GoPro has just announced three new models in its popular Hero actioncam line. The followup to the Hero 3, aptly named Hero 4, adds 4K recording at 30 frames per second. This should be a big improvement over the 4K/15fps seen on the previous model.
Recording in 4K is a nice feature to have, but as Hero 3 Black Edition owners will know, trading resolution for frame rate is frequently not worthwhile, as videos can look quite choppy when recorded at a maximum of only 15 frames per second. The Hero 4 Black Edition should solve that problem, allowing anything to be captured in Ultra-High Definition with smooth motion. Additionally, it can record 2.7K resolution video at 50 fps, and 1080p at 120 fps. That 120 fps recording mode will open up some really cool slow-motion options.
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The Hero 4 Black also features improved sound quality that promises to double the dynamic range of last year's models.
The still photo options haven't seen much in the way of the changes from the Hero 3 Black. The Hero 4 Black still captures images up to 12MP, with a burst fire mode that shoots at 30 photos per second. However, improvements have been made to the night capture mode. These low-light improvements also apply to time-lapse photos.
In terms of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GoPro is promising 50 percent speed improvements over the previous models, which should allow for better connectivity to smartphones.
Another key functionality boost is HiLight Tag, which allows users to quickly mark a moment in a video on the fly. This will make it easier to go back and find the specific moment while editing. Manual control of recording has also been improved, allowing users to adjust color, sharpness, ISO limit, exposure and so on.
The slightly more affordable Silver model (seen above) offers many of the features of the Hero 4 Black, but it loses the 4K/30fps, 2.7K/50fps and 1080p/120fps capture modes. The Silver does, however, add a touchscreen display to allow users to see and frame shots more easily.
Additionally, GoPro is also releasing a budget model, which it's just calling the Hero. This one lacks any of the higher frame rate and resolution features, but it's still able to capture video in 1080p at 30fps, or 720p at 60fps.
All of the new models are set for release on October 5. The new Black comes with a retail price of US$499, and the Silver will set buyers back $399. As for the new budget model, it's launching with a modest $129 price tag.
The video below shows the new GoPro models in action.
Product page: GoPro
Ed. note: This article originally mistakenly stated that the $129 Hero model shoots at 1080p/60fps. It has been corrected.