It took us awhile to get around to this review since we had to wait until we had one in inventory. #GoPro was supposed to send us one back in October but we never heard back from them since they last told us that; and therefore we had to wait (you, had to wait). Today, we finally bring you the review of the GoPro Hero4 Silver edition.
We mentioned in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide that we expected the Black Edition to soar off the shelves this holiday, but it looks like that was the one item in that guide we were somewhat in error over. The Silver edition is taking it on by storm, most likely because 1) it has a touch-LCD display on the back and 2) the Black Edition is just far too expensive to justify for most.
One of the most obvious things you will notice about the new lineup of GoPros is that (on the outside), they look almost exactly the same as those of the past. Mostly plastic shell, front display to help you navigate the menus that can accessed via the button on the left side (viewing the camera from the front). The button under the screen switches the mode you are in (video, camera, timelapse, etc). Button on top to take images, start/stop the recording of video and also help navigate the options in the menus.
That button on the left side which accesses the menus (on the Hero3 black, it was for turning on/off WiFi) has one of the biggest changes. The settings menus are now much more easier to navigate through since settings aren’t in the mode list any longer but instead, each mode’s settings pull up separately. So if you are in camera mode and hit the button on the side, only the camera settings will be displayed (video for video, and so forth). So much easier than before when the button on the front switched modes and navigated through all the settings.
Also, while recording video the button on the left side becomes a “highlight” marker. When something important happens while recording, you are able to hit the button and that part of the video will be bookmarked for when you are playing it back on your phone or computer (using GoPro’s software).
On the right side you will find a micro-HDMI output, micro-USB for accessing the data and charging the battery and microSD slot. These are all covered by a small flap that completely removes (try not to lose it eh?)
The touch-screen on the back is used to preview the image on the screen or video being captured, as well as navigate the menus and modes via touch instead of using the buttons (just swipe in from the right side or bottom to access these options).
On the bottom is the battery door which can now be accessed by sliding it open. The battery itself has changed, so you will have to buy all new batteries if you like to have extras like most of us do. The older model batteries will not work with the new line-up.
Ad – Buy it on Amazon: GoPro Hero4 Silver
Features and performance
The new silver model is best described as a mashed up hybrid between the Hero3+ Black and the Hero4 Black. It lacks the 4K recording capabilities of the Hero4 Black while still being able to record 4K at 15fps (frames per second), and contains some of the new options found in the Black model. It can also do everything the Hero3+ Black could. So really, it can be considered the “new” Hero3+ Black edition, while the new Hero4 Black is a new tier model (platinum?). At least it feels that way when looking at the price since the new Black edition is $500 (the silver is $400).
For more users, 4K will not be an option that you will use as not enough playback devices support 4K and by the time 4K becomes more of a standard (which is just around the corner), there will be a new GoPro with even better 4K capabilities. By then it will probably be an upgrade in the Mbps that it will be able to record in.
Currently you have Protune which is now capable of being enabled regardless of the resolution you are in, giving you 45Mbps recording. This is pretty good for 1080 and the 4K capabilities are noticeable in the Black edition because of this, but unless you have a pro-sport hobby I would still say your best option is 1080p as 60fps is perfect and it looks great regardless if you’re using the Black or the Silver edition (given our testing of the Black edition is minimal since we don’t have one on-site) [that was a long sentence].
The Silver edition can record in the following formats:
There is a big improvement in sharpness in comparison to the Hero3 lineup. Image quality in both still images and video are greatly improved due to the upgrade in lens and sensor, and low-light support is also much better (a video demonstrating this can be found below). It is most definitely a formidable action camera that will allow you some of the best shots both on the ground or in the air. Drone enthusiasts will also get a kick out of the footage this will bring them.
WiFi speeds have improved allowing smoother previewing using your smartphone and you will also see slightly better battery performance than the previous lineup of GoPros. This includes using the LCD screen on the back since it doesn’t drain a lot of power and has an auto-shutoff feature (which can be customized in the options).
With the waterproof housing it can be submerged up to 40 meters in water, just like the other lineups and functions better under water than any action cam we have played with. Enough to say that it made us want to setup a road trip to the nearest beach to play with it some more (only it’s a bit cold for that at the moment, so the idea fell through).
As mentioned, the GoPro Hero4 Silver is a formidable action camera which should function best for most users (only the most extreme sports enthusiasts and professional videographers should chase after the Black). The selection of modes, resolutions and many other features is extensive allowing you to shoot in any conditions. The only issue is the price. This line-up launched with a $100 bump to the silver and black editions. If they wanted to do it that why, it would have been best to call the silver the black and the black something new like diamond or platinum. This affected its score due to mixed emotions about this. Regardless, the silver edition will most likely continue flying off the shelves as once again, it’s a camera that every type of user will enjoy immensely. We gave it a 8.5/10 this round.
Here are a few great videos captured by average people with the Silver, no pros no crazy action sports, just them having a fun time and giving it a spin…
83g (2.9oz) Camera with housing: 147g (5.2oz)
H.264 codec, .mp4 file format
Record a continuous video loop that overwrites itself until you press the shutter button to stop it and save.
SuperView video mode captures the world’s most immersive wide-angle perspective. It allows you to capture more of yourself and your surroundings in the shot, and it provides full widescreen playback.
|SuperView Mode||Video Resolution|
|1080p SuperView||1920 x 1080|
|720p SuperView||1280 x 720|
Auto Low Light:
Automatically adjusts frame rates according to lighting conditions for enhanced low-light performance. Frame rates are adjusted in medium- and low-light conditions. Playback occurs at the selected resolution and frame rate.
|Resolution||Field of View (FOV)||Screen Resolution|
|12MP (Default)||Wide||4000 x 3000|
|7MP||Wide, Medium||3000 x 2250|
|5MP||Medium||2560 x 1920|
Continuous Photo (up to 30 seconds):
Hold down the shutter button to continuously capture a series of photos until shutter button is released.
3 photos/1 second (Default)
5 photos/1 second
10 photos/1 second
Capture a single photo with a customizable exposure time of up to 30 seconds.
Capture up to 30 photos per second
30 photos/1 second (Default), 30 photos/2 seconds, 30 photos/3 seconds
10 photos/1 second, 10 photos/2 seconds, 10 photos/3 seconds
5 photos/1 second
3 photos/1 second
Automatically capture a series of photos at timed intervals.
Time Lapse Photo Intervals:
0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60 seconds
Capture a series of photos at specific intervals and exposure times.
Night Lapse Photo Intervals:
15, 20, 30 and 60 seconds
2, 5, 30 and 60 minutes
Protune unlocks the camera’s full potential, delivering minimally compressed, cinema-caliber video optimized for professional productions, and advanced manual controls for photos and video. Flex your creativity with customizable settings for Color, ISO Limit, White Balance, Sharpness and Exposure—and enjoy the greatest degree of manual control available in a GoPro camera.
- Captures images with less compression, giving content creators higher quality for professional productions.
- Protune enables manual control of White Balance, Color, ISO Limit, Sharpness, Shutter and Exposure Value Compensation for advanced control and customization of your videos and photos.
- Protune is available for all video and photo resolutions.
Battery + Charging:
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Rated at 1160mAH, 3.8V, 4.4Wh
- Format: 48kHz sampling rate, AAC compression
- Advanced AGC (automatic gain control) with multi-band compressor
- Internal Microphone:
- Approximately 2x greater dynamic range (compared to the HERO3+ Black Edition)
- External Microphone: Stereo supported with 3.5mm microphone adapter (sold separately).
- Connecting to a computer for playback/file transfer/charging
- Supports 3.5mm stereo microphone via optional adapter (sold separately)
- Supports playback to composite TV via optional cable (sold separately)
- Supports playback to HDTV via optional cable (sold separately)
- Memory card
- microSD memory card with a Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required.
- Up to 64GB capacity supported
- Record times vary with resolutions and frame rates
Photo + Video Playback:
Preview and play back videos and photos on your camera’s touch display.
Micro HDMI to HDMI cable required (sold separately)
Note: HDMI playback depends on the resolution of the device and is certified up to 1080p.
Mini USB to composite cable required (sold separately)
Use your phone or tablet to preview and play back videos and photos.
Connect via mini USB to USB cable (included), or copy files from the microSD card to your computer.
Minimum system requirements for best playback on Mac® and Windows® computers
- Mac OS® X 10.8 and later / Microsoft Windows 7, 8.x
- Intel® Core 2 Duo™ or Intel® Dual Core™
- 4GB RAM
- Mac: Graphics card shipped with Intel® Dual Core™ Macs or better / Windows: Graphics card that supports OpenGL1.2 or later
- 5400 RPM internal hard drive (7200 RPM drive or SSD recommended)
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.