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Be Careful Where You Get The GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition!
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Be Careful Where You Get the GoPro HD Hero 3 Black Edition!

Right now, the newest and top-of-the-line sports camera/camcorder from the now-famous GoPro is extremely hard to find. There is such a demand for their "Black Edition" that they can't keep up with the production! As a result, there are lots of back-orders and outlets simply cannot keep this unit on their shelves!

Doing the Search

In order to find this camera, I Googl'd it to try to find it. Yes! I did find it! Hooray!, but wait!

Did I really find it?

Yes, and no, I had to tell myself.

Without mentioning any names to protect readers from the temptation, I decided I would write an article on what to watch out for when searching for this camera in hopes of striking up a purchase! I came across a forum that indeed has someone promoting the Hero 3 Black Edition for a great price! Excited I began reading the posts...

You Get What You Pay For

The first thing I noticed that, for $280, you get the camera, less the shipping and Paypal fees. Sounds good! However, I looked into what you get...

  • Camera
  • Battery
  • Cable
  • Wooden Pan

On the headline it said that it is new and that it is "nacked" Obviously, this is supposed to be "naked." GoPro does have such packages, but to the best of my knowledge, not in the Hero 3 lines.

My hopes went down for every post I read down the thread. Just a few posts down, I knew this was not what I wanted!

No Serial Number!

Someone came on and asked about a serial numbers, only to be told that the whatever company (not GoPro) would provide new firmware and this would allow for WiFi, that there would be no serial numbers on any of the cameras! "Not good" said the inquirer. "GoPro will not support these then!"

The next post provides the utmost assurance that if the buyer wanted direct customer support, he would have to purchase from the original company (GoPro) at a higher price.

"Are These Bootlegged?"

This was the question of the next poster. The answer he got?

"I suggest you check [the] discussion thread about this kind of camera." and gives the link. I did not follow this link.

Price Squabbles

The next poster comes on and he's really baffled as to why this camera would cost this much, noting that these cameras don't even have serial numbers. He does the math getting this camera plus adding the rest of the normal kit GoPro sells for $400. Subtracting these parts not included with the Chinese version, the genuine GoPro comes to ten dollars less than the Chinese counterpart. The poster then says that the camera should be priced 25% less than what's being asked (about $200.)

The Chinese camera costs ten dollars more without a warranty nor serial number! The seller wryly comes back with the question on how the poster arrived at that figure and sarcastically says, why not 5% or 40%? The seller ends with hard core, "Look, for 280 US dollars, you get camera, cable, battery and wooden pan. Have a nice day !"

Some Good Reasons to Get the Chinese GoPro Hero 3

This was evidently posted by someone in Canada who purchased the outfit...

  • Why pay for a stupid remote that isn't needed?
  • Why pay for a casing that I don't use or need?
  • Why have a warranty that GoPro won't honor if I crash the camera?
  • Why have extra batteries that will just collect dust?

He says, paying $290 is better $400 without having the above.

Why I Think It Is Stupid to Get a Back Edition from an Obscure Discount Vendor!

Obviously, as shown above, you have no idea what you're getting!

GoPro sets you up with a camera that is protected with a case in extreme conditions. It's what makes it a GoPro! A fellow posted after the the above poster touted his Chinese outfit...

"I damaged my Hero 2!" This poster refutes the above happy buyer's reasoning and goes on to tell that he was on his quad with his camera without its housing. Totally his fault, he wound up with a gouge on the lens goofing around!

GoPro offered him a complete new Hero 3 Black Edition for 40% off the original price, complete with all normal accessories and in full retail packaging! His final words, "You'd never get that kind of service from a third-party vendor selling these cameras without serial numbers!"

Another poster fortifies the statement by saying that GoPro has been known to offer similar discounts for damaged cameras!

That's Just Page One of the Forum!

Page 2 has accounts of folks trying to upgrade the firmware of their Chinese Naked GoPros with no success, others complaining about the cameras freezing up, no specifications included, and finally one irate customer declaring the seller should stop advertising the cameras as GoPros, rather, NoPros!

Through all this, the finally seller touts, "Made in same factory. Work just fine!"


Yes, there is a shortage of GoPro's Hero 3 Black Edition, but my advice is to wait it out and keep looking to resources to find the genuine Black Edition! You can compare what you get (shown above) from these third party discount dealers and the genuine camera itself!

Don't do like these unfortunate souls did by not being patient and insisting they had to have the cheaper ones. That's the end of my story of the Chinese "GoPro" cameras. Your best bet, by far is to be persistent and do diligent searches and be patient! You will find the camera as GoPro intends it to be! GoPro may be about a month behind but is busy filling the orders as you are reading this. Insist on the genuine for your utmost satisfaction and confidence!

Street Talk

very good device.

  about 2 years ago

the go pro looks like such a great invention. It didn't occur to me that there were bootleg copies. thanks for opening me eyes about that. What's the wooden pan for?

  about 7 years ago

I noticed your inclusion of this article on your G+ page is ranking in 4th place (just under Amazon) for the keyword, "gopro hd hero camera."

  about 7 years ago

Seems like sound advice to me

  about 7 years ago

I agree with your sentiments, but was wondering, what on earth is so special about this unit that they can't keep up with sales? Or did they make a pretty good model, but sorely underestimate the demand?

  about 7 years ago

I hate getting something home and discovering it is not what you were expecting, good heads up thanks Daniel

  about 7 years ago

I had no idea they were that popular! Great advice.

  about 7 years ago

Great advice Daniel, you get what you pay for that's my thought.

  about 7 years ago
Dom Wells  

Nice Daniel, thanks for that information, best to be careful indeed!

  about 7 years ago

I know you to be a very sharp person and catch things many of us don't! You are quite aware of what goes on in the underworld and this kind of insight is what we all need to protect ourselves from these insidious folks!

  about 7 years ago

Think this would be good for taping my workouts? It would be great to have better quality for my fit biz!

  about 7 years ago

I don't see why not. There are innumerable videos on YouTube showing just about every kind of human action known. For the crispest photographic representation of your training routines, the GoPro cameras have remote control and tripods (recommended) or you can have someone at the controls so you would be completely hands free. I believe there are delayed settings on there, but don't take my word for that. There's so many things this camera can do and so many imaging settings you will have the right one for you! You even have slow-motion settings on there!

  about 7 years ago

Thank you Shawn. I actually walked right into it from Jay's coaching.

  about 7 years ago
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