• Home »
  • Video »
  • GOPRO HERO 3 Silver Edition Review, Better than the Black Edition?

GOPRO HERO 3 Silver Edition Review, Better than the Black Edition?

Shredtalks.com GoPro Silver EditionIs saving a $100 bucks worth loosing the WiFi remote, a few Mega Pixels and Slow Motion capabilities to go with the GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition?  Most have written off the GoPro Hero 3 White edition as a re-wrapped version of the GoPro Hero 2. So that leaves you to decide if upgrading or purchasing for the first time warrants the GoPro Hero 3 Silver or Black Edition.

We will take an in depth look at the GoPro Hero 3 Silver edition and help you make a decision if it’s worth the money to upgrade to the Black Edition.

Let’s start out with the Spec comparison:

MSRP
$299.99
$399.99
IMAGE QUALITY
Optics Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 – 6 element aspherical lens, Ultra wide angle with reduced distortion Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 – 6 element aspherical glass lens, Ultra wide angle with reduced distortion
Lens Sharp 2x Sharper
Low Light Prosumer Grade Professional Grade
PHOTO FEATURES + FOV
Megapixels 11 MP 12 MP
Modes Single Single
10 photos in 1 sec 30 photos in 1 sec
Time Lapse every 0.5, 1, 2, 10, 30, 60 Time Lapse every 0.5, 1, 2, 10, 30, 60
VIDEO FEATURES + FOV
4K Cinema (17:9) 4K (16:9) 12, 12.5, 15 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
Protune Mode
2.7K Cinema (17:9) 2.7K (16:9) 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
Protune Mode
1440p (4:3) 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
Protune Mode
1080p (16:9) 30, 25, 24 fps 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV
Protune Mode Protune Mode
960p (4:3) 48, 30, 25 fps 100, 48 fps
Ultra Wide FOV Ultra Wide FOV
Protune Mode Protune Mode
720 (16:9) 60, 50, 30, 25 fps 120, 100, 60 , 50,
Ultra Wide FOV Ultra Wide, Medium (only with 60 and 50 fps), Narrow FOV
Protune Mode Protune Mode
WVGA (16:9) 120 fps 240 fps
Ultra Wide FOV Ultra Wide
PHOTO SPECS
Megapixels + FOV 11MP (Wide), 8MP (Medium), 5MP (Wide + Medium) 12MP (Wide), 7MP (Wide + Medium), 5MP (Medium)
Time-lapse (Intervals) 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
Burst (Photos/sec) 3/1, 5/1, 10/1, 10/2 3/1, 5/1, 10/1, 10/2, 30/1, 30/2, 30/3
Continuous N/A Yes, 3/1, 5/1, 10/1
ADVANCED FEATURES
Wi-Fi Built-in Yes Yes
Protune Mode Yes Yes
Simultaneous Video + Photo N/A Photo every: 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds; Manual
White Balance Auto, 3000K, 5500K, 6500K, Cam Raw (with Protune) Auto, 3000K, 5500K, 6500K, Cam Raw (with Protune)
Looping Record (Video) Yes Yes
High Video Bitrate Capture (H.264) *mode dependent, highest Bitrates supported in Protune Up to 35/Mbs Up to 45/Mbs
AUDIO SPECS
Mono, AAC compression w/ AGC Yes Yes
USABILITY
User Interface Simple language-based interface Simple language-based interface
LED Lights 4 Recording – Red / Wireless LED – Blue 4 Recording – Red / Wireless LED – Blue
Inputs Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter
Battery 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
Storage (Memory) MicroSD Class 4 or higher recommended; Up to 64GB capacity supported (Class 10 required for time- lapse photos @ 0.5 sec intervals in Protune mode) MicroSD Class 10 or higher required; Up to 64GB capacity supported
Average Record Time Recording times will vary based on resolution and frame rate settings Recording times will vary based on resolution and frame rate settings
Simultaneous Record + Charge Yes Yes
Operating System Mac OS®X 10.5 and later Microsoft Windows® Vista, 7 and later Mac OS®X 10.5 and later Microsoft Windows® Vista, 7 and later
COMPATIBILITY
Mounts + Accessories Compatible with all GoPro mounts and accessories. Compatible with all GoPro mounts and accessories.
INCLUDED IN THE BOX
Mounts + Accessories HERO3: Silver Edition Camera HERO3: Black Edition Camera
197’ / 60m Waterproof Housing 197’ / 60m Waterproof Housing
Assorted Mounting Hardware Wi-Fi Remote
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Assorted Mounting Hardware
1 Quick Release Buckle Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
1 J-Hook Buckle 1 Quick Release Buckle
1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount 1 J-Hook Buckle
3-Way Pivot Arm 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
3-Way Pivot Arm
HERO3: Black Edition / Surf contains 1 Surfboard Mount and Tether; 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount not included

*Highlighted in Green are some of the standouts

Pixels, Pixels, Pixels

Photo

The Silver edition has an 11 MP camera, and the Black edition has a 12 MP.  Is one mega pixel really going to change your life?  Probably not.  Both the images side by side are beautiful, while not Digital SLR quality, they run laps around our cell phone cameras.

The Silver edition only shoots 10 photos per second in it’s fastest mode, while the Black edition shoots an astonishing 30 photos in a second.  Unless you plan on shooting VERY fast action you probably won’t need 30 photos per second.  Just to put it in perspective, remember you are recording video in 30 FPS also.

In this photo example both camera were set up with spot metering turned off.  The most noticeable difference is the white balance shooting with incandescent light. The black has a lot better white balance adjustment. Although I think the video example below favored the Silver for white balance, due to the natural outdoor light.

GoPro Black vs.

You can see the size difference between the Silver and the Black Edition by the edge around the cutout.

GoPro Black Edition Photo Sample

This photo was taken with the GoPro Black Edition and Spot Meter turned off.

GoPro Silver Edition Photo Example

This photo was taken with the GoPro Silver Edition and Spot Meter turned off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video

Here may be the greatest argument for buying the Black edition vs. the Silver edition.  The Silver edition tossed out the high resolution formats and the high frame rates.  In reality, I don’t see to many average people using 4k mode at 15 fps.  It’s just too big for our current players and tv’s that can’t even play it.  So, if you are OK with 1080p (which most of us are) then really it comes down to slow motion capabilities.  If you want to shoot in slow motion (60 FPS) or even super slow motion (120 FPS in 720p) then the Black edition is the camera you should be shopping for.

The GoPro App vs. The wifi Remote

The biggest argument for the extra $100 upgrade would have to be for the WiFi remote.  However, if you have a newer Android phone or an iPhone there are Apps that now can offer even more functionality that the WiFi remote, and chances are the phone is already in your pocket. Plus I’m sure your phones battery can beat the ~1 hour battery life of the WiFi remote.

It’s worth mentioning that while the GoPro Black edition comes with a wifi remote control, the android or iPhone app is just as good if not a better option than getting the Black edition with the remote.  First off the wifi remote has a terrible battery life (typically 1 hour).  We  have also experience many problems with the wifi remote loosing connection over and over again.  The wifi remote works up to about 600 ft.

The App however provides good connection (after you update your firm ware, figure out what the default password* is, and enabled everything correctly). It’s very easy to use, with a semi delayed preview it helps to correctly frame shots.

*Use CineForm Studio (Free from GoPro.com) to update and set your wifi password for your GoPro

 The GoPro LCD Screen is one of the best investments for your GoPro

Check out the unboxing video to learn a little bit about what the LCD BacPac can do for you and your GoPro.  Again I really wish the Black Edition came with the LCD BacPac instead of the WiFi remote.  They both are the same retail price, but you get a lot more bang for your buck with the LCD pack.

The LCD pack allows you to control all of the functions of the camera, and is very very helpful to a noob who is not use to scrolling through all the menus with two buttons on the camera.  The LCD quality isn’t great, but the touch screen is very responsive and responds more quickly than the on camera menus when scrolling through settings.


Final Conclusion

So, you have read our thoughts on the GoPro Silver Edition.  It’s a great option, and our suggestion would be to go with it and purchase the LCD BacPac with the money you saved.  Unless of course you really need the extra pixels or slow motion capabilities of the Black Edition.

Sunny Sports

GoPro Super Suit Protection and Dive Housing…
$49.99
Sunny Sports

GoPro Blue Water Snorkeling Filter for HERO5 Black
$49.99
Sunny Sports

GoPro Screen Protectors for HERO5 Black (5-Pack)
$19.99
Jack’s Surfboards

Rechargable Battery For HERO4 Black/HERO4 Silver
SALE $10.00
Reg. $19.94
Tactical Distributors

GoPro HERO4 Black Surf Edition
$499.99
NZ Shred

GoPro Hero 5 Black Edition
$456.19
Vail Valley Anglers

GoPro Frame – Hero5 Black
$29.99
CampGear.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
CampGear.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
Sunny Sports

GoPro Rechargeable Battery for HERO5 Black
$19.99
Sunny Sports

GoPro HERO5 Black Edition Action Camera
$399.99
InlineSkates.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
InlineSkates.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
BlackOvis.com

GoPro Smart Remote-Black
$79.00
BlackOvis.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger with Battery for…
$49.99
Surfboards.com

GoPro Hero 4 Black Waterproof Camera
$449.99
Fishwest

GoPro Frame – Hero5 Black
$29.99
Fishwest

GoPro Floaty for HERO5 Black
$19.99
Uncle Dan’s Outfitters

GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount Black One Size
SALE $39.95
Reg. $49.99
Performance Bicycle

Gopro Hero4 Black Edition Wearable Camera
$499.99
Nashbar

GoPro Hero4 Black Accessories Video Cameras
$399.99
WaterOutfitters.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
WaterOutfitters.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
Jans

GoPro Frame – Hero5 Black
$29.99
Jans

GoPro Floaty for HERO5 Black
$19.99
Snowboards.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
Snowboards.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
MotoSport.com

GoPro HERO5 Black
$399.99
LeftLane Sports

GoPro The Frame Hero5 Black
$29.99
MasseysOutfitters.com

GoPro – Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black)
$19.99
Competitive Cyclist

GoPro HERO5 Black
$399.99
Bobwards.com

Gopro The Frame ( Hero5 Black )
$29.99
Competitive Cyclist

GoPro Hero 6 Black
$499.99
Skis.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
Skis.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
Surf Ride

GoPro HERO4 Black Edition
$499.99
Gear Coop

GoPro Karma Drone (HERO5 Black Included)
$1099.99
SummitSports.com

GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Battery (HERO5…
$49.99
SummitSports.com

GoPro Rechargeable Battery (HERO5 Black) 2017
$19.99
The Clymb

GoPro The Frame Hero5 Black
$29.99
REI.com

GoPro HERO4 Black Camera – Surf/SUP/Kayak Edition
$450.00
Cabela’s

GoPro HERO5 Black
$399.99
Cabela’s

GoPro HERO5 Black Action-Camera Super Suit
$49.99
REI.com

GoPro Super Suit Uber Protection/Dive Housing…
$50.00
Moosejaw

GoPro HERO5 Black Camera
$399.99
Moosejaw

GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
$499.99
Brownells.com

Gopro Hero4 Black Action Camera
SALE $399.99
Reg. $499.99
Brownells.com

Gopro Hero5 Black Dual Battery Charger
SALE $34.99
Reg. $49.99
Backcountry.com

GoPro Hero 6 Black
$499.99
Backcountry.com

GoPro HERO5 Black
$399.99