Action Cameras

GoPro Hero 4 Black Review

gopro hero 4 black review

Being the first action camera from GoPro that’s capable of capturing footage in 4K, the Hero 4 Black sets a high standard for rivals aiming to compete. A true 4K video recorded at 30fps is hard to resist for any outdoor hobbyists. High speed recording up to 240fps is also available, making it even more of an attractive deal for slow-motion fans. Its position as GoPro’s top-of-the-line action camera was only toppled last year when the company announced the availability of the more advanced GoPro Hero 5 Black. Good news is with such move from the company, the Hero 4 Black has received a significant price drop of up to $200 or more.

What's Hot
  • 4K mode delivers spectacular image quality
  • Compatible with limitless mounts and accessories
  • ProTune mode for easier operation and better quality
  • Editing software included
  • High frame rate in full HD resolution
  • Time-lapse photo option
  • Rugged waterproof case
What's Not
  • LCD screen sold separately
  • Short battery life
  • No image stabilization
 

GoPro Hero 4 Black Design

When it comes to design, there aren’t any stark differences that separate Hero 4 Black with the rest of GoPro’s cameras. It sports a tiny rectangle construction hardly weighing 4 ounces when popped out of its waterproof case. The case is a must if you want to take the camera sea diving as it’s not waterproof on its own. The top, front, and right side of the camera host a button each. The back panel is completely empty. Yes, this great action camera, unfortunately, is not equipped with an LCD screen. You have two options to get around this problem: one, buy the optional LCD BacPac and two, use your smartphone.

GoPro Hero 4 Black Key Features

This camera is Wi-Fi enabled. Through the mobile app it comes with (available for both iOS and Android devices), you can control the camera using your smartphone. And by control, I mean everything. From instant playback, previewing and streaming your videos, and changing the settings. The latter makes life a whole lot easier as controlling the camera via its on-board buttons is rather frustrating. The battery isn’t too impressive, giving you roughly 70 minutes of recording time with the Wi-Fi turned off. It’s a major drawback actually when you compare it with the more affordable GoPro Hero+, but then the latter maxes out at 1080p and its battery is non-removable.

GoPro Hero 4 Black Recording Options and Performance

Just like Hero 5 Black, this camera can shoot videos in 4K UHD resolution at 30, 25, and 24fps. For action shooters, you might want to turn it down a notch to 2.7K as it allows you to capture the motion at 60fps. The quality is better than the traditional HD 1080p, and you’ll get smoother footage than 4K. Highest rate of 240fps is available in 720p, but you’re going to have to record in Narrow FOV mode. The Ultra Wide mode gives you the diagonal 170-degree field of view, giving you the largest recording frame. The catch is you’re bound to notice significant fisheye effect. Overall image quality is great. Heck, you’re going to be astounded for sure with the 4K video it captures. Audio is good enough, but the quality drops quickly if you put the camera into its waterproof housing with the rear door shut.

Conclusion

Right now, you can get GoPro Hero 4 Black for less than $300, which is far lower than its opening price point during its launch (more than $500). With all it has to offer, such price seems so little in comparison. Indie filmmakers as well as casual adventurers will love this little guy as soon as they catch a glimpse of the 4K videos it shoots. Not to say the number of available mounts for virtually any outdoor activities is going to make life so much easier too. The so-so battery and the absence of in-camera touchscreen might be a concern to some, but at this price range GoPro Hero 4 Black is simply too strong to beat.

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