The GoPro HERO3 made an instant splash when it was announced last month, especially since the new camera was capable of not only 2.7K, but an astonishing 4K. The 4K mode is more useful as an undercrank for faster motion, and while the camera does not shoot 4K at a typical frame rate (15fps maximum), that does not necessarily mean it can't be used. Jared Abrams over at Wide Open Camera was able to get his hands on the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition and perform some some tests with converting 4K into something that more closely resembles normal motion.
Here is a little bit of his process:
It took a few hours to get everything sorted but I think it was well worth it. Cineform does a good job of converting the 12fps 4K to something useable. The motion of the swing is pretty good. The OSD image stabilization is killer! I hit those speed bumps at around 40MPH with very little camera shake.
Check out the videos below:
Even though the company released three cameras back in October, only the Black Edition is capable of 4K and 2.7K modes, while the other two cameras, Silver and White, will only do 1080p at best. If you're wondering why someone would even want 4K, it should provide a slightly cleaner picture since downscaling in post with a better algorithm will usually provide better quality than doing it on a small camera like this (besides the undercranking and the possibility for pulling stills from the video). The other reason you might want this high resolution, is if you need to crop and move the frame around quite a bit. Since the GoPro doesn't resolve that much detail in the first place, it would be better not having to do that in the 1080p mode, though you could certainly try it with normal motion at the 2.7K mode, which may prove to be a lot more useful for more situations.
He also did another test, this time focusing on the audio quality:
Here's another test of the HERO3 from Andrew Whiteford, who shot mostly 2k/30fps and 1440p/48fps for this video:
Jared has actually provided a full resolution file straight from the camera, and also a corresponding file that attempts to fill in some missing information. Both files are still 12fps, but the converted file definitely looks better. If you're curious, head on over to Wide Open Camera and download the files for yourself.
What do you guys think about the videos above? Download the full sample and let us know what you think of the 4K quality coming out of the HERO3.