GoPro Hero3 vs Hero3+ Side by Side Review

So GoPro has recently announced a new HERO3+ Black Edition Camera and the main questions are "how much of a difference is the new camera?", and "is it worth the upgrade?" Physically, the camera is basically the same with the exception of the new housing. This means the new HERO3+ camera will still work with previous accessories that you might already own.

YouTube member GearAddix

I'd have to say most everyone was already very happy with the image from the original HERO3, but somehow GoPro managed to deliver even better quality from the new HERO3+. Audio was also greatly improved in the new HERO3+, and the video below shows some of these examples.

YouTube member GearAddix

If you don't currently own a GoPro, the new HERO3+ Black Edition is the camera to get. For those who already own the Gopro HERO3, judging from this very basic side by side HERO3 vs HERO3+ image quality and audio test, do you guys think these differences are worth the upgrade?

[UPDATE March 14th, 2014]
GoPro Releases new Firmware for Hero3+ Black - more Manual Controls.

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find-price-button GoPro Hero3+ Black / Silver

Shipping Now - Purchase the new GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition

18 thoughts on “GoPro Hero3 vs Hero3+ Side by Side Review

  1. It seems very clear to me that the GP3+ is LESS sharp than GP3 for distant scenes. GP3+ is better on close up shots, actually a lot better on the flowers shot, for example. But look at the horizon on the lighthouse and ocean scenes, GP3 is sharper. Also, the GP3+ on night shots seemed to overdue the exposure, making it too bright and bringing more noise and distortion to objects. I thought the GP3 was better at the night shots than GP3+.
    I will not buy the GP3+ black until they resolve these two issues.

  2. Ema

    Hi guys,
    I need an advise. On your opinion, is it better an "old" Hero3 Black edition or a "new" Hero3+ SILVER edition?

    I'm wondering if low-light performance, battery life, wi-fi response and overall quality of the new Hero3+ SILVER edition is better or not of the old Black edition.

    Any sudgestion?


  3. Chris

    bought the hero3+ the other day very cool, it's lot better I'd say it's what the iPhone 4S was to the 4, some cool improvements, same size as the Hero3 but the housing is smaller and backwards compatible so you can reduce the footprint of the Hero3 if need be.
    Would you want to buy this if you already own the Hero3 - totally! however if I had just bought a hero3 and felt annoyed the hero3+ is now out I would tell you not too bother buying it just so I could feel better about myself.
    Totally buy this.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @GregD - Rolling shutter is a problem for many digital cameras, and I doubt this has been corrected in the 3+ for such extreme conditions. You should look into how the RC Copters mount the GoPro, they have great tips on minimizing or eliminating vibration to these cameras. Many say this moongel stuff works wonders to eliminate vibration and could help you with your mounts.

  5. GregD

    One of the tests I would like to see is the rolling shutter test. The Hero 1 & 2 had terrible issues with it. A slight vibration in a vehicle it was mounted to and the video was ruined. Having wasted so much money on by now 6 cameras, I called GoPro and asked if this issue had been fixed on the Hero 3. The response was rather mixed but the bottom line seemed to be 'no'. Has it been fixed in the 3+?

  6. I don't have a GPH and I'd like your confirmations and comments on my impressions:

    About the superview:
    It looks like superview is already present in GPH3, see the hack in httpss:// @4min. Can someone test and confirm?
    This superview seems to squeeze people too much to look natural, like the guy's head on the left in the lightpost shoot? But it's great for action and landscapes.

    About contrast:
    Personally, I prefer the un-contrasted details of rocks shadows and yellow sun on GPH3 in first shoot. You can always add contrast afterward.

    About audio:
    GPH3+ is definitely better than GPH3

    About night view:
    Yellow vs Magenta, once again I guess you can roll the color wheel afterward 🙂
    But far less flare for GPH3+, I wonder if the 2 lenses are new? Does the GPH3 lens gives this amount of flare on night shot?

    Did you see other details I missed in the shoots?

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @GroundUpJon - Protune was not used in the tests, white balance was auto. The lens was upgraded on the HERO3+, so it should be sharper, less distortions, and like you said possibly less flare.

  8. 1. Were both cameras in protune mode?
    If so, then I actually prefer the flatter look (GPH3)... easier to match grade with other cameras.
    2. Were both cameras using the same manual WB settings for all shots?
    The low light shots look like vastly different WB (the GPH3+ looks good, but the GPH3 looks very yelllow)... like they were set to auto WB, which I rarely use.

    The two obvious improvements, regardless of settings, are the low light performance and the lessened flare from light sources.

  9. Rob

    Hero Black has a greenish cast but looks less video-y than the new Hero + which seems bluer and with some added magenta. Less lens distortion in the newer camera is a big improvement.

  10. Paul

    I think I'll wait for the HERO 4K, which you know is what it will be called!!! I bet it will feature full 4K shooting. Just a hunch, but why else was this called #+ and not 4?? Because they are waiting for the 4K!!

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Nick - Both the old and new still offer 'ProTune' which is a very very flat profile. None of that was shown in these examples. The new HERO3+ with ProTune should be better quality.

  12. Nick

    Does anyone else like the original black footage better? I kinda do. It looks much flatter and I feel like I could have way more flexibility in post with it...thought?

  13. Andrew

    The curvature removal is great but am I the only one who thinks it looks slightly less sharp? Contrast is higher but i think definitely less sharp.

  14. In honor of GoPro's recent announcement of the Hero3+, I am officially launching an acronym for a condition that has adversely effected millions: "TABR", technologically advanced buyer's remorse. - You're welcome.

  15. scottrellwi

    Holly difference Batman! The scenes of the lighthouse were drastically better, as were the night shots. Audio sounded way better with the drummer too. GoPro is obviously still striving to create a better product.

  16. Simon

    obviously sharper, audio a tad crisper but the selling point for me is the reduced curvature - almost changed from a fish-eye to wide angle kind of look.

    anyone want to buy a used GoPro 1, GoPro2 or GoPro3 Black? I need to stop this madness!


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