investigated too much and their site doesn’t seem to say, but 15 fps doesn’t mean that the “shutter” will be open and exposing the sensor for 1/15th of a second. If it does than that would seriously limit the options for what those images could be used for especially on a camera that is designed to move and shake as much as this one will.Animation 101 You can speed up people’s movementor have someone move at half speed and film them at 15fps. It adds an odd/off effect.Obviously not for dialogue though.

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

1/15s would be the longest the shutter speed at 4K, but it doesn't mean it's fixed at that. Like with all other modes on the GP2, it'll adjust ISO and shutter speed as necessary to get a proper exposure.

You can also put ND filters or an ND fader in front to alter the shutter speed. Hopefully someone will create an add on that will allow you to add filters, like the BlurFix for the GP2. One of the things I'll miss on the upgrade. But not too much. :3

October 18, 2012

0
Reply

They updated the specs on their site so the 4K cinema mode is also 15fps...did they update the camera due to response, or were the specs just incorrectly listed originally?

October 20, 2012

0
Reply

15fps at 4K, really? I should think the minimum for that to be considered a true 4k camera is 24...

Are people really gonna pull stills from this camera? It's not a Scarlet, you can't shoot at 3:1 compression and get basically lossless stills, the compression artefacting will surely be awful?

October 22, 2012

0
Reply
Will S

Hopefully Magic Lantern will create a firmware so we can make better use of the 4K.

October 22, 2012

0
Reply
MovieBuff

I accidentally erased 1080p version of clip
If you have it on your computer, please reupload it here http://fil.io/FLU5mj/Public%20upload%20folder
Thanks

March 25, 2013

0
Reply
AlexeyD

When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox
and now each time a comment is added I get
four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can
remove me from that service? Bless you!

December 23, 2013

0
Reply

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site?
My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would
certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

April 5, 2014

0
Reply