Frequently Asked Questions
Can you explain the camera generations? Which is most current?
A: There are only a few relevant camera generations, but with the recent white/silver/black/3/3+ models, it can be a little confusing. Here’s a simple explanation-
- HERO4 Session: Current generation cube-style camera released mid-2015. Roughly half the size and weight of the HERO4 Silver and able to handle 1440p30/1080p60/720p100 and 8mp stills. Waterproof down to 10m, built-in battery, and dual microphones are a few other notable details about the HERO4 Session.
- Hero4/HERO : The current generation of GoPro features 3 different cameras- The HERO, the Hero4 Silver, and the Hero4 Black. The HERO is an entry level model with similar specs to the original HeroHD, while the Silver edition model features some of the same specs as the Hero3+ Black Edition and is the first GoPro to have a built-in touch LCD. The Black Edition is the Flagship of the Hero4 generation and features spec increases over the Silver model such as 4k-30 and 1080-120. This generation was released Fall of 2014.
- Hero3+ : This generation and had only 2 different models, Silver and Black Edition, and featured a number of small improvements over the previous generations. This generation was released Fall of 2013.
- Hero3 : A large update to the camera design and feature set, this generation also contained White, Silver, and Black Edition models like the 3+, and was released Fall of 2012.
- Hero2 : A stand-alone model in its generation, the Hero2 was a small improvement over its previous generation, and was released Fall of 2011.
- HD Hero : While not the first, the stand-alone HD Hero model was the one that kickstarted GoPro fame and was released in January 2010.
Black, Silver, or White? 2, 3, 3+, 4? Which one is right for me?
A: With this many generations of camera available, this can be a loaded question. For the most part, it doesn't matter what activities you do, but rather what kind of quality and features you want. Most of the cameras can do any activity, with a few exceptions- the Hero2 and all previous generations have curved front lenses which require the purchase of an additional dive housing to avoid soft focus underwater. Additionally, All models except the Black Edition and Hero4 models struggle with low light situations. For everything else, check out some comparison videos to help you make the right decision. Then, buy the best camera you can afford!
HERO 4 Black or Silver?
That depends. You have to decide between the recording abilities (i.e. higher resolutions and frame rates) of the Black and the convenience of a touch LCD screen integrated on the back of the Silver.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
If you have never had a GoPro before, and just used cameras with displays, the Silver might be a better choice.
Though the FOV of the lens is so big, you don't really have to worry about whether something is in the shot, or not. --> Black
Do you even have the hardware to deal with 4K footage? If not, you probably are not going to use it a lot. --> Silver
Do you need good quality slow motion? --> Black (because 1080p120)
I myself bought the Silver, because I don't have the hardware to edit 4K, and 720p120fps is more than enough for me. The quality of the Silver is still great. And you can spend the extra $100 on mounts and accessories (for example the wifi remote, since it comes with neither the Black nor the Silver).
With the HERO 4 Silver, you basically get a HERO 3+ Black Edition, plus some features (Auto Low Light, Protune for Photos, Night Lapse) and a touch screen.
The HERO 4 Black, the new top of the line, gives you cinematic 4K at 30fps, and, for most people the most useful: 1080p at 120fps.
I am on a budget: HERO 2014 or HERO 3 White?
If you are wondering whether to take the HERO (entry level model) or the HERO 3 White, if you can afford it, take the Hero 3 White. You get a lot by moving up one level. The cam can be removed from the case, you can replace the battery, you can use the dive housing/skeleton housing/frame/the camera naked, you can use bacpacs, you can change the time lapse intervals, and, most importantly, you can use WiFi.
What’s the deal with the Hero3+ focus issue? Should I be concerned, or does mine have the issue?
A: There were some models that had soft focus on background objects. These seem to be all before a certain manufacture date, though we can’t verify that right now for certain. Chances are that if you buy a Hero3+ right now, as long as it’s not old stock, you’ll be fine.
I’m debating between the Hero3+ Silver and the Hero3 Black Edition… help?
A: This is going to come down to your preference in features, but most of the /v/gopro community will recommend the Hero3 Black Edition over the 3+ Silver, simply because its a slightly better quality camera for pretty much the same price.
What kind of card should I get/do I need?
A: GoPro has a list of recommended cards that should be at least noted. These are recommended for their speeds and reliability with the camera. In regard to size, most users suggest at least a 32GB card, though you could use smaller if you really wanted.
Best Accessories to get started?**
Your first choice should be batteries, we all know GoPro has bad battery life.
Go for aftermarket ones, (branded Wasabi, Smatree, etc.). They work just as well as the GoPro original ones, and they are mostly a lot cheaper.
The ones I recommend: This Smatree Kit.
You can pick them up for $20 at amazon, and you get a 3 bay charger, 2 batteries, and a cable. More than enough. I always have them charged, and the last "forever".
2.: A case.
You probably need something to store all your stuff in, and for 1 GoPro, all you need is the SmaCase from Smatree. For me, it fits the Hero 4, tripod mounts, quick release mounts, thumbscrews, a GoPole Grenade grip, SD card, cable, and a GoPole Grenade grip.
3.: A grip.
A handgrip for taking your GoPro with you can't hurt. I chose the Grenade Grip by GoPole. It is really well built, and looks good. If you want a floating one, take the Bobber; also by GoPole.
The only problem here for me, was that the acorn nut that came with it was badly manufactured, and thus my thumbscrew broke.
4.: If you ski, anti fog strips.
If you go from a cold environment into a building, for example, your glasses fog up. Well, that can happen to the GoPro lens too. GoPro makes some so called Anti Fog Strips, and you can pick them up for $10 at amazon. Their job is to prevent that. Really helpful.
5.: A pole.
There are tons of poles out there, with batteries, that twist, telescopic poles... The sandmarc pole and the GoPole are the most trusted poles in /v/gopro