What I Love About GoPro Hero3

The World's Most Versatile Camera
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I recently purchased a GoPro Hero3 Silver for my honeymoon in Bora Bora (story here). Before purchasing, the only other place I really heard or seen them used is on the slopes in Tahoe or from a coworker who spoke high about it for recording his scuba diving trips. All in all, before purchasing, I did weight the pros and cons of having a larger waterproof camera with a screen and one without, and ultimately decided on this one.

To my knowledge, I set up the unit to preserve the most battery. I did not use WIFI and I may have toned down some of the FPS settings. It didn't come with a charging base, but instead only a USB end. Luckily, I have smartphone chargers (iphone and android devices) that have charging bases that have removable USB. Charging this way worked just fine, and not really an issue.

What I Like About the GoPro Hero3 Silver

  1. Great Video: The video came out very crisp and clear. Now my new problem is what to do with so much footage.
  2. Small Size: Very easy to carry around and did not really get in the way while snorkeling.
  3. Common Charging Interface: I was able to use old chargers to charge the unit. This made it easier while packing for vacation.
  4. Intuitive UI: Though the UI can become confusing, after about 10-15 minutes, I was able to easily navigate and make and save changes.
  5. Smart Startup Options: Love the ability to customize the startup mode. This way, I'm not fidgeting with the controls each time I power on the device.

What I Dislike About the GoPro Hero3 Silver

  1. Buggy Firmware: The software out-of-thebox had noticeable bugs. The main bug was despite being fully charged and turned off (LCD screen off), the battery drained in 2-3 hours. To be fair, after a firmware update, this problem disappeared. However, the fact this problem was caught before shipping makes me wonder about the quality control.
  2. Bad Battery Life: Not sure what I'm expecting out of such a small unit (equals small battery), but I do wish the battery life were a bit longer.
  3. No LCD Screen: This is a con, but I knew it when I bought it. But having a screen makes taking pictures and videos that much easier.
  4. Fisheye Effect: I'm not sure this is the official term, but I did not realize the video was fisheyed. So all my pictures and videos came out distorted.
  5. Port Door: The port door is small and not attached to the unit. So whenever I charge it, I have to make sure to put the port door somewhere safe.

Usage Recommendations:

  1. Install the latest firmware! Make sure your unit does not have a battery issue.
  2. Experiment with the camera for a few hours before using in the real world. You'll learn a lot of things you like/dislike about it, and use it more efficiently. Additionally, if there are effects you don't like, now is the time to tweak the settings before you're unhappy with your resulting video.
  3. If you're going to use it underwater (somewhere deep enough where you can't reach it), I highly recommend getting the casing that floats. I unfortunately did not get one, so I ended up tying string throuhg a loop, and strapping it to my wrist.
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