A great camera for recording action shots, despite its size the GoPro HERO 4 Silver & Black deliver good quality video. In use widely today on the helmets of base-jumpers to the inside of racing cars and any other place small-sized hi-res cameras are needed. Built sturdy with all these uses in mind where it could easily take a fall. A waterproof housing also comes along in case you want to shoot things in or around water.
Pros & Cons
Short battery life
GoPro HERO 4 - Silver & Black
The GoPro HERO 4 Silver and HERO 4 Black both offer much improvement over their predecessors in the HERO 3 and HERO 3+ lineups. They have better video quality, more video and photo modes and extra features like Bluetooth connectivity. The one thing they haven't been able to improve is the battery. There are a lot of similarities between the GoPro HERO 4 Silver and Black, except the Silver has nearly everything that the Black does and then some. Very much the same to look at the GoPro HERO 4 Silver is the first GoPro to come with a built-in touch display LCD screen which the Black doesn't have. With previous models–and with the HERO 4 Black–you could add a screen on the back as an optional extra accessory but that was just bulky and defied the purpose of the GoPro being neat and compact. For the waterproofing, you have to still encase them in the waterproofing-housing that comes along.
The HERO 4 Silver's LCD
As with most LCD screens on cameras, it shows you a view of what you are framing or reviewing whatever you have shot which is handy on the go, along with the option to change controls through the touchscreen. All this is great except this screen does drain the battery as well so if you want to maximise your usage time one should use the screen only when needed or sparingly. The other option is you install the free GoPro mobile app and use the wireless live view to set up your shots.
Video & photo on the Silver & Black
The GoPro HERO 4 Black can do higher quality video at the top end allowing for 4K video at 30 frames per second, whereas the maximum framerate on the Silver at 4K is 15fps. At 1080p the Black can shoot at up to 120fps, while the Silver is maxed at 60fps and there’s also a difference in the video compression. The Black can record its video up to a 60MB/s bitrate, compared to an upper limit of 45Mb/s with the Silver. When shooting still photos, both offer the same features and capabilities. Both are using the same sensor that produces up to 12MP images with an aspect ratio of 4:3 with dimensions of 4000 by 3000 pixels. They also have 7MP (3000 by 2250px) and 5MP (2560 by 1920px) modes. The 12MP and 7MP resolutions offer the Wide FOV while the 7MP and the 5MP resolutions offer medium resolution. The lens is rated as a 3mm lens, equivalent to 15mm in the 35mm/full-frame format. The light meters react identically, producing identical photos in each and both handle shadows and highlights similarly.
In many respects, the Black and Silver have the same specs when it comes to audio. Both record at 48kHz with AAC compression. They both have automatic gain control and use an internal multi-band compressor to improve the sound along with a mono internal microphone (which of course works best when not sealed inside the standard waterproof-housing). You can plug an external stereo microphone into both, although to do so you’ll need to buy a separate 3.5mm to mini USB adapter. There is a key difference for high-end audio, though. The Black has a high-quality analog to digital converter (ADC) built-in which allows you to use high-end studio-quality microphones that won’t work on the Silver. If you need this feature, you’ll probably already know you need it; it’s most commonly needed for broadcast recordings or live music recordings, although those users will often use separate, dedicated sound gear.
Overall features of Silver & Black
Both models shoot still photos, can do time-lapse, have night photo and night time-lapse modes, have Protune mode (now available for both video and still photos), can shoot bursts of still photos at 30 shots a second, shoot 12 megapixel still photos and have built-in wifi & Bluetooth capabilities. Both take the same kinds of microSD cards. Both have about the same battery life expectations and use the same batteries (which are different from the batteries in previous and later models). Both are exactly the same dimensions. Both fit inside the same standard waterproof housing. The Black edition is marginally heavier which is a bare 5 grams more.
With all this information you can decide which one is more suited to your needs and pick accordingly!