Gopro Hero-4 silver or Black ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gopro Hero-4 silver or Black ?

    Debating which one to get.
    Main purpose is to film bike riding (MTB, Road and Touring)
    Currently have the Hero2 and pretty bummed by the bad quality of the videos once uploaded to YouTube (1280x960x30 FPS)
    So I am looking for a new camera that will have a great resolution and bit-rate which will hopefully translates into a great video quality once uploaded to YouTube.
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  2. #2
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    Which one depends on what you want to film?

    Hero 4 Black - 4K@30fps - Best video quality
    Hero 4 Silver - LCD Bacpac - Good video quality

    Black costs $100 more than the Silver. If you want to shoot video in 4K, have a computer than has enough horsepower to edit 4K video, and have a 4K television or monitor to view the output, then get the Black.

    The main advantages of the Black would be 4K and 1080p @ 120fps. If none of those fit your fancy, go with the Silver.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  3. #3
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    Thank you
    As I stated in my op, my main goal is to post good quality ride videos on Youtube for friends and family.
    I know that youtube degrades the video quality a lot so I am looking for the golden resolution/FPS/ bitrate combo that will make a good quality post.
    I guess 1440x30 fps should be good enough ? not sure if 60 is required or good for low light conditions

    I really don't care for the LCD panel as the camera will be mounted with the case and I will not have access to the back.

    Maybe the session is not a bad idea ?
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  4. #4
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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're not happy with what youtube does to your Hero 2 footage, you won't be real happy with either of the 4's. Coming from someone with an original HD Hero, Hero 2, and Hero 4 (silver).
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  5. #5
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    Dont upload to youtube? use a different site?

  6. #6
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    I still use my Hero HD and Hero 2 as well as 1 Hero 3 Black and 3 Hero 3+ Silvers...to be honest, there is difference in the video quality but in the end it is the final production that really counts... I have seen great videos done with simple Hero 2's and some crappy ones done with Hero 3 Blacks.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider View Post
    I still use my Hero HD and Hero 2 as well as 1 Hero 3 Black and 3 Hero 3+ Silvers...to be honest, there is difference in the video quality but in the end it is the final production that really counts... I have seen great videos done with simple Hero 2's and some crappy ones done with Hero 3 Blacks.
    Oh yeah, for sure. Especially native on the machine. But once it runs through the youtube grinder, IME the differences aren't as pronounced. And if OP is getting "bad quality" (his words) with a 2 then the 4 will be no magic bullet.

    There's things you can do in processing to make your videos more youtube friendly. And remember, if you're comparing to what GoPro puts out on their channel, well, they have the best software, trained video professionals, AND a premium youtube account that doesn't throttle bit rate like it does for the masses. I think their promo video for the 2 was the best of any that they have done.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  8. #8
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    By "Bad quality", I mean that the on YouTube, some frame looks fuzzy and even pixelized sometimes.
    I use A video editing, export the clip as an uncompressed AVI, and then compress it to H.264 with all the Youtube recommended settings with Handbrake.
    Since the GP2 output is 1080x960, but YouTube highest res on that clip is only 720P
    I assume based on other clips I see on You tube that if the original will be recorded at a higher res, then the final result will be much better as far as resolution, details, sharpness etc...

    See sample below

    First one is a screen grab from the compressed mp4 clip
    2nd one is a screen grab from the YouTube clip.
    (Click to enlarge the inline image)

    Gopro Hero-4 silver or Black ?-3-28-2016-5-06-28-pm.jpg

    Gopro Hero-4 silver or Black ?-3-28-2016-5-08-13-pm.jpg
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by StumpyElite2010 View Post
    Maybe the session is not a bad idea ?
    It definitely isn't, if it's what you want.

    The Session is about half the weight and size of the Silver and Black.
    It has microphones at both ends to reduce wind noise.
    It pushes past the 60fps life of 1.5hr for the Silver/Black to 2hrs.

    If you want 2K/4K resolution, a touch screen, access to all the settings on the camera, or the ability to swap out batteries for a massive recording time, it's not for you.

    I mount the Session on the front of my helmet. No impact on airflow to my sweaty head that I can tell, and the weight is nearly invisible.

    Set-it-and-forget-it is how I use it, so the lack of controls on the camera is a non-issue. My old eyes and fat fingers prefer the smartphone for selecting settings anyway.

    I need to remember just three things once I'm on the trail or wherever: Short press for start regular video, long press for start time lapse, another press to turn the damn thing off.

    If I ever record two hours of ANYTHING, please shoot me. No one wants to watch that much of the sh!t I do.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    ....If I ever record two hours of ANYTHING, please shoot me. No one wants to watch that much of the sh!t I do.
    So no to mountain biker reality show?

    I usually just record from start of the ride to the finish and edit about 3 - 5 minutes to put on the final video... It is a lot of footage to go through but the positive side is you don't miss anything - like that gnarly crash or running into a spider and screaming like a girl....we all know the world wants to see that kind of stuff. LOL.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  11. #11
    Finally!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider View Post
    Which one depends on what you want to film?

    Hero 4 Black - 4K@30fps - Best video quality
    Hero 4 Silver - LCD Bacpac - Good video quality

    Black costs $100 more than the Silver. If you want to shoot video in 4K, have a computer than has enough horsepower to edit 4K video, and have a 4K television or monitor to view the output, then get the Black.

    The main advantages of the Black would be 4K and 1080p @ 120fps. If none of those fit your fancy, go with the Silver.
    I have the silver and find shooting at 4k 15fps is great for scenery and such but movement gets blurred. You can shoot 2.7k at 30 fps but I shoot all of my rides at 1080 60fps. It is fine by my standards and even looks good on youtube, well, as far as youtube goes anyway. I couldn't justify the black. The cost difference was (to me) better spent on mounts and other hardware.


    Shot at 1080 60fps. Edited to 1080 30fps for youtube.
    I'm no pro so this is fine for me
    https://youtu.be/m8NHsm1NL38

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StumpyElite2010 View Post
    By "Bad quality", I mean that the on YouTube, some frame looks fuzzy and even pixelized sometimes.
    I use A video editing, export the clip as an uncompressed AVI, and then compress it to H.264 with all the Youtube recommended settings with Handbrake.
    Since the GP2 output is 1080x960, but YouTube highest res on that clip is only 720P
    I assume based on other clips I see on You tube that if the original will be recorded at a higher res, then the final result will be much better as far as resolution, details, sharpness etc...

    See sample below

    First one is a screen grab from the compressed mp4 clip
    2nd one is a screen grab from the YouTube clip.
    (Click to enlarge the inline image)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3-28-2016 5-06-28 PM.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	204.1 KB 
ID:	1060237

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3-28-2016 5-08-13 PM.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	125.3 KB 
ID:	1060238
    I'm not an expert on post processing by any means, but that looks about par for the course for youtube. I use sony vegas and export to 1080/30 and upload that...even if my native recording wasn't in 1080. Here's a video I did earlier this year with a 1, 2, 3+(friends camera) and 4. The 2 and 4 were set to 1080/30 and the 1 to 720/30. I can't remember what my friend set the 3+ to but it was either 1080 or 720/60. Cameras were moved around a bit. I can pick out the 1 pretty easy but a lot of that was because it was a cloudy gloomy day when I used it and that model in particular thrives on good light.

    The 2 and 4 I don't think are much different.

    Standard disclaimer: I'm no videographer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbVG5mCCe4U
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    ...but I shoot all of my rides at 1080 60fps.
    You brought up a point that I think applies especially to mountain biking, but also any sport where there is significant motion for a significant part of the frame. Until we can run 60fps in the larger formats, we are stuck with blurry super-res videos.

    I run 720@120 when the camera is in motion (attached to the rider), as the majority of the field of view is in significant motion relative to the frame. I change to 1080@60 when the camera is stationary and I'm recording someone else in motion, as the object of the video is not in significant motion within the frame.

    I'm sure the videos will look great once I upgrade beyond a 720p60 TV and 3:4 LCD monitor.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StumpyElite2010 View Post
    Thank you
    I know that youtube degrades the video quality a lot so I am looking for the golden resolution/FPS/ bitrate combo that will make a good quality post.
    If you recorded at let's say 1080P 60fps and then you hosted your losseless videos on your own NAS, your videos would look great even to any pixel peepers friends. If you use free services like Youtube or facebook, they are going to run aggressive algorithms to compress everything so it does not matter what camera you buy or how you perfect your workflow, the end result will likely be disappointing considering what you started with. If you can afford it, consider purchasing a NAS ( https://www.synology.com ) and use that instead. It will cost 150USD for a basic 2 bay plus some more for 2 harddrives. They act as storage/backup/media streamers/webservers plus many other things so well worth it. You will also be in full control of privacy and not at the mercy of their policies.


    Quote Originally Posted by StumpyElite2010 View Post
    Thank you
    I really don't care for the LCD panel as the camera will be mounted with the case and I will not have access to the back.
    I bought a Silver last week and was very pleasantly surprised it included 3 switchable back door covers. One fully sealed clear pastic one for under water use, one with an open cut out enabling you to use the touchscreen and a semi-open one which has a thin clear plastic film to also let you use the touchscreen but offering some level of water proofing

    The LCD is very useful for framing the shot when you fix it to the bike or handhold. With the Black, you can connect your smartphone to check framing but it will drain the battery.

    In my case, I don't need 4K, certainly not for fast MTBing videos

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by c8stom View Post

    The LCD is very useful for framing the shot when you fix it to the bike or handhold. With the Black, you can connect your smartphone to check framing but it will drain the battery.
    You can use it with the Silver too! I have both the remote and the app. I use the app on my work GoPro daily and it does eat a bit more battery but worth the portable viewfinder IMHO

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    You can use it with the Silver too! I have both the remote and the app. I use the app on my work GoPro daily and it does eat a bit more battery but worth the portable viewfinder IMHO
    Yes, I failed to mention that. Thanks for pointing it out. That said, I can't think why I'd use my phone when I can use the excellent touchscreen ! Actually, I've only had it 1 week so I wouldn't know yet

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by c8stom View Post
    Yes, I failed to mention that. Thanks for pointing it out. That said, I can't think why I'd use my phone when I can use the excellent touchscreen ! Actually, I've only had it 1 week so I wouldn't know yet
    For me the original battery didn't last long enough so I bought the add on second battery. It covers the touch screen which makes it not useable with the added power, turns it off which save power but makes the batter last for hours longer than the original. For me the touch screen is not really needed.

  18. #18
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    As I dont plan to ever use the Silver underwater, I am considering drilling a hole in the waterproof case to allow access to the USB port. This will allow me to plug in a USB cable to provide power from another power supply I already have on the bike ( my Maxx D ) or my other battery pack. Has anyone tried this ?


    Although the Silver is light, I dont want to increase it's weight by adding the OEM battery pack which will likely worsen vibrations. Plus, it hides the screen
    Last edited by c8stom; 04-20-2016 at 06:47 PM.

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