An Action Camera first class, the GoPro Hero 4 is worth drooling over! And what is so cool about it is that you can take it along on your mountaineering, cycling, snow boarding or even snorkeling trips! Yes it is waterproof up to 131 feet. It is not for nothing that this GoPro Hero 4 has been dubbed “Adventure Edition”. You can even fit your favorite Action Camera to a drone! Available in Silver and Black models, you may select the GoPro Hero 4 Black for shooting 4k videos at 30 fps or 1080 pixels at 120fps. Whereas the Silver edition has a slightly slower processor it renders great results for shooting 1080 at 60fps, as good as the Black version and a whole lot cheaper. Also the GoPro Silver comes with a touch-sensitive LCD screen for easy maneuvering as well.
Mountings for this Action Camera
The camera comes along with a waterproof housing, one flat adhesive mount and another curved, a 3-way pivot arm to attach the camera to your helmet, horizontal and vertical buckles affixed on the bottom of the camera housing and a small locking plug for the buckles. Furthermore you can always buy customized mounts from either GoPro or other third party vendors. This GoPro Action /camera is compatible with more than 60 GoPro mounts.
The navigation is pretty much neat and simplified as compared to earlier models despite the Black edition not having a LCD display of any kind. 3 Buttons on the side take care of all the menu functions there are and the number of clicks required to access any particular function is kept at a minimum. The battery slot has been shifted in the Silver edition to make place for the LCD display though! There is a casing which opens up on the side which contains a MIcro SD slot, a USB adapter socket and an HDMI socket!
GoPro Mobile app for the Action Camera
You can remote control your GoPro Hero 4 Action Camera using the GoPro Mobile app. Actions like start/stop recordings, adjusting the various setting on the camera, transferring media to your phone and framing your shots can be accomplished remotely. The app view is live so it makes up somewhat for the lack of an LCD Display in the black model. Also it is quite convenient to operate the GoPro Hero 4 Action Camera via the mobile app with Wi-Fi. You can even turn on the Camera and start shooting remotely but remember to turn off the Wi-Fi when not in use or else it will drain your Camera batteries.
GoPro Studio for Editing
The company has also provided for a video editing software for your raw footage and you get some cool templates to drag and drop, but it takes some time getting used to. And expect some serious heart-burn trying to edit all those cool videos that you have shot in 4k! But then other application in the market are no better and if you are shooting just 1080x60fps you should be okay.
Battery life of Action Camera
Lithium ions batteries are provided along with this model of Action Camera but this is a sore talking point in an otherwise superior product. No adaptor is provided for charging; only a USB cable for charging with your laptop. Also the usage time is disappointingly low, even lower than the company’s claims.
- While shooting at 1080x30fps the battery works for only about 100 minutes
- 4k at 30fps and it drops to a meager 70 min
- 1080 pixels at120fps 60 min battery time only!!!
This is way below what is offered by its competitors and a serious handicap for an Action Camera especially designed for the outdoors. Moreover the batteries for the Hero4 have been modified so you will not be able to use older version batteries. You might consider buying an external charger though!
Video and Picture quality of Action Camera
Quality and imaging are spot on and best in class, even in low light environment and direct sunlight. Also the GoPro Hero 4 has endless video modes, resolutions and frame rates to experiment with. The exposure is done nicely and naturally, the colors come out looking as real as possible and audio is pretty good too except when it is in its waterproof mounting. But underwater videos have good audio quality too. You can take time lapse videos and have them automatically edited and there is also a Night Lapse mode to take those transition videos of the stars or moon. You have the facility to tag a frame while shooting so that you can find it later quite easily.
What the Hero-4 needed was built in image stabilization and a GPS system. Also a remote control would have been really useful on the adventure trips that this Action Camera GoPro Hero 4 is touted to be designed for.
In conclusion, this is an Action Camera worth buying, even though a mite expensive. It more than makes up for the sheer pleasure of taking some pretty nifty pictures and videos. While the Go Pro Hero 4 currently rules the roost in its class it may face some stiff competition down the road. How that shapes up remains to be seen. If you have had some experience in owning and using an Action Camera do write to me and share your experiences. I would love to hear from you. Keeps your comments coming!!!