1,120 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Glitches, Major Fun (after you update the firmware)
Gopro Hero 3 Black: Purchase date: March 7, 2013. This is a long review, but I have addressed some technical issues here that may assist you if you have bought a Gopro Hero 3, or if you plan to. I have put mine through its paces for nearly 2 weeks before posting this.
The first thing you must do is update the firmware manually. After several attempts with...
Published 8 months ago by JMF
1,309 of 1,412 people found the following review helpful
The manufacturer commented on the review below
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware! GoPro Hero 3 Contains Issues
Beware that the GoPro Hero 3 is either not production ready or their Quality Department has dropped the ball. I am currently on my first replacement unit and will have to either return this or obtain another replacement, the issues are the following:
First Unit Issues (Latest Firmware Update)
- Unit kept freezing
- After a day, unit stopped detecting...
Published 11 months ago by HiroDuke
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1,120 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Glitches, Major Fun (after you update the firmware),
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)Gopro Hero 3 Black: Purchase date: March 7, 2013. This is a long review, but I have addressed some technical issues here that may assist you if you have bought a Gopro Hero 3, or if you plan to. I have put mine through its paces for nearly 2 weeks before posting this.
The first thing you must do is update the firmware manually. After several attempts with the automatic process, my Gopro -and many others I suspect- failed to update, and it was never at all apparent that the process failed. After several days of use, the camera began to malfunction. If you don't get your firmware updated successfully, you are guaranteed to have major problems.
Here is a quick guide on how to manually update your firmware: (If you have a Mac, or are not computer-savvy, check online for more detailed instructions. Lawrence M. Friedman posted a comprehensive how-to on Gethypoxic.)
1. Jot down your serial number (both lines) from inside the battery port. Insert a Class 10 micro SD, battery, and take a picture to ensure your card is good. Ensure WiFi is off, and charge your camera to 2 bars if necessary. (Steps 1-5 on the update instructions at GoPro.com.) At this point, do not connect your Gopro to your PC.
2. Instead, download the update files from Gopro.com onto your PC. To do this, follow the prompts for 'manual update.' Complete the registration fields.
3. Connect the camera to your PC & power up. Open your Gopro drive, then move the update files from your PC onto your Gopro. DO NOT put the files into either folder (DCIM or Misc), just place the files next to those folders (root).
4. Disconnect your GoPro from your PC, then turn it back on. This should initiate the update process.
IMPORTANT: Now pay attention to your Gopro LCD display. During the process, look for the message on your LCD that reads 'updating.' Your front LED light will flash intermittently. You will soon see a progress percentage on your LCD and the blue WiFi light will turn on. Make sure your progress climbs to 100%, then your camera will shut itself off.
If you do not observe your camera behaving as I described, the update did not work and you will have to try again. If the process fails, do not expect to receive an 'Update Failed' message as Gopro claims. The firmware issue is causing huge problems for many users; largely because they believe that they successfully installed the new firmware, but the process actually failed.
After my firmware was updated successfully, I have not experienced any of the major failures that many users have reported. My battery does not drain overnight when turned off as some people have reported. My camera never fails to read its SD card. I started & stopped recording via WiFi repeatedly, and everything worked great. Freezing is the major catastrophic problem common in the negative reviews. I shot video for 45 minutes continuously and never had any lock-up issues during use. I function-tested every option in the menu and never experienced any malfunction, but for one exception.
My camera froze a few times when powering on, requiring a battery rip. I'm not sure what causes this, and it happened only a few times over the past 2 weeks, while I have turned the camera on & off hundreds of times with no issues. Some have theorized that it is related to using the USB charger, or moving files off of the SD card, but I have been unable to determine a common condition that will cause the problem consistently. You can expect to experience this glitch too; it is a very common report on the Gopro forums, and I have friends that have had the same experiences. We are hoping that Gopro will solve this issue with another firmware update. Note: If you are forced to pull the battery, leave it out for at least 60 seconds. Update 7-3-13: After 4 months of heavy use, my Gopro Black is working flawlessly. It has not frozen during use or startup after the latest firmware update (Version 2.39). Some of my friends have experienced occasional freezing, but it's very rare; note: we use our Gopro H3B's on a daily basis.
If you're going to buy a Hero 3, update the firmware manually right out of the box. After that, if you have freezing issues, a defective battery, or buttons that do not work as they should, just take it back to the store for an exchange or refund. Best Buy gives you 15 days. I can't imagine dealing with any customer service trying to fix a lemon. I don't get why anyone even tries. That being said, my remaining criticisms are relatively petty, and are being made against a functional Hero 3 Black. The bottom line is that I love this camera so far. It earns 4 stars.
Be prepared for a fast-draining battery. The 45-minute video I mentioned earlier took my battery from 100% to no bars. However, after the 45-min recording, I was able to shoot an additional 28 minutes on fumes (with no bars showing on my battery gauge) before it died. This battery test was made on the 1080/60 setting, without WiFi or Protune in use.
You will likely need a backup battery plan, such as spares with a wall charger. There is a great kit on Amazon for $29 made by Wasabi, Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for GoPro HD HERO3 and GoPro AHDBT-201, AHDBT-301 or the Gopro battery Bacpac (which I have never tried). Note: You can swap batteries and your settings will not return to factory defaults. I left my battery out for 5 minutes and it still retained my settings. This is a huge positive for Gopro since I routinely swap out batteries. It would be a real pain to reset my resolution & preferences every time, not to mention the date/clock. I use my Gopro for skydiving, which means my videos are short, and I am never far from an A/C outlet. The battery life on the Hero 3 could pose a challenge for those who venture into the wilderness...or the water. Something to think about. I used a Hero 2 for a year, and the difference in the battery life is noticeable. Note: It took 140 minutes to charge my battery from totally drained to 100%. From the point of no bars to 100%, it took 100 minutes to fully charge. These tests were done with the included USB cable connected to a PC.
My other minor complaints include the lack of a printed manual. I downloaded it from online, then printed the PDF, so I have a 66-page 8.5x11" book. A pocket-sized manual that I can fit in my camera case should be standard issue with a $400 package. This is not too big of a deal because once you learn the system, there are only 6 to 8 pages from the manual that are actually useful.
The panel that covers the charging port is not tethered, so I already know that this little door (14 x 21mm) will eventually get lost. Another issue is that the unit gets hot while recording; but as long as it doesn't do any damage or cause a breakdown, I guess that's just the way it is. A Gopro will not allow itself to overheat; it will shut down automatically if it gets too hot.
When you open up your DCIM folder after recording, you may notice several blank-icon files (type LRV & THM) scattered among your video/picture files. Some computer people call these "mouse droppings." The LRV files can be changed to MP4 and are functional as a mini clip. This is useful for efficient editing projects on slower computers. After setting up your edit, you then replace the LRV with your original HD file. The THM files can be changed to JPG and serve as thumbnails to your photographs. But I just delete all the droppings. I don't fully understand how to exploit them, and they only show up once in a while.
The greatest improvement over the Hero 2 is the new video options available. The 1080p/60fps is my favorite setting. This feature alone is the reason I bought the H3B. The Hero 2 would only shoot 30FPS on 1080. And to my delight, once I selected 1080/60 on my H3B, I found that I can then adjust the FOV within that setting. On the hero 2, your FOV options were very limited depending on your resolution setting. The H3B gives incredible freedom to customize the look of your recordings. Note: The recording versatility on the Black edition is better than on the White or Silver models. The premium price is not just for the remote.
The 4k cinema mode is essentially useless to me. It offers a maximum frame rate of 15 FPS, which resembles a slideshow. The 2.7k offers 30 FPS, and renders incredibly impressive resolution, but you'll be lucky if your computer can play it smoothly. After seeing the excellent results of the 1080p/60FPS videos, I doubt I will ever change that setting except to do super slow-motion, for which I would use 120FPS-- which is only available on 720p resolution. Apparently, there is a plan from GoPro for an upcoming software update that will expand the FOV options on the 720/120FPS mode. Right now it's Wide only. UPDATE 5-7-13: The new firmware update gives more FOV options.
The WiFi remote is definitely cool and handy. It makes it a snap to control your camera after it's mounted. It is simple to set up and operate. But like the camera, the remote battery drains quickly; and the charging cable is proprietary, so you will have to take it with you to charge the remote during downtime. I also installed the GoPro app on my Android smartphone. This allows you to use your phone as a remote. You can see on your phone what the camera sees, even while it's not recording; lots of fun possibilities there.
The camera is noticeably thinner and lighter than the H2. The buttons are easier to activate; they are larger and more sensitive. It also uses a Micro SD card, not the standard SD used by the Hero 2. Because the height & width are unchanged, the casing doors are interchangeable with the Hero 2, and the LCD Bacpac from my H2 is fully functional on the 3; that made my day!
The firmware situation is unfortunate, and Gopro owes a lot of customers a big apology. I myself grew quite frustrated until I was advised to use the manual process. This review was going to be a 1-star profanity-fest, until I figured out the firmware debacle. If you disregarded all reviews of the Hero 3 in which the user failed to update the firmware, I'm sure the overall feedback would be much more positive. Even after my initial troubles, I am still a fan of Gopro. I can live with the power-up freezing glitch for now. For skydiving and short trips, the Hero 3 Black is a great camera. Blue skies!
127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few quirks, but still the Go-To brand for an action camera,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition (Electronics)Before the HD Hero3 I've already owned the original Hero camera, the HD Hero 2 camera, and now the third generation HD Hero3 in Silver Edition. I've used mine for almost a year now, here's my updated review.
Compared to the Hero2, the Hero3 is about half the thickness of the Hero2, but more importantly the Hero3 is noticeably lighter, both in hand and when mounted to things like helmets or handlebars. The reduced body thickness also makes the camera easier to position and get to the perfect angle - especially when using the Chesty harness mount or the handlebar mount.
The new sealed splash-proof case is obviously thinner like the camera, but features the same spring-loaded buttons just like the Hero2 has. If you have a large selection of Hero2 mounts and accessories, they will still work with the Hero3, including the LCD BacPac (though the newer version is in black to match the Hero3 color scheme), the Battery BacPac (newer version gets the same color treatment) and the redundant WiFi BacPac (which you won't need since WiFi is built into the Hero3). The new lens cover is rectangular, and the replaceable lens piece is now recessed behind the frame - much better than the bubble-eye Hero2 lens piece that was easily prone to getting scuffed or scratched because it stuck out. One little "improvement" that is actually a little annoying is the new 2-step release clamp at the top. Whereas with the Hero2 case you had to tug at a tight-fitting latch, on the Hero3 case you have to slide a small tab with one hand, then you can lift the latch open with the other hand. One good thing about it though is that it's nowhere near as tight to release as the old version; I guess you can say that the Hero3 case latch is more "finger-friendly" since the release tension not as stiff as HD Hero2
Control-wise the redesigned "Mode" and "Set" buttons have a softer touch and are much easier to use (even with full-finger MTB gloves) but the inset WiFi button sits flush and is very small. The on-screen menus are the same as the Hero2, and now the Hero3 features both red "recoding" LED lights (4 total like the Hero2) and new blue "WiFi" LED lights to make it easy to know at a glance if you're recording and if the WiFi mode is on or not.
As for ports, there are three located underneath a small removable door: a mini-USB for charging and data transfer, a micro HDMI for video hookup, and the spring-loaded slot for the microSD memory card. A short USB to mini-USB cable is included in the box, but that's about it. The 3.5mm external mic and video output plugs are no longer present (both replaced by the micro HDMI). By the way, the separate port cover is cumbersome, as it isn't attached to the camera case and can be easily misplaced or lost. If you're using the fully sealed case you can just leave the cover off and be done with it. I'm glad they stuck with a standard, "easy to find a cable at any electronics store" mini-USB port for charging instead of some proprietary port. I do wish that they included some small AC-to-USB charger in the box, but you can buy these easily on Amazon (I use an extra iPhone 5w AC cube charger).
With the built-in WiFi you can use the optional GoPro Wi-Fi Remote or the free GoPro App your iOS/Android phone or tablet to have full control over the camera remotely. (see below regarding the app). This is an improvement over the HD Hero 2 in that the Hero 2 required a separate purchase of the LCD BacPac to have WiFi capability; not only was this an extra $80, but the WiFi BacPac also added bulk and weight to the HD Hero 2's size. With the WiFi built-in to the HD Hero 3, the Hero3 retains it's smaller, lighter profile. Please note that you don't actually need an iPhone (cell phone) to use the GoPro App... you can use an iPod Touch or a WiFi iPad; As long as it is on iOS6+ and has WiFi it can connect to the GoPro WiFi BacPac - a cellular signal is not required. I've tried the App with my iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPad Mini WiFi and all three are fully functional; I can adjust camera settings, start and stop video recording, snap still photos, and power the GoPro on/off - plus with the screen preview I can see what the camera is seeing - a feature that the GoPro $80 remote does NOT have.
The GoPro App
With the GoPro app on your iOS6/Android Wi-Fi enabled device you can adjust video resolution, camera burst speed, and even the beep volume - basically anything you can adjust with the two buttons on the camera can be done with the app. There's also a basic video preview on your phone/tablet to see exactly what the camera is seeing - great for eating up static camera shots or odd angles where seeing what the camera sees isn't easy. Granted, in my review of the GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit I had mentioned that there is a 5 second lag between what the camera is seeing and what you see in the video preview on the app. The lag is very noticeable and not something you'd want to use in real-time.
Recently GoPro updated the firmware, finally adding in a host of features that were originally promised with version 1.0 of the app. These new features include the ability to watch any recorded footage through the app, view photos taken by the camera, copying GoPro footage to mobile devices, and social media sharing.
I was very happy with the video performance of my previous Hero2, and after using the Hero3 extensively in 2012-now, the Hero3 has produced video that looks much better than the Hero2. At 1080p/30fps setting, white balance set to "Auto", and wide FOV, video was smooth and crisp when viewed on my 55" HDTV. At 960p/48fps, the video quality was similar to 1080p, but with the added bonus of clear, crisp slow-motion footage just like you see in the various GoPro promo videos. (WVGA supposedly gives even better slow-motion footage, but only at a resolution of 800x480.) The Hero3 allows you to optionally set the white balance as well as activate the "spot meter" for certain types of filming, but I left these at their default settings and I still came up with nice video footage, many times a step above the quality of the old Hero2.
The Hero3 can be used as a regular 11mp digital camera, with point and shoot, burst, and time-lapse functionality. I took a few pics of random stuff around the house just to try it out; I found that there was a slight lag between when you click the button and when the camera actually takes the shot. Later on I also noticed that even when in "narrow" POV, the GoPro still has a wide field of view; noticeably wider than what I'd see at the same distance with my iPhone 5 camera or even a regular point-and-shoot digital camera. At first you'd think to yourself, "great - that just means I can capture more stuff in the photo!" but to take a photo with the GoPro that would have the same amount of info you would have to stand really REALLY close to the subject. Like uncomfortably close. And having no viewfinder (unless you spend another $80 for the LCD BacPac) makes it difficult to get your distance right. Sure, you can use the GoPro app to see what the camera sees, but that's redundantly pointless; for one, the "app lag" I mentioned earlier. Second, you're now holding TWO devices just to see what you're going to take a photo with. And third - at that point you might as well have just used your Phone camera to take the photo in the first place!
Also, the GoPro HD Hero3 has burst and time-lapse modes. It adds to the feature list, but honestly? Leave that to DSLRs; if anything, the Hero3's camera mode could have been more useful if it had a timer function - say, if you wanted to take a self-shot with a nice background in the middle of a trail ride. Honestly - the Hero3 is first and foremost a VIDEO camera; if you want to take still digital photos, use a dedicated point-and-shoot or DSLR instead.
Firmware Update - It's Not That Bad Really
When you open the box, the first thing you'll see is a note from GoPro telling you that you need to update the camera firmware to the latest version. Unfortunately the actual process of updating the camera firmware isn't a double-click,10 second thing; it takes multiple steps just to get the camera firmware up to date. But it's not complicated - it just takes some time and lots of steps. I've listed the entire firmware update process at the bottom of this review, step by step, exactly how I did it.
For people who "tinker" with things (like me) it's not that big of a deal, but there are some people who make this a deal breaker. Personally I'd rather spend a few minutes to have the latest firmware on my camera than to use it "as is" and miss out on any features/improvements. Consider it "some assembly required" - there are things you buy that need to be assembled before they can be used, and (for now) the Hero3's "assembly required" is a firmware update.
Sure there may be smaller "action cameras" out there, but there's a good reason why GoPro cameras are the most popular - they work well and are tough little machines. I was very happy with the HD Hero2, and the new HD Hero3 upped the performance. The Hero3 is smaller, lighter, easier to use (well, the only exception is the new latch mechanism), and records excellent video. The still camera function is ok, but the built-in WiFi is the best feature - no add-on BacPac required, keeping the camera weight and bulk at a minimum. There are a few complaints I have that keep it from getting a 5-star rating. The first is the new locking mechanism for the waterproof case - the small release slider is a pain to move to open the case. The second is that, although I personally have no problem with it, most people will cringe at the whole firmware update process, mainly because not only should it be easier to get (you have to enter camera serial numbers and name/email info just to get the firmware update) but there's some manual file moving to do when performing the update. Oh - and if you want to change your WiFi password for the camera in the future, the only way to do it is to re-update the firmware by doing the entire update process again on the website - definitely inconvenient.
Which "Edition" Should You Buy?
At the initial release of the HD Hero3, a lot of people were having problems with the Black Edition Hero 3; everything from random crashing, to having to remove the battery just to unfreeze and reset the camera; a friend of mine got the Black Edition last Christmas, tried it out, and his unit was also plagued with the same issues. Meanwhile, I personally never saw any of the same issues with the Silver Edition, and my Hero3 has been performing flawlessly since I started using it (even after a 7 hour mountain bike ride). After the latest firmware update, there were no more reported problems from my friend, so here's my updated recommendations:
"White Edition" GoPro HD HERO3: White Edition
- At $100 less than the Silver Edition, the "White Edition" is the lowest-priced Hero3. It is basically just the original Hero (1) camera with built-in WiFi - skip this version, it's not worth it.
"Silver Edition" (This model)
- Unless you're a specialist (see "Black Edition"), the Silver Edition is most likely the way to go for the majority of users out there looking for a versatile action camera, and is priced at the same $299 that the last model HD Hero2 was selling for. My review is based on this model.
"Black Edition" GoPro HD HERO3: Black Edition
- For $100 more over the Silver Edition you can get the Black Edition. You get the GoPro WiFi Remote in the package (Which sells for about $80) and the Black Edition has some unique features that you may or may not really need, such as:
- Capability to shoot video and stills at the same time - can be useful, but not a must-haves if your main purpose is to shoot personal action sports videos.
- Higher burst photo mode, and a unique "Continuous Photo Mode." Honestly, Honestly, after using a GoPro camera for the last 3 years (starting with the original GoPro Hero) I've never really had a need to have these specific features in a single device. For one, if I wanted high-quality still action photos I'd rather use a DSLR with interchangeable lenses and more settings than the GoPro has. Second, taking still photos with a GoPro is a "guess and shoot" affair since there's no viewfinder built-in to the camera - unless I spend another $80 for the LCD BacPac just so I can see what the lens sees. Or I can use the GoPro App on my iPhone, but at that point when I pull my iPhone out I usually just use the iPhone's 8MP camera, which is pretty crisp on its own.
- Black Edition does 1440p48/2.7kp30 and 4kp15 resolutions, but most people don't have HDTVs that can do that yet. Plus, the way I see it, by the time 1440p/2.7kp30/4.5kp15-capable HDTVs are mainstream and in most people's homes, I'm sure there will be a newer version of the Hero camera by then.
When all is said and done, I believe that normal everyday people who want an "action sports camera" to use during activities (not in a specialized field such as filmmaking) can get a lot out of the Silver Edition. Having the capability to do 1080p/60 and 720p/120 are nice to have but I don't think they are essential for the everyday normal buyer, especially when you take into consideration the fact that a majority of the footage recorded by GoPro's will be uploaded to the internet on YouTube or Vimeo. So in the end I still feel that the Silver Edition is the way to go for a majority of the people out there looking for an action camera. If you just want a GoPro HD Hero3 to capture your adventures on a mountain bike, or a surfboard, or in a car, and you want to make your own action videos to share online, go with the "Silver."
UPDATING YOUR GOPRO HD HERO 3 FIRMWARE
When you receive your new HD Hero3 camera, chances are that a firmware update is immediately required. I STRONGLY suggest that you do this as soon as you receive your camera, because it takes some time to do, and you might as well get it over with right away. I've posted instructions on how to do the firmware update to an Amazon Guide, the URL is below:
The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
1,309 of 1,412 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware! GoPro Hero 3 Contains Issues,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)Beware that the GoPro Hero 3 is either not production ready or their Quality Department has dropped the ball. I am currently on my first replacement unit and will have to either return this or obtain another replacement, the issues are the following:
First Unit Issues (Latest Firmware Update)
- Unit kept freezing
- After a day, unit stopped detecting SD card.
- Performed all trouble shooting (i.e. hard restart, reformatting of SD card, pulling out battery, updated to latest firmware), but the unit was just bad.
- The unit had to be replaced.
Second Unit Issues (Latest Firmware Update)
- The replacement unit did not suffer the same issues as the first unit.
- But contained the battery drain issue when the unit is fully off (WiFi turned off as well).
- No matter how many times I recharged the battery, the battery would be dead by the next day even with the GoPro off. Please note that this is not normal for this unit and my prior unit did not suffer this issue.
At the end of the day, it seems that the issues that I have been experiencing above align with numerous complaints on the Gopro forums and the internet. In addition, the GoPro customer service line has been backed up so bad it is either a 45 minute wait or they can't take your call at all.
I do believe this product is the best camera on the market, IF YOU CAN GET ONE THAT WORKS PROPERLY. I am a supplier manager/buyer at a Fortune 500 Company within the tech industry and I can tell you that either this product is not production ready with the amount of issues, or the GoPro Quality Department has really dropped the ball.
So if you end up purchasing this unit, I highly advise testing the unit prior to going out for the first time and see if you have a working unit or not. If you don't get a good unit, be ready to deal with a lot of replacement units until you obtain a properly working unit.
My last piece of advice is defer from buying accessories until you know you have a properly working unit. I ended up purchasing $150 worth of batteries, mounts, and cases in which I cannot return if I do choose to fully return the unit for my money back.
I feel that this is 5 star product, but it only receives a 1 star rating because of the poor performance of their quality control. This type of experience is one that I wish I could email the CEO of the company and make him aware of what a lot of people are experiencing and prevent units from leaving their facility like this. With the multiple complaints online and numerous people calling the customer service help line, it seems that their is not a cause and corrective action for these issues within their company. My original unit was prior to the Amazon Christmas sell out. My current replacement unit came after the restock,having to return this one as well, it is obvious there is still issues with their Quality Department catching these units prior heading out the door.
Again this the best product out there if you can manage to get a unit that works properly. Hope this helps.
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 30, 2013 6:31:08 PM PDT
GoPro Support says:
First off, our apologies for the long overdue response. We only recently obtained the ability to provide input through Amazon's review system. We are truly sorry to hear about the issues experienced with your camera as well as the replacement camera received shortly thereafter. The issues described should have been fully resolved for quite some time now. Should you encounter any further issues please do make sure your camera is running the latest firmware version as there have been a number of updates released since the time of the initial posting
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our customer support team.
1,036 of 1,173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly battery life!!! GoPro a bad company?,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)We bought two Hero3 black edition cameras, used them this weekend with great video quality but terrible battery life and if you plan to use the wifi feature you will need to buy extra batteries or the battery back pack(I assume that is why they make it). We used the wifi iPhone app on one of the hero3 cameras and the battery was drained to almost empty in 30mins and the other hero3 camera we didn't use the wifi feature and it lasted longer but not as long as expected(comparing to our other herohd and hero2).
The GoPro App has its own set of bugs but it works great for previewing a shot before you are set to record. The 4 or 7 second lag in the video previewing is alittle annoying but you get use to it.
Now here is the biggest problem and why GoPro as a business has bad business practices.
We tried to post this same review (but 3 stars and minus the go-pro being a bad company part) but they have refused to post it! We did not violate any of the rules they have when posting a review on their website. The review was rejected because of the simple fact that it was a 3 star review of their product...
I will now be looking towards other Motorsports cameras because of their lack of customer support and shady business practices!
* Much better video quality then previous GoPro Hero's
* Built in WiFi
* Comes with remote
* GoPro App
* GoPro refused to let me post this review on their website!
* Terrible customer service!
* No Battery life!
* Preview lag and Bugs in GoPro App
* No Suction Cup when you spend $400.00 :-(
* No wall charger when you spend $400.00
I will continue to post this review on as many review websites as possible because of the way GoPro has handled this matter!
395 of 450 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware GoPro.,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)
New Update!!! (11/27/13)
DO NOT PURCHASE THIS CAMERA. I know that there are a lot of black friday deals out there, many of which make this camera seem attractive. Do not be lulled into thinking you're getting a good deal. This camera is faulty on almost every inch, and will give the person you're potentially buying this for more headaches than it is worth. The Hero3+ is out now, and this camera has addressed almost all of the issues that this camera suffered from; I know you are going to be paying more for it, but, PLEASE, do NOT buy this camera unless you get it for under $150. Spend more money and be happy with your purchase.
UPDATE AT BOTTOM! WITH VIDEO!! (6/30/13)
I know this is long, but if you're considering buying a GoPro product, this is worth the read.
I'm writing this not as a review of the Hero3, but of the GoPro company itself. I purchased the Hero2 back in the summer of 2012, with the intent of capturing footage from a tough mudder event that I was participating in. Arriving a few days before the event, I had ample time to set up, charge, and play with the camera prior to giving it the full run on the day of the event. I observed no big flaws/problems at this time. Taking it to the event however, and running on a full battery, the camera only produced 10 minutes of footage. Additionally, the camera bricked 5 minutes into the race when I attempted to turn it on; this being a big problem since by this time I was already caked in mud and water, and was loathe to take the camera out of the case with muddy hands. At the conclusion of the race I also noted that the housing case had sustained some scratches and scuffs to the part covering the lens, also concerning.
Due to these failures and frustrations, I contacted GoPro and informed them of the failures of their product. While I was within my 30 day full refund window, I was promptly contacted by the GoPro customer service department and assured that these failures were an anomaly and that they would remedy the situation asap. They sent me a new battery, a new housing, and offered their apologies. The new battery and case arrived a week or two later, right around the time that I was directing another mud run, and was charged with providing footage of the event. Again I didn't have time to thoroughly test the camera prior to the event, however the bricking issue had been resolved, and battery length seemed better. This did not hold up day of the event. Again, I was only able to capture 15 minutes of footage before the battery croaked, and the camera bricked again many times.
Thoroughly frustrated, I contacted GoPro again, and was told that this was perhaps a firmware issue. So I went through, updated the firmware, with no measurable increase in function. They then said perhaps the old battery would be better with it, so I went through and updated the firmware, rolled back the firmware many time with different battery combinations. Nothing was any better. Finally, GoPro accepted to return the camera, and replace it with another one. Had to pay for shipping myself, and was told that I could expect a new camera back in 1-1.5 weeks.
Heard nothing about my camera for 4 weeks. My emails were not returned, so I called their customer service line and had to be on hold for 2 hours. Finally talking to a customer service rep, I vented my frustrations, anger, and resentment towards purchasing a GoPro product. They informed me that my replacement was arriving that day (ironically enough), and was certified, tested, and approved by their own staff personally.
I told them that I didn't trust their camera, that I didn't trust the company anymore, but was assured that this camera was certified, and 100% sure nothing would be wrong. Sure enough, when I tested the camera, the battery length was significantly better, and did not brick. Confident, I took this camera on a trip to phoenix for a wedding. It was only after I watched footage of the groom's bachelor party at a pistol firing range did I discover that the sound on this camera was abysmal (could BARELY hear any gunshots, all voices/talking was undecipherable).
Returning from this trip I called GoPro and told them that I wanted my money back, that I was sick of dealing with them and their crappy products. I was informed that I was outside of the 30 day return window and that all they could do was have me pay for shipping AGAIN to mail the camera to them and they'd repair it. Understandably, this sent me into a rage, demanding to talk to the highest manager I could. After many emails, I was informed the only thing that they could do was to repair it, and if that was not enough, mail it back to them and they'd give me a 20% off coupon towards another GoPro purchase.
Let me say that again. I mail my camera back, the one I paid $300 for, and they give me a 20% off coupon towards the purchase of a new camera.
I ended up contacting amazon, told them this tale, and they gladly let me return it to them for a full refund. BEWARE when dealing with GoPro. If your camera EVER breaks or does not work well, RETURN it. Beware in dealing with them!
Since Amazon was so great in dealing with my last GoPro disaster, I decided to try the Hero 3. A few brief notes:
1.) The video is incredible. SO incredible, that your computer will not be able to process it correctly (most likely). I have a home built, recently new computer that had a hard time processing the HD video. The choppiness you see when you play it on your computer is not a result of the camera but of the high quality
2.) Battery life is still awful. I came prepared for this, with 2 spare batteries and a wall charger and I'm very glad I did. Each battery will only last you a GOOD hour of recording. Plan on 40 minutes at most, bring extra batteries.
3.) If you're going to shoot underwater, get a color correction filter. They are $5 on amazon and made this video so much better. If you don't, it'll look green and disgusting.
4.) Do not charge the batteries via USB. Buy the extra pack and wall charger from Wasabi Power, and charge exclusively on that.
5.) I followed a ton of suggestions on how to make sure my camera didn't brick, and thankfully it never did. My suggestions: Upgrade firmware manually (you'll need a card reader for this), never use wifi remote, charge batteries with outlet charger, upload files via card reader. I don't know what's going on with the USB port, but from what I've read this is a huge source of failure on the device.
6.) THE CAMERA GETS REALLY HOT. Even after scuba diving, I'd come up and the camera was warm/hot to the touch. Beware!
Considering all of this, but primarily for the battery life, heating, and problems with wifi, I returned it to amazon. I'll hopefully be purchasing it again in the future whenever GoPro re-releases the black model. Hope this helps!
The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
598 of 688 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be renamed Brown Edition,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)I got my GP Black Edition in yesterday and, unfortunately, it will be going right back. On paper this thing is awesome - The app for my iPhone also functions quite well. It's nice to have all of the camera's features and options in an easy to use interface as opposed to navigating through the camera's menus with two buttons. I had two original GoPro HD's and they were both bullet proof. One fell off the tip of a water ski crossing the wake and it sank. The other one suffered from scuba diving with a leaky housing. This Black Edition should be renamed the GoPro Hero POS Edition. I've had it for one day and have updated the firmware. It consistently freezes up and becomes unresponsive. I remove the battery, plug in the USB, blah blah blah. It's a complete POS. I charged it all night and took it snowmobiling today and got ten minutes out of the battery and then it died. The two shots I got looked fine but WTF, GoPro? The original Hero was so simple and worked so flawlessly. This thing is a piece of crap. I'm certain that these guys will get this thing ironed out but what a sheister maneuver to release such a dud just in time for XMas. Oh but it shoots 2k and 4k plus this Pro Stream nonsense? The other options that the manual doesn't mention are Lock Up Mode, Inferno Battery Draining Heat Mode and total Brick POS Mode. It also comes with the GoPro Professional Always on 1/4 Full Battery Pack POS Brown Edition Battery - But it shoots 240 fps you say? Did I mention that it also has Two Video Clip Shooting Feature followed by Full Item GoPro LOCKUP Brown Edition Mode? What a piece of crap and so disappointing for GoPro.
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 30, 2013 7:08:28 PM PDT
GoPro Support says:
Our sincere apologies for any frustration you may have endured. Regrettably it sounds as though the camera you received may have been a faulty unit which would require a replacement. If you do run into any trouble like this in the future, please be sure to contact our Customer Support team to see if may be able to help get the camera up and running or replace the unit for you if need be. Either way, our goal is to help you enjoy the camera and it is clear you were unable to do so here, for that we sincerely apologize.
115 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GoPro Hero3 jumpstart 5/2013,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)Hi. I bought the GoPro Hero3 Black after looking at the market extensively. All the various products have +/- depending upon what you are trying to do. I was wanting to film sports events from interesting vantage points and so the GoPro's higher video quality was persuasive.
The camera and related pieces are well built if you are a reasonably careful person. If you are hard on equipment, especially during setup... this is likely not your camera... consider one of the tubular metal ones instead.
A few useful learning curve items:
The very first thing to do is to UPDATE the camera's FIRMWARE. It is available on the GoPro web site. At this writing the latest update was in late April 2013. Working with the camera absent updating its firmware will be a frustrating waste of your time. The update cleans up all the issues that others have mentioned in the various blogs.
The camera comes with a battery that runs about 75 min. when filming in High Def (1080) at 48 frames per second (fps). With the case that comes with it there is no way to charge while filming. You can buy an extra battery to swap-in mid-filming, buy the bigger GoPro battery pack, use the camera uncovered (significantly exposing it to the elements) with a power cord attached, try to drill a hole in the case it comes with (ruining it for water use), buy the $50 GoPro protective case with a connectors' hole already cut in it, or buy the GoPro "frame" case that also has a connectors' hole already cut in it. Depending upon what you are trying to do, different choices make sense.
The camera uses micro SD cards up to 64GB. I bought a SanDisk 32GB and have had no disk related problem/s. Note that the GoPro camera formats the disk to Fat32. The good news is that this is an older, well known, and very stable file system. It does have some limitations including a maximum file size of 4GB and a maximum card size of 128GB. After filming you will find, when you look at the created files, that the camera has created a series of 4GB files as a work-around. Each segment is about 17 minutes of video. When you playback from the GoPro itself, using its HDMI out, it strings the 4GB files together into a continuous video. When you playback by computer, you get individual 4GB segments that play.
The video quality of the camera is amazingly good. This includes in relatively low light conditions. Again, video quality is VERY impressive. The video files are in MP4 format.
After filming, I moved the files to a USB thumb drive and tried to play them back on the USB port on our BluRay player. They would NOT play. It turns out that BluRay only supports up to 30 frames per second and I had recorded at 48 fps. I made a new recording at 30 fps and it played back nicely via USB on the BluRay player. The original 48 fps recordings played back with no problems when using the USB connector on an Apple MacBook Pro. I also tried removing the micro SD card, inserting it into its SD card adapter, and then importing the files to an iPad2 via the SD card reader that comes with the Apple Camera Kit. iPhoto sees the card and asks you which files you would like to import. They run well on the iPad but are very big and quickly use up your iPad's available memory.
I you are thinking that the built in WiFi means that you can wirelessly stream video, that does not fully work. What it does mean is that you can download an app for your iPhone/iPad that allows you to monitor and line-up the camera's view and control the camera remotely. This works well. Note: the GoPro camera broadcasts ITSELF as a WiFi source and you have to go into your iPhone's (or iPad's) WiFi controls and choose the GoPro WiFi signal to get the app to work.
A final thought would be planning for video file storage. The video files are very large and you quickly need to delete or save to somewhere. I am currently looking at a BluRay writer that Samsung makes. One could try a cloud storage service, USB storage drives, lots of USB thumb drives, or lots of micro SD cards. Something to start thinking about early anyway.
I would buy the GoPro camera again. An important note is that when you add all the extras you end up needing, it ends up being enough money to buy a very nice regular video camera. For me, the GoPro's small size offered some interesting filming vantage points that a regular camera could not support. If you don't need that nor weather-proofing, consider a new traditional digital video camera instead.
Support notes: GoPro support by email works well. They get back to you within a few hours and the answers tend towards the better side. GoPro's written documentation, available online, is rather spotty. They leave a lot out that would be helpful and would save everyone's time, including items reasonable people would consider core must be included items.
Good luck !
118 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless - DO NOT BUY - GoPro HERO3,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)The new HERO3 GoPro fails in every imaginable way...
Product Defect Issues...
My camera locks up constantly. Look on the forums and reviews and you'll see that everyone has this issue. My battery mysteriously drains when the camera is not in use. The firmware update didn't work the first 12 times I tried to do it. I never got the online firmware updater working. When my camera actually boots up correctly (about one in three attempts), the battery only lasts about 15 minutes in 1080p/60 mode. If WiFi is on, it will last even less time. The battery takes a long time to recharge...in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen it fully recharge. It's just gets to about 3/4 charged and stays there. The WiFi key fob thing is gimmicky because you really can't use WiFi and operate the camera for any reasonable length of time. You will quickly just turn off WiFi and wonder why you bought the Black Edition and now can't use the very feature that made it the Black Edition!
Product Design Issues...
The camera's case fits too snugly and turns on the WiFi just by putting the camera in the case. Why is this an issue? Well, you may not have noticed and when you are ready to use your camera, the battery will be dead. The battery is a difficult to get out of the camera's case. The older version of the case you just pulled the back off and could replace the battery easily. The new case requires too much finesse involving finger nails from two different fingers to work smoothly. Terrible design for a camera like this!
Video quality is amazing. Exactly what you would EXPECT from GoPro. Too bad you will rarely get to see it because your battery will be dead! :(
Here's my biggest mistake: I purchased a first gen HERO1. I loved it. It is an amazing product and flawless in it's execution (assuming you learned the menus on the camera). I read the marketing/tech specs on the new HERO3 and jumped-on Amazon and bought one WITHOUT READING THE REVIEWS. Had I read them I would have opted for a HERO2 or just waited or bought a competitor's product.
GoPro knows all of this yet they continue to sell a defective product. Shame on them!
Hey Nick Woodman (CEO, billionaire and founder of GoPro) - Why are you doing this to us? We loved your product! Fix this! Make us whole!
** DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE. ALWAYS READ THE ONE & TWO STAR REVIEWS; EVEN ON PRODUCTS/BRANDS YOU THINK YOU KNOW WELL. **
84 of 94 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hero3 is a broken product,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition (Electronics)Amazon took down my first review of the Hero3 Silver. I don't know why. I got one (not ordered through Amazon) for my birthday back in November and it didn't work. I took it back to big box retailer and got a replacement. It also didn't work. Then I got a third one. For the third time, it didn't work. I bought two San Disk cards, a 16GB and a 64GB, both the recommended model by gopro, and updated the firmware on all three of them to the most recent (it was the 12/15/2012 FW, which was still the most recent available in February 2013). Everytime, after 20-40 videos, the memory card would get corrupted, the camera would lock up, and I'd lose all my stored videos. At that point the camera would start corrupting the memory card almost immediately every time, even after I reformtted it in the camera. Because hte issue takes so many videos to occur, even though I use them a lot (surfing, in my truck and on my motorcycle), it took me 3 months to burn through the three cameras. And because it took so long, the big box retailer where I bought it would only give me store credit in the end.
I think that gopro has been proactively trying to bury these problems (and that is why my first review was taken down and the average review is now 3 stars instead of 2 1/2 like it was when I wrote it the first time). I will keep an eye on this one and see if they take it down as well. I'm an Amazon Prime member and and software engineer. I have written probably two dozen product reviews on Amazon and too my knowlefge, only the gopro one has been removed. This gopro cameras has serious problems, I believe do to a hardware issue with the memory card controller that was not resolved with any firmware updates vailable to me in February 2013. The issue takes a while to manifest itself, and I thinkt that is where the poitive reviews are coming from... People just aren't using it enough for this nasty problem to ruin their day.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced the GoPro 3 Black is actually a functioning camera,
This review is from: GoPro HERO3: Black Edition (Camera)I was very excited about this camera and pre-ordered it from B&H back in October 2012.
I received the camera in December just before the GoPro firmware was released. After running the December firmware update, this process fried my camera, the Sandisk SD card and I then contacted GoPro's customer service for help.
I returned the camera to GoPro in January and their customer service drove me to the brink of insanity trying to deal with their inability to simply replace the camera. First they sent me a GoPro 2 as a replacement which wasn't the camera that I had purchased. I returned that to them and after weeks of asking where the replacement camera was, they replied that they had sent me a camera and that I had received it - which I had not... Then they finally sent me a replacement GoPro 3 earlier this week. I was able to use it for the first time today and quickly realized that it freezes constantly while trying to shoot with it.
In reading the various support forums for the camera, there are countless people having the same issues.
I would love for GoPro to provide me with a working camera or simply buy back from me at the price I have paid for all of their products & accessories to use with this camera.
I have to say that their customer service is probably the worst I have ever dealt with. I am not convinced that this camera even works as I received this camera directly from GoPro and it can't even record for more than 2.5 min....
I truly hope that there will be a class action lawsuit against them that I can be a part of for the loss of money & time that I have invested into this non-working camera.
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GoPro HERO3: Black Edition by GoPro