GoPro is the action camera leader, with 80 per cent of the market. The Hero3+ Black Edition is its flagship model.
It has a footprint the size of a matchbox but is twice as thick.
In front, there is a small LCD status screen. Below the screen is the Power/Mode button. On top, there is only a single Record/Select button.
On its left, a small cover hides a micro-HDMI port, a micro-USB port and a microSD slot. The Wi-Fi button is on the right.
It comes with a waterproof casing, Wi-Fi remote, two quick-release buckles, two adhesive mounts (one curved and one flat) and a three-way pivot arm.
Considering its hefty price tag, it should offer more accessories. Not even a Live View display attachment is included. The Braun Master Action Camera (see review on page 6) has such an attachment and sells for less.
On the upside, the quality of the accessories is top-notch. The pivot arm holds firmly in place even in the speedy currents of Wave House Sentosa.
Operation and handling are easy enough. To power up the camera, hold down the Power/Mode button till you hear three beeps and the red status light flashes three times.
With the power on, you use the Power/Mode button to cycle through Video, Photo, Burst Photo, Time Lapse, Settings and Playback modes.
So, if you want to take a video, cycle to Video Mode and press the Record Select button to start recording. Press again to stop.
Alternatively, you can use the Wi-Fi Remote or the free GoPro app (available on Android and iOS) to start video recording.
Personally, I find the remote control too troublesome with all the Wi-Fi connection procedures.
It is faster to just press the buttons and hit the waves.
The waterproof casing allows access to all the buttons, so changing settings is a breeze.
The 1,080p videos shot were really crisp and sharp. In fact, almost every object in the scene was sharp. Image stabiliser was excellent as well.
Ambient audio recorded was just right, just as the human ear would hear. The night-time videos were the best of those shot by the cameras included in this round up. They were not too pixelated.
Colour reproduction and auto white balance were spot on.
The auto exposure was equally accurate and changed quickly to suit the scenes when I slid down the Sentosa Skyline Luge track.
With the Hero3+ Black Edition, GoPro continues to be the poster child of action cameras with its superb video quality as well as ease of use. The only downer is its lack of included accessories.
Price: $580 (includes Wi-Fi Remote)
Image sensor: 12-megapixel CMOS
Lens: 170-degree ultra wide-angle
Display: 0.8-inch LCD
Waterproof: Down to depths of 40m (with included casing)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, micro-HDMI
Weight: 74g (body only)
This article was first published on May 21, 2014.
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