GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition review

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The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is the only camera you need to capture awesome quality images and video when you’re out on the water on your stand up paddle board (SUP).

 

GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition - Amazon

GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition - Amazon

 

 

Features

The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is essentially the same model as the GoPro HERO3 Black, but also includes specialised surfboard/SUP mounts to make sure your GoPro stays with you when out in the water. The camera is waterproof to 131 feet (40m), so long as encased in the supplied waterproof housing. The camera is also shockproof.

The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition features built-in Wi-Fi, and also includes the GoPro Wi-Fi Remote, which is normally sold separately for approx. $79.99.

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Video and camera modes

The camera records to .MP4 format (using the H.264 codec), which all modern computers can read, and is the standard for most online video websites (such as YouTube).

There are many different video settings for The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition (which is included in a table below), but for those not camera savvy, here is a brief outline of the different camera modes available:

Still Photo
Capture a single photo.

Continuous Photo
Hold down the shutter button to continuously capture a series of photos until shutter button is released.

Simultaneous Video and Photo
Record video and capture Time Lapse photos at the same time.

Burst Photo
Capture up to 30 photos per second – perfect for fast action photography.

Time Lapse
Automatically capture a series of photos at timed intervals. Ideal for capturing photos when the camera is out of reach.

Auto Low Light mode can intelligently change the cameras frame rates based on lighting conditions, so you can still get great shots from the water as the sun is either coming up or going down.

Video modes table

Video ResolutionNTSC fpsPAL fpsProtune™ ModeField of View (FOV)Screen ResolutionAspect Ratio
4K1512.5YesUltra Wide3840x216016:9
4K 17:91212YesUltra Wide4096x216017:9
2.7K3025YesUltra Wide, Medium2704x152416:9
2.7K 17:92424YesUltra Wide, Medium2704x144017:9
1440p48
30
24
48
25
24
YesUltra Wide1920x14404:3
1080p60
48
30
24
50
48
25
24
YesUltra Wide
Medium
Narrow
1920x108016:9
1080p SuperView60
48
30
24
50
48
25
24
YesUltra Wide1920x108016:9
960p100
60
48
100
50
48
Yes (except 48 fps)Ultra Wide1280x9604:3
720p120
60
100
50
YesUltra Wide
Medium*
Narrow
1280x72016:9
720p SuperView100
60
48
100
50
48
Yes (except 48 fps)Ultra Wide1280x72016:9
WVGA240240NoUltra Wide848x48016:9

 

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GoPro App

Although not really applicable to using The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition on a stand up paddle board, you can also control the camera using the GoPro app from an Apple or Android device. These apps are free to download.

 

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Connections

The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition camera has a microSD card slot that you would use for your video and image storage. When looking for a MicroSD card, make sure you select a microSD Class 10 memory card, as this is required for full HD video recording. This camera supports microSD card capacities up to 64GB (Gigabyte).

You can use the built-in Mini-USB slot to connect to your computer to play back/transfer your shots. You can also use the built-in Micro-HDMI slot to view them on an HDMI-enabled TV, although you do need to buy a cable separately. The camera also supports playback to composite TV via an optional cable (again, sold separately).

You can also use the GoPro app to view back you videos on your smartphone or tablet.

 

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Dimensions

The dimensions for the GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition are 3.9 x 3.9 x 9.7 inches. The camera weighs in at 74g (2.6oz), or with the camera housing weighs 136gm (4.8oz).

 

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Accessories

The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition package includes:

  • The HERO3+ Black Edition Camera
  • Waterproof Housing
  • Wi-Fi Remote and Wi-Fi Remote Charging Cable
  • High Capacity rechargeable 1050mnAh Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Release Buckle and vertical Quick Release Buckle
  • Surfboard Mount + Camera Tethers
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm (Mounting Hardware)
  • USB Cable
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Brand info

GoPro was founded by Nick Woodman back in 2002. He started the company after a surf trip to Indonesia where he was hoping to capture some quality action photos of his surfing, but couldn’t because the photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at accessible prices.

Woodman initially raised money by selling bead and shell belts out of his VolksWagen van. While making these belts, he came up with the idea of providing a specialised strap to attach a camera. At the time, most straps were cumbersome rubber wrist straps that were painful to wear, or easily broken.

In 2004, the GoPro sold its first camera system—a 35 mm film version. This camera evolved through the years, going from 35mm to digital, where they started recording 10-second clips, to 3-megapixel digital cameras, to its current configuration of fixed-lens HD video cameras with a wide 170-degree angle.
On June 4, 2014, the company announced the appointment of former Microsoft executive Tony Bates as President, reporting directly to Nick Woodman.

 

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Consumer ratings/reviews

The average rating of The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is 3.6/5 from over 1,000 reviews.

I LOVED the GoPro, My dad bought it for me in March for my birthday, I couldn’t wait to use it in the summer, so we went to Florida in June, I didn’t have a floaty for it yet, it fell in the ocean off my head and we couldn’t find it, I suggest you get the floaty backdoor, Overall though, I loved it, all the video was awesome! Read more reviews.

Great camera! We use if for riding dirt bikes and swimming. The picture quality is great, and its really easy to use. I purchased extra mounts so we have them on all our helmets so everyone can use it and enjoy it. It was worth buying the camera just to see my three year old swimming under water. Read more reviews.

Absolutely amazing camera. Gave it to my brother as a graduation present and it never leaves his side! Mountains, lakes, rivers, this camera does it all – and beautifully. Could not ask for a better product. Picks up sound well even through the waterproof case, and isn’t too sensitive to shaking when filming. Read more reviews.

 

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Pros

Compared to the HERO2, the The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is about half the thickness of the HERO2, but more importantly the GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is noticeably lighter, both in hand and when mounted to things.

Reduced body thickness makes the camera easier to position and get the perfect angle.

Excellent selection of options lets you take almost any type of video or photo.

 

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Cons

It pays to update the firmware manually, as several attempts with the automatic process did not work correctly.

No zoom.

Has been known to overheat when contained within the waterproof housing for extended periods.

 

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Warranty

The GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition comes with a 30 day manufacturer’s warranty, and you can also purchase a 3 or 4 year “Drops and Spills” warranty for an additional charge.

 

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GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition Summary

If you’re looking to take some selfies on your stand up paddle board, buy a waterproof disposable camera. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to take some high definition action shots of you cruising the waterways, or catching a barrel on your Tahitian holiday, then the GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition is definitely something you need to purchase. It take amazing photos, excellent video footage and can be safely attached to your SUP.

If you would like to compare some more GoPro video cameras, click the following link to take a look at our Top 5 Best GoPro Camera List.

 

GoPro-HERO3-Black-Surf-Edition_stand-up-paddle-boards-sale

 

GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition - Amazon

GoPro HERO3 Black: Surf Edition - Amazon

 

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