The GoPro Hero+ and Hero 4 are two of the most popular action cameras on the market. Both cameras offer great features and capabilities, but which one is the better choice for you?
In this article, Staaker.com will compare the two cameras: GoPro Hero+ vs Hero 4 and help you decide which one is right for you.
What Is The Same?
The first step is to figure out which elements are shared by the Hero+ LCD and the Hero 4 Silver. The cameras are the same size and weight, with the Hero+ LCD weighing 4.5 oz (127g) and the Hero 4 Silver weighing 5.2 oz (174g). The Hero+ LCD is matte black, while the Silver LCD is well-finished.!
Both have built-in wifi and can be used with the GoPro smartphone app and the GoPro smart remote, which are available separately.
The Hero+ LCD features a single larger LED on the front (like the earlier Hero 3 line of cameras) and one on the rear; however, the Hero 4 Silver has two slim ones on the front down the border of the front screen, plus one on the bottom and one on the back.
Both cameras come with three interchangeable back doors: a fully waterproof door with a depth of 131 feet (40m) that does not allow the user to operate the touch LCD screen, a touch screen compatible door with a depth of 10 feet (3m) that enables the screen to be operated through the case, and a skeleton back door with a cut out around the screen that is not waterproof at all but allows the camera’s microphone to capture sounds more clearly.
The LCD touch screen on the back of both cameras is the same – GoPro doesn’t specify a resolution for the screen, and while it’s fine for its intended function, it’s not as sharp as a retina display on an iPhone or similar device.
Only the Hero 4 Silver has a button on the lower left of the screen that may be used to toggle the screen on or off to save battery power, albeit this cannot be done without opening the back door (even when using the skeleton or touch screen door).
If you don’t understand the way to connect video Gopro to your phone, read this guide: How To Transfer Gopro Videos To Iphone
Differences between the GoPro Hero+ LCD and the Hero 4 Silver
Mechanics & Handling
From the front, the HERO+ LCD appears to be the same as the HERO (2014). It’s the same dark gray color as the previous model, and it has the same round LED light next to the front button. It’s more similar to the layout of previous-generation HERO3s. The Silver has the same appearance as the Black. It sports a bigger lens and a small utilitarian LCD panel alongside the activity light.
They seem pretty identical at the back when you turn them around. Both feature a big color display. The MicroSD slot and small USB connector on the HERO+ LCD are likewise on the back (they’re on the side of the Silver), whereas the BacPac accessory plug is on the side of the Silver.
GoPros didn’t have built-in screens until the Silver was released in late 2014. As an optional device (the BacPac), you could add a screen to the back, but it added cost, size, and weight. Silver was the first GoPro with an integrated big color LCD screen.
There are now two GoPros with built-in LCD screens, thanks to the release of the HERO+ LCD. The screens are color and can be used as a touchscreen to navigate menus and other functions.
The screen can be used for a variety of purposes. For starters, it can be used as a live view to show what the lens sees. We now take it for granted that most cameras have a live view screen to see what we’re photographing. GoPros, on the other hand, haven’t had that luxury until recently–and even now with the Black and HERO models.
You can link the Black to the GoPro smartphone app and do it that way, or you can buy a relatively pricey add-on that clips onto the back of the camera, but at its most basic, it’s a case of pointing and hoping.
You can be considerably more accurate in your composition and framing with the screen, and it’s a more straightforward option than connecting wirelessly to the mobile app. It’s also less expensive, smaller, and lighter than placing a separate BacPac screen on the rear.
The screen also functions as a playback screen, allowing you to view your captured footage or photographs. So, rather than hoping, you can see right away if you got the photo.
It’s also a more intuitive way of navigating the GoPro’s numerous menus. You can still use the controls and the small monochrome screen on the front of the camera, but it’s much easier to use the much larger and clearer screen on the back.
Using an LCD panel has some drawbacks. It does add a small amount of weight. The major disadvantage is that it depletes battery life. At the best of times, GoPros don’t have great battery life, so if you want to get the most out of your battery, reduce your screen use to a minimum or even turn it off completely.
I have all of the current and recent GoPro versions, but I find that I utilize the Silver the most in day-to-day photography because of the screen. I like seeing what I’m shooting and lining up the shot exactly how I want it. I’ll use the Black if I’m doing anything more intricate for a client or require the extra video modes. However, I find the screen quite useful for my everyday shooting.
Both cameras use the H.264 (AVC) video codec to record videos and save them as.mp4 files. As a result, they’re compatible with nearly every video gadget, internet service, and social media platform.
With its video possibilities, the Silver is far more capable and versatile. Even though the HERO+ LCD only has a few video modes, they’re the ones that get the most use, especially when shooting videos for the web.
You’ll want to look at the Silver or Black models if you’re creating 4K, 2.7K, or slow-motion films. However, if you’re merely planning on uploading to YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook–or sharing with friends and family–the HERO+ LCD’s 1080p and 720p modes should suffice.
Protune, a higher-quality shooting option that provides greater flexibility and better quality in post-production, is included in the Silver and Black models. Protune is not available on the HERO and HERO+ LCD.
Both cameras offer a video looping mode. It does this by going back and re-recording areas that have already been captured. In the same way as a dashcam or security camera does.
Here’s a rundown of which cameras are capable of specific video modes. As you can see, Silver has a lot more options.
On GoPro cameras, there are two sorts of TimeLapse modes. The most common is TimeLapse Photo, which shoots a series of photos you can then download to your computer and edit into a video using the software. It provides greater flexibility and the promise of higher quality, but it also requires more effort.
There’s a newer addition as well. GoPro added a TimeLapse Video feature to the Silver and Black in February 2015 via a software upgrade. It compiles the camera’s timelapse movie and exports it as an mp4 video file. It’s a far more convenient and faster way to make a ready-to-share timelapse video, but your creativity and quality possibilities are severely constrained.
TimeLapse Photo and TimeLapse Video modes are available at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds on the Silver.
Only TimeLapse Photo with intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds is available on the HERO+ LCD. The TimeLapse Video feature isn’t available.
Both cameras have an Auto Low Light mode that automatically optimizes the settings for shooting in low-light scenarios.
The HERO+ LCD’s photo options are straightforward: they record 8MP photographs with wide-angle views. The generated photos have a resolution of 3264 by 2448 pixels. There’s also a Burst Mode, which allows you to take ten images in two seconds.
The Silver gives you a lot more options. Photos can be taken in 12MP (4000px x 3000px), 7MP (3000px x 2250px), or 5MP resolutions (2560px x 1920px). You can choose between a wide-angle or a medium-angle field of view in the 7MP mode.
It also offers a variety of multi-shot and burst settings that allow you to snap 5 or 30 photographs per second, for example. The Silver also has a Night Photo mode, which optimizes the settings for greater quality in low-light situations.
Wifi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity are available on both cameras. That means you can use the GoPro App to see what the camera sees and remotely control the camera.
You can also manage both cameras with the Smart Remote (available separately) from up to 600 feet distant (in ideal conditions).
Both cameras use AAC compression to create audio at 48kHz. Both feature automated gain control, with the Silver adding a multi-band compressor to boost the sound quality.
Both cameras have a mono microphone built-in.
An external microphone can be plugged into the Silver (using an adaptor to convert from a tiny USB to a 3.5mm socket (available separately)), but not the HERO+ LCD.
Both cameras contain a small USB port for charging, connecting to a computer for file transfers or firmware upgrades, and watching video or images on a television (using a separate cable).
A tiny HDMI connector on the Silver allows you to playback directly on an HDTV without using a separate cable (sold separately).
Weight and Size
- The HERO+ LCD weighs 4.5 oz (127 g) with the integrated housing.
- HERO4 Silver weighs 5.2 ounces (147 grams) with the standard housing and 2.0 ounces (84 grams) without.
Both cameras come with a waterproof enclosure that can withstand pressures of up to 131 feet (40 meters) underwater.
However, there is a significant variance in housing. The HERO+ LCD is a fully integrated part of the camera, with the front half of the case forming part of the camera body. It’s similar to the HERO in that regard.
That implies blackout or skeleton housings will not be compatible with the HERO+ LCD. You can replace the back door, but not the camera attached to the front of the housing.
The camera on the Silver is housed in a casing that can be removed. This means you can replace the housing or use it bare without one.
Most accessories that operate with a GoPro HERO4 Silver will also work with a HERO+ LCD. Both use the standard GoPro mounting system and can be used with selfie sticks, head harnesses, suction cups, and various other GoPro mounting accessories.
However, because of some fundamental design variances in how the housings and batteries are handled, there are three significant areas of difference in accessories for different versions.
Housings. The housings are a significant distinction. You can’t swap out the housings for something like skeleton housing or blackout housing because it is integrated into the camera itself with the HERO+ LCD (but you can swap out just the back door).
It also means you won’t be able to utilize any filter gels that go between the camera lens and the housing’s lens entrance within the housing. You can remove the camera from the housing and use it naked or with a different type of housing with the Silver.
Batteries. Both cameras use rechargeable batteries, but the HERO+ LCD is built into the camera and is not removable. As a result, you won’t be able to find replacement batteries for this model (or the basic HERO).
To recharge the battery, connect it to a power source, such as an AC adapter, a car charger, or an external battery, using the small USB cord that comes with the camera. While the camera is attached, you can continue filming.
The battery of the Silver is removable so that you may replace it with a fully charged spare. The batteries are the same as those found in the HERO4 Black. However, they aren’t the same as those found in previous GoPro models. More information about spare batteries for the Silver and Black models may be found here.
BacPac Battery. There’s no need to add an extra BacPac screen to any camera because it already has one. However, GoPro also manufactures a BacPac battery that attaches to the camera’s rear and lasts longer.
The BacPac battery works with the Silver and Black, but it won’t work with the HERO+ LCD because there’s no place for it to plug in.
Memory Cards. For storing data MicroSD cards are used in all modern GoPros.
The Silver and Black variants of the HERO+ LCD support cards up to 64GB (microSDXC). Although SDXC capability theoretically allows for larger cards, such as 128GB cards, GoPro presently does not advocate cards more significant than 64GB for any cameras.
Because the HERO+ LCD lacks many of the high-end video capabilities, the bleeding-edge top-end speed cards aren’t necessary. The majority of today’s SDHC and microSDXC cards will work. You can use a fast card in the camera if you wish, but you won’t get any benefit from it. You can gain a bonus when you utilize the card with a card reader to download the movie or photographs.
Slow cards can cause problems with the Silver because it can handle some higher-end video modes that require a lot of data to be written to the card quickly. The memory card recommendations for the GoPro HERO4 Silver and Black models are significantly more thorough here.
A few sophisticated shooting modes and capabilities on the Silver aren’t available on the HERO+ LCD. They are as follows:
- Video + photo (timelapse photographs are captured while the video is being recorded) (intervals of 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds)
- Options for White Balance
- Optional Color Profiles
- Options for ISO Limits
- Options for sharpness
- Options for Exposure Value Compensation (EV Comp)
Although it’s difficult to define, Silver and Black have a higher-quality lens. If you’re shooting for customers or a business, the Silver and Black provide greater versatility and superior quality. The HERO+ LCD, on the other hand, provides superb quality while shooting for oneself, family, and friends.
How to Choose Between the GoPro HERO+ LCD and HERO4 Silver?
In the end, both cameras can capture high-quality video and photographs. The Silver is, without a doubt, a superior camera. It does everything the HERO+ LCD does plus a lot more, and the video and photo quality is excellent. It is, however, $100 more expensive. If it isn’t a significant consideration, go with the Silver.
However, the HERO+ LCD is still a fantastic camera if you’re on a budget. If you’re attempting to figure out if it suits your demands, the first thing to think about is whether it has the video modes you require and whether you’re okay with an internal battery that can’t be replaced or switched for a freshly charged one.
Then think about how important it is for you to have the highest video quality possible if you’ll use the still photographs function frequently and whether you’d like to have other capabilities like TimeLapse Video and night photo settings.
Beyond that, things like exposure compensation, white balance settings, and external microphones become more complicated. GoPro is betting–and rightfully so–that the HERO+ LCD will satisfy the demands of many consumers who don’t require many sophisticated functions.
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The GoPro Hero+ is the better camera overall. It offers more features and capabilities than the Hero 4, making it the best choice for those looking for an action camera that can handle a lot of filming and photography.
On the other hand, the Hero 4 is great for those who want a more miniature camera that can still capture some great footage. Thank you for reading!