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Hero 3 vs Hero 3+: Is GoPro’s Hero 3+ Really Worth Upgrading?

By Anthony Thurston on October 10th 2013


Back when GoPro announced the new GoPro Hero 3+ model many were left wondering if the upgrades made to the camera were really worth upgrading from a Hero 3. The new Hero 3+ Black Edition boasted a smaller size, better Wifi, Better Battery Life, a New Lens, and several other features – but nothing that really jumped out at you as *THE* feature that makes it worth a $70 upgrade.

The guys over at Rhino Camera Gear just released a new comparison video on YouTube where they took both cameras out side by side to really test them and see if the improvements made in the 3+ are really all that noticeable. Check it out below:

So, what did you think? Personally I thought the footage from the GoPro Hero 3+ Black looked better, had better sharpness and was overall much more pleasing to my eyes. That is not to say the original GoPro Hero 3 Black looked bad, but in comparison I think it is safe to say that the Hero 3+ Black Edition is definitely an improvement.

The Wifi performance on the new Hero 3+, while not quite as good as GoPro claimed, was still much much better than the old Hero 3 wifi. So if that is a feature that is important to you then the new GoPro Hero 3+ would definitely make a good purchase in my mind.

Now is it worth an upgrade if you already have the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition? That is up for you to decide, personally I don’t think its worth running out to upgrade unless one of the improvements is something that you feel like you absolutely must have. Is the new GoPro Hero 3+ better? Yes, clearly. Is it so much better than the Hero 3 that the Hero 3 is no longer worth using? No, not in my opinion.

What are your thoughts? Did you find the footage from the GoPro Hero 3+ better like I did? What are your thoughts on it being worth an upgrade? Let us know in a comment below.

[via DIY Photography]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chris

    I am so sad because i just bought the gopro hero 3 and opened it ;( i will not be able to get 3+

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  2. Ricard

    What is the name of the song during battery life?
    Around 7:15.


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  3. DirtbikeXpress

    The new GoPro Hero 3+ has been one heck of an experience. The footage you obtain from it is unreal, it gives another in depth view in to various different sports.

    Our team used them for their races this past season, and they enjoyed watching the races back to study mistakes, as well as just admiring the footage! The stability elements of them are fantastic, and as we all know Motocross riders shake A LOT because of the environment, but this has been fantastic in keeping things straight and settled to produce great footage.

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  4. Derek


    One thing I noticed is the lens flares in the low-light section are MUCH more pronounced on the Hero 3+, but color and sharpness are definitely improved. Agreed on pretty much every point that this seems to be a pretty decent upgrade, especially at only $70… but as someone who is heavily into audio production, I found the audio quality of the Hero 3+ to be worse than the original design… Granted, I’m not at home right now to listen through my studio monitors, but I generally much prefer to have a fuller acoustic guitar tone (which the reviewers describe as muffled), than the overly bright tone with very little low end that the new version had. With some EQ, the original Hero could sound quite clear and a tone I would actually be quite impressed by – The Hero 3+, you’d have to do additive EQ, which any good mix engineer knows, is worse than subtractive ;)

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