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Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition
on December 1, 2012
As of 12/01/2012...I give it 2 Stars
I've owed my Go Pro Hero 3 Black edition for about 2 weeks. I've used it just to get it tested before I really want to use it this coming winter and next summer. I'm really surprised this Hero 3 Black edition is so horrible. I've had nothing but freezes and lockups since I opened it. I've seen several youtube videos showing other consumers having the same problems. Granted I may have just gotten a bad camera, but I doubt it. My Hero 3 came with the most recent firmware and I told Go Pro customer support that from the very first time I contacted them 5 days ago. I loved my original Hero and the Hero 2...but, this edition was NOT ready to be released. I was really looking forward to receiving my pre-order and it felt like Christmas to me the day it arrived. I am pretty good with computers and modern electronics and I'm trying really hard to give this Hero 3 Black edition a chance, but I'm really disappointed it is operating this badly. I've had to pull the battery from freezes and lockup about 30 times in a two week period. It has frozen during setting changes and during all the recording I've done...video, picture and timelapse.
1. I've had it freeze while taking videos, pictures and while doing timelapse pictures.
2. I've had it freeze after removing it from charging (from a USB wall charge and from my laptop USB port).
3. I've had it freeze when disconnecting it after transferring pictures/videos to my laptop.
Battery life: For some reason, the battery life is also much less than I would expect. The camera gets VERY warm when using it for longer videos or timelapse pictures.
It does take excellent video and pictures and the different options are amazing, but, what good are those settings if the camera constantly has to be reset by pulling the battery out. I may be a very few people that just got a bad item, but, after waiting 6 months for the Android app for my Hero 2, then Go Pro released this camera only days apart from releasing the Android version of the App (shows their priority list), I'm not sure where Go Pro has the right to release such a horrid product at a price of $400...again, I may just be one of the few that had a bad experience.
When the December 14 firmware update is released and if it fixes some of these problems or if Go Pro sends me a new camera and it works better, I will update this listing.
After many emails to Go Pro tech support...they finally told me that the freezes after disconnecting from charge and from the USB port is a known issue. The further testing I've done determined that if I pull the battery after disconnecting from charge or USB port, the Hero 3 hasn't frozen during recordings. More updates to come after the December 14th firmware update.
After the firmware update, I plugged my camera in to charge using a wall charger and then disconnected it and tried to do a timelapse test and camera froze. Obviously that problem is still there. As I did before, after a more testing, I kept removing and re-inserting the battery after charge and the camera did not freeze.
Updating my Hero 3 Black firmware was not quite as easy as the first firmware update. That may have been due to the fact that so many people might have been trying to update their product.
The testing I've done with the new firmware and the iOS APP. The new version of the iOS has a nicer look than the original version. So far in the small amount of testing I've done, the App seemed to control the camera very nicely. It still has the 5 to 6 second video lag...which isn't that big of a deal, to me anyway.
I purchased a Hero 3 Battery BacPac. I get about double the recording time than I do without the $50 accessory. I guess it's worth it.
*** One bad "side affect" of the battery accessory...the camera gets super hot from the heat created by both batteries. The camera actually showed an overheat symbol and shutdown.***
12/20/2012....Upgraded to 3 Stars
After opening and testing the second GoPro Hero 3 Black edition I purchased, I now realize the first one I got must be defective. I've been testing my second Hero3 Black for several days...literally all day long, and I have not had any of the issues I had with the first Hero 3 I purchased. I've formatted the mSD card several times and charged with a wall charger and so far I haven't had to remove the battery once! I have tested it with 1080p 60 fps and 48 fps, Timelapse 30 sec, and 60 sec and it has gone all the way to a dead battery, at which point it beeps, saves the file and shutsoff.
The battery hasn't lasted any longer than the first Hero 3 purchased, but, it drains down MUCH cooler. I will be returning my first Hero3. I hope this writeup helps fellow Hero3 purchasers. More updates to come.
12/23/2012...Upgraded to 4 Stars
I originally wanted two of the Hero3 Black editions. As I described above, the first Hero3 Black edition I purchased must have been defective, but, I have returned that one. The second Hero 3 I got directly from Go Pro and it seems to be working fine. The Wifi remote and Andriod app seem to be working OK...no problems seen yet. Since I wanted two have two of these cameras, I took a chance and purchased another from Amazon last week. I received it and I've been testing it. It works as good as the second camera I received from Go Pro. Everything seems to be working correctly with the two Hero 3 Black editions that I have now.
I have the new Hero 3 Battery BacPac and it does just about double the recording time. I connected the USB charging to the battery bacpac and recorded a 2 day picture every 60 seconds timelapse picture sequence. Everything worked fine.
Apparently, there are a lot of unhappy Hero3 Black customers. Please take my testing and review with a grain of salt.