GoPro Digital HERO 3 Sports Wrist Camera review:

GoPro Digital HERO 3 Sports Wrist Camera

GoPro Digital HERO 3 Sports Wrist Camera

(Part #: GDH30)
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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Handy underwater enclosure; low distortion; good white balance.

The Bad Sluggish; takes very soft images.

The Bottom Line The GoPro Digital Hero 3 is a cool idea that could be fun if you're swimming, but it's not useful for much else.

5.0 Overall

Coolness is a funny thing, because it sometimes doesn't have anything to do with whether or not something is actually good. Base jumping is cool, but it's not necessarily a good idea. The Die Hard movies were cool, but they didn't win any Academy Awards. The GoPro Digital Hero 3 is a cool camera, but it's not a good one.

The tiny, 3-megapixel Digital Hero 3 fits inside a waterproof enclosure mounted on a wristband. It's purportedly a wrist-mounted camera for extreme sports such as snowboarding.

Barely larger than a pair of AA batteries, the camera body consists of a tiny, gray box. It has just two buttons and a monochrome status display, making it one of the simplest cameras we've seen in years. The only way to frame a shot is through the tiny viewfinder, which becomes completely obscured when you put the camera inside its waterproof enclosure. The clear plastic case is quite well made and hooks onto a foam-rubber-and-velcro wristband. Tight seals make sure the box stays waterproof so the camera inside doesn't drown, while two buttons connect to cameras' buttons.

Because of its simple design, there are very few settings to deal with on the camera. The power button toggles through Single-shot, Timed-shot, Burst-shot, and Movie modes. Other than those settings, you can't really tweak your images. Because the camera doesn't have a display, you can't view them either. Also, since the camera has a fixed-focus lens, your shooting options are limited.

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