GoPro Hero4 Black vs Silver: Find Your Perfect Action Camera

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If you’re looking to add an action camera to your cycling set-up, you can’t go wrong with a GoPro. They’re the industry standard in action cams, offering every feature you can imagine to capture your wildest adventures. But which camera is right for you?  The GoPro Hero4 Black and the Hero4 Silver look very similar, but have a few distinct differences.

GoPro Hero4 Black vs Silver

The main differences between the Hero4 Black and Silver are:

  • Battery life – Silver bests Black by nearly 25%
  • Price – Black is $100 more. However, both cameras are usually on sale for $100 less on Amazon.
  • LCD Touch Screen – Available only in Silver
  • Processor Speed – Black is faster, offering higher resolution images and faster frame rates due to double the number of image processors. Super slow motion shots are noticable better on the Black.

Hero4 Silver and Black Specs

The Silver and Black models both offer many of the same features, which include:

  • Ultra-wide, medium and narrow fields of view
  • Professional grade low light performance
  • Burst, time-lapse and continues photo modes
  • Built in Wifi and Bluetooth to connect to a phone or tablet
  • Protune offers advanced manual control
  • Superview captures wide angle shots
  • Night photo, night lapse and auto low light automatically adjusts the camera between light and dark environments
  • Hilight tag bookmarks footage on the spot to easily locate later
  • Quickcapture/Auto one-button captures video either by turning the camera on or pushing a button
  • Time-lapse video and simultaneous video and photo
  • Looping video
  • Accelerometer for auto image rotation
  • 1160mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • The GoPro app allows you to synch the camera to a phone or tablet to turn it into a live remote with full control of the settings. You can instantly share videos through text, email and Facebook.

Both action cams also have similar audio quality and include a waterproof housing that’s good to 131 feet. Another plus is that both cameras are high portable, light and available with a multitude of accessories, literally making it possible to capture any shot you can imagine.

 Hero4 SilverHero4 Black
VIDEO
4k
15, 12.5 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
4K SUPERVIEWN/A24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
2.7K30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium FOV
60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium FOV
2.7K SUPERVIEWN/A30, 25 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
2.7K 4:3N/A30, 25 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
1440P48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
1080P60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV
120, 90, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium (excludes 120 and 90 fps), Narrow FOV
960P100, 60, 50 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
120, 60, 50 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
720P120, 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV
240, 120, 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV (240 fps is Narrow FOV only)
720P SUPERVIEW100, 60, 50 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
120, 60, 50 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
WVGA240 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
240 fps
Ultra Wide FOV
PHOTO:
MEGAPIXELS
12mp12mp
BURST RATES (FRAMES/SEC)30/1, 30/2, 30/3, 30/6, 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 5/1, 3/130/1, 30/2, 30/3, 30/6, 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 5/1, 3/1
TIME LAPSE INTERVALS0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
CONTINUOUS PHOTO RATES10/1, 5/1, 3/110/1, 5/1, 3/1

Who should buy the GoPro4 Black?

At $500, the GoPro4 Black offers higher resolutions and frame rates over the Silver and its better image signal processor makes for faster frame rates and cinema quality video, allowing for up to 4k recording at 30, 25 and 24 fps vs the max of 1080p at 60fps for the Silver.

The Black’s slow motion shots of 1080p at 120fps clearly outdo the Silver’s 720p at 120 fps. It’s a smooth slow motion HD, and GoPro also allows you to cut together time-lapse video. But with a limited field of view, the Black makes it difficult to achieve an effective slo-mo selfie.

Unlike the Silver GoPro4, the Black supports a studio quality external mic.

The bottom line is that for most people, the GoPro4 Black is overkill.  Unless you’re shooting at the extremes, a Silver is just fine and also excels at shooting in low light and slow motion. And without the touchscreen LCD, this camera is not as user friendly as the Silver.

Why the Silver is probably all you need

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For $400, the GoPro4 Silver is a tiny powerhouse packed with features. Unless you’re shooting at the extremes, it’s going to be nearly impossible to tell the Silver and the Black apart. They’re both excellent cameras.

But the GoPro4 Silver’s touch screen LCD is a very enticing feature that you won’t find in the Black. The screen allows you to easily frame your shot, change settings on the fly and instantly preview footage.

GoPro Hero4 Black vs Silver Battery Life

Battery life is not a strong point in either camera, but the Silver edges out the Black by a good margin. When Gizmodo tested both cameras, they reported that at 1080p30, the Silver recorded for 119 minutes. But the Black averaged just 97 minutes at 1080p 30fps, 70 minutes at 4k at 30fps and 63 minutes at 1080p at 120fps.

Add-on Features:

Related: Mountain Bike Buying Guide: What You Need to Know to Hit the Dirt

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