Wearable action cameras have developed into compact, lightweight and tough little beasts over the years, opening up a new world of action sports movie making that anyone can try. GoPro may be the most well-known but it's not the only camera around.
The GoPro Hero3: White Edition is the budget end of GoPro’s current line-up. Like the more expensive Silver and Black Editions, it’s 25% lighter and 30% smaller than its predecessors, and features a new lens that reduces distortion without losing dramatic wide-angle, 170-degree fish-eye effects.
The GoPro Hero3: White Edition shoots at 30fps in 1080p, though you can increase the speed and shoot at 60fps in 720p. At 1080, you can expect a battery life of around 135 minutes. The results are great, especially at this lower pixel range, with crisp images and no blocking – see for yourself here.
So how does it compare to the competition? Drift Innovation’s Drift HD looks similar in spec, with equivalent lens, shooting modes and battery life. The Drift HD benefits from better stills photography, with 9MP shooting (compared to the Go Pro’s 5MP). But superior stills capability is not what you want from an action camera. (And if you do, then the GoPro black edition packs 12MP).
GoPro’s external housing, waterproof to 60m and included in the price, is superior to the Drift’s rubberised, water-resistant outer shell. There’s less fogging than with previous GoPro models, and, even better for when that airtime goes wrong, every part is replaceable after a smash. Just a pity the same can't be said for your body.