GoPro Hero 4 – 5 Reasons Why 4K Video is Great For Drones

Posted by
September 28, 2014

WARNING! RUMOR ALERT! The GoPro Hero 4 Hasn’t been officially announced yet. But here’s some pretty solid info.

Update: The official specs and announcement video for the GoPro Hero 4 have been released and are available here.

If you’ve been following any good camera blogs, you’ve probably already seen the latest GoPro Hero 4 rumors going around. If not, here’s the scoop!

So far, GoPro has not come out with any info on the new GoPro Hero 4, but a very popular website by the name of has released some leaked information about what the Hero 4 will be able to do.

Hero 4 Features

The biggest feature for the most expensive GoPro is basically speed. With a new generation of processors, the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition (or whatever it will be called) will be twice as fast as the Hero 3. This will allow it to shoot in 4K at a full 30FPS (frames per second), 2.7K, 1080p and all of the other shooting modes will benefit as well. Every shooting mode will have a doubled frame rate. 120FPS at 1080p and 50FPS at 2.7K are great improvements, but one thing that seems odd is that 720p is supposedly staying at 120FPS (the same frame rate as the Hero 3 Black Edition).

One thing that the site Peta Pixel didn’t mention is that, because of the new processor, the noise and low light performance on the Hero 4 might be considerably better, especially since the megapixel count is exactly the same as the Hero 3. That’s just my speculation though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Supposedly, the new GoPro will also offer a greater variety of manual controls. Right now, the GoPro already has a few great features like ISO Limits, and a more flat color profile, but something like exposure lock and shutter speed controls would be a nice feature to add.

5 Reasons Why 4K is Great For people with Drones

Some people were hoping for other features like a longer battery life, or maybe GPS functionality. However, I think that adding 4K to the Hero 4 will be a big enough upgrade for a lot of drone users to motivate them to get the new camera over the old one. So here are 5 reasons why I think the addition of 4K is a great feature.

1. Cropping

Have you ever shot a Go Pro video and then afterwards realized that you were shooting in the wrong crop mode? Well, since shooting in 4K utilizes almost all 14 megapixels of the sensor, you no longer have to pick what crop mode to use because all the video data is there. You can worry about framing later, just go out and capture it all.

2. Image Stabilization

In most stabilization cases, the more pixels you have, the better! The more resolution you have, the more you can zoom in without loosing too much detail.

The reason why you have to zoom in to do image stabilization is because if you didn’t, you would see black bars popping in and out. This is because of the stabilizer trying to correct the motion by moving the video. Basically, the more zooming you can do, the more motion you can correct for.

3. Standardization of 4K

I know most of us don’t have 4K televisions yet, but 4K as a standard video resolution isn’t too far away. 4K televisions are getting cheaper every year, and by the end of this year should be less than $1500 for a nice 50 inch. 4K videos are also starting to pop up on video websites like Netflix, You Tube and Vimeo.

4. Still Pictures From Video

It’s always a pain trying to take aerial pictures with a drone, because you usually can’t use the WiFi remote, since it operates on the same frequencies as the electronics on board the aircraft. So unless you’re trying to capture the highest quality pictures possible, taking still frames out of your 4K aerial videos should give you some pretty usable photos.

5. Super Sharp 1080p

One cool thing about shooting in 4K is that, even when playing the video back on a 1080p monitor the 4K video will still look sharper than 1080p. I think this is because there’s more detail in the image, so when you scale it down and render it out, you’re rendering application has cleaner information to work with, thus creating a sharper and more accurate 1080p video file.

Pricing and Final Thoughts

No oficial pricing has been confirmed yet, but I think it’s safe to assume that the Hero 4 Black Edition will be around $400. One thing that I forgot to mention is that Go Pro is also supposedly coming out with a lower priced Hero 4 that performs like the Hero 3, but with an added LCD screen. At the moment, I’m expecting all of the Hero 4 models to come out near the end of October, since the official announcement is on October 8th according to Peta Pixel

Over all, I think that this is going to be a great update. I just hope that the form factor of the new camera is the same as the old one. That way, it should work in all of the the current camera gimbals (including the DJI H3-3D). Otherwise we’ll have to wait for DJI to release a new gimbal before using the Hero 4 on the DJI Phantom 2.

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