Why did I get the Hero 4 Silver over the Hero 4 Black and the GoPro Hero 3+ Black?


Camera GoPro HERO4 Silver | Nikon D80

I just purchased the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition one month ago. When the Hero 4 came out I had to try it and I ended up returning my GoPro Hero 3+. Why did I get the Hero 4 Silver over the Hero 4 Black and the GoPro Hero 3+ Black?


I just purchased the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition one month ago. When the Hero 4 came out I had to try it and I ended up returning my GoPro Hero 3+. Why did I get the Hero 4 Silver over the Hero 4 Black and the GoPro Hero 3+ Black?

Three Reasons:

1. The Hero 4 Black is $499 and does not come with an LCD (because of heat issues from 4k they could not put on an LCD).
So really if you bought an LCD BacPac for the Black edition, it would cost you a total of $579 compared to the $399 of the Silver. This is a $180 difference!

2. The two models BOTH have improved sharpness compared to the Hero3+ Black.
This video compares the sharpness of the Hero3+ Black, to theGoPro Hero4 Silver, and the Hero4 Black:

Watch this video to compare the GoPro Hero4 Black to the Hero3+ Black:

Then watch this video to compare theGoPro Hero4 Black to the GoPro Hero4 Silver:

As you can see the sharpness between the Hero 4 Black and the Silver is the SAME. They both have the same upgraded sensor/lens and it’s definitely improved over the 3+ Black. Yes, the 4 Black can do 4k at 30 FPS, 2.7k48, and 1080p120 while the 4 Silver can only do 2.7k at 30 FPS, 1080p60 (it can do 4k 15 FPS but that is not really usable for most purposes). But to be honest, that is the only improvement and it is a $180 difference! At this moment I cannot justify 4k for that much of an additional increase. I am happy with what the 4 Silver offers AND I get an LCD which is extremely convenient.

Camera GoPro HERO4 Silver

3. Compare the battery life of the Hero 4 Black vs the Hero 4 Silver here: http://gopro.com/support/articles/hero4-camera-battery-life

At 2.7k 30 FPS, the Black only lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes while the Silver lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes!! This is the SAME resolution. Why? Because the Black has a more powerful processor to handle the 4k, and this causes it to eat up more battery regardless of the frame rate.

Given these three reasons, I do not believe the Hero 4 Black is worth the cost. But the Hero 4 Silver is definitely a bargain and worthy of an upgrade from the 3+ Black edition. Don’t forget in addition to the cost, the Hero 4 Silver has identical specs as the Hero 4 Black (except for 4k 30 FPS). This means you will also get (compared to the 3+ Black):

– Upgraded sensor with better ability to resolve detail
– 2x the WiFi Speed (less lag and faster transfer speeds)
– 2x the Dynamic Range for Audio Quality – watch this video comparing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqXVPyTCr-E&list=UUTs-d2DgyuJVRICivxe2Ktg
– Bluetooth Capability
– Night Photo Mode (and ability to control shutter speed)
– Night Time Lapse Mode (and ability to control shutter speed)
– Protune for Photos
– Auto white balance in Protune (enables higher bitrate while allowing for zero editing in post)
– LCD TouchScreen (Silver only)

Camera GoPro HERO4 Silver

All of these are the same upgrades on the Hero 4, so really you’re trading $180 and the LCD screen on the Silver for 4k 30 FPS and decreased battery life on the Black edition. Each person may have their own opinion but I think this is a big problem for most users because the cost does not justify the upgrade.

I haven’t had too much of a chance to test it out, but quick photos and videos showed it truly is sharper than the Hero 3+ Black edition. And given the video links I posted above, it is the same sharpness as the Hero 4 Black (unless you shoot in 4k of course). The touch screen is a GREAT addition and very responsive. It works like I would want it to so I am happy with that.

Battery Life with LCD

I also recently tested out the battery life with the LCD screen always on. The Hero 4 Silver comes with an auto-off of 1 minute and can be set at either 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, or always on. The LCD brightness can also be set at high, medium, and low. My first test was with the LCD always on, brightness set to high, recording 2.7k 30 FPS. I was able to get 1 hour and 40 minutes out of the battery! That is pretty amazing as I did not expect that with the high brightness setting. I then did a test with the LCD off with the same frame rate and got 1 hour and 45 minutes (I did this 3 times with the same result).

This means the LCD draws very little power (which is really really great)! For scuba diving, you will need the screen always on as you cannot activate it again once it turns off under water (unless you stop recording and record again but that can be annoying) and knowing it doesn’t affect the battery significantly is a great plus. I also tested the Hero 3+ Black in 2.7k 30 and got 1 hour and 38 minutes so the battery life between the two cameras really is the same; even though the Hero4 is 20 mAH less it seems to give more battery life (1180 mAH in the Hero 3+ while 1160 in the Hero 4).

Camera GoPro HERO4 Silver

Battery BacPac

For those curious I also tested the new Battery BacPac (claims 15% increased battery life) and compared it to the older Hero 3+ Battery BacPac. I used the Hero 4 Silver and recorded at 2.7k 30 FPS with LCD off. I got 2 hours and 57 minutes with new Battery BacPac compared with 2 hours and 27 minutes with the older Battery BacPac! So improvement of about 30 minutes is not bad at all! This is more than 15% (it was 35% with my test)! GoPro claims the Hero 4 Silver should get 3 hours with the Battery BacPac with 2.7k 30 FPS so I definitely would consider that result accurate.


Overall a great improvement and the recent firmware update released on the 14th of October has fixed all the minor bugs that were out there. I would highly recommend getting this especially if you are upgrading from an older model like the Hero 2 and Hero 3. If you have the money it is worth the upgrade from the Hero 3+ especially for the LCD, the improved sharpness, night time lapse modes, and audio improvements. I think the double wifi speed and bluetooth connectivity are bonuses but I wouldn’t upgrade just for those reasons alone but if you combine all the other benefits it’s definitely worth the upgrade!

Other Products: Evecase Canvas Bag for DSLR Camera | Nikon D80

Conclusion Rating
Why did I get the Hero 4 Silver over the Hero 4 Black and the GoPro Hero 3+ Black?
5 stars

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