Gopro Hero4: Is It the Action Camera is Best for your Needs

gopro hero4

GoPro was the first manufacturer to bring to the market an action camera back in 2004. Now the action camera market has grown by leaps and bounds and has a number of feature-rich cameras from different manufacturers. One of the cameras that revolutionized the action camera market is the GoPro HERO4.

In this article, we’ll explore how the HERO4 compare with its competitors.

Product FAQ for the GoPro HERO4

1. What Is the GoPro HERO4?

2. Does GoPro HERO4 Have Wi-Fi Connectivity?

3. How Detailed Are the Photos Taken by the GoPro HERO4 Camera?

4. Where Can You Buy It?

5. Is the GoPro HERO4 Camera Waterproof?

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on features that are important to most action camera users. We considered the portability of the cameras and their abilities in cold and wet environments.

Although virtually all action camera manufacturers claim that their cameras can produce 4K videos, the quality of those videos differs because some cameras can only record in 4K at low frame rates. So we strived to find out the frame rates of each camera when recording in 4K.

An action camera is lost without a good battery. We, therefore, emphasize the battery life of each camera when making our comparison. We considered the connectivity options and camera control options available. Finally, we factored in the price to make an all-round review.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

A typical 4K action camera costs around $55-$600. Models from Sony typically cost much more, and it is not rare to find Sony action camera that costs as much as $500.

What We Reviewed

  • Yi 4K+ Action Camera
  • Olfi One.Five
  • iSaw Edge
  • Olympus Tough TG-Tracker
  • Garmin VIRB XE
  • TomTom Bandit
  • Yi Lite Action Camera
  • Sony FDR-X3000R
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • SJCAM SJ7 Star

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Features

The Yi 4K+ is an action camera with surprisingly powerful features. It can record in detailed 4K at up to 60 fps and in 1080p at up to 120fps and in 720p at up to 240fps. Its still image sensor resolution is identical to that of the HERO4 and can take shots of 12MP.

The camera has a battery life of up to two hours. Overall, it a very powerful camera for the price and edges out the HERO regarding 4K video quality. The camera is not waterproof you can buy a waterproof case for it.

  • Price
  • Warranty

The Yi 4K+ can be found on Amazon for around $200.

Pros

  • High-quality 4K/60fps video
  • Good phone app

Cons

  • Not waterproof unless you buy the case

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Features

The Olfi One.Five a small but effective action camera. The camera has a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor and has motion detection, loop recording, and time-lapse features. Although the camera can record in 4K, this feature comes at a maximum of 24fps and it is interpolated from a 2.8K sensor.

The smartphone app of this camera also leaves a lot to be desired. The battery life of this camera is not any better, and it lasts just 30-45 minutes.

This camera is not waterproof, but you can buy a waterproof plastic case that maintains its abilities at 30m. This camera would be ideal for cyclists and can also be used as a dashboard camera.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This Olfi One.Five can be found on Amazon for around $170.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • A good-quality 16MP image sensor
  • Powerful image stabilization features

Cons

  • Its 4K is limited to 24fps
  • Short battery life
  • Not waterproof without a case
  • Smartphone app not very useful

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Features

The iSaw Edge camera was one of the first action cameras to have 4K recording capabilities. However, 4K recording on this camera is limited to 10fps, and most cameras on our list can record better quality videos.

Apart from this limitation, this camera has a number of great feature including a small touchscreen display on the back side. You can also tune a video for sharpness, exposure, and white balance.

This camera also has a number of attachments and comes with a waterproof housing that is effective up to a depth of 40m.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $390.

Pros

  • Availability of exposure and white balance controls
  • Solid waterproof housing
  • Comes with a number of attachments
  • Quality 16MP still images

Cons

  • Short battery life of just 80 minutes
  • 4K limited to 10fps

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Features

As its name suggests, the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker was built to handle recording it tough environments. This camera is water is waterproof up to 30m without a case. The camera has decent 4K recording abilities and can record at 30fps.

The Tough TG-Tracker is weather resistant and can function at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. To cement it heavy-duty work abilities, this camera is drop-proof up to 2m and crushproof up to 100kg! 

The camera also enables the user to see what is being filmed with a 3.8-inch flip-out screen, and it has an LED headlight that enables night-time recording.  This camera is also equipped with a GPS, accelerometer, compass, thermometer, and barometer.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This camera can be found on Amazon for around $220.

Pros

  • Waterproof abilities without a case
  • Quality 4K recording
  • Weather-proof and drop-proof features
  • Night recording abilities
  • Action sensors

Cons

  • Very basic phone app
  • Low 8MP still image resolution 

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Features

The Garmin VIRB is considered the camera of choice for serious divers. This camera is waterproof up to 50m without a case and it can also continue function in low temperatures of up to -10 degrees Celsius.

Like the Tough TG-Tracker, the VIRB XE has a selection of sensors that include a GPS, compass, thermometer, and speedometer. You can also connect ANT+ devices like smartwatches on this camera. The camera also has Bluetooth connectivity which enables linking with a Bluetooth mic.

  • Price
  • Warranty

GARMIN has replaced this camera with the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera. A second-hand VIRB XE can be found on Amazon for around $180.

Pros

  • The best native waterproofing abilities of any camera on our list
  • Ability to attach a Bluetooth mic
  • Great battery life of up to two hours
  • Freeze-proof abilities

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can’t record in 4K

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Features

FeaturesThe TomTom bandit is a decent camera with a GPS, gyroscope, pressure sensor, and accelerometer. The camera is not waterproof but you can attach a splash-proof lens and a waterproof lens cover that is effective to a depth of 40 meters. This camera has 4K recording, but this is limited to 15 fps.

Its still image sensor is good and can produce 16MP photos. One of the areas in which this camera excels is its smartphone app. The app can automatically pick out videos and photos from your videos and create a “story.” This camera also has a powerful battery that can keep it running for up to three hours.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $340.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Awesome auto-editing features
  • Built-in sensors

Cons

  • Lack of native waterproof abilities
  • Low quality 4K limited to 15fps

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Features

The Yi Lite is a low-cost action camera that has a number of good features. The camera has 4K recording abilities, but the frame rate is low (a maximum of 20 fps).

However, this camera has solid 1080p recording abilities and can record up to 60fps. This camera is very easy to use and has a touchscreen interface and a good smartphone app.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This camera can be found on Amazon for around $55.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Easy to use
  • Decent smartphone app
  • Quality 16MP still image sensor
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Low-quality 4K video
  • Lack of native waterproof abilities
  • Lack of voice control

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Features

The Sony FDR0X3000R takes convenience to a whole new level. This camera comes with an independent live view display that can be monitored remotely. This camera has Sony’s Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.SS) image stabilization which is effective even under water.

The camera has a wearable and mountable live view remote and this camera can be operated remotely. This Sony camera has decent 4K recording abilities and can record up to 30 fps.

  • Price
  • Warranty

The Sony FDR-X3000R comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • The best image stabilization of any camera on our list
  • Decent 4K recording ability
  • Remote operation and monitoring abilities
  • Comes with a waterproof case that is effective at 60m

Cons

  • The most expensive camera on our list
  • Low quality still image sensor

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Features

The SJ7 Star is yet another action camera that can produce quality 4K videos at 30 fps. The SJ7 Star can shoot quality 12MP still images and can interpolate images to 16MP.

This camera has a waterproof case that is functional up to 30m and it has a two-inch touchscreen display. You can also buy the wearable SJ Remote to control this camera from afar.

  • Price
  • Warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $180.

Pros

  • Quality 4K and impressive 120fps full HD video recording
  • Presence of rear touchscreen display
  • Waterproof case
  • Good battery life up to 2 hours

Cons

  • Lack of image stabilization in 4K
  • Poor phone app
  • Lack of GPS
  • Lack of voice commands

Comparison

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The Verdict

The GoPro HERO4 is a high-quality action camera which shot to the top of its class when it was released in 2015. Its 30fps 4K recording abilities and 12MP still image abilities have endeared it to GoPro’s fans. The camera comes with a number of useful accessories including a waterproof case that is effective up to a depth of 40m.

However, the HERO4 has subsequently eclipsed by newer models, including its eventual successor from GoPro, the HERO5. In addition to the features of the HERO4, the HERO5 comes with native waterproof abilities without a case and voice control.

These features coupled with the excellent video stabilization, a GPS, and a backside LCD display make the HERO5 a better camera than the HERO4. We believe that for its price, the HERO5 is the best action camera on our list overall.

Buyers who are on a very strict budget can opt for the Yi Lite Action Camera. Although the 4K videos recorded by this camera are not the best, its Full HD recording abilities are impressive. Plus, you can buy accessories to improve its functionality along the way.

Divers who need a great camera under the water should buy the Garmin VIRB XE while rock climbers, skiers and other users who work in extremely tough conditions can count on the drop-proof, freeze-proof, water-proof, and crush-proof features of the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker. 

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