The world of "action cameras" has grown dramatically thanks in large part to the efforts of GoPro. If you're the outdoor adventure type - snowboarding, sky diving, mountain biking and generally tempting fate - this is the camera for you. The third edition of their Hero product - aptly named the Hero 3 (Black Edition) - builds on a strong tradition with HD video and a new image processor.
The Wi-Fi-enabled camera is capable of recording HD video at 48 frames per second (fps) and 1080p HD video at 30 fps. There are slow-motion modes as well as the ability to take 12-megapixel still photos in bursts of 30 photos per second. The fixed focal-length lens means there's no optical zooming (presumably your hands are going to be occupied with something more dangerous) but it offers a bright aperture and wide-angle for swallowing up the scene.
The rugged GoPro ships with a waterproof housing and various mounts for attaching it to handlebars and other outdoor gear. You'll pay $399.
Reviewers were beyond enthused with the latest Hero -- with almost all hailing it as the leading action camera in the category. The one drawback cited by most reviewers was the skimpy battery life -- a problem exacerbated when using the camera's Wi-Fi mode. However, if your photography needs involve putting your own life at risk, there doesn't seem to be a better camera for you, despite the meager battery.
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