GoPro has announced the latest iteration of their popular video recorder that first hit the market in 2009. The company took the opportunity to refine virtually every aspect of the Hero 2 this time around with the aptly named GoPro Hero 3.

The GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition includes all of the bells and whistles in a package that's 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the model it replaces. In fact, the camera is just 20mm thick when removed from the outer plastic protective casing.

The shell itself is smaller as well and includes a two-position lock to ensure you don't accidentally open the casing in the heat of the moment.

Inside the Hero 3 is a new video processor that is twice as fast as the one found in the Hero 2. This allows the camera to capture video at a number of different resolutions and frame rates. The most impressive perhaps is the ability to capture at full 4k cinema resolution albeit at a relatively slow 12fps. If you need something a bit faster, 2.7k resolution can be recorded at 30fps while 1080p video is stored at 60fps.

A new f/2.8 lens is responsible for creating images that are twice as sharp as the company's previous offering. Furthermore, the lens allows for low light performance that is said to be two times better than what the Hero 2 is capable of. Distortion at the wide side has also been reduced a bit but not so much so that it loses that signature GoPro look.

Consumers can use the Hero 3 to capture sill images as well at 12-megapixels. The LCD has been improved and there's even a built-in Wi-Fi function that lets you stream video live using the data connection from your smartphone. Black Edition kits ship standard with a Wi-Fi remote control.

Pricing starts at just $199 for the entry-level White Edition. Expect to pay $299 for the beefier Silver Edition and $399 for the decked out Black Edition. Pre-orders are being accepted now with select models shipping on October 22.