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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.

Cons:
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.

Pros:
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.

12/12/12 Update

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.

12/15/12 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.

1/8/2013

Apparently, there are a lot of unhappy Hero3 Black customers. Please take my testing and review with a grain of salt.
4444 comments|249 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 16, 2012
I bought the Black Edition from Local Best Buy. I have used Hero1, Hero2 and Sony Aciton Cam. I just have to say this is the best action cam for me so far. GoPro seemed to address most of my issues where I wrote under my Amazon Hero2 review except the short battery life. Hero3 blk has better low-light than hero2. Sony does pretty good under low-light, but I still like hero 3 noise reduction better.

Hero3 Black Edition Advantages Over Hero2:

1. Smaller and lighter
2. Much better build quality
3. Built-in Wifi
4. Included flat lens case
5. Better low light
6. Better image quality
7. Higher dynamic range
8. Higher resolution and fps (4k/15fps, 2.7k/30fps, 720p/120fPs, and 480p/240fPs WOW!!!)
9. Higher photo quality and burst rate
10. Higher quality case
11. Double lock latch on the case
12. White Balance Adjustment and Cam Raw
13. Reliable ProTune Modes
14. Better Lens and Less Fisheye
15. Included Remote Control

Hero3 Black Edition Advantages Over Sony Action Cam:

1. Smaller
2. Much more mounting options
3. Better build quality
4. Included flat lens case
5. Better noise reduction
6. Higher dynamic range
7. Better image quality (Sony color is unreal)
8. Higher resolution and fps
9. Excellent Photo modes (No Photo mode on Sony)
10. White Balance Adjustment and Cam Raw
11. ProTune Modes
12. Included Remote Control

Hero3 Black Edition Wish list:

1. Hero3 blk without the Remote for less than $399. All I need is one remote, but I might buy more black editions.
2. No Wifi version for less than $399 because I do not need Wifi that drains battery.
3. More battery life. I can record 1080/60P just little over 1 hour. It should last at least 1.5 to 2 hours IMO.
4. Bug fixes. It is a new product, so the cam has some minor bugs with sudden reset, Wifi, and the battery indicator.

For Hero1 and Hero2 Users:

1. I can use most of the same mounts and accessories except batteries, cases, and full-size SD cards.
2. Cleaning the lens on the inside is pretty tough now. You have to remove the lens and clean all the way.
3. The product updates are done via Java based webpage. Chrome browser was not supported.
4. Video files are in general larger even if they are in the same modes.

Summary:

The biggest issue so far is the battery life. I really have to get the new battery pack. Other than that, Hero3 black is amazing. I could not believe how good the IQ is from this super tiny cam. I will keep updating this review as I find more pros and cons.
99 comments|85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2013
GoPro HD HERO3: Black EditionGot the Hero3 Black for Christmas. Updated the firmware and took it skiing with my wife and kids and my brother and his kids. We've been trying to get his group together for years. It took about 2 minutes of video before freezing up. Difficult to figure it out on the mountain. That night I charged it, got it working and took a video at the condo that looked good. I charged it overnight. Took it to the slopes the next day, turned on the remote, battery dead. That's OK because I can still video without the remote. Turned it on, pushed record, nothing happened. Pushed the mode button, no response. The camera locked up. Not even 2 minutes of video on the second day. I took it back. I can see getting a bad unit, but both the remote and the camera failed. I don't have time to deal with expensive garbage. I'll keep using my handheld Kodak playsport. I've had it skiing, snorkeling, river rafting, ziplining etc. It's worked everytime.
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on December 18, 2012
I have one of the old original GoPro Heros and for what it cost and what it does it is really an excellent little camera.

Now I have a (soon to be returned) GoPro Hero 3 Black, top end, super does everything you could imagine wonder of modern engineering.

Or at least it would be if everything worked.

Unfortunately with mine at least there are some extremely awful problems.

Firstly My camera goes into a high current battery draw condition every fourth or fifth time you turn it off, locks up and will not restart until you remove and reinsert the battery.
When you turn it off the red LED on the back comes on at about half brightness, the back of the camera rapidly heats up and it will not respond to any of the buttons. The only solution is to remove the battery and reinsert it. You will have also lost 20 to 30 percent of the charge on the battery during this period of time.

When I contacted GoPro's technical service line they had me verify that I had the latest version of their camera update installed in the camera (I did) then they had me do it again. and said that would fix the problem. It didn't so I called them the next day and went through exactly the same procedure again with the new technician even after informing him I had already done so the day before. He swore it would fix it and of course, guess what, it didn't.

I have now seen several other responses comments about the GoPro that show exactly the same sort of failure and am going to send the camera back within it's 30 day return period even though I am stuck for the return shipping.

Secondly, the WiFi live preview feature for tablets works so inadequately as to be totally useless and this was one of my main reasons for purchasing this camera in the first place.

On my Nexus 7 the Live Preview picture is satisfactory in the Software and Auto modes but in those modes the Live Preview picture turns off while you are recording video. In "Hardware" mode the picture stays on during recording but at all times it is so pixelated and jerky as to be unusable. It also frequently locks up for more than 10 seconds at a time. Further there is always a 2 to 3 second delay of the picture in all Live Preview modes.

On my wife's IPad 4 the Live Preview picture is OK and stays on during record, but it is always delayed in excess of 6 seconds which pretty much makes it unusable as well.

It is a genuine shame; the specifications on this camera were superb, but the fact that it arrived with a very dangerous and intractable lithium battery virtually shorting out fault also reported by several other people and the fact that the Live Preview capability is an unusable mess clearly means that this camera should never have been released in this condition in the first place.

They obviously have a lot of very serious bugs to work out of this and I have already invested over 20 hours trying to get it straightened out to no avail so I am done with it.

For those of you who still buy one of these I would strongly suggest that you THOROUGHLY use and test your camera before the 30 day return period is up and GOOD LUCK!
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on November 10, 2012
I was lucky enough to snag the HERO3 Black Edition online already, prior to the GoPro site releasing them. Needless to say, I have been really impressed. The wifi remote works so well, and it is so fun to use. It also takes great photos and video, as expected. There are only two drawbacks. First, I am not so impressed with the battery life. I turn the camera on only when I'm taking photos or video and still, it doesn't last the whole day. Be prepared to get an extra battery or two, especially if you will be away from a power source for a while. The next downside (for now) is the app does not work with the hero3 black edition. This will be resolved with a software update from GoPro on December 14, 2012. Overall, I am really happy with my purchase. But I need to get a couple more batteries before I can go too far into the wild.
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on November 5, 2012
All the new features-- wifi built in, 4k & 2.7k resolution, streamlined size/weight, rubberized surfaces and more are well worth it. We pre-ordered and already received a few of these bad boys for our rental shop here in Honolulu. So far everyone who has seen/used them has instantly fallen in love. Tiny camera, giant value, huge possibilities.
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on January 22, 2013
I have upgraded to the latest firmware but still I'm experiencing the same issues as others stated here. Mine locks up and requires pulling the battery to get it functional again. It's extremely buggy. The battery life isn't good and it gets warm to the touch.

I will be asking for a replacement.
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on November 7, 2013
Just purchased the Hero3 Black the other day. The remote will not turn on while on battery, only works wen connectd to an external power source, not much of a remote control now is it. Let it charge for 24 hours and still nothing when disconnected from the cable. Piss-Poor quality on GOPros part! Do they actually test these things?
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on November 29, 2012
I have to say I am impressed with the image quality of the GoPro Hero 3, but it's still suffering some simple and easily fixable issues. First, the internal microphone can been annoying if you are using as a recorder for car dash cam. All I wanted is to have the Gopro record the video but not audio as there is no point to record the audio for a car dash cam. Second, the wifi status light can not be disabled. Now that you can buy a wifi remote to turn on and off the Gopro which is very convenient btw, but leave the little blue light blinking on your car dash is asking the thief to break your window and take your GoPro type of invitation.

I hope the GoPro team can address these issues by releasing a firmware upgrade. If not then for people simply wants to record video but not audio will be out of luck unless you buy their external adapter (Money making business for go pro?). Also if you want to buy it as a car dash cam with wifi remote then be careful as the blue light is going to make it very obvious at night time.
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on December 12, 2012
I ordered a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition on Cyber Monday 2012 from GoPro's website. After waiting over 2 weeks, I finally received it. Unfortunately Hero3 is not worth the $400+. The videos are jerky and the picture is not synchronized with the audio. I tried various video modes: 1440, 1080, 720, but the videos were all jerky. After playing with the camera a bit more I managed to have the SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC Class 10 not recognized anymore. I had tried formatting the card with Fat, ExFat, FreeSpace, even formatting it in the camera, but the Hero3 could just not recognize it. I got the same message over and over again, SD ERR. The card was just fine BTW. I also ran a firmware update on GoPro's website but apparently there was not update available (probably because the camera already had the latest version of firmware). After trying to troubleshoot the camera a bit more I finally gave up and I decided to return it. On one hand no other action camera matches Hero3's specs, but on the other I'm tired of supporting companies which charge you high premiums for s**** products, hence I will return mine and I'll take my money back.
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