GoPro's Hero3 Sports Cameras Drop Weight, Gain Video Resolution

By Norman Chan

The high-end model will sell for $399 but will shoot 4K video at 15fps.

Last night, at a launch event in San Francisco, GoPro announced its Hero3 line of sports cameras, replacing its popular Hero 2 HD series. The Hero3 line includes three models which range from $200 to $400, dubbed White, Silver, and Black editions. Like the existing GoPro Hero 2s, all three Hero3 cameras will shoot 1080p video at various frame rates, including 24fps and up to 120fps at WVGA 800x480 resolution. The high-end Black edition, however, will be able to shoot at 2.7K and 4K resolutions, at 30fps and 15fps respectively. Video quality at these resolutions--likely compressed as they are on the Hero 2's--will vary, with the $199 White edition topping out at 15Mbps bitrate and the Black Edition recording at 45mpbs.

The cameras--available for pre-order now--will snap photos between 5MP and 12MP, again determined by which model you buy. The Black edition will be able to save photos while also recording video. All three cameras are equipped with a f/2.8 6 element wide-angle lens with 170 degrees of coverage. New to the Hero3 is built-in Wi-Fi, previously only available with a separate $100 BacPac accessory that occupied the "Hero" expansion slot. The boxy cameras are also 30% smaller and 25% lighter than previous models, which also means they won't be compatible with some existing cases and mounting accessories.

Here's GoPro's launch video for the Hero3.