GoPro, the active leader in the compact adventure-cam market, released a new HD Hero3 camcorder yesterday—including a top-of-the-line model that can shoot 4K video. On paper, GoPro's new Hero3 appears to blow the competition out of the water, and GoPro did so without raising the cost of its product above $400.
The new Hero3 comes in three versions, all of which offer built-in WiFi and the ability to pair the camcorder to your smartphone. The White Edition is the cheapest version, coming in at $199, and includes the camcorder itself, GoPro's waterproof housing, and a small assortment of mounts. The $299 Silver Edition comes with an extra three-way pivot mount, and has a higher-res sensor than the White Edition. The top dog, however, is the Black Edition, which is the only Hero3 that allows for 4K video recording. The Black Edition comes with the same mounts as the Silver Edition, but GoPro also throws in a waterproof WiFi remote for controlling the camcorder. We should mention the 4K recording option is limited to frame rates of 15 or 12fps, although the Black Edition does offer two 2.7K (2716 x 1524) video record modes as well (in addition to 1080p, 720p, and various other video resolutions).
GoPro claims the entire line of new Hero3 camcorders feature faster performance, better sharpness, and improved audio compared to the previous HD Hero2. If these claims prove to be true, it's likely GoPro will continue to dominate the adventure cam market over the next year or so. The competition from Sony and Contour is certainly strong, but the Hero3 may end up in a league of its own.
All three of these new camcorders are currently available for pre-order at GoPro's website.