Action and POV cameras have come a long way. From virtually unusable grainy footage, to the pristine highly capable imagery that we now see from the new GoPro Hero3 Black Edition.
I love the GoPro, and especially love the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition. True, there are some bugs, but GoPro are a company who do what the others don’t. They listen to the demands of their users. When it became clear that GoPro’s were being used by professionals they responded. They purchased Cineform, and thus the tide was set to change forever. GoPro first updated the firmware of the GoPro Hero2 to have a mode called Protune, which upped the recording bitrate and got rid of the internal processing that introduced artificial sharpening, and added a new gamma curve that increased the highlight and shadow information that was retained in the recording.
With the Hero3 Black Edition they took things further with an all new chip and even higher recording bitrates. For my money the new GoPro is the only camera in town that was designed with the current decade in mind.
There is a hitch however. Expense. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is not cheap. Add in the extra batteries you will need for a good days recording, the LCD back so that you can see what you are shooting, and the cost soon skyrockets. Quite bluntly the other POV and action camera companies are completely missing an opportunity here. For serious video use the GoPro is the only game in town, and if they don’t up their game it will be the only game in town for casual users too. Why?