It’s been about 3 months since the launch of GoPro’s HERO4 – but outside of a small patch that shipped just after launch, the HERO4’s software is pretty much the same as it was on Day 1.
That changes come February, when the company will ship a free update that teaches the camera all sorts of new tricks.
For context here, the HERO4 exists in two forms: the HERO4 Black, and HERO4 Silver.
Explaining the differences between the two is probably a bit outside of the scope of this post, but the short version: Silver is cheaper ($399) and has a touchscreen; Black is pricier ($499) without a touchscreen, but has a faster CPU and can shoot high-res video at much higher frame rates.
February’s update will bring a little somethin’ for each model.
Coming to both models:
- Time Lapse Video — GoPro cameras have pretty much always done time lapse stuff, but they’ve always come out as a series of photos that you had to manually put together into a video. You can now save your time lapse as a video automatically, instead.
- 30/6 Burst mode Snap 30 photos in six seconds. While the HERO4 can already shoot as fast as 30 photos in one second, this mode is meant for snapping photos of sports with crazy long airtimes, like snowboarding or dirtbiking.
- Auto-rotate: A feature I’ve wanted in a GoPro for years. The camera can now sense if it’s mounted upside down, and auto-rotate video accordingly. According to a beta tester we spoke to about the update, the orientation will lock as soon as you hit record (otherwise, it’d flip all over the place mid-video)
Meanwhile, each model is getting a few unique tweaks.
Coming to just the HERO4 Black:
- 240 FPS video recording at 720p for super slowmotion but still high-res stuff
- 60 FPS video recording at 2.7k
Coming to just the HERO4 Silver:
- The ability to mark highlights while recording by tapping the touch screen. Makes it easier to scrub right to the good stuff when you’re recording for hours at a time.
We bumped into GoPro’s Rick Loughery on the showfloor at CES, who gave us a quick run-down of the update. The bit about the update starts at the 2:30 mark.