Test report GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam: Lots of power and good quality at a great price


yasr_multiset setid=2
]The GoPro Hero 3 proves that action cams can prove their worth in a wide variety of extreme sports and ultimately also in particularly demanding outdoor activities in a very convincing way with an overall coherent performance package. In our Actioncam test, we’ll show you both light and dark sides of the mini-cam.

The video streams that can be generated with the device both indoors and outdoors will convince even the most demanding experts. The fact that the GoPro Hero 3 Action-Cam can record Full-HD recordings at 30FPS may also have contributed to this.

Also in terms of handling and usability the device leaves hardly any wishes open in practical use. Of course, this state-of-the-art action cam for use in extreme sports or outdoors also offers the highly appreciated option of a functional and intuitive remote control. This can be done from a smartphone or mobile phone, which is either Android or iOS based. The Hero 3 is the predecessor of the Go Pro Hero 4, the Hero 5 and the latest flagship of the Hero 6.

Here you can see a test video of the GoPro Hero 3, I still have to cut mine, but it will come soon 🙂

The flagship of the Hero 3 series action cams

Customers and experts alike are hardly in any doubt that this device can justifiably be called the proven flagship and top model of the entire production series, which has been presented to the interested public under the designation Hero 3, due to its performance characteristics and not least due to its opulent technical equipment and the plus points in handling and usability.

Although the GoPro Hero 3 action cam can take pictures in 4K mode, the comparatively small number of images per time unit that can be generated with the cam in this mode results in a rather jerky display.

The situation is completely different, however, in Full HD mode at 1,080, where ultra-sharp video sequences are produced in HD video mode, which should absolutely satisfy even professionals with up to a total of 30 frames per second each.

In HD mode with 720, even 60 frames per second can be generated alternatively. In principle, the GoPro Hero 3 action cam can also generate impressive slow-motion sequences in practice.

Further clear advantages of the Action-Cam in terms of optics and recording are the high image sharpness, which can be generated by the Action-Cam even in normal daylight conditions and without any kind of additional light source, as well as the recording performance in low light and the viewing angle, which is 170 degrees at all resolution options the cam has to offer.

Handling and Usability

TO the basic requirements of the user with regard to the use and application of such an action cam, as the GoPro Hero 3 also represents, criteria for optimal handling, especially in the outdoor area, belong, in order to be able to capture impressive and unforgettable sequences in pictures or via video stream. The remote control, as already briefly mentioned at the beginning, is therefore also fully given with this device.

The GoPro Hero 3 action cam’s remote control also works via WLAN, which proves to be extremely practical and functional. Using a mobile phone, based either on the Android operating system or alternatively of course on iOS, practically all of the GoPro Hero 3 action cam’s key controls can be made via app or modified by the user if necessary.

Even the picture taken by the cam is transferred to the controlling mobile or smartphone in live mode and displayed here. The time delay between the actual recording by the cam and its presentation as an image on the display of the smartphone or mobile phone is just 5 seconds with the GoPro Hero 3.

Alternatively, however, the GoPro Hero 3 action cam can also do without the use and integration of remote control via smartphone and WLAN, as the device is directly and immediately controlled via two function keys. Here, the user and operator must then navigate through a corresponding menu in order to make modifications and settings to the cam.

Especially when wearing gloves, however, it might be a bit difficult and awkward to feel and operate the two comparatively small function keys on the GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam’s case.

Nevertheless, the renouncement of the remote control and the handling via WLAN in the cam makes sense, especially under winterly conditions on the slopes. Tests have shown in practice that using the operating mode via remote control with a smartphone and WLAN can drastically reduce the battery life of the device, especially at extremely low temperatures.

Otherwise and under normal conditions, the battery life is defined as approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Whoever wants to use the device under winter conditions and via remote control is strongly advised to purchase a spare or second battery.

This lithium-ion battery, as well as the other components of the enormously extensive range of accessories, is available in stores or alternatively in the well-known shops on the Internet for prices starting at around 60 Euros.

Taking photos and stills with the GoPro Hero 3 action cam

The GoPro Hero 3 action cam also shows its impressive capabilities in terms of photos and stills, both indoors and outdoors. The image resolution here is based on the scope of the Hero 3 camera series, in that 12 megapixels are again made possible.

With regard to the frame rate, the user is then spoilt for choice in this menu item between 3, 5, 10 or a maximum of 30 frames per second that can be taken with the GoPro Hero 3 action cam.

Further functional options and applications, which extend the spectrum of possible uses of the cam once again quite considerably, are the functionalities for time-lapse and for single images.

The GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam accessories

At the beginning of this article we already mentioned the fact that the impressive and convincingly long list of accessories available in stores or already on the Internet is one of the advantages and purchase arguments that speak for the GoPro Hero 3 action cam.

The sensible and incredibly useful reserve or also second battery has already been mentioned in this context. Various mounting options with the corresponding adapters for the Action-Cam are also part of the equipment available, such as 2 separate cases or protective covers.

One of these two cases has been explicitly designed for the use of the GoPro Hero 3 Action-Cam below the water surface. This impressive and rather technical-heavy device is therefore predestined to serve underwater photographers, underwater filmers, divers, underwater archaeologists and treasure hunters as well as wreck divers.

The functionality and application possibilities presented here are also underlined by the fact that the respective additional case can guarantee a pressure resistance of the cam up to a diving depth of no less than 60 metres.

The GoPro Hero 3 Action-Cam’s range of applications with regard to the maximum possible diving and operating depth is thus far beyond the level of comparable products, for which the limit for underwater operations is often specified at up to 30 meters.

A touch-screen display for the GoPro Hero 3 action cam is another item on the long list of additional equipment available for the corresponding expansion of the device’s application possibilities.

An additional external microphone with a useful adapter is also basically available and can then be installed on the device if required and also be used in many ways. I myself use this very affordable microphone from Rhode.

In terms of storage capacity, the GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam is already equipped with a standard micro-SDHC card in the factory. However, experts among users and users of the GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam generally advise the user to upgrade and supplement this internal memory with a supplementary external storage medium with a total of 16 GB each.

Conclusion: Light and shadow

It has already been shown that the GoPro Hero 3 Action Cam would like to be seen as the designated flagship of the entire Hero 3 series. However, there is both light and shadow in this undoubtedly quite impressive device.

With a price of just over 200 Euros, for which the device is available in specialist shops directly on site or on the Internet, the cam is basically not a bargain, but is within the range of comparable pricing of competing products from other manufacturers.

The dimensions of 60 mm x 40 mm x 30 mm can be described as compact and guarantee a good usability in practical outdoor use and also in the most different kinds of modern extreme sports. The total operating weight of about 740 g seems a bit high in comparison to some competing offers, but doesn’t reduce the good handling.

The switch-on time of 3.7 seconds until the cam is ready to record can also be described as quite good. The razor-sharp video sequences in HD mode and the sharp individual pictures also have a positive effect. Also the underwater suitability, the remote control via WLAN and the uncomplicated handling in use as well as the extremely long list of available accessories.

However, the comparatively low battery life under winter conditions and when using the remote control, the basically somewhat slow WLAN should be mentioned as a downside of the cam.

But basically, a purchase recommendation can be made. Especially for customers who are particularly demanding in terms of image quality and who do not want or need to produce 4K images. At the moment the Hero 3 is available at Amazon at a very reasonable price.

Since the Hero 3 model is already relatively old, there are now also cheaper action cameras that even support 4K with up to 30 frames per second and are still cheaper than the GoPro model. We have tested the Apeman 4K Cam, the Jeemak Wifi, Tec Tec Mini Actioncam and the SJCAM.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here