GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition
The market leader ups the stakes with DIY blockbusters in 4K
GoPro’s Black Edition is one of the smallest cameras on test, a tiny, unassuming box with a whole lot of potential. There’s a reason why GoPro has become synonymous with action and that’s because footage from this camera leaves the other devices on test for dust – you don’t even need to shoot in 4K to see that.
Images are crystal clear in 1080p (and 4K, obvs) with little noise introduced even when shooting in the dead of night – we all now realise how rare that is. The sensor copes admirably with rapid transitions, unfazed when faced with dazzling headlights or plunged suddenly into darkness. Even when at speed, images remain crisp, with detail retained.
The GoPro’s lack of image stabilisation should be a problem, and images are occasionally wobbly, but the versatile range means that you can always shoot in 1440p and then crop down, using the extra pixels for image stabilisation in the edit. Frankly, though, even riding over bumpy mud and roots at speed, the wobble isn’t as much of a serious issue as we’d expected.
Further versatility is added with the GoPro App that lets you adjust settings, edit and upload on the fly, plus a huge range of mounts, from chest harnesses and helmet straps to selfie-friendly poles, Steadicams (see left) and more. They aren’t cheap, but they are reliably sturdy.
Of course, sound is also important and the GoPro excels there, too. The non-waterproof case’s vented back protects the microphone from the wind noise apparent on other devices. Warning: if you swear or squeal, everyone will be able to hear you.
Complaints? Well, there’s the shorter-than-average battery life and lack of image stabilisation, but they’re hardly deal breakers. Truth is, when the going gets tough, there’s no cam we’d rather have at our side.
Love All-round video performance best on test. Top sound quality. Huge range of compatible mounts Hate No image stabilisation. Shorter battery life than some rivals. Costly extras and add-ons T3 Says Delivers the most reliably A-grade video in any and all conditions. A true action hero