GoPro Hero 4 Black Review
The GoPro is the ‘Must have’ action and adventure camera and have now come out with their fourth generation which is the GoPro Hero 4. The GoPro Hero 4 is the GoPro’s smallest camera yet and is designed to be tough and shockproof as well as it being waterproof. This camera is the ideal camera for extreme sports, action, travelling and adventures.
Despite the Gopro being so small and compact it can produce really high quality photos and videos with 4K video shooting at up to 30 frames per second, along with other settings and enhancements.
One of the biggest advantages to a GoPro over any other action camera is the large number of mounts, housing and accessories available, Including helmet and head mounting options, surfboard mounts, handlebar mounts, suction cup mounts and underwater housing. There are over 60 different mounts, housing and accessories to choose from which are compatible with the GoPro which is significantly more than any other camera.
The GoPro can be connected to a fantastic app which is available on IOS, Android and windows phones which enables you to control and set the GoPro’s settings as well as play back your captured footage which makes it easy for you to share with your friends and family as well as upload it to social media.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Specs
Wireless Connection: Wireless LAN, Bluetooth
Optical Sensor Type: CMOS
Video Resolution: 4K (3840×2160) at 30/25/24fps, 1080p at 120/90/60/50/48/30/25/24fps
Photo Resolution: 12MP
Image Recording Format: JPEG
AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio, HDMI
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes
Connections: Mini USB, Micro HDMI, MicroSD (up to 64GB)
Connectivity Features: remote control via mobile devices, remote live view
Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery – 1160 mAh
Battery Life: 1.08 hours, 1.66 hours
GoPro Hero 4 Black Size and Design
The GoPro Hero 4 is a small and compact box shaped camera which is only 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches in dimensions and only weighs 5.3 ounces. This makes the camera lightweight and portable, making it easy for you to take absolutely anywhere.
One of the main differences between the GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 is that the battery design has changed therefore if you have any old GoPro batteries I’m afraid you won’t be able to reuse these on the GoPro Hero 4. The new battery design of the Hero 4 enables the battery to be slotted in behind a small door in the base of the camera rather than having to take off the entire back of the camera like you had to in the previous models.
The casing of the GoPro Hero 4 is the same as the previous GoPro generations, With very similer buttons, Of course you still have the main circle button on the front of the camera which turns the camera on, however on the Hero 4 it will also beep and show you the menu. This enables to to click through the different modes that are available such as photography mode, video mode, first mode and playback.
As the Hero4 in Black doesn’t feature the same touch screen as this Hero4 in Silver does, you have the option to attach an external LCD backpack to the back of your GoPro Hero4 which will give you similar functionality to the Hero4 in silver, with a larger menu and more options on this LCD screen.
In comparison to other GoPro models the Wi-Fi Button on the side of the camera has been replaced with a settings button which enables you to flick through and change the settings of the camera quickly, This makes the GoPro Hero 4 even more user friendly than ever before.
The housing and mounts compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 are exactly the same as the previous versions therefore any mounts and housing you already have or want to buy can be fitted to the Hero 4.
The Hero 4 is available in two different colours, black and silver however as well as the cameras being different colours they are also slightly different in specifications with the black model having a faster processor and being able to shoot higher resolution and quality footage, although the silver version of the Hero 4 has a built in touch screen, making it easy to preview and frame your photos and videos. If you are looking to find out more about the silver version of the Hero 4 you can check out my review here.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Video Quality
The Video quality of the GoPro hero 4 is fantastic with 4K footage and each frame being 8MP, which produces sharp detailed videos, with the Hero4 you have a variety of options when shooting footage in terms of frame rates and resolution however to get the highest quality footage out of the camera you will want to set it to Protune mode which records your videos at a high bit rate as well as reducing the amount of recording time you get on your memory card. Another benefit of the protune mode is that you get full control over exposure, ISO and metering with a variety of different colour settings.
If you are looking for a faster speed shooting option then options include 1,440p (1,920 x 1,440) at 80 frames per second; 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) at 120 frames per second; and 720p (1,280 x 720) at 240 frames per second.
The GoPro Hero 4 also features a Ultra Wide mode which enables the camera to view 170 degrees, which enables you to take wide angled footage, alternatively you can select the 127 degrees which is the ‘in the middle’ view or the narrow view which allows you to take footage at 90 degrees.
In comparison to the Hero 3 the video quality has improved exceptionally with quality going from 15fps on the Hero 3 to 30 fps on the Hero4 model.
Overall with the large variety of different shooting options that the Hero 4 has available there sure is something to suit everyone’s needs, weather you want wide angled footage, time laps videos or narrow view footage you are guaranteed high quality sharp videos and footage.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Photo Quality
Although the GoPro Hero 4 is very much geared up for videoing, the camera does also allow you to take photos. The photo quality of the GoPro Hero 4 is just as impressive as the video quality, which is quite unusual from an action camera.
The GoPro Hero 4 allows you to shoot photos in 4K quality, which is the highest quality I have come across on an action camera. The photos that the GoPro produces are detailed high quality sharp photos with good colour which look professional. Although occasionally the images can look slightly ‘soft’ due to the 60Mbits/sec 4K data rate.
The only downside to the photo side of the GoPro is that there is no image stabilization which is starting to appear on some of the other action cameras on the market.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Smartphone App
You may be wondering how you control and set the settings on the GoPro as it is such a small compact camera, luckily the GoPro app makes accessing these settings really easy. The GoPro app is available and can be downloaded on IOS and android phones. The GoPro Hero 4 has built in wifi which makes it easy for you to connect your camera up to this app.
The main purpose of the GoPro app is so you can easily access and control your GoPro settings, which is much easier than trying to do so on the small screen of the camera.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Mounting Options
As previously mentioned in the review one of the best things about the GoPro that in my opinion makes it better than any other action camera is the large variety of different mounts, housing and accessories that you can purchase for it, making it the perfect camera for all sorts of different things.
The GoPro Hero 4 includes a few mounts including adhesive bases for curved and flat surfaces, two link extenders that rotate the camera direction by 90 degrees, two different clips and standard waterproof housing which can be used underwater up to 40 metres.
Although the GoPro Hero 4 includes all the basic accessories, with GoPro the possibilities are endless, with over 60 different housings, mounts and accessories which you can purchase to use with your GoPro. Including helmet and head mounting options, surfboard mounts, handlebar mounts, suction cup mounts and underwater housing.
As well as this vast amount of mounts and housings, there are also various different accessories which allow you to attach the GoPro to yourself almost anywhere from chest straps, helmet mounts and mouthpieces. This gives you the potential to shoot from almost any angle.
If you have just started out with the GoPro and are looking for some extra accessories then I would highly recommend buying the Accessories starter kit for GoPro which is a really affordable kit which includes all the extra accessories that you will need to improve your GoPros potential including a tripod, suction cup, bicycle handlebar, chest harness, and head strap.
GoPro Hero 4 Black Battery Life
In general the battery life of the GoPro Hero 4 isn’t great, at least in comparison with other cameras. However considering how small and powerful the camera is this isn’t surprising.
The exact battery life of the GoPro Hero 4 depends on a variety of different things and settings, however on average I have found that the battery life is around 1 hour 30 minutes which is when shooting 1080p at 30fps. However this will be less if you are using faster shooting modes as well as it the battery life being shorter if you are using wifi.
Although the battery life of the GoPro 4 isn’t great, it is defiantly enough time for shooting any extreme sport or activity therefore it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Also the batteries are rechargeable and you can pick up a spare battery for around $12.99 therefore you can simply take one battery out and put the spare battery straight in whilst charging the dead battery.
Price of the GoPro Hero 4 Black
At the time of writing this review the price of the GoPro Hero 4 in Black is $345.99, You can check the exact price of the GoPro Hero 4 below.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper model of the GoPro Hero 4 then you should check out the GoPro Hero 4 in silver, which has a slightly slower processor and shoots in slightly lower resolution. However this is a more affordable priced version than the GoPro Hero 4 in Black.
GoPro Hero4 Black Pros
- Produces High Quality Video Footage
- 2X More Powerful Processor that Delivers Super Slow Motion at 240 Frames per Second
- Built in Wifi and Bluetooth making sharing and uploading photos and videos easy
- Compatible with more than 60 mounts and accessories
- Small, compact and easily portable
- Wide angle lens
GoPro Hero4 Black Cons
- Needs Housing in Order for it to Be Waterproof
- Batteries have been redesigned meaning you can’t reuse batteries from older GoPro Models
- Expensive in Comparison with other action cameras
- Battery not removable
Although it is a bit on the pricey side, The GoPro Hero 4 is a really high quality action camera which is perfect for extreme sports, adventures or travelling. With over 60 different mounts, housing and accessories compatible with the Hero 4 there are literally no limits on what or where you can shoot.
The GoPro Hero 4 is also packed with various different shooting options including time lapse mode and wide angled shooting therefore there are lots of different settings to play around with, which can easily be done by connecting to the GoPro App.