The market leading camera company GoPro has recently updated its lineup of actioncams with a new Hero4 model. This new device includes improved 4K video recording and an exceptional touchscreen. But how does it compare with the previous iteration in the GoPro Hero series? Here is a rundown of some of the key features in this camera.

GoPro Hero4 vs GoPro Hero3

GoPro: Hero4 vs. Hero3

Dimensions

There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the two iterations of this device in terms of size. In fact, the dimensions of the devices when not covered by protective housing are both equal to 41 x 59 x 30 mm.

Weight

The latest iteration in the GoPro Hero range is slightly heavier than its predecessors. However, if you were engaging in an active pursuit such as surfing or skiing, you’ll be extremely unlikely to notice any significant difference between the two.

4K recording

This is the first area in which there is a serious divergence between the GoPro Hero4 and the previous iteration in the series. The latest camera is capable of shooting 4K video at twice the frame rate of any other 4K capable camera on the market. GoPro has made 4K video recording a significant focus of its newest device, and it produces outstanding results and fantastic frame rates.

HD recording

The new GoPro Hero4 shoots 1080p video at frame rates of up to 120 fps. This is superior to the previous model in the series, and it in fact makes it the market leader in this department, as no other current actioncam can match this capability.

Slow-motion recording

The latest version of the GoPro Hero series enables some extreme slow-motion recording to be captured. The GoPro Hero4 is capable of recording 120 fps footage at 1080p in slow-motion, ensuring that it provides better slow-motion recording than any other actioncam on the market.

High video bitrate

Bitrates are particularly important for those who require the best standard of video recording possible. The latest version of the GoPro Hero series is offering higher bitrate video recording than the previous iteration in the series, being capable of 60 Mb/s.

Audio

The microphones which have been included in the latest GoPro Hero4 device deliver an incredible dynamic range, which is nearly double that of the previous model in the GoPro Hero series.

Stills

Again, the latest version of the GoPro Hero schools extremely well in this department, with the GoPro Hero4 capable of shooting stills at 30 fps. This is three times the level of the previous device in the series, which was capable of a mere 10 fps.

Superview

The GoPro Hero4 is the first actioncam in the range to be able to shoot 4K or 2.7K Superview footage. This immersive feature which creates a superior wide angle perspective is ideal for professionals in particular.

Protune functionality

GoPro has ensured that the latest GoPro Hero4 camera has the capability to utilize Protune when it is shooting in either its still or video mode. This contrasts with the GoPro Hero3, which is only able to use this function when video is being filmed.

LCD touchscreen

Another innovation included in the GoPro Hero4 is the inclusion of a built-in touchscreen. This is the first time that a camera in the GoPro Hero range has included this feature.

Wireless connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity has been a real priority for the new device in the GoPro Hero range, and this now supplements the Wi-Fi capability that was included in previous devices. The GoPro Hero three was not capable of working with Bluetooth.

Battery

One slight niggle about the GoPro Hero camera is that the weak battery life of the GoPro Hero3 has been repeated. According to estimates provided by the company, if you are shooting 4K 30fps video on the Hero4, then approximately 65 minutes of shooting will be possible before the battery needs to be renewed. This is identical to the parameters of the previous device in the series, and will be disappointing to some critics who have suggested that the paltry battery life is a weakness of the actioncam.

Price

Although the GoPro Hero4 significantly improves on its predecessor in numerous areas, it does it at a premium in terms of price. This new actioncam costs around $100 more than the previous camera in the series retailed for when it was released a year ago. Additionally, the optional Smart Remote will cost an extra $80 to purchase should you wish to take advantage of it.

Verdict

The GoPro Hero4 is a significant step forward over previous devices in the series, and the only real reason not to purchase it would be if one considers the price tag to be prohibitively expensive.