There are numerous modes that make the HERO3 a flexible choice for a variety of shooting situations. The AutoLowLight mode halves the frame rate of high-speed shooting options when poor illumination is detected, although you will lose the smoother motion.
You can also set the camcorder to loop, so that it begins to overwrite the earliest video when it runs out of storage space - ideal for bikers looking to keep a continuous record of their journeys, in case of accidents. On the downside, there is still no analog audio input, but you can add external microphones via a USB adapter.
The WiFi abilities remain a key feature, allowing you to use the supplied Wi-Fi remote or the GoPro App. Although the features haven't progressed for either of these, GoPro claims the Wi-Fi on the HERO3 is four times faster than the HERO3. We did notice a greater response from the onscreen preview in the iOS app, which will make setting up your shot that little bit easier.
Where the HERO3 Plus has made the biggest change, however, is in image quality. The improved lens has clearly played its part. Colour and detail have noticeably improved over the HERO3, even in good lighting. The improvements are most obvious in low light, however, when shooting high frame-rate footage. The AutoLowLight mode means you don't have to worry about settings if you move into a darker region, because the camera will adjust to compensate.
If you already own a HERO3 Black Edition, you probably won't feel the need to replace it with the the HERO3 Plus version. The improvements are significant and worth having, but they aren't game changers like the new shooting facilities introduced with the HERO3. You can shoot better-looking video with the HERO3 Plus Black, for longer, so this update is an even better option for grabbing your extreme sporting activities to a professional standard.
We still have a soft spot for the JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2, which offers some great action camera features for £100 less, and direct Web video streaming. But, with the HERO3 Plus Black Edition, GoPro still sets the benchmark, and now places it even higher. If you need a flexible go-anywhere action camera, GoPro retains the crown.
GoPro has made the HERO3 Plus Black Edition even better than the HERO3, with improved image quality the most significant enhancement. It's not a game changer, but it's a very welcome upgrade.
Next, see our 10 best camcorder round-up.
Thanks also to Scan Computers for lending us the GoPro HERO3 used in this review.
GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition 16 bids$205.50 View Item