Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
October 23, 2013

GoPro HERO3 Black Edition

GoPro [www.gopro.com; (888) 600 4659]has been in the action cam game for a long time, but as the action cam segment grows, GoPro keeps making its hardware the best it can be. The company's latest generation of HERO cams is no different. Sporting a smaller profile and less weight, the HERO3 cam series also features faster performance, better audio, and an improved lens offering more sharpness, less distortion, and more field of view options than ever before. The new HERO3 also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing control of up to 50 Wi-Fi-enabled GoPro cameras from a staggering 600 feet away. The built-in Wi-Fi allows your iOS, Android, and Windows smart phones and tablets to control the HERO3 cam's settings and to enable live preview.

GoPro offers the HERO3 in three flavors: White, Silver, and Black. The White edition is the base camera, while the Silver and Black each offer more features and functionality as you move up the list. All three cameras feature built-in Wi-Fi (previous GoPro cams required an add-on BackPac), and can be controlled by GoPro's Wi-Fi remote (included with the Black edition) or Wi-Fi app. The Black edition offers high-end cinema-level quality recording and up to 12-megapixel images with a burst rate of 30 frames per second for a total of nine different video resolutions and four photo modes (burst, continuous, time-lapse, and simultaneous photo/video). Besides the simultaneous photo/video mode, you can take a photo during video recording at any time as well by simply hitting the mode button.

Photo Gallery

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Specs
Available resolutions WVGA, 720p, 960p, 1080p, 1440p, 2.7K, 2.7K Cinema, 4K, 4K Cinema
File format .MP4
Sensor type HD CMOS
Field of view 170-degrees (127- and 90-degree also in 1080p, 720p mode, 127-degree in WVGA)
Still photo mode Yes
Photo resolution 5-, 7-, 12-megapixel
LCD screen Optional with LCD Touch BackPac
Waterproof Yes, to 197 feet when using included case
Microphone Built in, external mic capable via USB adapter
Memory type MicroSD card (64GB max)
Wi-Fi capability Yes, remote included
Battery type Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (user replaceable)
Retail Price $399.99

iON Air Pro Speed

The iON Air Pro [www.ioncamera.com; (855) 411-4466] cam is available in several themed models depending upon your area of interest. For motorsports and general automotive video capture, iON recommends its Air Pro Speed version, which is what it sent us to evaluate. The iON Air Pro, no matter the sub-model, features a compact "lipstick" cam design with an easy-to-use, single-slide switch for fast, on-the-go recording. Mount the iON Air Pro to your ride, slide the switch and you're recording. That's it. On the camera you'll find an HD/FullHD slide switch to change resolutions along with a MicroSD card slot, HDMI out, and a USB port for the included charging/transfer cable. Additional settings are accessed through the iON software that is embedded in the cam. Simply connect the cam to your PC via the included USB cable and launch the software. This is how firmware updates and other features are accessed as well.

iON's claim to fame is its instant ability to upload to social media channels when coupled with the optional Wi-Fi Podz attachment (optional for Air Pro, Air Pro Plus, and Air Pro Speed models, and included in the iON Air Pro Wi-Fi model). iON actually does this by recording dual file sizes simultaneously—a standard HD file for video production/viewing on a TV, and so on, and a smaller file just for social media sharing and video website publishing. There's no need to edit or resize the video, simply transfer the small file to your iOS or Android device via the Wi-Fi signal and then post it for all to see! iON's Air Pro Wi-Fi setup will also allow streaming of video wirelessly. Simply connect to the camera's Wi-Fi signal, and launch the wireless app to change settings, download/transfer files, or view the camera's signal. The camera does not need to be recording to stream either, so you can use the iON as sort of a "webcam" with your laptop even.

Photo Gallery

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Specs
Available resolutions 720p, 960p, 1080p
File format .MP4
Sensor type HD CMOS
Field of view 127-degree in 1080p, 170-degree in 960p, 150-degree in 720p
Still photo mode Yes
Photo resolution 5-megapixel
LCD screen No
Waterproof Yes, to 30 feet with no extra case required
Microphone Built-in
Memory type MicroSD card (32GB max)
Wi-Fi capability Yes, with optional Wi-Fi PODZ
Battery type Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (built-in)
Retail Price $299.99