GoPro Hero3: Black Edition Camcorder Review$399.99
Smaller is better, right? At least that's GoPro's thinking with the Hero3, as the camcorder is 30% smaller and 25% lighter than its predecessors. Since all of the size reduction came by making the new camcorder thinner, you won't see a difference if you stare at the Hero3 head-on from the front. Looking down from the top, however, you'll see GoPro turned the Hero3 into a sleek rectangle by removing a lot of space from its back. At least part of the smaller size has to come from the Hero3's new battery design, which takes up far less space than the long, thin battery that powered the Hero2.
The Hero3's waterproof housing got a few design changes as well. The new case is smaller (so the smaller Hero3 fits snugly), has an improved locking mechanism, and it features a flat-lens enclosure. By simply switching over to a flat lens design, rather than the convex cover the Hero2's waterproof case featured, the Hero3 is able to produce sharper video and less distortion underwater. The case also has three button inputs instead of two, in order to accommodate the Hero3's extra WiFi control button.
While the new locking mechanism of the case does make for a tighter seal, it also makes the case harder to open. The new lock has a release switch that must be pushed while simultaneously pulling up on the locking clamp. This makes the likelihood of the lock accidentally slipping open less of a possibility, but, at the same time, it's a whole lot more difficult to actually open the case. If that difficulty means more security underwater, then GoPro's new design is certainly a good thing.