GOPRO HERO4 BLACK VS GOPRO HERO4 SILVER
NEW YEAR, NEW HEROES
GoPro is arguably the ‘king’ in the action camera market, having unveiled several models that have blown consumers’ minds with their extensive features and capabilities. Now, we get to see what the continued appeal is with the company’s new lineup, the GoPro HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver. GoPro claims that both models are the most advanced action cameras that they’ve ever made, but are they really as good as they say? And what are the differences between the two?
First, let’s look at the topof-the-line HERO4 Black, which mainly caters to professional users. It has the same design and size as HERO3+ series, and is slightly heavier than its predecessor by just a few grams. Existing GoPro camera owners will still be able to utilize the same accessories as before. There are also some changes to it, such as a new battery compartment design. Users will only need to drop it into the bottom, rather than slide it into the back of the device.
Another major change to the HERO 4 Black is the camera’s button placements. The traditional Wi-Fi button on the right panel has been replaced with a HiLight Tag/Setting button, which only functions when it’s not recording. Users still can activate the Wi-Fi function with a single long press of the same button. On the left panel, there’s a mini-USB charge/sync port and expandable microSD slot that can support up to 64GB. While it doesn’t have a built-in touchscreen, it has a HERO port on the back panel that enables users to attach GoPro’s LCD Touch BacPac or Battery BacPac.
Shooting with the most advanced GoPro is quite a straightforward experience. It’s equipped with an ultrawide angle lens that captures everything in front of it without a display screen. This action camera also offers 47 types of resolution and frame rate combinations and over 150 capture modes in such a small form factor, which really surprised us. Additionally, its capability to record up to 4K resolution at 30fps will definitely make professional videographers go nuts for it. Not only that, but it also did an amazing job with the high- speed video recording mode – a mode that is capable of shooting video at frames of up to 120fps in Full HD.
For users who really want to have full control over the camera, they can switch to the Protune mode, which allows them to shoot at higher bit-rates with their preferred settings, such as colors, sharpness, ISO, white balance and exposure. Additionally, metering can be adjusted from evaluative to spot – a good way to prevent overexposed scenes when shooting from indoors or the shade. Professional users will definitely love these features as they can produce cinema-quality footage that’s compatible with any color-grading tools and video-editing software. Unlike its predecessor, Protune also now supports photo mode on the HERO4 series.
Its capability to record a time-lapse with its 12MP camera sensor is another ‘wow’ factor for the HERO4 Black. As we already know its performance in bright daylight, we did a time-lapse test shot in lowlight condition with its Night Lapse mode. The output video was amazing, as it delivered
great amount of details, while movements in the night sky were as smooth as we would normally see with our naked eye.
If you’re not planning on recording in 4K or highquality slow-motion video, then the GoPro HERO4 Silver is a more viable option. It may be a midrange action camera, but don’t think it’s an underperformer like its predecessor. In fact, it’s identical to the previous top-end GoPro cameras in almost every way.
Aesthetically, the HERO4 Silver boasts the same design and button placements as other model in the GoPro family, save except for one essential feature. For the first time, there’s a built-in LCD touch display on the back panel, which helps you frame your shots and lets you review footage on the spot, rather than using the mobile app or waiting until you get your hands on a PC. Plus, users no longer need to monitor its settings via the square monochrome display. Unfortunately, the GoPro’s battery performance has never been stellar as its battery only lasted around two hours of continuous use.
Performance-wise, it actually showed a number of improvements over the predecessor. We also found out that this camera is able to record 4K video, but at 15fps and not at 30fps like the HERO4 Black. On top of that, its video resolutions are slightly lower than that of the HERO4 Black.
This model also has the SuperView option for Full HD and 720p recordings. It dynamically stretches the default aspect ratio to a full 16:9, where users will get to see more details in their videos. Just like the HERO4 Black, it also has a range of great shooting modes, such as QuikCapture, Auto Low Light, and Burst mode.
We did a normal test shoot with the HERO4 Silver, in 1080p at 60fps, with SuperView. The video looked sharper and clearer, as claimed by the company. Still photos were still able to retain their clarity, even though they look sharp and crisp from afar.
Overall, both GoPro cameras are built for a particular set of people. For those who really want a high-quality camera with professional specs, the HERO4 Black is for you. As for the not-so-hardcore crowd, the HERO4 Silver is more suited for outdoor enthusiasts, as they can directly monitor its settings and framing via the built-in LCD touch display.
Not only are they rugged, but they also put out stunning HD video at frame rates that challenge professional cinema cameras.