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Disappointment | GoPro Hero 3 Black Ed. Vs iPhone 5S Noise Comparison

Jay DowneyComment

I purchased a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition in December 2013 with the intention of using it to record my exploits in my Jeep as well as in golf.  Up until last week, I only had occasion to use it attached to my Jeep as I drove around in the snow, and it did quite well.  Observe the quality in this video..

Fine Quality, right?  I'd say so.  However, last week i had the opportunity to finally hit some golf balls at my local Golf Galaxy in their simulator.  I used both my iPhone 5S and my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition, hoping to take advantage of their ability to capture my swing at 120 frames per second at different angles.  Here is the footage from the iPhone 5s...

Very usable footage given the low light conditions.  In the longer video I am even able to zoom in on the numbers and they are clear enough to read.  

I then load the footage taken with the GoPro and find that it's absolutely useless!  I was very disappointed, to say the least.  Below is a side-by-side comparison, note, you cannot make out any of the numbers, let alone the added "noise" in the dark areas present in the GoPro footage.  The screen grabs were not retouched in any way.

All the firmware was up to date.  My GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition was running HD3.03.03.00 at the time.  I cannot rule out "user error" here, but I have a difficult time believing this is my fault.