GoPro Hero 4 Black Review
Picture yourself in a wonderful place, maybe a tropical beach with deep blue water, sun, white sand, palms and little islands. What is the best way to record all this beauty in a video that can make your friends at home incredibly jealous? Well you have guessed it; you can take a video using your drone. But what camera should you choose? Many use their DSLR to have the best possible image quality. But they are bulky items, especially if you consider all the lenses that you need with them. And you already have to carry your drone around. The best compromise is using a high quality sports action camera. Today we are reviewing a product from the leader in this sector, the GoPro Hero 4 Black.
4K smooth video or 1080p slow motion? It’s your choice
This GoPro is the same shape and size of its predecessor. Why change when something is well-designed and successful? What has changed is mainly under the hood. The GoPro Hero 3+ could already record at 4K quality, but only at 15 fps. The GoPro Hero 4 now does it at 30 fps, giving you very smooth images at professional quality ultra-high definition. To admire that quality though you’ll also need a screen that can display at that resolution. If you are still at 1080p, you can still benefit from the GoPro Hero 4, because this little video wonder can record at 1080p at 120 fps. When you post process the footage, you can slow it down to 30 fps and see the video you have recorded in smooth 1/4 slow motion. This is great for action videos, for example if you were using the quadcopter for filming sports (e.g. using the “follow me” function that many modern drones offer).
A long list of improvements all round
A nice new feature is the settings button, which is on the right hand side of the body. This button helps you to navigate through the menus more intuitively. The menus are also improved, and you’ll need fewer clicks to access a certain function.
Another useful improvement compared to the Hero 3+ is the quality of the lens. This cannot be underestimated, as image quality is the priority for a camera like this. It also supports a much better dynamic range of colors.
The battery is also new and the manufacturer claims that it will last for about one hour and 30 minutes (at 1080p) and 1 hour and 15 minutes at 4K. Unfortunately, this is less than the 2 hours that the Hero 3+ offered.
Features and specifications
The GoPro Hero 4 black is a very capable sports camera which improves upon the previous model and adds a usable 4K resolution. Here are the technical features
- Weight: 88 g
- Light sensitivity: ISO 100,200,400,800,1600,6400
- Exposure: automatic
- Min shutter speed: 30 s
- Continuous speed shooting: 10 fps, 3 fps, 5 fps
- Microphone: mono, wind noise reduction
- Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery – 1160 mAh
- Memory card slot: microSD card
Customer Reviews and Scores
The GoPro Hero 4 Black is the latest model of a very successful series of sports cameras. It’s the perfect companion for active sports and for landscape photography. We have posted many videos that use cameras from this manufacturer and they look great.
We found 351 customer reviews at the time of writing and they are very positive. The current score is 4.1 stars out of 5. Whilst most reviews were positive, some negative reviewers complain about battery life and about overheating when using the 4K resolution for a long time.
As the majority of the comments are positive, let’s have a look at some of them:
“Powerful ! Works for me as both a professional videographer and an enthusiast”
“Video quality is great!”
“Previously had a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver and comparatively the Hero 4 is far superior to its predecessor”
“Amazing camera!, Is really unbelievable that 4k resolution could be in that small box, I’ve done some clips testing it and for now I’m pretty happy.”
In summary, the GoPro Hero 4 can handle most situations you throw at it, be it at 1080p, slow motion or smooth 4K. Some customers complain about it getting a bit hot during use, but that should be less of an issue when mounted on a quadcopter, as it gets air all around it. Is it the camera you should buy? It depends on your needs. If you have not got a powerful computer that can handle 4K video editing, then probably not. You can still use it at 1080p for stunning slow motion images, but if that is not your interest either, maybe you should look somewhere else. The predecessor GoPro Hero 3+ is cheaper and does the job well if you don’t need the advanced features of the Hero 4. It’s your call in the end.