In this action camera comparison guide, we’ll be putting the up the GoPro Hero2 vs the GoPro Hero3 and explaining what the company changed for their newest model. We’ll also determine if the Hero3 is worth the price increase.
Note: If you’re looking for the perfect action camera and haven’t seen our guide to choosing one, check out our Guide to Choosing an Action Camera in 2013.
GoPro 2 vs GoPro 3 – What GoPro Changed in the Hero 3 Release
The GoPro 2 line of cameras was released on the year 2011 and is tagged with the catchphrase “twice as powerful in every way.” It features an improved image sensor of 11 MP, low-light function over the earlier models, and is capable of recording up to 120 frames per second and the public loved it.
Cameras were divided into packages based on planned use, so you could purchase a Surf Edition or a Motorcross Edition. The base camera was the same and the accessories changed with each model.
The GoPro HERO3 was released in late 2012 and is the newest line of GoPros. They made the purchase process much easier than the Hero 2 line by dividing cameras in into 3 Editions based on how powerful they are: The White Edition, Silver Edition, and top-of-the-line Black Edition.
Compared to the base Hero 2 camera, the Black Edition features 2x better light sensitivity and can capture up to 240 frames per second (fps) instead of 120 fps.
Additions and Upgrades of the Hero 3 Line
GoPro added some bells and whistles to their newest camera line: Built-in Wi-Fi, GoPro App compatibility, and free Wi-Fi remote. These are all non-essential features but can make owning and using a GoPro easier and more fun.
The GoPro Hero 2 was extended in similar ways with GoPro expansion accessories like the Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi remote which should be purchased separately.
These feature upgrades certainly make the Hero 3 more user friendly and intuitive to learn.
The Hero 3: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Top 3 Reasons Why Users Upgraded
Daft Punk anyone? Ok… I promise to never do that again. Anyway…
In all most of the user reviews that made a GoPro 2 vs GoPro 3 comparison on Amazon, customers chose the latest version. Here’s the top reasons they felt like a the GoPro Hero 3 was worth the upgrade. Most of the reviews were comparing the Black Edition to the Hero 2 line:
1. The Hero 3 (Black Edition specifically) is 30% smaller and 25% lighter than the GoPro HD HERO2 Professional Model.
2. While the HD HERO 2 can take 11MP photos with a rate of 10 photos per second and 120fps WVGA, 60fps 720p, 48 fps 960p, 30 fps 1080p video capacity, the HERO 3 can take 12MP photos with a stunning rate of 30 photos per second and has a video capacity of 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60 fps, and 720p 120 fps video shooting capacity.
3. The HERO2 had a dedicated mic input while the HERO3 has none, which some users saw as a reason not to upgrade to the Hero 3. Instead, the Hero 3 requires a USB adapter instead for its mic. Overall though customers found the Hero 3 to have higher sound quality and be well worth the upgrade in the audio department.
Our Recommendation: Why You Should (Maybe) Upgrade Your Hero 2
Users agree that the Hero 3 Black Edition is much cooler and more powerful than the Hero 2. It’s important to specify though that this is only the most expensive Black Edition. When you start comparing the cheaper Hero3 editions, you realize that they look much more like the Hero 2.
If you’re looking to upgrade and have the budget, we absolutely recommend you grab a Hero3 Black Edition. Amazon also offers a program to buy back your used Hero 2 giving you a potentially huge discount.
How You Can Save Big if You Can Settle for the Hero 2
If your in the market to get your own Hero Camera, and you’re not planning to grab a $399 Black Edition, we actually recommend checking out the Hero 2 line. The features of the Hero 2 are actually comparable to the White and Silver GoPro Editions and now you can start finding Hero 2 Cameras at much bigger discounts (something that’s much more difficult with the Hero 3 cameras). The universal “Outdoor Edition” of the Hero 2 camera is a good place to start.
Still Looking for Which Camera to Buy? Let us help you decide…
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