Originally Posted by mdosu
for amateurs, GoPro 2 or 3 is the best out there in terms of bang for the buck.
IMO, the downsides of GoPros are:
1. that it can get quite expensive when you add up all the accessories, and these accessories almost NEVER goes on sale
2. software is pretty shitty. I have a Hero 2 HD, and for some stupid reason, the only way to get the wifi bacpac to update and sync is to use a downgraded version of their desktop software, when you use a Windows 7 PC. The Hero 3 solves this problem as it comes with built-in wifi. I'm not sure if Hero 3 users have had software update issues.
If you want to go cheap, Vivitar offers an option, they also have cheap acesssories online and at Target:
and for some people (i don't know reasons why), Sony is marketing their new cams hard, for about the same price:
On amazon, there's quite a few comparison reviews of the GoPro 3 vs Sony
One option if you're on a budget, is look for the remaining GoPro Hero 2 HDs. If you're lucky you can find new unopened ones for less than $150.
GoPro's Hero 3 Black Edition is an excellent choice IMO. I haven't had any issues with software and the accessories are included to enjoy your $400 camera. That model comes with flat and curved adhesive pads and a swivel arm. The Battery life isn't the greatest when you shoot in 1440p but you have the option to shoot lower qualities with higher frame rates and that preserves the battery a bit. GoPro also includes a choice of cases that reduce or capture sound. Hero 3 BE gets my vote.