Since I started with multicopters I was looking for the GoPro Hero. At that time it was the GoPro Hero 2. In the meantime we got the Hero 3 in three different “tastes”:
* GoPro Hero 3 White $199
* GoPro Hero 3 Silver $299
* GoPro Hero 3 Black $399
The Black Edition is certainly for professionals and those who don’t mind spending a lot. For me personally the White Edition will do the job. The drawbacks are, that the White Edition only has the specs comparable to the GoPro 2. Silver and Black also have some “post processing” integrated to enhance the recorded image, besides higher resolution’s for still images and frame rates depending on model. Black and Silver do both better on low light conditions. The black seems to have more processing power, so e.g it is able to shoot more stills and can do even 4K modes. I wonder if both use the same chip behind the lens, and some of the limitations for Silver are artificial. The last difference is the Field of View, in 1080p the White can only do “medium”, where the other two are capable of “Ultra Wide, Medium and Narrow”.
Well I thought that in most cases I would be interested in using Ultra Wide. So when I want to get that, I have to go down to 720p, which offers Ultra Wide. For most applications I will record in 720p anyway and 1080p in Medium seems fine to me.
The black one also comes with a WiFi remote, which would be useless for me. There is an Android or iOS app, which is free and a lot more helpful. To be able to use this app, you have to turn on wireless on your GoPro 3. From your mobile you would look for the camera as a wireless access point. Once connected, you can control it with the app.
Funny is, that you have to update your brand new GoPro first. For that you visit www.gopro.com/update (you can find the manuals here as well). They created a sort of “web app” to ease the process. Well for me this stupid “web app” made things extra complicate. It needs Java to detect your camera model, but it didn’t work under Linux. Well the java part of the app runs, but detects nothing. On Windows XP I failed with the Java… The manual option asks your for your serial number and that in case sensitive. Well under Linux, I was not able to key something in, into that field. But that worked in Windows. In the process of the update, the system asks you for the name of your camera and a WPA password. Final step is to download the generated “update.zip” and extract its contents to the SD card in your GoPro. That was not clearly pointed out. So first attempt I placed the update.zip on the camera – with no effect. After extracting them, the updated then worked. In the process of updating, Btw, you also have to register at the same time and the back button of the browser doesn’t work as you would expect! I think this was the most complicate and silly upgrade process, I ever experienced so far. But maybe the average guy on an up-to-date Windows 7 might be luckier?
I also had issues with my 32GB Class 10 Sandisk Ultra card. First the camera told me “no sd”. So I formatted it in my XP laptop. The card came formatted, but I just did it again. After that I just got “SD ERR” but at least it knew there is a card. After erasing it through the GoPro Menus, it finally worked as expected.
The good news is, that I tested the camera on my DJI F450 Flamewheel. Since a year I am trying to get jello free footage with my $13 Turnigy camera, which can do DVD resolution (720×480 ?). But all my attempts were unsuccessful. With the exception of one, where I embedded the camera in silicon gel and kept it with glue and rubberbands in place. But that was not a durable solution and only worked for one flight.
With the GoPro I did a brief test flight in front of my house. It’s already dark here. But the footage was jello free, without any dampening or special mountings. Further testing will be done tomorrow. I will also write about the way, I mounted the camera.