A follow up to the GoPro HERO3+, the HERO4 was first released in September of 2014. It comes in two editions: The HERO4 Black and the HERO4 Silver. They are slightly different, and the Silver retails for less than the Black model. The packaging and accessories are the same for both.
For both models, the interface is much improved over the HERO3+. For example, the settings menus now scroll vertically. This is much easier to operate than the horizontal screens on the older line.

HERO4 Silver Edition

The HERO4 Silver does not offer 4K resolution like the Black edition, but still provides lots of powerful features at a lower price from its big brother. Users can record 2.7K resolution at 30fps and 720p at 120fps. It has a user-friendly LED touchscreen display. The screen allows you to see what you are shooting and easily frame shots, an appealing feature for average users.

gopro_chdhy_401_hero4_silver_edition_adventure_1078007

HERO4 Black Edition

The HERO4 Silver does not offer 4K resolution like the Black edition, but still provides lots of powerful features at a lower price from its big brother. Users can record 2.7K resolution at 30fps and 720p at 120fps. It has a user-friendly LED touchscreen display. The screen allows you to see what you are shooting and easily frame shots, an appealing feature for average users.

Picture Clarity

The picture clarity of both models is virtually indistinguishable at 1080p, but the difference between the Black model recording in 4k compared to the Silver edition shooting at 1080p is dramatic. Both models offer ProTune, an easy way to adjust color and sharpness. Night shooting is also simple using low-light settings and long exposures.

Audio

Audio is much improved from the HERO3+. GoPro reports the HERO4 line has a completely new audio system that offers better dynamic range, which improves the clarity of polyphonic sounds like music. For studio scenarios, these cameras should be stabilized as much as possible — any bump or slight brush on GoPro cameras has been known to result in a distinct popping sound on the recorded audio.

Battery Life

The HERO4 Black has approximately 25 percent less battery life than the HERO3+, possibly due to new sensor technology. Shooting at larger image sizes like 4K also takes a toll on battery life. Batteries drop into the body with a magazine sleeve that is fast and efficient. Unfortunately, HERO3 batteries are not compatible with the new system on the HERO4.

Summary

The GoPro HERO4 Black model is an excellent choice for professionals who want the best picture available from an action video camera. Most users will do better with the Silver edition. It is less expensive, more user friendly, and still offers many of the same features as the Black model.
Both models are a significant step up from the HERO3 and HERO3+ line, offering a much-improved interface and higher quality audio system. The touchscreen on the HERO4 Silver is a major improvement over the awkward system used on the HERO3.
The HERO4 is a light, small, easy to use camera that continues GoPro’s dominance in the action camera category. The Black model satisfies users looking for the stunning picture of 4K resolution, while the Silver edition meets the needs of the average user.

GoPro HERO4
Positive OnePositive TwoPositive Three
Negative OneNegative TwoNegative Three
4.5Overall Score
Price
Features
Performance
Aesthetics