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GoPro Buyers Guide

Posted on the 2nd of November, 2012

We get a lot of people asking about the GoPro cameras and which one to go for, we have stocked every camera GoPro produced from the original 35mm wrist mounted version to the latest state of the art GoPro hero 3 Black Edition, so we are in a great position to answer your questions and give you a practical guide to which one to buy.

The full specifications for each camera are available on the relevant product page on the magicseaweed store, this guide will focus on what you need to know to make a decision on which camera to buy: no jargon or confusing stats, just the basics that you need to know.

Here is our comparison table, take a look at the differences in the cameras and read on for the answers to the common questions about which GoPro to buy.

GoPro Hero 3 Black GoPro Hero 3 Silver GoPro Hero 2 GoPro Hero 3 White
Price £359.99 £279.99 £249.99 £199.99
Highest video resolution 4K at 15 fps 1080p at 30 fps 1080p at 30 fps 1080p at 30fps
Max frame rate at 720p 120 fps 60 fps 60 fps 60 fps
White Balance Auto or Manual Auto or Manual Auto Auto
HDMI Output port Micro HDMI Micro HDMI Mini HDMI Micro HDMI
3.5mm External Mic port Available via optional adapter Available via optional adapter Yes Available via optional adapter
3.5mm Standard Definition video port Available via optional adapter Available via optional adapter Yes Available via optional adapter
Still Photo Resolution 12 MP 11 MP 11 MP 5 MP
Max Still Photo's in one second 30 10 10 3
WiFi connectivity Built in (with waterproof remote included) Built in Available via optional WiFi BacPac Built in
Storage format Micro SD card Micro SD card SD card Micro SD card
Compatible with GoPro 3D system No No Yes (Two cameras required) No
Weight (camera and battery) 74g 74g 100g 74g
Surf edition available? Yes - supplied with one surfboard mount No Yes - supplied with 2 surfboard mounts and floaty back door No
Flat Port for shooting underwater Built in Built in Available via optional Dive Housing Built in

What's the difference between the different models and why is the Black edition more expensive?

There are now three generations of GoPro HD camera, the latest GoPro Hero 3 range are smaller and as such use a different waterproof housing to the original models which has a flat port built in, they use Micro SD cards rather than regular SD cards and they also all include WiFi capability built into the camera. Otherwise the White and Silver editions are equivalent to the Hero 1 and Hero 2 cameras respectively, see the list below to see the main specifications of each camera.

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition:

  • Very high frame rates for video and ability to use Pro Tune firmware, this is ideal if you are going to be editing the footage you shoot as you can slow it down and colour correct it more easily. You will need a very big, very fast Micro SD memory card and a powerful computer to play back and edit the video.
  • 30 photo's in a second burst mode, if you need to take stills of fast action this is the best camera to get.
  • WiFi remote control provided, this gives you full control over the functions of the camera from the waterproof remote unit, if you want to mount the camera out of reach and still have control, this is a big advantage.

GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition (and GoPro hero 2 cameras):

  • Higher than normal frame rates and Pro Tune firmware, useful if you're editing but not as good as the Black Edition.
  • 10 photo's in a second burst mode, very useful for taking still photo's, not as good as the Black Edition.

GoPro Hero 3 White Edition (and GoPro Hero 1 cameras):

  • Normal frame rates, great for watching back on a TV or a computer without editing.
  • limited photo modes, you can take photo's but there's not as many modes as the other cameras.

Direct comparisons:

GoPro Hero 3 black edition Vs GoPro Hero 3 Silver edition

If you are going to be editing the footage and taking lots of still photo's the Hero 3 is worth the extra, it's also the latest and greatest so if you're buying for someone who will only accept the best of the best this is the one to get.

If you are mainly going to be watching the footage back on the TV direct from the camera or you don't want to mess around with editing on a PC or Mac too much the Silver edition offers great specifications for a brilliant price.

GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition Vs GoPro Hero 3 White Edition

Someone looking for good still photo performance will want to go for the Silver edition, it offers higher resolution and a great burst mode. If you only want to shoot video and you're not going to be editing it on a computer then the white edition will be a good choice, especially if you're on a budget.

GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition Vs GoPro Hero 2

If you have an Android phone or an iPhone you can use the built in WiFi in the Hero 3 with the free remote app, if you want to shoot footage under the water whilst dicing or snorkelling the Hero 3 is also a better option as it has a flat port built into the included housing.

The video and stills quality is the same so if the WiFi and flat port are not important features the Hero 2 is a great choice, especially if you want the surf hero mounts and floaty back door which are supplied with the Hero 2 surf edition.

What's the difference between the surf edition and the regular edition?

The only difference between the surf version and the regular is the accessories, all GoPro HD cameras are supplied with a waterproof case, battery, USB cable and a selection of mounting hardware, the surf editions are supplied with a bigger sticky mount which you can use to secure it to a surfboard. The surfboard mounts are available separately in a pack of two if you want to mount it to more boards or if you purchase a non-surf edition camera.

What else do I need to buy?

The only other thing you need to shoot video and stills is an SD card, the newer Hero 3 cameras take Micro SD cards and all the other HD Hero's take normal sized SD cards, if you are buying a Hero 3 Black edition go for a card which is at least class 10 to make sure you can take full advantage of the high frame rates and burst modes on the latest cameras.

I also want to use the camera for kite surfing, mountain biking, windsurfing etc. etc. what should I buy?

There is a full range of accessories for mounting the GoPro in various situations, have a look at the range: here

If there's a sport or situation you want to capture with a GoPro and you're not sure which mount would work give us a call on 01548 854660 or an e-mail at and we'll do our best to help.

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