On GoPro Accessories

I recently came into possession of a Go Pro Hero3+ (silver edition, if you’re curious). I immediately ran into a very confused accessories marketplace. Hopefully this will save you some of my frustration.

The Hero3+ and the Hero3 cameras are the same size and form-factor and as such, housings for the Hero3 will accommodate the Hero3+ (and vice-versa).

I confirmed on the phone with Go Pro that there are only two current (Hero3/3+) official clear full-case housings: the standard (40m, comes with the Hero3+) and the dive (60m, comes with the Hero3). Both housings work with either camera, and both are available separately from any number of vendors. (Note that I’m intentionally not discussing the additional Frame and Blackout housings here.)

So to be perfectly clear, if you purchase the 60m dive housing (sold separately and marketed as “Dive Housing (197’/60m) Ultra-durable housing for HERO3+ and HERO3 cameras”, “Dive Housing for Hero3/3+”, or “Dive Housing for Hero3+”), you are getting the housing that came standard with the Hero3.

Pro Tip 1: If you’re looking to purchase the dive (60m) housing, look for one marked specifically for the Hero3 (typically marketed as “GoPro Replacement Housing”). As of this writing, the housing for the Hero3 is selling for roughly $40 and the dive housing for the Hero3+ (which is the exact same housing) is selling for roughly $60.  The difference of $20 is rather a lot to pay for only a different description…

Pro Tip 2: As a general rule, if you have the 60m dive housing (and regardless of whether you own the Hero3 or Hero3+), you should be looking for Hero3-compatible add-ons. With the notable exception of BackBone’s Rib Cage project, I have been unable to find any Go Pro add-ons (e.g., filters and macro lenses) that are truly camera-specific. For something like 99.99% of the currently available Go Pro add-ons, fit is against the housing, not the camera. Conveniently, because the Hero3 and its dive housing have been in the marketplace since 2012, most currently-available add-ons are marketed as “For the Hero3”. In that exact same vein, it should also be noted that all (or nearly all) current add-ons targeted specifically at the Hero3+ are actually targeted at the new standard (40m) housing rather than the Hero3+ itself.

Pro Tip 3: If you own the Hero3+, the dive (60m) housing is probably worth the extra cash because – as stated above – most of the currently available aftermarket filters and lens add-ons fit it rather than the standard (40m) housing.

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