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Oct 06, 2013, 11:25 AM
Head in the Clouds
Thread OP

GoPro Hero3+ Image Quality Problem

Just took delivery of the new 3+ Black Edition yesterday, so I was eager today to do a few comparison shots against the 3 Black version. I've attached a couple of sample crops from the 40 or so shots I took, all at the same settings etc. As you can see I'm really hoping that I have a faulty 3+ and this isn't the actual quality! All of the shots from the 3+ were no way near as sharp as the 3, and all with a lot less detail. The 3+ images all look 'mushy' compared to the 3, as if a load of noise reduction is being applied? GoPro are claiming a 33% improvement in IQ with the help of its new lens etc - these results were not what I was hoping for
Last edited by camera_man; Oct 08, 2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Oct 07, 2013, 01:53 AM
Registered User
Wow, I just bought a 3+ for $340 from the REI deal last week and it should arrive this week. I've never had a GP before, so I have nothing to compare to. This is really starting to worry me. Hope someone else can chime in!
Oct 07, 2013, 04:37 AM
Registered User
Could you post those images at full quality? dropbox or something like that?
Oct 07, 2013, 10:08 AM
Head in the Clouds
Thread OP
No problem. Two unprocessed shots from the 3 and 3+ Black Editions, both at 12MP. As you can see it looks as if the 3+ is having some sort of noise reduction applied? If you look at the stonework in the sea wall you can clearly see the difference in detail quality between the two cameras. Not good!

I've been in contact with the company I bought it from and they've offered me a refund. I'm reluctant at this stage to get a replacement as my gut feeling is that this is not a faulty camera but just how it is. They did say they thought that the 33% improved image quality claim by GoPro relates only to the video side of things and not stills?!

Hero 3

Hero 3+
Oct 07, 2013, 11:40 AM
Registered User
looking at this video, does show a small improvment wrt to video performance, so maybe the company you bought from is correct

just seems odd that stills are worse !

GoPro HERO3+ vs. HERO3 Comparision and Review (14 min 8 sec)
Oct 07, 2013, 12:01 PM
Head in the Clouds
Thread OP
It does indeed seem as if some sort of compression is being applied to the jpegs. The image file size produced by the Hero3+ is approx half that of the Hero3. I've emailed GoPro directly to ask their advice.
Oct 07, 2013, 09:41 PM
3d Kiwi
uptime4downtime's Avatar
This is most disappointing. I will be reporting back when mine arrives tomorrow. I would have thought that a decrease in stills quality is a real step backward. At least equalling the 3 would have been sensible. A small improvement would have been expected. I will be returning mine if the same is true. And yes, a reduction in file size is almost certainly a drop in IQ in some fashion. Shame!
Oct 08, 2013, 12:03 AM
Registered User
It is a great disappointment for me too. .. mine arrives today. .. and for sure i'm going to return it if the still image quality is worse than me hero3....
Oct 08, 2013, 12:06 AM
3d Kiwi
uptime4downtime's Avatar
I hold out slight hope, that it is a firmware fix, where Gopro can alter the compression levels for stills. I can't see that the sensor/lens combo can be 'worse' than on the 3. Surely, we should be receiving better image quality to the sensor with the upgraded lens. If they rolled out an update great, but I have a 30 window to return... and to think I could have purchased the 3 cheaper locally is, well, sad! :-(
Oct 08, 2013, 03:01 AM
3d Kiwi
uptime4downtime's Avatar
Definitely worth a look:

pay special attention to the 1080/60 crop. May be a solution to still 'grabs' with quality.
Also note, Gopro test lens sharpness at only 2ft in front of camera (due to wide subject matter that is the territory of this camera)
Also note the improve sharpness, colour profile etc. If I was to speculate, it almost appears that Gopro tuned the new lens to focus closer than a 3, which could (potentially) throw out distance shots more, which if of course the area of concern for ap.

However, it is difficult to interpret all of the 'still' images in this review, as it appears that the majority are actually frame grabs when shooting video.... stills may actually be another story altogether.
Moral of the story is wait until a model is out and well tested.
I'll post my own images tomorrow
Last edited by uptime4downtime; Oct 08, 2013 at 03:24 AM.
Oct 08, 2013, 03:46 AM
Registered User
I wonder if its possible to adjust the focusing if you are willing to open it up.
The lens on the Hero 3+ is f/2.8, so the DOF is will be a bit limited and you can bet its not focused close to infinity or maybe even its hyperfocal distance..... which would be the ideal for most AP / AV.
Last edited by Tatty; Oct 08, 2013 at 03:51 AM.
Oct 08, 2013, 04:16 AM
3d Kiwi
uptime4downtime's Avatar
Here's the tear down which I assume will be similar on the 3+. Plastic opener and torx driver required. If u read one of the comments on the review link I posted two posts back, u will notice another 3+ owner already identifying what he believes is front focus issues on the 3+, stating the 3 had superior focus for distance shots. I'll be interested to hear more on this.
Oct 08, 2013, 06:30 AM
Head in the Clouds
Thread OP
Just got off the phone to GoPro who've asked me to send samples, which I've done. As soon as I hear back I'll let you know what they say.
Oct 08, 2013, 07:09 AM
Registered User
I've just received the hero3+, and SAME problems as camera_man... photos AND video are out of focus, samples here:

Camera is clearly focusing too close, everything at a certain distance is out of focus..

I'll post another link with video sample (same problem)
Oct 08, 2013, 07:50 AM
Registered User
Video at 2.7k.... same problem:

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