GoPro hits fourth-gen, offers up 4K for filmmakers

Surfers, snowboarders, kayakers, adventurers, and anyone who wants to film their exploits with a tiny camera will soon be able to do in a quality better than Full HD, as GoPro gears up for true 4K with its 30fps friendly GoPro Hero4 black.

There’s great news today if you’ve been looking for a way to get into action videography, because the granddaddy of cameras has three newbies on the way, releases that just might stop you from spending on that model you were eyeing today with something new on its way tomorrow, or a week from now, anyway.

“For the past twelve years, our passion has been to make it easy for people to self-capture jaw dropping, professional quality footage of themselves engaged in their favourite activities,” said Nicholas Woodman, CEO and Founder of GoPro.

The new releases are part of GoPro’s fourth-generation of cameras, and are called “Hero4” because of it, as its tiny rectangular camera gets upgraded for a new generation across three different models and price points.

First there’s the big boy: the aforementioned GoPro Hero4 Black.

This is more or less the one professionals and videographers will want to get their hands on, offering lots of video options and a way of getting video for 4K Ultra HD. While that was previously a resolution option in the older GoPro Hero Black, the Hero3, GoPro has made some tremendous efforts here to double the output and produce 4K at 30 frames per second, making it usable for the new 4K TVs that are beginning to make their way into homes of future-proofing customers.

Full HD’s 1080p can also be captured at 120 frames per second, and images can be shot at 12 megapixels, while the camera still retains its compact size, making it ideal for attachment onto all manner of things: surfboards, skateboards, boats, cars, even a musical instrument here and there.

We’re told the WiFi has been updated as well, with Bluetooth part of the package, and an updated user interface to make it easier to use.

Next up is the mid-range model, the GoPro Hero4 Silver. This one looks to be an updated version of the Hero3 Black, but with an obvious change: it has a touchscreen on the back.

That’s a first for a GoPro, as the screen built into the back offers touch controls for ease of use, while offering similar video modes to the old Black, including 4K at 15 frames per second, 1080p at 60fps, and 720p at 120fps.

Both the Hero4 Black and Silver have been changed, though, with upgraded low light sensitivity, increased sharpness, and dark settings enabling exposure settings of up to 30 seconds, with the audio also apparently supporting more dynamic range at roughly twice what was previously recorded.

There’s also one final GoPro, designed to be the basic entry level for people just keen to see what this whole action videography thing is all about.

That will be the Hero, offering 1080p Full HD at 30fps or 720p at 60fps, with a bare basic set of features for beginning and no WiFi, but still featuring a waterproof case like the older GoPros.

And that’s the range, and we have to admit, we’re particularly keen to play with the Hero4 Black because of that massive 4K 30fps camera, which should make it possible to capture some excellent footage for those new big screens we’re seeing, something that there’s so little of out there, with the Silver grabbing us because the built-in touchscreen should make the whole thing easier to use.

As for pricing and availability, GoPro’s Australian people have told us we can expect these in stores locally from October 6, with pricing set at around $679 for the Hero4 Black, $549 for the Hero4 Silver, and the bare basic GoPro Hero seeing release at $179.