This is the Hero 3+ Silver Edition of the latest GoPro action camera fold, sitting between the entry-level White and top-of-the-range Black Editions.
And, unless money is no object, we reckon the Silver is the best buy of the lot.
What's the difference?
What you get with the £280 GoPro Hero 3+ Silver Edition is almost the same as the £360 Black Edition, so if you fancy saving yourself £80 it's worth checking to see if you really need those extras.
The Silver Edition has a slightly smaller sensor (10MP vs. 12MP) and lacks the remote control unit, which is an optional extra. It has a slower Burst mode when shooting stills (10fps vs 30fps), doesn't bother with the 15fps 4K video mode, no "SuperView" mode and no Auto Low Light Mode. We could live without all of that.
READ MORE: GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition review
What's the same?
Here's the good news: everything that we liked about the Black Edition is present in the Silver Edition. That includes smooth 1080p footage than can be pushed up to 60fps, which really helps reduce judder with footage captured from a bike mount or anything fast moving. The footage isn't brilliant but it is the best of all the action cams we've tested recently, which includes the Sony HDR-AS100VR, Garmin VIRB Elite and Rollei Actioncam S-30.
Because it's part of the most widely used family of action cams, the Hero 3+ Silver has access to the widest array of mounts, and that counts for a lot. Whether you want to stick it onto your head, bike, car, surf board or chest, there's a way to do it, and you're likely to find it easier to get hold of GoPro mounts than other brands.
While many rivals favour the bullet-cam form, GoPro is sticking with the matchbox design. There will be situations where one form works better than another, but in general we've found the GoPro's fairly shallow front-to-back dimensions make it suited to more uses because it can be squeezed into tighter spaces.
READ MORE: Garmin Virb Elite review
More after the break...
Room for improvement
Even though we're bestowing five stars upon the Silver Edition, that fifth one is hanging by a thread. In use, the Silver Edition can be infuriating due to its tiny buttons, lack of a video monitor screen and general lack of useful feedback.
Yes, you can buy a screen to plug onto the back panel but that's an extra £80. More usefully, there's a remote control and remote viewing app for iPhone and Android which makes up for the fact the interface hasn't changed much over the years.
We'd also like to see a pre-ruggedised GoPro that can be snapped onto a mount in a flash. As it stands, the main unit is very vulnerable and unable to be mounted until it's placed inside the waterproof housing. The Garmin VIRB Elite and Sony HDR-AS100VR show off major innovations in terms of ruggedisation and monitor screens, and GoPro will need to keep an eye on the competition if it's to remain the go-to brand for action cams.
GoPro Hero 3+ Silver Edition Verdict
A safe bet, the Hero 3+ Silver Edition comes with a certain peace of mind that only a long-established brand can offer.
While its footage isn't up to the quality of a similarly priced regular camcorder or compact camera, it's as good as it gets in this field. The wide range of mounts and familiarity of the GoPro range will serve you well in your adventures too.
For our money, the extras offered by the Black Edition aren't worth it, making the Silver Edition an easy choice.
While some here at Stuff will be packing the more progressive rivals from Sony and Garmin, for now, GoPro is still King.
Review by Tony Horgan.
GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition
Not the most user-friendly, but certainly the best value action cam out there