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GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition Vs Hero 3+ Black Edition

The GoPro Hero 3 plus arrives just 12 months on from the release of the GoPro Hero 3 Black series. The camera comes supplied in the standard GoPro packaging. Included in the package is the camera, wifi remote, USB leads for both the camera and remote, a skeleton back door and a couple of sticky mounts (one curved, one flat). As thought the form factor of the actual camera remains the same. The Hero 3 will fit in the Hero 3+ case and vice versa. Visibly there is little difference between the cameras, although you can tell that the lens is different.

Unsponsored GoPro Hero 3 Black Vs 3 Plus

The biggest physical change is in the case. It is much smaller with a lower profile clasp. It doesn’t have the lock like the previous case but the clasp is quite low profile and looks as if it would be difficult to knock or catch. I have found that the clasp is pretty tough and can be difficult to release. I suspect there will be knack to getting it done, but I am actually reassured by the fact that it doesn’t just pop off.

The changes in the case make the whole unit much lighter. The lens area is much smaller and is fastened to the case from the inside rather than from the exterior. This means that changing the panel will be possible if it were to get scratched or damaged in any other way.

Unsponsored GoPro Hero 3 Black Vs 3 Plus

The Hero 3+ Black Edition also come supplied with the remote in exactly the same way as the Hero 3 Black Edition does. The design and features of the remote remain the same.

One of the biggest changes with the Hero3+ is a more powerful battery and some inner tweaks that allow the camera to run for longer. GoPro reckon that the Hero3+ has a 30% longer battery life compared to HERO3: Black Edition with its new battery rated at 1180mAH, 3.7V, 4366mWh.

Unsponsored GoPro Hero 3 Black Vs 3 Plus

Battery Life

The chart below indicates the approximate continuous recording time (hr:min) you can expect when shooting in various video modes using a fully-charged battery. So far, in pretty mild conditions and using a 16GB Samsung Micro SD Card I have found the settings to be fairly accurate.

Unsponsored GoPro Hero 3 Black Vs 3 Plus

Video Mode

4K 15fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 2:00
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:50
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:20
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:25

2.7K 30fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 1:40
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:35
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:10
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:15

1440 48fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 1:50
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:40
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:10
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:20

1080p 60fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 1:30
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:20
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:00
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:10

1080p 30fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 2:00
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:50
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:20
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:25

720p 120fps
With Wi-Fi Off – 1:55
With Wi-Fi On + Using Wi-Fi Remote – 1:45
With Wi-Fi On + Using GoPro App – 1:15
With Wi-Fi Off + Using LCD Touch BacPac™ – 1:20

However I was getting at least these times using the Wasabi GoPro battery rated at 1200mAH, 3.7V, 4400mWh.

GoPro 3+ – Black Edition

Weight

Camera: 74g (2.6oz)
Camera with housing: 136g (4.8oz)

One of the different/new features on the Hero 3+ is Superview.

SuperView™

Video mode that captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective. Allows you to capture more of yourself and your surroundings in the shot, and provides full widescreen playback.

SuperView Settings

SuperView Mode Video Resoltuion
1080 SuperView 1920 x 1080
720 SuperView 1280 x 720

Auto Low Light

Automatically adjusts frame rates according to lighting conditions for enhanced low-light performance.

Auto Low Light Video Settings:

Bright Environments Low-Light Environments
1440p 48 fps 1440p 24 fps
1080p 60 fps 1080p 30 fps
1080p 50 fps 1080p 25 fps
1080p 48 fps 1080p 24 fps

1080p SuperView 48 fps 1080p SuperView 24 fps

960p 60 fps 960p 30 fps
960p 50 fps 960p 25 fps
960p 48 fps 960p 24 fps
720p 60 fps 720p 30 fps
720p 50 fps 720p 25 fps

720p SuperView 60 fps 720p SuperView 30 fps
720p SuperView 50 fps 720p SuperView 25 fps
720p SuperView 48 fps 720p SuperView 24 fps

White Balance

Adjusts video and photo color tones to match different lighting conditions.

3000 K: use in warm light (incandescent, sunrise/sunset)
5500 K: use in slightly cool light (cool fluorescent, average daylight)
6500 K: use in cool light (overcast conditions)

Image Quality + Optics

33% improved image sharpness compared to HERO3: Black Edition
Ultra-sharp 6-element aspherical glass lens
Fixed f/2.8 aperture
Ultra wide angle field of view
Battery + Charging
30% longer battery life compared to HERO3: Black Edition
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Rated at 1180mAH, 3.7V, 4366mWh

GoPro 3 – Black

3 Black Editions: Adventure, Surf, or Motorsports – all are the same only difference is some of the supplied mounts.
4kp @ 12fps/2.7kp @ 30fps
1440p @ 48fps/1080p @ 60fps/720p @ 120fps
Glass Ultra Sharp Lens
12MP / 30fps Burst
45Mbps bit-rate
Wifi Remote included
Excellent Low Light Performance

Simultaneous Photo and Video Mode:

Photo every 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds or can be manually triggered
1 x 12 Megapixel still while recording video in 1440p @ 24fps
1 x 8 Megapixel still while recording video in 1080p @ 30fps
1 x 8 Megapixel still while recording video in 720p @ 60fps

Compatibility

1. All of your mounts and usual GoPro accessories will work with the new GoPro Hero 3+ case. E.G. Chest Mount, Handlebar mounts etc

2. You will need Micro SD memory cards for the Hero 3 and Hero 3+. If you are wondering what card would be best and what all the figures mean check out my ramblings on SD cards.

3. The Hero 3 and Hero 3+ use the same size batteries. The Hero 3+ batteries as mentioned above have a larger capacity. The Wasabi batteries are more powerful than even the updated Hero 3+ battery. All are interchangeable.

4. The outer case of the Hero 3+ is of a much lower profile than the Hero 3. Both cameras will switch in between to the two different cases. However the back panel (door) of the Hero 3 and 3+ case are not the same. In my case this means I do have to go out and buy another Floaty back door back.

5. All bacpac accessories are backward compatible but the back panel on the Hero 3 and Hero 3+ cases are different.

Conclusion:

Which one should you buy? It’s a tough question. At the initial launch of the Hero 3+ I would have said pick up a bargain Hero 3 while you can. There are still some places selling the Hero 3 but many more (at this time July/Aug 2014) selling off the Hero 3+ in readiness for the arrival of the GoPro Hero 4. Supplies are getting low so I’d say get the 3+ at a bargain price while you, the Hero 4 has been delayed until probably 2015 anyway.

10 Comments

  1. So it might be worth buying a hero 3 black at walmart for 250.00 and getting wasabi battery and eventually 3+ housing?

  2. So in the end… Hero 3+ is Hero 3 + Better Battery??
    Is it all the same? Does it record in slo-mo to? And does it record in 4k?
    I dont have much money and i’m trying to buy one that’s the best.

    Would you recommend buying the Hero 3 Black + Wasabi Battery or the Hero3+ Black?? Or the Hero3+ Silver?

    • Unsponsored

      June 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Better battery, slimmer case. Shoots the same res inc 4k. Some internal improvements + software refinement. I have both. Given there are some great deals the 3 is superb value. However some 3+ can be found for just over £250.

  3. Just picked up a Hero 3 Black for $89 usd at an REI here in the US. Didnt have a battery but did have the remote.

  4. Where can the settings be changed from?
    Do we need to change it via the iOS/Android application each time?

    • Unsponsored

      July 27, 2016 at 9:09 am

      You can change settings on the cameras using the inbuilt menu but the app makes life so much easier. The Session 4 can only be adjusted via the app as it doesn’t have any inbuilt function for menu access.

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