Top critical review
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Lens better up close; blurrier farther away
on October 9, 2013
Be aware when purchasing that there are some aspects to the new "improved" lens that may not be for everyone. This week it has been fairly well documented (and confirmed by GoPro) that while the new lens produces much sharper images under 4', they are blurrier at distances greater than 4'. It does NOT focus at infinity. For reasons not fully explained, they moved the focal point of the lens in close and sacrificed distance clarity.
Update at bottom.
You will get great shots under 4' and soft focus beyond that. Depending on what you want it for, this camera may not be for you and the regular H3 might be a better bet. Since this is an effect of the lens it applies to both stills and video. On the other hand, it's still a decent small action camera, and if you take a lot of video in motion you may not notice this at all. For YouTube uploads and streaming it may not matter, I haven't tested this myself. If you want better clarity in your images the 3B is a good choice. I personally will play with it this week before deciding if I should return it. (Update: it's going back.)
It boggles the mind that they have produced a camera that claims to have a better lens and ignored the fact that it is in fact worse for 90% of what you'll be filming. Great clarity on your handlebars but not so good on the scenery.
Edit: other pluses- the color is much better with the 3+ than the 3. Low light shooting is also better, although sometimes lens flare from lights is a little worse, sometimes better. No more chromatic aberration (yellow/purple fringing). Just do some reading before buying this, they made some trade-offs in the new lens.
Well after comparing the two (3+B and 3B) this week, there are some more problems that have had me downgrade this to a 3 star. For one, the right and left sides of the images on the 3+ are smeared. I mean really distorted, and I'm not using SuperView. Additionally the contrast seems to be set too high, causing some loss of detail in the shadows and blowing out whites a bit. This at least is changeable with a firmware update if they choose to do so. The blurry edges put me over the edge and I'm returning it. It's too bad, it's almost a great camera, with some nice improvements, but the lens is a definite problem, and not necessarily an improvement... certainly not 33% sharper.