The GoPro HERO+ and HERO4 are two of the most popular action cameras on the market. They both have their pros and cons, but which one is the best for you? Here is a comparison of the two cameras to help you decide.
GoPro Hero+ Vs Hero 4
What Is The Same?
First, we need to determine what elements are different between the Hero+ LCD vs. the Hero 4 Silver. Both cameras weigh the same – Hero+ LCD is 4.5 oz (127g), Hero 4 Silver is 5.2 oz (173g). The Silver has a matte black finish, while the Hero+ LCD is matte Black. Silver! Both models have built-in wifi, so they can be used with the GoPro smartphone app or the optional GoPro smart remote.
The Hero 4 Silver has two thin LEDs at the front, one at the bottom, and one at the back. The Hero+ LCD has one larger LED on its front (just like the Hero 3 range) and one in the back.
The cameras come with three interchangeable rear doors: a fully waterproof door that can be closed down to 131 feet (40m), which prevents the user from operating the touch LCD screen; a touchscreen compatible door that allows the screen to work through the case, and is waterproof up to 10 feet (3m); and a skeleton door, which features a cut around the screen. This door is not waterproof but allows the microphone to record sounds clearly.
The LCD touch screen at the rear of the camera is identical. GoPro doesn’t specify a resolution, and it’s not as sharp or clear as an iPhone’s retina display. The Hero 4 Silver has a button at the bottom left of the screen that can be used for turning it on or off, but you must open the rear door to access it (even if the touch screen or skeleton door is opened).
What Is The Different?
Handling & Mechanics
The HERO+ LCD from the front looks similar to the entry-level model (2014). It is the same dark grey color as the entry-level HERO (2014). The front button has the same round LED light. It is closer to the layout of the older-model HERO3s. The Silver is identical to the Black. It features a larger lens, an activity light, and a small utility LCD screen.
They look almost identical in the back when you turn them both around. Both feature a large color display. The HERO+ LCD has its microSD slot and mini-USB port facing the back. The Silver has the socket to attach BacPac accessories.
GoPros did not come with a screen until Silver was released in mid-2014. The BacPac is an accessory that allows you to add a screen to your back. However, this can increase the cost, size, and weight of the GoPro. Silver was the first GoPro with a large-color LCD screen.
Two GoPros now have LCD screens built-in, thanks to the HERO+ LCD action camera. These screens can be used as touchscreens to navigate menus and other functions.
The screen has many useful functions. It can be used to view what the lens is seeing. Nowadays, most cameras have a live view screen so we can see what we are taking photos of. Until recently, and even with the HERO and Black models, GoPros didn’t have that luxury.
The Hero4 Black can be connected by wifi to the GoPro app. You can also buy an expensive add-on that fits onto the back of your camera. But at its most basic, it’s just pointing and hoping. The screen allows you to be more precise with your composition and framing. It’s also easier than connecting wirelessly to the app.
You can also use the screen as a playback screen to see any footage or photos that you have taken. This allows you to see right away if you have a shot, rather than just hoping.
It makes it easier to navigate the different menus on the GoPro. It is possible to still use the buttons on the front and the somewhat obscure monochrome screen at the rear of the camera. However, it is much easier to use the larger, clearer screen at the back.
The LCD screen has its downsides. The LCD screen does add some weight. It can also reduce battery life. GoPros have poor battery life, and you should limit your screen usage to avoid wasting battery life.
All of the GoPro models are available, but the Silver is my favorite for day-to-day shooting. The screen allows me to see exactly what I am shooting and can line up the shot as I wish. If I have to do something more complicated for clients or require the additional video modes of Black, I will use them. The screen is very useful for everyday shooting.
Comparison of Video Modes
Both cameras record video with H.264 (AVC) and then create mp4 files. They are compatible with almost any online service or video device.
Silver has a lot more flexibility and capabilities in terms of its video options. Although the HERO+ LCD has only a few video modes, they are the most used and widely used, especially when shooting footage for posting on the internet.
The Silver and Black editions are best for creating 4K, 2.7K, or slow-motion footage. If you are only going to post to Youtube, Vimeo, or share with friends and family, then the 1080p/720p modes of HERO+ LCD will be sufficient.
Protune is also available in the Silver and Black editions. This mode allows for greater flexibility and may allow for better post-production quality. Protune is not available on the HERO and HERO+ LCD.
Looping video mode is available on both cameras. It re-records sections it has already recorded. It works in the same way as a security camera or dashcam.
Modifications of Timelapse
Two types of TimeLapse modes are available on GoPro cameras. TimeLapse Photo is the traditional model. It takes a series of photos which you can download to your computer. Then, you can use software to combine them into a video. This allows for more flexibility and can be of better quality. However, it requires more work.
A newer version is also available. GoPro introduced a TimeLapse Video Mode to its Silver and Black models in February 2015. It creates a timelapse video from the camera and saves it as an mp4 file. This is a faster and more efficient way to create a timelapse video ready for sharing, but it limits your creativity and quality options.
The Silver has both TimeLapse Photo (and TimeLapse Video) modes. They can be used in intervals of 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds.
Only TimeLapse Photo is available on the HERO+ LCD. It can be used at intervals of 0.5 to 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds. The TimeLapse Video mode is not available.
Both have an Auto Low Light feature, which automatically optimizes settings for low light shooting.
The HERO+ LCD has a simple interface that allows you to take photos. It can capture 8MP photos and offers wide-angle views. The images are 3264 pixels by 24848 pixels. You can also use the Burst Mode to capture ten photos in a span of 2 seconds.
The Silver has a lot more flexibility. The Silver allows you to shoot photos in three formats: 12MP (4000pxx3000px), 7MP (3000pxx2250px) or 5MP (2260pxx2250px) The 7MP mode allows you to choose between wide-angle and medium-angle field options. You can also choose from multi-shot or burst modes, which allow you to take up to 30 photos per minute, as well as 5 and 10 photos per second. Silver also has a Night Photo mode that optimizes settings to produce better quality in low-light conditions.
Both cameras have wifi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. This means that you can use the GoPro App not only to see what the camera sees but also to remotely control the shooting.
You can also use the Smart Remote (sold separately), with both cameras to control them up to 600 feet away in ideal conditions.
Both cameras create audio at 48kHz using AAC compression. Both cameras use automatic gain control. The Silver uses a multiband compressor to enhance the sound.
Each camera has an internal mono microphone.
An adapter that converts from a mini USB to a 3,5mm plug can be used to plug an external microphone into your Silver. This adapter is sold separately. However, you cannot do this with the HERO+ LCD.
The mini USB port on both cameras can be used to charge, connect to a computer to file transfer or firmware upgrades, or playback video or photos to TV (using a separate cable).
You can also use Silver’s micro HDMI port to stream directly to an HDTV via a separate cable (sold separately).
Size and Weight
- HERO+ LCD: 4.5oz (127g), with integrated housing
- HERO4 Silver: 5.2oz (147g), with standard housing or 2.0oz (83.4g) without housing
The waterproof housing comes standard on both cameras and is rated to withstand pressure equivalent to being 131 feet (or 40m) below the surface.
There is a crucial difference between the housings. The HERO+ LCD housing is an integral part of a camera, so the front of the case is actually part of its body. It’s very similar to the HERO. This means that blackout or skeleton housings will not work with the HERO+ LCD. The back door can be swapped out, but you can’t remove the housing from the camera.
The Silver camera is housed in a housing that can be removed. This allows you to swap out the housing or use it “naked” with no housing.
Most accessories that fit on a GoPro Hero4 Silver will also work with a Hero+ LCD. Both can be connected to the standard GoPro mounting system, and both can also connect to suction caps or selfie sticks.
There are three main areas of difference in accessories for these models due to fundamental design differences in the way that batteries and housings are handled.
Housings. Housings are the main difference. The housings are integrated into the camera with the HERO+ LCD. You can’t replace them for a skeleton or blackout housing, but you can swap the back door. You can’t use filter gels between the lens portal and the housing’s housing lens. The Silver allows you to remove the camera from its housing and either use it naked or with another type of housing.
Batteries. Rechargeable batteries are used in both cameras. However, the HERO+ LCD is inside the camera and cannot be removed. You can’t purchase spare batteries for either the basic HERO or this model. The mini USB cable can be used to recharge the battery. You need to connect the camera to an AC adapter or car charger. While the camera is charging, you can still continue filming.
The Silver model has a removable battery that can be swapped out for a new, fully charged one. These batteries are identical to those used in the HERO4Black, but they are different from the ones in older GoPro models. More information is available on the extra batteries for both the Silver and Black editions.
BacPac battery. There’s no need for an additional BacPac screen as the screen is already built into both cameras. GoPro also offers a longer-lasting BacPac battery that can be attached to the camera’s back. The Silver and Black models can use it, but the BacPac battery cannot be used with the HERO+ LCD. There is no place for the battery to the plugin.
Memory Cards MicroSD Cards are used by all current GoPros.
Along with the Silver and Black models of the HERO+ LCDs, it supports microSDXC cards up to 64GB. The SDXC support opens up cards larger than 64GB, such as 128GB cards. However, GoPro currently doesn’t recommend cards larger than 64GB for any of their cameras.
The HERO+ LCD does not have many high-end video modes, so it isn’t necessary to get the top speed cards. The majority of current generation SDHC and microSDXC cards will work. You can use a faster card, but it won’t be useful for your camera. If you have a card reader, you might be able to download footage and photos.
Slow cards can cause problems because Silver is capable of handling higher-end video modes that require a large amount of data to be written to the card very quickly. The GoPro Hero4 Silver and Black editions have more information about memory cards.
The Silver offers advanced shooting modes and features not available on the HERO+ LCD. These include:
- Video + Photo (captures photo timelapse simultaneously with recording video (intervals between 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds).
- White Balance Options
- Options for Color Profile
- ISO Limit options
- Sharpness options
- Exposure Value Compensation (EV Comp.) Options
Although it’s difficult to quantify, the Silver and Black lenses have better quality. The Silver and Black offer more flexibility and higher quality if you are shooting commercially or for clients. The HERO+ LCD offers exceptional quality if you are shooting for your family and friends.
You can check out the other comparison Hero 4 vs other action cameras:
- GoPro Hero 3 vs Hero 4 2022: Which Is Better For You
- GoPro Hero 4 Vs GoPro Hero 5 2022: Which Is Better For You
The GoPro HERO+ and HERO4 are two action cameras that offer a variety of features and options. The HERO+ is the newer model, and it offers some features that the HERO4 does not have. Both cameras are capable of capturing high-quality video and photos, and both are designed to be durable and weatherproof. However, the HERO+ is a bit more affordable than the HERO4, and it also has a built-in touchscreen display.