Unless you don't pay much attention to technology or recording devices in general, chances are you're well aware of the GoPro. This brand of tiny action cameras has become a hugely successful and transcendent piece of gear, essentially becoming the defacto device which all of its competition is judged by. If there's a point-of-view action sequence video online, chances are good that it was recorded with a GoPro. But what many might not have considered is that the GoPro is also an excellent tool for musicians. While photos and audio are a given, there’s no better way (short of a live performance) to show off what your groups is all about than with professional quality videos that are able to capture the music and moment with amazing clarity and definition. And with the GoPro Hero4 Silver Music Bundle, the company aims to conquer camera market among musicians as well.
The Hero4 Silver camera itself continues GoPro’s streak of the best available action camera around, featuring an enhanced sensor that boasts better image quality than all of the GoPros that came before it. And better yet, the Hero4 Silver is also the first GoPro to feature an integrated touch display, allowing you to navigate, sort, shoot and play videos easier than ever before. While it might not seem like a big deal, you'll be surprised just how much more intuitive and versatile of an experience a touch screen can offer to the overall experience.
With the Hero4 Silver, you’ll be able to capture 1080p quality video at 60 frames, sharper and clearer than most other action cams. Other video settings include 720p at 120 frames and 960p at 100 frames, each of which looked great and offer remarkably smooth slow-motion playback. 4K and 2.7K is also available at "cinema quality" playback, in other words, about 15-20 frames per second. While it's admittedly low, most consumers don't yet own displays able to take advantage of the ultra-high resolutions.
If speedy ultra high definition video capture and smooth playback is a must, you can always upgrade to the Hero4 Black for $100 more, able to deliver 4K resolution video at 30 frames per second, 2.7K at 60, 1080p at 120 or 720p at a very impressive 240. The only downside to the nice upgrade in specs is that you'll lose out on the Silver's excellent built-in touch screen, although you can always remedy that with the optional LCD Touch BacPac attachment that essentially re-adds that functionality. There's also the free app that allows you to take complete control of your camera remotely through Bluetooth or WiFi.
As far as sound goes, it's top notch. The Hero4 Silver comes equipped with a brand new audio system that delivers clean, clear high-fidelity sound. The microphone also got an upgrade, with twice the dynamic range of its predecessor. And just in case that's not good enough, you can also connect the GoPro Hero4 Silver to a wide variety of external mics using the optional 3.5mm Mic Adapter.
Aside from video, the GoPro is also an excellent camera, able to deliver stunning 12MP shots, even in low-light settings. Other photo features include a variety of burst shot mode, time lapse and software auto-focus.
All in all, the Hero4 Silver works great. The playback is exceptional, the audio capture is professional-grade and the UI is the best of any GoPro ever thanks to the new built-in touch screen.
Much like the iPhone, the GoPro might not have the best pure specs and highest number of features in the action cam market, but it's unrivaled success means that it enjoys the most support as far as accessories go. Dash mounts, water proof exteriors, extended batteries, cases featuring your favoring sports team (yup, they're out there) and of course, music gear.
The Hero4 Black or Hero4 Silver Music Bundle comes with everything you need to get started including the frame, two removable instrument mounts, mic stand mount, protective lens and lens cap, quick release buckles and the 3-way pivot arm. Despite their mostly plastic construction, the accessories themselves don't feel or look cheap and are actually remarkably solid. They will also blend right in with any of your normal equipment thanks to their subdued black-matte finish.
With the mic stand and instrument mounts, you can easily place the GoPro pretty much anywhere you want in your setup. While the mic stand mount does its job as advertised, allowing you to mount the GoPro on any stand like you would with a regular mic, the removable instrument mounts are the real heroes of this package.
I was a bit hesitant on the idea of using an adhesive mount to attach a camera worth hundreds of dollars to my instrument. Luckily, the camera and mount don't weigh all that much and the grip was surprisingly solid. Not once did the camera fall off of my guitar or even feel like it would. I played and moved around like I normally would and the camera and mount stayed firmly in place. It held up just as well when placed on the side of a tom, even with the drummer hammering away at full speed. And thanks to the GoPro's ultra-wide angle lenses, you don't have to place the camera and mount all that far from the action in order to capture the entire scene.
It's no surprise that the Hero4 Silver is an excellent standalone action cam but with the included accessories in the Music Bundle, it becomes a versatile and powerful media tool that can make nearly every situation into a shareable moment. From gigs to band practice, the robust features of the GoPro Hero4 Silver combined with the included accessories make it a great choice for any musician that wants to capture the moment with amazing quality sound and video from any angle. And with the available app that allows you to control every facet of the camera through you're smarphone, it has never been easier.
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