It may have been only a year ago that GoPro released its HERO2 actioncam, but the company isn’t content to just let things lie. Today, it announced the release of its HD HERO3 line of cameras. There will be three versions available, with the top-of-the-line model able to shoot at 4K resolution, which is four times the number of pixels provided by 1080p.

The three models of the HERO3 are known as the White, Silver and Black Editions, although they all actually sport the same GoPro color scheme – metallic silver camera body in a clear polycarbonate housing. They are all reportedly 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than any previous models, offer an improved audio recording system, a sharper camera lens that produces less distortion, a flat lens on the housing for sharper underwater images, and built-in Wi-Fi remote functionality.

Black Edition

This one sits at the top of the heap. According to the company, it has twice the image-processing power as the HERO2, along with better low-light performance. Additionally, it can capture 12-megapixel stills at a rate of up to 30 per second, and comes with a Wi-Fi remote control unit included.

... and yes, it can shoot in 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), albeit at a rate of 15 frames-per-second – or 12 fps in a 17:9 Cine mode (4,096 x 2,160 pixels). For people who don’t want such huge video files (keep in mind that you can’t post 4K videos on YouTube), it’s also possible to shoot at 2.7K (30/24 fps), 1440p (48/30/24 fps), 1080p (60/48/30/24 fps) and 720p (120/60 fps).

It’s available now for pre-order, at US$399.99.

Silver Edition

This model is still no slouch, offering resolutions of 1080p (30 fps), 960p (48/30 fps) and 720p (60/30 fps). It can manage ten still images per second, at a resolution of 11-MP.

It’s priced at $299.99 – the niche previously occupied by the HERO2.

White Edition

Although it’s the “lowest” model, this one will probably be more than sufficient for the needs of most non-professionals – it’s the replacement for the original HERO HD. It shoots at 1080p (30 fps), 960p (30 fps) and 720p (60/30 fps), and can bang off a maximum of three 5MP stills per second – 11-MP stills can be captured when not in Burst mode.

It’ll set you back $199.99.

As with previous models, all three HERO3s are watertight to a depth of 197 feet (60 meters), and record on a microSD card – record times will vary depending on the chosen resolution and frame rate.

Footage shot with the Black Edition can be seen in the video below.

Source: GoPro