GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO)’s latest action camera Hero4 is a sweet treat for adventure junkies. The company said at its third-quarter earnings call that initial sales of Hero4 Black as well as Silver Edition have been very strong. The new actioncams have many new features such as an improved 4K video recording. Let’s compare the high-end Hero4 Black Edition with the the company’s previous flagship Hero3+ Black Edition.
1- Dimensions & weight
GoPro hasn’t changed the shape and size of its cameras in the past few years. Both Hero4 and Hero3+ come with 41x59x30 mm dimensions. They both are compatible with the same cases. GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition, which has a touchscreen display, comes with the touchscreen-friendly Touch Backdoor. The Hero4 is slightly bulkier at 88g compared to 74g for the Hero3+. With housing, the weight goes up to 152g (Hero4) and 136 (Hero3+). However, the excess weight might not make much difference.
2- Lens aperture & sensor size
All the GoPro action cameras sport the F2.8 aperture ultra-wide angle lenses. Both Hero4 and Hero3+ Black use the same 1/2.3 inch sensors with 4000 x 3000 pixels.
3- 4K video recording & HD recording
Both cameras have 4K video recording capabilities. But the Hero4 stands out by shooting at double the frame rate (30 fps compared to 15 fps for Hero3+) than its predecessor. It also shoots better 2.7K footage, thanks to its 50 fps frame rate. In terms of HD recording, Hero4 stands out once again. It can record at frame rates of up to 120 fps at 1080p, compared to just 60 fps for Hero3+.
4- High bitrate
A higher bitrate means better video quality. Hero4 has a high bitrate (H.264) of 60mb/s, better than 45mb/s for the Hero3+.
Protune allows users to record higher quality videos with less compression. With Hero4, protune can be used for videos as well as photos. But you can use it to shoot only videos on Hero3+.
6- Wireless connectivity
The latest Hero4 cameras offer Bluetooth as well as built-in WiFi connectivity. But its predecessor has only WiFi connectivity. Anyway, both cameras are compatible with GoPro App and Smart Remote.
All GoPro cameras use microSD cards with storage capacity of up to 64GB. They require a UHS-1 or Class 10 rating.
Battery is one very important thing for action camera fans. In terms of battery, the Hero3+ seems to have an edge. It comes with 1180mAh battery compared to 1160mAh for Hero4. Though the difference in battery capacity appears to be small, power-hungry Hero4 saps battery much faster.
9- Hero4 vs Hero3+: price
GoPro has priced its Hero4 Black Edition at $499.99, much higher than $349.99 for Hero3+.