The new GoPro Hero 4 is the ultimate camera for any travel and adventure enthusiast.
When you think of the GoPro, you may associate it with extreme sports. You may think of that small camera made for surfers, snowboarders, and crazy sky divers. For awhile that’s been true. But recently, the argument can be made that GoPro is expanding from just an extreme sports action camera to an adventure and lifestyle camera.
Just take a look at some of their most recent marketing videos for the new GoPro Hero 4. You’ll see footage of concerts, horses, and train drivers. GoPro has camera mounts for fisherman, golfers, and even your dog. Exciting, yes, but hardly extreme.
Nowadays, regular people are documenting their everyday life. GoPro cameras are becoming the ultimate tool for people to share their lifestyle and their adventures with others. What makes it so unique is the ability to record an up-close and personal point of view without the camera getting in the way of your activity. What used to require expensive and bulky camera equipment to get a great shot, now only requires a camera that can fit in the palm of your hand, on the end of a stick, or strapped to your head.
The latest round of camera updates brought three new camera versions:
GoPro Hero 4 Black – $499
Suggested resolutions: 4K 30fps / 1080p 120fps (extreme slow-mo)
– 12MP photos
– This is GoPro’s high-end camera. Great for people who want maximum video quality and the best slow-mo capabilities.
Go Pro Hero 4 Silver – $399
– Suggested resolutions: 2.7K 30/24fps / 1080p 60fps
– 12MP photos
– A step down from the Black, the Silver is a great option if you don’t really care about 4K video or the super slow-mo features.
Go Pro Hero – $129
– Suggested resolutions: 1080p 30fps / 720p 60fps
– 5MP photos
– A great budget camera for anyone who just wants to record the action and not worry about all the extra details.
My thoughts on first use:
I ended up getting the Hero 4 Black. Being that it was my first GoPro, I wasn’t familiar with any of the controls. It only has three buttons and takes a few tries to get used to its navigation. But once you do, you can adjust settings pretty quickly.
The 4K video is very impressive, but I honestly feel like it’s not a necessary feature yet. Most people are still happy looking at 1080p. Also, the file size of a 4K video clip is huge, making your storage cards fill up fast. However, I will say 4K is great for cropping. If you are editing a video for a standard HD (1080) project, you can crop a 4K video to get rid of some of the shakiness.
GoPro may be famous for its video, but don’t underestimate its picture-taking capabilities either. At first, it was weird not having a back LCD monitor to look at, but the GoPro lens is very wide, making it hard to accidentally cut out your subject. I’ve taken close ups, landscapes, and even selfies, and they all look great.
Making time-lapses is also a breeze once you get the hang of the controls. I loved how quickly I could shoot a time lapse with the GoPro compared to my DSLR. The quality isn’t quite as good, but the average person won’t be able to tell. The color and sharpness are truly great.
The slo-mo options are also really fun. Watching any activity slowed down makes it more exciting, in my opinion. I took my GoPro snowboarding a few weeks ago, and although I can’t really do any tricks, the slow motion certainly made me look cooler. ;)
Lastly, I thought that the free GoPro iPhone app and computer editing software really deliver the final punch. The iPhone app doubles as a LCD screen if you really want one and you also can adjust all your settings right from your phone. The editing software also makes it easy for amateur editors to create professional looking videos. The simple interface makes it easy to organize and edit your clips quickly.
If you think the GoPro camera might be too “extreme” for your vacation or adventure, think again. It’s the perfect camera to take to the beach, the mountain, or the city. Its waterproof housing keeps it protected from the elements and its small size makes it easy to fit in any bag. Finally there is an endless amount of camera mounts you can buy to fit any activity. With excellent video, photo, time-lapse, and slo-mo features, this is the ultimate adventure camera.
For information about the GoPro, click here.