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3D Hero System Modification for GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

March 9th, 2013 · 11 Comments · Shooting in 3D

The GoPro 3D Hero system for shooting in stereo 3D with a pair of GoPro HD Hero2 cameras was a very nice product to allow wider audience of non professionals to shoot 3D video on a low budget and with compact action cameras that they may already have and are used to shoot with. Unfortunately with the release of the new and improved HD Hero3 cameras (both in terms of functionality and in size) neither the 3D Hero enclosure, nor the camera synchronization cable works with the new model. You can however modify the 3D Hero enclosure to fit the new smaller GoPro HD Hero3 cameras inside as Fon Davis has show in the video tutorial embedded above that he has shared with us. Of course after the modification the cameras inside the enclosure won’t be as protected as a pair of HD Hero2 cameras would, but at east you will be able to use the enclosure with both cameras secured tightly for shooting in 3D. As for the synchronization of the two cameras, the new HD Hero3 cameras come with built-in WiFi functionality and you can use a remote to trigger them. According to Fon Davis’ experiments the achieved synchronization is not worse than what can be done with two Hero2 cameras and using the cable adapter to sync them.

You can check other Fon Davis GoPro Tutorials and Experiments here…

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11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David Cole // Mar 9, 2013 at 17:51

    There is a world of difference in sync between Hero2 and 3. Hero2’s sync cable actually sets the sensor integration timer for each cam. This results in perfect (genlock quality sync). This can be verified with the free 3DTV Sync Tester software.

    Hero3 is polling for WiFi instructions and is often off as much as 1/2 a frame. Again – this can be precisely measured with the 3DTV Sync Tester software, or, by observing any fast action in a scene.

  • 2 Max // Mar 9, 2013 at 22:43

    Yes, with hero2 i always get perfect sync with fast motion, but i doubt only with remote starting we can get good sync…

    After this modification hero2’s will not fit to the case?

    Is there any estimated release date for hero3 3 case or sync cable support?

  • 3 Bloody // Mar 10, 2013 at 14:16

    We’ll probably have to wait some more time for a 3D Hero version for the Hero3, I’m happy with my Hero2 setup for 3D use for now. I still haven’t tried the new Hero3 Black Edition and how good it works in 3D with the WiFi remote, as only this version can be the replacement for owners of Hero2 cameras…

  • 4 steve // Mar 10, 2013 at 18:21

    I havent seen any demos that I really like yet with the hero system. The gopro 3d demo does not look very impressive from a 3d point of view. Does anyone have a link to some good 3d shot with the gopro?

  • 5 Bloody // Mar 10, 2013 at 18:26

    The most significant disadvantage that the GoPro 3D Hero setup has is the very small interaxial distance between the cameras, so it is useful for closeup videos. If you don’t use the enclosure and extend the sync cable you can get it more flexible…

  • 6 Max // Mar 10, 2013 at 19:46

    Bloody: which firmware do you use? I use v198 because of protune 35mbit mode (for complex scenes it’s far more better than the normal 15mbit), but unfortunately this release is not so stable. Often the left cam freeze or simply start recording while powering on. I have a workaround for this: connect the slave cable only when the camera booting is finished. It’s a 99% fix. Only 99, because sometimes, even without connecting the cable, the cam doesn’t want to boot up, instead load the v198 firmware again, even if the file is not on the card anymore!! Weird.

    I don’t tested v222 yet, because some people say it still has troubles, and there is no way to roll back to previous version.

    Hero2 with 20cm base, from 0:25 or 1:24

  • 7 kitarolivier // Mar 10, 2013 at 23:18

    I really DON’T recommend hero 3D. When I bought it, it was written that it will be compatible after firmware update (decembre 2011). We are still waiting for a firmware that works correctly. One of the previous version worked more or less flawlessly, but the last (V222) make it not work at all. when powering the system on, one of the camera automatically starts. Reverting to previous firmware from V222 was not recommended, and I bricked on the my cam.
    Gopro 3D is not a good product. It should not have left the laboratories of gopro.

  • 8 Konrad // Mar 12, 2013 at 11:41

    @David Cole: Although I don’t own the 3D Hero, I’ve edited a lot of GoPro 3D footage, and never saw genlock quality sync in a single clip. It was always a matter of 0,5 to 1 frame shift. Lot’s of other problems too, so maybe there was something wrong with the cameras…

  • 9 Bloody // Mar 12, 2013 at 13:24

    I’m also not using the latest firmware, because of reading a lot of people complaining from problems with it I’ve decided to popostpone the upgrade. I’ve also noticed in some of my clips problems with the synchronization, especially ones with fast action, but this does not always happen. So the cable definitely does not provide genlock-like sync, but it is still good enough most of the time. After all this is not a professional solution and although GoPro might want to believe it can compare with the pro products it is still far from them. And unfortunately it seems that with the release of Hero3 they are focusing more on the new product and not much on further improving things with the Hero2 and the 3D Hero.

  • 10 Anon // May 9, 2013 at 14:21

    GoPro 3D frame sync is at best a joke and their sales representatives are either completely ignorant or deceptive.


  • 11 Digital Samurai // Aug 29, 2013 at 13:15

    Happy to share you some fantastic GoPro Hero3 3D systems we’ve worked on recently, tried and tested and was launched yesterday.
    Hero 3’s and his own sync cord design.


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