GoPro Hero 4 Black Review

Divers who share this will always see more fish in their dives

    Another year passed…

    I remember October 2013, when we were all excited to hear that GoPro Hero 3+ has been released.

    It was a high quality year in terms of photos and videos underwater.

    In August 2013, GoPro announced (I also announced it here in DiveWithSeaman.com) the name of the next GoPro product: GoPro Hero 4.

    There were arguments about the technical specs, features and the appearance of GoPro Hero 4.

    At last, October 2014 came and we finally met the brand-new GoPro.

    This year, there are three new GoPro family member:

    1. GoPro Hero 4 Black
    2. GoPro Hero 4 Silver
    3. GoPro Hero

    It took sometime for me to buy these products and to test them.

    But before October 2014 ends, I am able to share a detailed GoPro Hero 4 Black Review with you.

    Below is the most detailed GoPro Hero 4 Black review on the Internet.

    For detailed product reviews and scuba tips that will help you make more comfortable and safe dives, you can subscribe to our e-mail list by using the form located on the upright of this page.

    First, I want to share the features, technical specs and FAQs. I will be sharing my personal GoPro Hero 4 experiences under the “What Does Seaman Say” and “Pros & Cons” titles.

    Let’s start the GoPro Hero 4 Black review.

    GoPro Hero 4 BlackFeatures of GoPro Hero 4 Black

    First of all, I want to introduce you the features of GoPro Hero 4 Black, those make it better than the whole GoPro family members.

    1-Doubled Processor

    GoPro Hero 4 Black has 2 times faster processor compared to GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition.

    This feature increases the general quality of the photos and videos taken with it.

    Your images will be sharper with more details.

    Videos will have doubled frame rates as well.

    2-4K Resolution

    This is the feature that every GoPro fan is excited about.

    With GoPro Hero 4 Black, we are now able to have 4K resolution @ 30 fps in our videos.

    You can see the list below in Technical Specs for details about video resolutions.

    3-12 MP Photos

    Photo quality is quite good.

    We can shoot 12 MP photos.

    Time Lapse Mode lets us to take continuous photos in intervals you may select from 0.5 seconds to 1 minute.

    4-After Dark Settings

    Wouldn’t you want to customize your exposure settings up to 30 seconds?

    This is valid for both a single shot or in Time Lapse Mode.

    You know how hard it might become to capture high quality snapshot of a lighthouse in dark.

    With Night Photo and Night Lapse Modes, this is becoming easier for everyone.

    5-Wi-Fi & BluetoothGoPro Hero 4 Black-Share

    With this valuable feature, you can use your Smartphone/tablet as a remote control within a range of 180 meters. You can even connect to multiple GoPro cameras!

    By the help of the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can easily connect to the GoPro App and Smart Remote (sold separately).

    This feature is very helpful for shot previews.

    In addition to these, you can share your media via SMS, e-mail, Facebook and more…

    6-Video Tagging

    You can tag any moment of your videos with this feature.

    This is good if you want to turn back to that specific moment later for editing or sharing by using either GoPro App and/or GoPro Studio.

    You can use your GoPro Hero 4 Black itself or Smart Remote as well as GoPro App to tag your videos.

    GoPro Hero 4 Black-SuperView7-SuperView Mode

    By using this mode, you can have more details in your videos.

    SuperView is a lot vide than the traditional view.

    Works best in selfie videos.

    8-Auto Low Light Mode

    If you don’t want to make calculations, this mode will work well for you.

    In a low light environment, your GoPro Hero 4 Black will do its best for you in this mode.

    It will automatically change the frame rates during your record for best results.

    9-QuikCapture Mode

    I know what it means to miss a moment while holding your camera and getting angry with yourself.

    With QuikCapture Mode, your GoPro Hero 4 Black will go in a rush.

    This means that in this mode, you simply start to record by pushing a single button.

    Push and hold the same button for 2 seconds to start to take Time Laps photos.

    This mode is useful especially working with moving objects (like a fish underwater).

     

    Buy GoPro Hero 4 Black From Amazon.com Now

     

     

    10-Audio Performance

    GoPro Hero 4 Black has doubled the performance of its mic by almost doubling its range.

    The sounds are cleaner and smoother.

    Besides, GoPro Hero 4 Black is compatible with most of the professional external mics.

    11-Manual Control

    With what the producers call ProTune, GoPro Hero 4 Black can be manually customized.

    You can customize the settings for White Balance, Color, ISO, Exposure Value and Sharpness.

    This will delight the professionals who were complaining about customizing settings in previous editions.

    12-Easier Camera Control

    You will notice a new button in GoPro Hero 4 Black.

    This button is responsible for adjusting the camera settings, which makes it easier for us in terms of navigation.

    Don’t like to read? Watch the review video below!

     

    Technical Specs of GoPro Hero 4 Black

    GoPro Hero 4 Black has three different editions which are:

    1. Standard
    2. Surf
    3. Music

    Technical specs of these three editions are the same.

    Only “what is in the box” is different. Surf and Music additions have some extra tools in addition to the Standard edition.

    Surf edition comes with mounts for a surfboard, whereas the Music edition comes with mounts for musical instruments plus a Mic Stand Mount.

    You can see “what is in the box” for the Standard edition in What Is In the Box section below.

    1-WeightGoPro Hero 4 Black-Back

    • 88 grams of camera weight
    • 152 grams of weight with housing

    2-Video Resolution

    • 4K @30, 25 and 24 fps with a 3840×2160 screen resolution
    • 4K SuperView @24 fps only with a 3840×2160 screen resolution
    • 2.7K @50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps with a 2704×1520 screen resolution
    • 2.7K SuperView @30 and 25 fps with a 2704×1520 screen resolution
    • 2.7K 4:3 @30 and 25 fps with a 2704×2028 screen resolution
    • 1440p @80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps with a 1920×1440 screen resolution
    • 1080p @120, 90, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps with a 1920×1080 screen resolution
    • 1080p SuperView @80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps with a 1920×1080 screen resolution
    • 960p @ 120, 60 and 50 fps with a 1280×960 screen resolution
    • 720p @120, 60, 50, 30 and 25 fps with a 1280×720 screen resolution
    • 720p SuperView @120, 60 and 50 fps with a 1280×720 screen resolution
    • WVGA @240 fps only with a 848×480 screen resolution

    3-Format

    • .mp4

    4-Photo in Video

    Take Time Laps photos during your video records in 5, 10, 30 and 60 seconds of intervals. Video resolutions are listed when also taking Time Laps photos.

    • 1440p @30, 25 and 24 fps
    • 1080p @ 30, 25 and 24 fps
    • 720p @ 60, 50, 30 and 25 fps

     

    Buy GoPro Hero 4 Black From Amazon.com Now

     

     

    5-Photo Resolutions

    • 12MP with a 4000×3000 screen resolution
    • 7MP with a 3000×2250 screen resolution
    • 5MP with a 2560×1920 screen resolution

    6-Battery

    • Lithium-ion rechargeable
    • 1160mAH, 3.8V, 4.4Wh

    For a more detailed technical specs, you can visit the related GoPro.com page here (will be opened in a new window).

    What Is In the Box?

    When you buy GoPro Hero 4 Black Standard edition, you’ll find the following stuff in the box you are holding.

    • Hero 4 Black Camera
    • Waterproof (up to 40 meters) housing
    • Battery
    • Skeleton backdoor
    • Curved mount
    • Flat mount
    • Quick release buckles
    • Pivot Arm (3 way)
    • USB cable

    See the unboxing GoPro Hero 4 Black video below!

    There will be surfer board mounts for Surf edition in addition to the list.
    There will be Mic Stand Mount and musical instrument mounts for Music edition in addition to the list.
    FAQ

    Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Frequently Asked Questions About GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition

    Below are the FAQs that you possibly have the same questions in mind before buying a GoPro Hero 4 Black.

     

    Q: Does GoPro Hero 4 Black have an LCD screen on it?

    A: No, but you can buy an LCD screen separately.

     

    Q: Does battery last less than one hour?

    A: It depends on the features you use at the same time. I used 4K @ 30 fps with Wi-Fi on and the battery did its job for 50 minutes. I charged it between two of my dives. On the second dive, I turned off the Wi-Fi and I was able to record my dive for 1 hours and 10 minutes.

     

    Q: I have GoPro Hero 3+ batteries and charger. Do they work with GoPro Hero 4 Black?

    A: Nop. Hero 3+ batteries are NOT compatible with GoPro Hero 4 Black.

     

    Q: Does LCD screen that I bought for Hero 3+ fit to GoPro Hero 4 Black?

    A: Yes, it does.

     

    Q: What Is the Size of GoPro Hero 4 Black compared to Hero 3+?

    A: The very same size.

     

    Q: Does GoPro Hero 4 Black comes with a waterproof housing?

    A: Yes, it does (You can read “What Is In the Box” section above).

     

    Q: Does GoPro Hero 4 Black comes with a remote control?

    A: No, but you can buy a remote control separately.

     

    Q: Does GoPro Hero 4 Black comes with an SD Card?

    A: No, but you can buy an SD Card separately. The card must have a Class 10 or UHS-1 rating, up to 64 GB.

     

    Photos & Videos Taken By GoPro Hero 4 Black

    You can see some photos and videos below.

    As you can see, you can take professional looking photos and videos with such a little sized camera.

     

     

    All photos are from GoPro.com
     
     

     

    And an amateur underwater video test 4K @ 30 fps

    Pros & Cons of GoPro Hero 4 Black

    Below are the pros and cons of GoPro Hero 4 Black, based on my personal GoPro Hero 4 Black experience.

    If you have a pro and/or con that you want to add to this title, feel free to post it by using the comment section at the bottom.

    Pros

    Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    • 4K @30 fps resolution
    • 1080p @120 fps slow motion
    • 12 MP camera
    • Great sharpness in images
    • Light weight (ideal for travelling)
    • Manual control (especially the customizable exposure value at night)
    • Lowlight Mode really works good enough
    • Wi-Fi connection
    • Improved menu navigation
    • GoPro App works fine (I even use it for underwater before my dive. I just check that the GoPro Hero 4 Black mounted on my head strap has the right angle that I wanted to be)

    Cons

    • Battery could have been improved, it doesn’t last long enough
    • GoPro Hero 3+ batteries DON’T fit GoPro Hero 4
    • No LCD screen
    • Overheat problems occur in certain modes (is not a problem if you are going to use it underwater like me)
    • No SD Card or remote control included
    • Cannot connect the camera to Mac Book or iMac
    • May experience Wi-Fi disconnections and sometimes it troubles re-connecting
    • Connection to a Smart TV is okay with the proper HDMI cable, but no sound, just the video

    Comparison of GoPro Hero 4 Black With Hero 4 Silver and Hero 3+ Versions

     

    GoPro

    Hero 4 Black

    Hero 4 Silver

    Hero 3+ Black

    Hero 3+ Silver

    Video Resolution

    4K @ 30fps

    2.7K @ 50fps

    1440p @ 80fps

    1080p @120fps

    960p @ 120fps

    720p @ 120fps

    WVGA @ 240fps

    4K @ 15fps

    2.7K @ 30fps

    1440p @ 30fps

    1080p @ 60fps

    960p @ 100fps

    720p @ 120fps

    WVGA @ 240fps

    4K @ 15fps

    2.7K @ 30fps

    1440p @ 48fps

    1080p @ 60fps

    960p @ 100fps

    720p @ 120fps

    WVGA @ 240fps

    NONE

    NONE

    NONE

    1080p @ 60fps

    960p @ 60fps

    720p @ 120fps

    WVGA @ 120fps

    Photo Resolution
    12MP
    12MP
    12MP
    10MP
    Weight (With Housing)
    152gr
    147gr
    136gr
    136gr
    Lens
    F2.8
    F2.8
    F2.8
    F2.8
    Wi-Fi
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    Bluetooth
    YES
    YES
    NONE
    NONE
    LCD Screen
    NONE
    YES
    NONE
    NONE
    Battery
    1160mAh
    1160mAh
    1180mAh
    1180mAh
    Photos per Second (Burst Mode)
    30
    30
    30
    10
    Night Photo & Lapse
    YES
    YES
    NONE
    NONE
    Protune
    Video & Photo
    Video & Photo
    Video
    NONE
    Video Tagging (Highlight Tag)
    YES
    YES
    NONE
    NONE
    Remote Control
    Music and Surf Editions Only
    NONE
    YES
    NONE
    Dimension
    41x59x30mm
    41x59x30mm
    41x59x30mm
    41x59x30mm

    Details

    Details

    Details

    Details

     

    Accesories For GoPro Hero 4 Black

    I want to introduce you a couple of accessories that would be handy for you for your GoPro Hero 4 Black. These are not the whole accessories that is compatible with GoPro Hero 4 Black. I wanted to list the most helpful ones that I also use/plan to use.

    GoPro Head Strap1-GoPro Headstrap Mount & Clip

    You can attach your GoPro Hero 4 Black to this headstrap and record your adventure from your angle of view. You don’t need to hold your camera by the help of this accessory.

    2-SanDisk Class 10 SD CardSanDisc Micro SD

    You’ll be needing an SD card before you start to use your GoPro.

    I advise you guys to buy the 64 GB version, because 4K @ 30 fps will need enough space.

    SanDisk is compatible with GoPro, because GoPro requires a 10 class SD card.

    3-Wasabi Power Battery for GoPro Hero 4Wasabi Power Battery

    I advise you to buy this battery for extra power for your GoPro.

    As I have mentioned in this review, GoPro still has some issues with battery. You can increase your time of recording without a need of charging.

    Includes 2 batteries.

    4-GoPro Rechargable Battery for GoPro Hero 4GoPro Hero 4 Black Recharable Battery

    If you want to use the original GoPro Hero 4 battery instead of Wasabi Power Battery, you can buy one of these to add extra power to your GoPro.

    5-GoPro Smart Remote

    GoPro Smart RemoteThis remote control is for camera control.

    You can on-off your camera, reach shutter and settings.

    It has a range of 180 meters.

    Doesn’t have something to do if you are going to use your GoPro Hero 4 underwater like me.

    6-GoPro LCD Touch BacPacGoPro LCD BacPac

    Want to see what you are shooting?

    Then this accesory is a “must buy” for you.

    GoPro Dual Battery Charger7-GoPro Hero 4 Dual Battery Charger

    You can charge two batteries together with this battery charger.

    Comes with a battery.

    What Does Seaman Say?

    As a scuba diver, I want to record what I see in my dives.

    If I plan to use a video recorder to be able to record one of my special dives (Blue Hole in Dahab, for instance) from A to Z, I use my GoPro.Interview

    With the ability of 4K @ 30 fps, there is no doubt about the video quality of GoPro Hero 4 Black now.

    If you don’t own a Mac (there is a connection issue with Mac) and your computer is ready to upload 4K @ 30 fps videos, you should really consider buying a GoPro Hero 4 Black.

    The videos are compressed well, but I advise you to buy a SanDisk 64 GB SD Card for enough storage.

     

    Buy GoPro Hero 4 Black From Amazon.com Now

     

     

    On the other hand, if I was planning to take some photos rather than video, I was using an underwater camera (like SeaLife Micro HD+ now).

    That was because GoPro was unable to customize the exposure value, ISO and etc.

    However, this new segment gives us the opportunity for customization.

    That’s why I now prefer to use my GoPro Hero 4 Black in my dives even when I plan to take photos.

    Both professionals and amateurs can easily take quality photos and videos now.

    There are some cons, as every product has that I have mentioned in Pros and Cons section above.

    But when I compare the pros with cones, pros are much more than the cons both in terms of importance and number.

    However, if you are planning to become a pro/amateur photographer, then you should consider buying a camera instead of an action cam.

    Because you should be learning about more customization, as well as lights, flashers and strobes.

    ***Example***

    If you are a webmaster, it is not easy to write codes, run the software you need with a tablet. You should be buying a PC, or at least a laptop. This way, you can save time and energy. But most importantly, you can reach your goals.

    If you are an internet surfer and enjoy to read e-books, on the other hand, tablets will have great offers for you.

    Please share your photos, videos and personal experience with your GoPro Hero 4 Black, ask any question before buying by using the comment box below.

    goprohero4

     

    Divers who share this will always see more fish in their dives

      Comments

      1. sreekanth says:

        Hi
        May I know, does go pro hero 4 black standard edition got remote control? At the last of review it shown as only on music and surf edition got the remote control. Is nt it?
        Thank you

        • Hello Sreekanth,

          Unfortunately, GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition doesn’t come with a remote control :/

          And yes, only Surf and Music editions have a default remote control with them.

          GoPro Remote Control can be bought seperately.

          Thanks for visiting.

      2. Mark Kanzler says:

        How much does the Hero 4 Black weigh with the LCD attachment, battery, and larger (extended back) WP housing installed?

        • Hello there Mark,

          Thanks for visiting.

          The LCD BacPac adds around (more or less) 1 cm of thickness to the camera set up and 34g in weight.

          The camera itself have 88g but with the housing will have more or less 152g. So in total the camera with the LCD and housing will have
          186g.

          Take care.

      3. Hi Seaman,
        I’m going to swim with humpback whales in August and would love to take amazing photos and videos (but I’m more into photos), would you recommend the GoPro Hero 4 Black or the Sealife Micro HD+?
        I understand from reading some articles that the Sealife is good for underwater photos but I wouldn’t be able to use it for other things whereas the GoPro is great for other things but not as amazing in taking underwater photos.
        For the same or similar price, I would like to be able to use it for other things as well as taking great u/w photos.
        Can you share your opinions please?

        • Hello Lisa,

          Thanks for visiting divewithseaman.com

          This is the most popular question for underwater photographers/videographers, a good question and doesn’t have an absolute answer.

          Well, I use both SeaLife Micro HD+ and GoPro Hero 4 Black.

          Please let me tell you where I use each of them, so this can also be the answer you look for.

          If I am going to make a wreck dive, a reef (like The Great Barrier Reef in Australia) or a pool session while I am conducting an open water diver course (to show my students how well they did/what to improve), I definitely use my GoPro. Unless I forget to take my SeaLife Micro HD+ with me, I don’t use my GoPro for taking u/w photos.

          On the other hand, if I like to take photos of an underwater model, a giant grouper or a tiny sea slug, I use SeaLife Micro HD+.

          I have talked about this also in my SeaLife Micro HD review (in comments) that I advise GoPro in macro videos and SeaLife Micro HD in micro or middle field photos.

          If you are an action cam person, who likes to record what you see, go with GoPro.

          If you want to be an u/w photographer and want a kickstart, choose SeaLife Micro HD.

          Ofcourse this is my thoughts, my personal choice as a scuba diver diving since 1996.

          I suggest you to make you decision with regard to these.

          And if you decide to buy a GoPro, you may choose to be patient. Because in a couple of months (what I think is in october this year), GoPro is going to introduce their latest family member with us. I see you are going to dive with humpies in august (and I am jealous right now: ), so you may not have enough time to wait, but I wanted to share this news with all divewithseaman.com readers through this comment answer.

          Hope this helps and please share how humpback wales are doing in august.

          Take care.

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