Why, oh why, does one diver needs two GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition cameras? Well, just two things: 1. battery lifetime, 2. firmware.
A battery lifetime of at best one hour when using an activated LCD bacpac and a resolution of 2700×1520 pixels at 25 frames per second couldn't be worse. I really need to LCD in order to properly frame the scenes. So, dear GoPro, while you are boasting that the Hero 3 Black is not only 30% smaller than its Hero 2 predecessor, it also operates 30% less on a battery charge, when compared to the Hero 2. So why aren't you boasting these 30% less after all too, you really did a decent job in decreasing battery life?
Since my typical dives last around one and a half hour, a battery lasting only for one hour is ridiculous. Unfortunately, the battery bacpac is of no help as I need to LCD display for framing since I'm holding the cam in front of me and I'm not wearing it on my head, where framing doesn't matter.
In addition, GoPro's firmware also sometimes does its best to really annoy divers when it crashes while under water. In general, the situation has become better with the Hero 3 now, compared to the Hero 2, but there are still too many problems. Fortunately, at least microSD card problems typically don't crash the Hero 3 any more, most of the time.
By the way: the Duracell bunny didn't get back to our inquiries about bunny cells for the Hero 3. Last time we heard of him, he suffered water damage.
After my mixed experiences with microSD cards of type SanDisk Ultra microSD cards (to put it mildly as one never knows whether the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition will work or not with them) I am now trying Transcend microSD cards as an alternative. Transcend is claiming whooping 16MBit/s write performance ... yet another unsubstantiated claim?
Until recently, I never really had to worry about the performance of memory cards when it came to using them for video. But the GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition now pushes memory cards rather hard and suddenly microSD card performance becomes of importance. Due to the higher HD resolutions, such as 2700×1520 at 25 frames per second and with Protune switched on, the Hero 3 Black Edition now blasts approximately 45 MBit per second towards these tiny memory cards. Albeit this is less than 6 MByte/s, we are talking about writing performance. GoPro requires microSD cards of «class 10» or (how it now also called) «U1». So, where's the problem, you say? There are so many cards available! Unfortunately, these card classifications are useless.