The Gear • January 2014
Introducing the GoPro HERO 3+, the Emmy award-winning HD video camera that’ll capture your action-packed travels in all their mind-blowing glory and make your friends back home wonder how you did it, according to our gadget man Derek Adams
Eleven years ago, amateur American surfer Nick Woodman began developing a small, wide-angle lens camera for the sole purpose of filming himself riding the swell. He could never have predicted his little invention would go on to win an Emmy award, let alone initiate a whole new category of snapper: the action camera. Today, Woodman’s GoPro is not only the camera of choice for most outdoor adventurers, but if you look closely enough, you’ll see evidence of its use on a multitude of action-related TV programmes.
Flight, camera, action: GoPro’s Silver Edition HERO 3+ is the perfect travel companion
The current GoPro range includes three models and the newly updated 10-megapixel Silver Edition HERO 3+, which occupies the middle ground, is the model most outdoor enthusiasts gravitate towards. It shoots panoramic video at a variety of resolutions – from 1080p at 30 frames per second to 480p at 120 fps – and comes bundled with a 40-metre underwater housing to which you can attach a raft of mountings for use on helmets, handlebars, boats, motorcycle fairings and even your head.
Like the majority of action-cams, the HERO 3+ doesn’t have a view finder, but because its field of view is so spectacularly wide (170˚ to be precise), you simply point the lens in the rough direction of your subject to capture the full scene. Alternatively, a free smartphone app allows you to frame what you’re shooting and make easy adjustments to the camera’s myriad settings.
What the instruction manual – and other reviews – won’t tell you is just how amazing this pixel-punching marvel is when used underwater. It really does produce some of the most striking footage of any purpose-built sub-aquatic camera on the market. If you’re about to head for the winter sun and plan to do a spot of snorkelling or something a little more energetic, be sure to pack this pocket titan along with the rest of your travel accoutrements. You won’t be disappointed.