I Like the Crakka

A few posts ago I showed you the “Dead Cat” I made for my GoPro for a couple bucks. This weekend I did a Soda A, Soda B comparison test. You can watch it here:

My conclusions after the break.
There was a problem with the test, I introduced an additional variable into the test. Soda A was a GoPro HD 2, and Soda B was a new GoPro HD 3 Silver. It skewed the results of the comparison, it made it seem like the Dead Cat was incredibly effective. It does work to cut wind noise, but it turns out that the HD 3 has vastly improved audio recording. Not sure exactly what they did, the mic position is relocated, there is a little more open space around the sides in the case, but I have a feeling there also is something being done in software and electronics. The HD 3 without open case actually performs just about as well in wind as the HD 2 with the windscreen. And the difference with straight audio is also amazing, the HD 2 sounds like you’re in a trash can, the HD 3 sounds almost normal!

That alone makes the HD 3 worth purchasing over the HD 2. With built in WiFi and still smaller than the base HD 2 is a definite winner. Comparing it to HD 2 with WiFi back is even more drastic, it’s about half the thickness. Perhaps the only disadvantage will be battery life. The HD3 battery is slightly lower capacity, and the HD2 WiFi has its own built in additional battery.

There are other nice improvements, the battery cover of the HD3 has a latch release and the pack itself has a pull tab making battery changes a less fumbly affair. Pushing the latch release doesn’t cause the door to pop open, but you can use intertia to get the door to come off. The new waterproof case latch also has a secondary lock lever making accidental opening close to impossible, although I never had a problem with the old latch. It does make it a little more fumbly to open than the old case. The micro USB, HDMI and mSD slot has a little pop on/off cover that’s also a nice touch, gives it some dust resistance. The new lens cover is flat, no need a different assembly for underwater work. A nice byproduct of that is the case lens does not protrude past the frame ring holding it in, decreasing a little the probability of scratches. And they kept it compatible with a lot of the old accessories! Many of the old backs still work, all the mounting brackets, and the old rear doors still work with it.

Operation wise the interface is kept the same, but they tweaked a few of the screens to make it easier to navigate. Nice! The video section and imager of the Silver I think is the same so there isn’t much if any difference from the HD2. So unless you get it for dirt cheap, I wouldn’t bother with the HD2 and just go for the HD3 Silver. The Black edition has new video section and capabilities, but there are reportedly problems with it right now so I would hold off on that.

Stay tuned for a comparison between the Hero HD3 Silver and the Sony ActionCam soon!

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