Is the GoPro camera overrated

GoPro Hero 4 in the short test: a lot of action, not so much aesthetics

GoPro followed suit with two models in autumn 2014 in order to remain the leading action camera manufacturer. The GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition and the Hero 4 Silver Edition are now available on the market for 480 and 380 euros. DerStandard.at has tested the cheaper model Silver.

Two target groups

This serves two target groups: professional filmmakers can look forward to Ultra HD and a more robust housing. The integrated LCD display with touchscreen is ideal for casual filmmakers; a second screen (e.g. with a smartphone via WLAN) to search for a subject is superfluous. In addition, you don't have to rely on the postage stamp-sized display next to the lens when adjusting. For the remote release on the smartphone, Bluetooth has been added to the WLAN.

Touch screen

The Silver Edition remains light and handy despite the integrated touchscreen, it even retains the dimensions and weight (83 g) of the previous versions. The touchscreen can only be operated without a housing, which is essential for rough turns, for example under water or with mounting on sports equipment. In addition, it is not multi-touch capable, so it is not possible to enlarge the images, for example. The menu has a simple and logical structure and can also be called up directly via the third button on the right-hand side, which was previously only designed to switch WLAN on and off.

Tremendous image sharpness

The Silver Edition shoots photos with twelve megapixels and videos with 4K, but only at a frame rate of 15 frames per second. Such recordings are only fluid in calm scenes. Up to 120 frames per second are possible with a resolution of 720p, ideal for slow-motion recordings.

optics

Thanks to its breathtaking image sharpness, the GoPro outperforms any smartphone camera, but it doesn't come close to a single-lens reflex camera. The 4K is of no use, especially if the lighting conditions are not particularly ideal.

In the dark, backlit or artificial light, the recordings deteriorate as much as on a smartphone. White balance and ISO are not convincing and it is particularly annoying that when filming with automatic brightness and color are adjusted in visible steps. This is tragic, for example, in a timelapse (see 00:16).

Other disadvantages

The battery life is still the main weak point of the device. The battery lasts just two hours. A battery pack costs around 50 euros and extends the shoot by an hour. The integrated microphone was not audibly improved either, but an external one can be plugged in via mini USB.

Conclusion

The Hero 4 Silver Edition can still do what GoPro has become famous for best: action. 120fps make sports shots interesting in post-production and under the sun the picture is also impressively good for such a small and handy camera. However, the camera gains a huge plus for its display and questions why you should opt for the more expensive model without a display but with a more fluid Ultra HD. After all, the strength of a GoPro still lies in its sportiness and not in the aesthetics of the image. (mvu, derStandard.at, 1.1.2015)