In the hotly contested and highly competitive field of wearable camcorders, there has long been a standout performer for very good reason; the GoPro. We’ve put the latest GoPro 3 Black Edition to the test, and were more than impressed.
What GoPro have succeeded in doing is similar in a way to what separates a great set of night riding lights from the myriad of other options out there; you could be the brightest in light output, but that’s only part of the equation. With cameras, like lights, it is their usability, mounts, and method of integrating them into mountain bikes and our bodies that is paramount. GoPro have nailed it, especially due to the array of mounting options, with the chest harness being our favourite for capturing the feel of the ride.
Picture quality aside, the big improvements noticeable to us from our well used GoPro 2 is the size and weight of the unit, and simpler menu navigation. It’s still a boxy squarey thing though and will never look too natural sticking on top of your helmet, but it’s now quite slim and light. The menu is much easier to read and decipher, even cycling through functions with gloves on is easy and doesn’t require too much studying of the instruction manual to figure out what does what.
Battery life is still one thing we find frustrating though, punching the sky in frustration when the battery fades faster than you wished. A spare battery is a worthy option.
If you have a creative urge, you can do so much with just one GoPro and a little imagination. Being such a handy size, and protected in a robust and waterproof casing, placing it anywhere and capturing all the action is a snack. Even still photos are worth leaving your camera at home, for cool wide angled images to accompany the crisp footage.
Making use of the footage is the next step, but with simple video editing software very simple to drive these days it’s no wonder there is so much footage of every section of trail in the world nowadays.
You simply cannot go past the GoPro, especially now with more options and price points.