GoPro Hero3 Black Edition Koldsmoke Review

Al Shoots T-Rex with Pole Cam GoPro 2340 small














Finally the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition Koldsmoke Review, by Koldsmoke team member Allen Dewey.  Black is the new Black…full review below:

GoPro hero3_inhousing_45_black








Nick Woodman dreamed up the idea of a waterproof, mountable, tiny camera capable of video & still photography following a surfing trip in Australia in 2002. The first generation was a 35mm film based camera & housing… the development of small digital sensors allowed the current versions to be very popular with sports enthusiasts in auto & motorbike racing, skateboarding, skiing, scuba diving, etc.

I have owned & worked with GoPro  cameras for many years but did not purchase one for myself until the advent of the clip on LCD Screen, which made the camera usable.

GoPro LCDTouchBacPac









The Hero 3 has solved another issue… capturing underwater footage that is actually in focus. From the beginning, the designs have been waterproof… but, until gen 3 the waterproof polycarbonate housing has had a curved glass lens… therefore producing blurry underwater footage & stills, while very clear above water. Though shockproof & waterproof to a depth of 180 feet or 60 meters… the camera was only useful in the splash zone. (I have a bunch of blurry underwater footage from Yosemite & Hawaii!!) I now have a Flat Lens version for my older style camera & the Hero 3 ships with a newly designed flat lens housing. (Thanks D. Northway Marketing dept… I’m a promoter of GoPro again.)


Another issue I have had while using the GoPro cameras is the need to capture useable Audio with the camera while mounted in the housing… even using the skeleton door (while out of water danger) the audio was quite muffled. I even ground holes in one waterproof housing to allow the microphone to be exposed with the camera on a Monopod. (I also altered the rear cover to allow the screen to stay visible in daylight & holes in the side to allow charging & access to the SD Card.) Hero 3 has available (3.5mm Mic Adapter) a cable that allows audio input from a mic source through a stereo mini plug.

GoPro HERO3_3.5MM_MicAdapter

Al shooting CA at Toy Drive 2011 small









Also available is a new mount called “The Frame” which includes a narrow version for just the camera or a wide one for use with the LCD back which is now Touchscreen or the extended battery power adapter. (LCD Touch BacPac & Battery BacPac) This new mount option allows the camera mic to function at close distance to the subject in low speed, no dust, no splash, no snow situations. You still gotta use the covered housing for situations that would damage the camera… like flying off a bike at Bonneville Salt Flats while going 170+mph. (A new hazard for the Race Volunteer Crew… sweeping GoPro bits & pieces off the track.)

GoPro Hero3 TheFrameMount









Hero 3 also offers the ability to remotely control the functions of a camera (or as many as 50 cameras) with a pushbutton controller that can hang from your neck while riding a skateboard or motorcycle. (Wi-Fi Remote) I finally got a cell phone that is smarter than myself… this allows not only controlling your cameras (Powering up & rolling record etc.) but… wait for it… VIEWING THE IMAGE OF WHAT THE CAMERA IS SHOOTING!! Supposedly… After several hours of trying to get the wi-fi to function properly between my camera & the remote & the iPhone… (first charging both the camera battery & the internal batt in the remote, I left them both transmitting & searching for a wi-fi signal… which drained both batteries… Pay attention to the flashing blue & red lights on both devices!! They must be Turned Off!!) Anyway… I had to “Update” the Firmware on my new Hero 3 which just arrived… I know; why do they not send the camera with the latest version of firmware?!! Get over it… Just Do it. Finally got the wireless signal from the camera to show up on my iPhone screen… (After two attempts to install new firmware… Watch the videos on GoPro web site.) Now if only I could get the Image to appear… it is trying to find it…


GoPro Wi-FiRemote









One accessory that I find very important is the Tripod adapter (Tripod Mount) which allows the (still plastic!!) mount to be adapted to the industry standard ¼” x 20 tpi threaded mount (in use since the 1700’s!!) All of the rigging mounts I use (helicopter, car, bike, motorcycle, ATV, boat, helmet, etc.) are either ¼ x 16 or 3/8 x 16 but all GoPro mounts are based on their proprietary PLASTIC tabs. There are some after-market mounts that are billet & CNC carved that are very sturdy & expensive.

GoPro Tripod adapter









The Hero 3 is available in three flavors, I got the Black version which is the highest resolution including 4K… though only at 15 frames per second, not the video standard of 30. (29.97 in NTSC) The new body style of the camera is very sleek & sexy. I really like the new mounting frame & the Wi-Fi adds many new possibilities.

Al Mounts GoPro in T-Rex 1745 small

Al Shoots T-Rex with Pole Cam GoPro









GoPro HERO3_CapsAndDoors

Allen says these Lens caps and rear doors are a ‘Must’!

Allen Dewey Salt Flats

Al Mounts GoPro in T-Rex 1742 small

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  1. GoPro Support had me re-download the Firmware to the camera & that fixed the issue of Viewing the camera image while in pause. Yay team!!

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