GoPro Hero 4 Black in Practice Test: What to Expect from a Small Action Camera?

Photo quality
Video quality
Price quality
Overall rating 4.7 / 5

GoPro Hero 4 fully convinced us in our long-term tests above and under water.

Even though the model has been on the market for 3 years now, the small action camera has many technical specifications that still apply to the top of the flagpole, which is technically possible.

In our in-depth GoPro 4 test report, we’ll show you in detail what to expect from this camera.

GoPro Hero 4 Black technical equipment

The GoPro Hero 4 Black can record video at up to 4k resolution and 30fps. Other possible formats are 2.7k at 50FP and Full HD (1080p) at 120FPS (other intermediate levels are available, but these are the most important!).

GoPro suggests using Protune in your camera settings. As a result, your photos and videos automatically adapt to light, shadow, and other environmental influences for the best possible result. Of course, you can still tweak everything manually to get the best result.

Photos can be taken at 12 megapixels in JPG format. Unfortunately, GoPro does not offer RAW post processing to experts at this time.

The package also includes a body and a small, sturdy adapter that can be screwed onto a selfie stick.

As you can see in the video, I also bought an underwater case to take my GoPro with me for diving. The case costs about the same as the GoPro itself, but worth every penny.

In addition to the body, there is also a spotlight and a stable underwater bracket that you can attach your GoPro to. I also bought a red lens to take good pictures even in bright sunlight.

There is also a magnifying lens, which you can also see in the picture (picture folded). This lens allows you to zoom in on small animals underwater without changing your GoPro settings.

A do-it-yourself stick is also a good investment, so you can take beautiful pictures of yourself on vacation with your GoPro. For me, this little gadget was especially valuable when shooting underwater, since then I did not have to carry a huge bracket with me, including the headlights.

Movies and Videos with GoPro Hero 4

As mentioned, the GoPro 4 can even record Ultra HD at up to 25fps or at 2.7k at up to 50fps.

4K footage is truly top notch and can even be seen on any cinema screen. If the 25 FPS image isn’t smooth enough, you can just switch to 2.7k and 50FPS.

If you are traveling by bike or parachute, it is recommended to set video recording at 2.7k and 50FPS, otherwise the image may be a little “jerky”. With a speed of 50 images per second, you do not risk that the image will be beautiful and smooth, even with high ambient speeds and sudden changes in direction, and after that it is even more worth watching on TV.

In terms of quality, both formats are really the best and absolutely recommended. Videos are stable and shake-free at both good and bad exposure. The built-in image stabilization works well, even if it is slightly inferior compared to the next model, the GoPro 5.

With Protunes, GoPro offers the ability to customize recordings directly with advanced on-site settings to immediately get the best possible results. For example, the ISO value can also be adjusted if you want to take pictures in dark or with very poor exposure.

It should be noted at this point that the GoPro 4 is an action camera, not a selfie camera, for example. suitable for Youtube. I wanted to use GoPro as a YouTube camera, but the built-in microphone fooled me.

There is always a small amount of background noise due to the microphone, which cannot be changed using advanced settings (for example, by filtering wind noise in Protunes settings).

This small flaw still exists with the GoPro5 and GoPro6 as they also have built-in microphones that also amplify ambient noise.

If you are looking to buy a GoPro as a camera for YouTube lovers, we can recommend a cheap microphone that only costs € 20. We also use this for our YouTube videos, and there isn’t even a hint of noise here. This is a BOYA BY-M1 * directional microphone.

The photos are really very good, and in direct comparison they can compare with the previous model. The depth of field is really impressive and the contrast is amazing.

Only when using a “zoom mode” such as linear or narrow does the image sometimes get a little blurry.

Battery life and case

Battery life is typically around 120 minutes, but if you use your GoPro for a little longer (almost 2.5 years for me) then the battery lasts for about 60 minutes. This is most likely simply due to wear and tear.

However, new GoPro Hero 4 batteries, including charger and USB cable, are inexpensive and can be purchased from Amzon for around € 16 *.

I recommend that you always take 3 fully charged batteries with you, because in an emergency one battery can run out, and then you will not be able to record your dreams. So you are always safe.

The GoPro body is stable, but I recommend that you always use the GoPro in the included body if you can use it, as scratches or other external influences are better absorbed by a small hi-tech model.

GoPro 4 Conclusion

The GoPro Hero 4 is a fantastic action camera that leaves little to be desired. In direct comparison with the GoPro Hero 5, the only thing that stands out is that it is inherently 10-meter waterproof and has more different settings and voice control.

Otherwise, the two models are not very different.

All amateur filmmakers and professional filmmakers pay off using Gopro.

Of particular note is the very simple controls and extremely good video quality, which is almost movie-ready if you shoot in 4k.

The GoPro 4 is less suited for recordings that require good sound. If that’s your goal, you should definitely buy an additional microphone or consider a different model.

GoPro Hero 4 is already available on Amazon for just under 230 euros. This makes it nearly 50% cheaper than the latest GoPro 6 currently on offer on Amazon for € 430.