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Do NOT buy a GoPro 3+ if you want sharp aerial videos!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Editor, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. The Editor

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    Well it appears GoPro have done ANOTHER sneaky marketing trick (in addition to their false claims of saying the GoPro 3 + is smaller than the original GP 3) - which it isn't as it's identical in size
    Or ......their technicians just can't do their maths properly).

    It appear that there is a major focus issue with anything over 5ft. In fact the issue is so bad that the GoPro 2's are sharper than the GoPro 3+ Blacks! This renders them totally useless for multicopter work.

    The 'official' line from GoPro is that the 30% in sharpness quoted for the GP 3+is in the 1ft - 5ft range! So basically just for surfboard/skateboard self absorbed POV rubbish. They have totally short changed people who want to use these little cameras for anything other than sticking the bloody thing on a surfboard or bike helmet looking back at themselves :twisted:

    Personally, I think GP techs have just screwed up their calculations and are hiding behind a quick thinking PR release. They appear to have sacrificed the focus beyond 5ft just to gain an additional 2 inches at the front end. Had they have pulled back from the front focus just 4 inches to the hyper focal distance they would have gained sharp focus to infinity! It makes no sense (other than in GoPro Gaga land)

    I CAN confirm the focus issue as my daughter boyfriend has just purchased a GP 3+ BE and we have done side by side comparisons with my original GP3 BE

    So my advice to anyone who is thinking about buying a GP3+ Be for quadcopter work... DON'T ! Save yourself some money a get one of the many reduced original GP 3 BE's (Your eyes will thank you for it)
     
  2. Racer38

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  3. The Editor

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    Yes - Really!

    GoPro ARE aware of this issue and unofficially have been replacing GP 3+'s without admission of liability. Serial numbers that are in the range of 0913 (digits 6-9) are known to be affected with more likely.

    It's pointless posting links to YouTube videos since YouTube's recompression will destroy any meaningful comparison.
     
  4. simonthk

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    is + the black edition or what?
     
  5. The Editor

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    Yes, I'm referring to the Black edition. I cannot comment on the white or Silver since I have not been able to compare them
     
  6. martcerv

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    Its a known issue amongst users and im sure gopro are also aware of this though havent said anything publicly. Its possible to adjust focus on the camera by rotating the lens as I have done with mine. The plus has advantages over the regular black such as better battery life and a few other small changes. I wouod expect gopro to fix these as its quite obvious focus of the plus is quite a screw up and only takes a quarter turn of the lens to fix the issue for aerial use or pretty much anything not focusing just on a self shot from close range.
     
  7. Peter Patricelli

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    One cannot compare resolution between video and a still picture....for about a zillion reasons. And, I assume that the GP has an internal iris to control exposure in different lighting conditions. As such, in full sun-bright conditions the depth of focus is going to be maximized, so that serious focus error in moderate lighting may be closer or even acceptable in very bright conditions.

    I bought a GP3B as soon as the price dropped but was fooled by the claim of lighter weight in the + edition...until someone pointed out that the "lighter weight" was of the protective case....NOT the GP3B+ itself. Hmmmmm......

    It appears the version replacement cycle rate......make everyone who bought your last model run out and buy a new model..... on many things is speeding up such that production errors and design flaws are getting caught only after mass release. That being said......I really don't know of anyone using their GP for SERIOUS still pictures....EXCEPT Phantom (and other similar) flyers. The GP itself is a mass of simplified compromises and I suspect their "focus" was solidly on the video market....pun intended....where the impact would be minimal at infinity and very useful at closeup.

    But, they had SUCH a successful product.....making (almost) everyone happy....why muck with and change the equation?
     
  8. The Editor

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    No it doesn't - what you get is a fixed T Stop (basically a fixed prime). The exposure is controlled by varying the electronic shutter speed. It doesn't get more basic than that!
    I AM talking about video softness not still (I have never used a GoPro to take a still shot)
    The new GP 3+ BE cameras appear to have a hyper focal distance of around 1 foot 4 inches however, Gopro in their infinite wisdom have elected to make the nearest focused point circa 7 inches. This is madness since it only gives a depth of field (remember aperture is fixed) of around 3 foot 8 inches. If they had simply moved the nearest focal point a few inches back it would have given them sharp focus from circa 10 inches to infinity (and beyond - just like Buzz Lightyear :lol:)

    It seems a bonkers decision to me to not sacrifice just a few inches from the nearest point to give an infinite focal plane from 10 inches out!

    GP corporate line is that they have maximised focus for users from between the closest point to around 5 feet since that is where most of their user base utilise their products !!...... BULLSHIT.

    This is yet another example of marketing overriding logic.

    The reality is a lot of users will never have seen the original BE quality and will have no reference point - They will be happy
    A lot of users will not even see the softness and will be content to live with the product - They will be happy
    Then there will be the users who will complain and not be satisfied - GP will swap out these 'annoyances' until they either go away or ask for a refund.

    Either way, I think the general user (again) has been short changed and had smoke and mirrors used on them in a marketing drive that is not actually delivering what it purports to.

    All of the above is my opinion (which I'm entitled to). However it really pisses me off when a company says that a 'new' product is better than the old one when in fact that is not the case.

    Rant over (for now :roll: )
     
  9. justflie

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    My understanding (from reading forum posts, not anything official) , is that this is a known issue and go pro is fixing it in the next manufacturing run. You can't buy the 3+Bs from amazon right now (out of stock) so that seemed to make sense.
     
  10. syotr

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    I had problems with my first GoPro 3+. I ordered it the day it was announced. It had a soft image just on one side which indicates a tilted sensor or decentered lens. I returned it and ordered another one from a different company and it is fine. The new one has a Sept manufactured date.
    If your problem is just that it is not sharp at infinity, you can fix it yourself. Remove the lens cover and rotate the lens a few milimeters.
    There is a lot of discussion here http://goprouser.freeforums.org/dif...637.html?sid=bc18a019fb73e7dbf9a24e4d29a519c1 and some video to show how to fix it.
     
  11. The Editor

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    But you shouldn't have to enter into a 'Do It Yourself' fix it situation. When a product is purchased it should be fit for purpose. Not "It'll be okay with a bit of sticky tape, some pliers and a screwdriver"

    It seems GoPro are no better than DJI with their QC. Long gone are the days of a product not being allowed to go to market until it has passed all quality control tests or dare I mention... a product is over-engineered for it's purpose !
    Unfortunately, the world is run by bean counters now and these accountants of the world have been given far too much power to the detriment of the customer and end user.
     
  12. rilot

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    I've been following the thread on this over at rcgroups. It's absolutely shocking that they released it in this state.
    It's even more shocking that they won't come out and admit it.
     
  13. simonthk

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    Can anyone please tell me how I check if my camera has this problem?
     
  14. rilot

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    If your camera is a Hero3+ it will have the problem. No one has had a replacement yet from GoPro and I heard of no one who has yet demonstrated a correctly focussed image of distant objects.

    Simple way to test is just take a still picture of something far away. Trees or something. You will see the image of the distant objects will be blurred slightly compared to what you would expect.
     
  15. simonthk

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    This isn't a problem with the video┬┤s? Cause I had been taking pictures I find worse than filming videos. If this is the case I want me money back.
     
  16. syotr

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  17. simonthk

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    So what I understand is that there is a hero 3 black edition and a hero 3 black + edition.
     
  18. OI Photography

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    Oh boy, you guys are just gonna LOVE this (was on the air tonight too): http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50158867n

    Yes, but only your wallet and depth of field will notice the difference ;)
     
  19. CameraGuy

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    Awesome 60 minutes story on the go pro tonight.

    Even features a Phantom

    D
     
  20. Dave Pitman

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    Agreed.

    Gotta say though, the established companies (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc) have got to be mumbling to themselves. :oops: