Inside the GoPro Hero 3: The Secret to Getting Huge Pictures Out of a Tiny Camera

By Leslie Horn on at

What the little GoPro Hero 3 lacks in size, it makes up for in big pictures. But what makes that rugged camera work? The teardown scientists over at iFixit took a look under the hood of GoPro's latest.

What did they find? Of course the powerful camera that can capture 4K video is home to a 12-megapixel sensor with better low light capabilities. But otherwise, the components aren't all that surprising considering the Hero 3 is the kind of thing you take down a mountain, or on the handlebars of a bike a breakneck speed. You know, the kind of activities that lead to falls, and thus broken gadgets. Most components are very easy to remove, meaning they're pretty easy to repair without having to buy an entirely new camera. For example, the battery — which GoPro downgraded by 50 mAh probably to make the Hero 3 smaller — pops right out without any tools. The image sensor, too, is easily removed from the motherboard. And the Hero 3 is a a small device that uses very little power and doesn't produce a lot of heat, so another interesting piece iFixit found was a thermal compound on the image processor — a very agressive cooling feature.

Overall, iFixit said the new GoPro was simple to take apart, meaning simple to repair. So go ahead and punish it. [iFixit]