GoPro might be synonymous with the extreme sports crowd, but the company hopes to expand its market to the professional field with their flagship camera the Hero4 Black. Design-wise, it sports the now iconic boxy look and measures a mere 2.8 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches with the included case. Not only does the case provide the much needed mount, it also makes it also is waterproofed to SCUBA-grade depth of 131 feet. As an added bonus, experts found it added increased ruggedness against shocks and falls.
The biggest draw of the Hero4 Black is its faster processor, which allows it shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second (FPS). While the Silver edition shoots 4K as well, it is only at 15 FPS, something even GoPro doesn't promote using. When shooting at 1080, the Black offers a whopping 120 FPS rate. Whether they used 4K or 1080p, experts consider it to be the best action camera on the market. Although they found the contrast and saturation were a bit flat they add this led to increased detail and more accurate colors. They noticed unsurprisingly that as their resolutions decreased so too did the video quality. Interestingly, they found the 480p videos to be fairly crisp considering the limited resolution.
Besides video, the Hero4 Black can also take pictures with their time lapse option. Critics were able to take relatively crisp and detailed photos in bright light. Things took a turn for the worse in low light as most of their pictures turned out grainy though PC Mag describes the images as "still very useable."
The biggest drawback for them, however, was the lack of image stabilization. Although they didn't mind it when taking more action-centric videos, it was a bit too shaky for normal use. Still, they add the wide field of view does minimize it a bit.
The ability to shoot 4K video comes with a price and that's battery life. When put to the test, it lasted experts a little over an hour on 4K with Wi-Fi disabled. At lower resolutions they were able to eke out around two hours. While the life might not be great, the battery is removable so it's possible to extend use by carrying around some extras.
While it might have some shortcomings, overall reviewers consider the GoPro Hero4 Black to be the best action camera on the market for those who need 4K video. Toms Guide states, "The GoPro Hero4 Black offers top-notch performance. And it's worth the price…if you're looking for the best there is…" Digital Trends adds, "… …if you're looking to future proof all your all of your content, the Black is a no brainer."
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