GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver

This is a detailed comparison of how the GoPro HERO4 Silver compares with the HERO+ LCD, including video, photo, and time-lapse modes, as well as other features.

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The GoPro HERO+ LCD (or HERO PLUS LCD, as it’s sometimes written) slots in between the entry-level HERO (2014) 1 and the more advanced HERO4 Silver. It’s a hybrid that takes some features from each.

If you’re trying to choose between them, here’s a breakdown of where they’re similar and different.

There are quite a lot of similarities, but there are also some important differences. The HERO (2014) and HERO+ LCD essentially build on the hardware of the HERO3 range, whereas the HERO4 range has some improvements to aspects like the lens and sensor.

But with the addition of the screen and wireless to what is, in most other ways, the entry-level HERO, I would expect the HERO+ LCD to be a very popular camera.

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Handling & Mechanics


From the front, the HERO+ LCD looks like the entry-level HERO (2014). It’s the same dark gray and has the same round LED light next to the front button. It’s closer to the layout of the previous-model HERO3s. The Silver looks exactly like the Black. It has a larger lens and has the activity light alongside the small utility LCD screen.

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: LCD Screens Compared

When you turn them around, they look very similar in the back. Both have a large color screen. The HERO+ LCD also has its microSD slot and mini USB port facing the back (they’re on the side of the Silver), whereas the Silver has the socket for attaching BacPac accessories.

Until the Silver was released in late-2014, GoPros didn’t come with a screen built-in. You could add a screen to the back as an optional accessory (the BacPac), but it added cost, size, and weight. The Silver was the first GoPro to come with a large color LCD screen built-in.

With the launch of the HERO+ LCD, there are now two GoPros with built-in LCD screens. The screens are color and function as a touchscreen for navigating menus, etc.


The screen serves several useful functions. Firstly, it can be used as a live view to see what the lens sees. We take it for granted these days that most cameras come with a live view screen that lets us see what we’re taking a photo of. But until recently–and even still with the Black and HERO models–GoPros haven’t had that luxury.

With the Black, you can use connect by WiFi to the GoPro smartphone app and do it that way or you can buy a relatively expensive add-on that slots onto the back of the camera, but at its simplest, it’s a matter of pointing and hoping. Having the screen means you can be much more precise in your composition and framing, and it’s a simpler option than connecting wirelessly to the mobile app, and it’s cheaper, smaller, and lighter than adding a separate BacPac screen on the back.

The screen also serves as a playback screen so you can see the footage you’ve filmed or the photos you’ve taken. So you can see immediately whether you got the shot rather than hoping.

It also serves as a more intuitive way of operating the various menus on the GoPro. You can still use the buttons and the small and somewhat cryptic monochrome screen on the front of the camera, but using the much larger and clearer screen on the back is a lot easier.

There are downsides to using the LCD screen. It does add a little weight. But the biggest downside is that it eats into battery life. GoPros don’t have great battery life at the best of times, and if you want to milk as much life out of the battery as you can, you’ll want to keep your usage of the screen to a minimum or even turn it off completely.

I have all of the current and recent GoPro models, but I find that in day-to-day shooting I end up reaching most for the Silver because of the screen. I like the ability to see exactly what I’m shooting and to line up the shot how I want it. If I’m doing something more involved for a client or need the extra video modes of the Black, I’ll go with that. But for my own everyday shooting, I find the screen very useful.

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Video Modes Compared

Both cameras record videos with the H.264 (AVC) video codec and create .mp4 format files. So they’re very widely compatible with just about any video device, online service, and social media.

The Silver is a lot more capable and flexible with its video options. But although the HERO+ LCD only has a handful of video modes, they’re also ones that are most commonly used, especially for shooting footage to post on the web.

If you’re looking to create 4K, 2.7K, or slow-motion footage, you’ll be wanting to look at the Silver or Black editions. But if you’re only planning on posting on the web to Youtube, Vimeo, etc–or to share amongst friends or family–then the 1080p and 720p modes of the HERO+ LCD should be more than enough.

The Silver and Black editions also offer Protune, which is a higher quality shooting mode that allows more flexibility and potentially better quality in post-production. The HERO and HERO+ LCD don’t offer Protune.

Both cameras have a Looping video mode. In that, it goes back and re-records over previously recorded sections. In the way a dashcam or security camera does, for example.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of which camera can do what video modes. As you can see, the Silver offers much more flexibility.

4K 15fps 
4K 15fps + Protune 
4K 12fps 
4K 12 fps + Protune 
2.7K 30fps 
2.7K 30fps + Protune 
2.7K 25fps 
2.7K 25fps + Protune 
2.7K 24fps 
2.7K 24fps + Protune 
2.7K 4:3 30fps 
2.7K 4:3 25fps 
1440p 60fps 
1440p 50fps 
1440p 48fps 
1440p 48fps + Protune 
1440p 30fps 
1440p 30fps + Protune 
1080p 60fps
1080p 60fps + Protune 
1080p 50fps
1080p 50fps + Protune 
1080p 48fps 
1080p 48fps + Protune 
1080p 30fps
1080p 30fps + Protune 
1080p 25fps
1080p 25fps + Protune 
1080p 24fps 
1080p 24fps + Protune 
1080p 60fps Superview 
1080p 60fps Superview + Protune 
1080p 50fps Superview 
1080p 50fps Superview + Protune 
1080p 48fps Superview 
1080p 48fps Superview + Protune 
1080p 30fps Superview 
1080p 30fps Superview + Protune 
1080p 25fps Superview 
1080p 25fps Superview + Protune 
1080p 24fps Superview 
1080p 24fps Superview + Protune 
960p 120fps 
960p 120fps + Protune 
960p 60fps 
960p 60fps + Protune 
960p 50fps 
960p 50fps + Protune 
720p 120fps 
720p 120fps + Protune 
720p 60fps
720p 60fps + Protune 
720p 50fps
720p 50fps + Protune 
720p 30fps 
720p 30fps + Protune 
720p 25fps 
720p 25fps + Protune 
720p 120fps Superview 
720p 120fps Superview + Protune 
720p 60fps Superview
720p 60fps Superview + Protune 
720p 50fps Superview
720p 50fps Superview + Protune 
WVGA 240fps 
WVGA 240fps + Protune 

Here’s a visualization of the video resolutions that GoPro cameras produce. Click on the graphic to open a full-size version.


GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: TimeLapse Modes Compared

There are two types of TimeLapse modes on GoPro cameras. The traditional one is TimeLapse Photo, where it takes a series of photos that you can then download to your computer and use software to compile together into a video. It offers more flexibility and potentially better quality, but it also takes more work.

There’s also a newer addition. In February 2015, via a firmware update for the Silver and Black, GoPro added a TimeLapse Video mode. It compiles the timelapse video in the camera and puts it out as an mp4 video file. It’s a much more convenient–and much quicker way–to create a timelapse video that’s ready to share, but you’re more limited in your creative and quality options.

The Silver offers both TimeLapse Photo and TimeLapse Video modes in intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds.

The HERO+ LCD offers only TimeLapse Photo with intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds. It doesn’t have the TimeLapse Video mode.

Both offer an Auto Low Light feature that automatically optimizes the settings for shooting in low light situations.

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Photo Modes Compared

The options for taking photos on the HERO+ LCD are pretty simple: it captures 8MP photos with a wide-angle view. The resulting images come out at 3264 pixels by 2448 pixels. There’s also a Burst Mode that lets you capture 10 photos spanning 2 seconds.

The Silver offers quite a bit more flexibility. You can shoot photos in 12MP (4000px x 3000px), 7MP (3000px x 2250px), or 5MP (2560px x 1920px). In the 7MP mode you have a choice of whether to use wide-angle or medium-angle field of view. It also has various multi-shot and burst modes that allow you, for example, to shoot 5 photos per second or up to 30 photos per second. The Silver also offers a Night Photo mode where the settings are optimized to create better quality for low light conditions.

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Wireless


Both cameras offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections. That means you can use the GoPro App to not only see what the camera sees but also to control the shooting remotely.

It also means that you can use the Smart Remote (sold separately) with both cameras to control them from up to 600 feet away (in ideal conditions).

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Audio

Both cameras create audio at 48kHz using AAC compression. Both use automatic gain control; the Silver also uses a multi-band compressor to improve the sound.

Both cameras have an internal mono microphone.

You can also plug an external microphone into the Silver (using an adapter to go from mini USB to a 3.5mm plug (sold separately)), but you can’t do that with the HERO+ LCD.


Both cameras have a mini USB port that’s used for charging, connecting to a computer for file transfer or firmware updates, and playing back video or photos to a TV (using a separate cable).

The Silver also has a micro HDMI port, which allows you to play back directly on an HDTV using a separate cable (sold separately).

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Size and Weight Compared

HERO+ LCD: 4.5oz (127g) with the integrated housing
HERO4 Silver: 5.2oz (147g) with the standard housing, or 2.0oz (84g) without a housing

GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver: Housings

Both cameras come standard with a waterproof housing that’s rated for pressure equivalent to being 131′ (or 40m) underwater.

But there’s a key difference in the housings. With the HERO+ LCD, it’s an integrated part of the camera so that the front part of the case is part of the camera body itself. In that respect, it’s exactly like the HERO. What that means is that blackout housings or skeleton housings won’t work with the HERO+ LCD. You can, however, swap out the back door–you just can’t separate the camera from the front part of the housing.

With the Silver, the camera sits inside a housing and can be removed. That means you can switch out the housing–or use it “naked” without any housing.

With the HERO+ LCD, the housing is part of the camera.
With the HERO+ LCD, the housing is part of the camera.
With the HERO4 Silver, the camera can come completely out of the housing.
With the HERO4 Silver, the camera can come completely out of the housing.


In general, most of the accessories that work on a GoPro HERO4 Silver will work with a HERO+ LCD. Both use the standard GoPro mounting system and can connect to selfie sticks, head harnesses, suction caps, or the thousands of other GoPro mounting options.

But there are three key areas of difference when it comes to accessories for these models because of some fundamental design differences in how the housings and batteries are handled.

Housings. One big difference is with the housings. Because the housing is integrated into the camera itself with the HERO+ LCD, you can’t swap out the housings for something like a skeleton housing or a blackout housing (but you can swap out just the back door). It also means you can’t use any filter gels that go inside the housing between the camera lens and the housing’s lens portal. With the Silver, you can remove the camera from the housing and use it naked or with a different kind of housing.

Batteries. Both cameras use rechargeable batteries, but with the HERO+ LCD it’s inside the camera and can’t be removed. So you can’t buy spare batteries for this model (or the basic HERO). To recharge the battery, you have to insert the mini USB cable in the camera and then the connect it to a power source, whether that’s an AC adapter, a car charger, or an external battery. You can continue filming while the camera is connected.

With the Silver, the battery is removable, so you can swap it out for a spare charged battery. The batteries are the same ones used in the HERO4 Black but are different to the ones in previous GoPro models. Here’s more detailed information on extra batteries for the Silver and Black editions.

BacPac Battery. Since there’s a screen built-in, there’s no need to add an extra BacPac screen to either camera. But GoPro also makes a longer life BacPac battery that attaches to the back of the camera. It works with the Silver and Black, but you can’t use the BacPac battery with the HERO+ LCD–there’s nowhere for it to plug in.

Memory Cards. All of the current GoPros use microSD cards.

The HERO+ LCD, along with both the Silver and Black models, supports cards up to 64GB (microSDXC). In theory, that SDXC support also opens up cards larger, such as 128GB cards, but GoPro doesn’t currently recommend cards larger than 64GB for any of its cameras.

Because the HERO+ LCD lacks many of the high-end video modes, it’s not necessary to go for the bleeding-edge top-end speed cards. Most of the current generation of SDHC and microSDXC cards will work. If you want to use a fast card, you can, but you won’t get any benefit using it in the camera. You might get some benefit when download the footage or photos when you use the card with a card reader.

Because the Silver can handle some higher-end video modes that need to write a lot of data very quickly to the card, slow cards can cause problems. Here’s much more detailed information on the memory card recommendations for the GoPro HERO4 Silver and Black editions.

Other Features

The Silver has a number of other advanced shooting modes and features that aren’t available on the HERO+ LCD. They include:

  • Video + Photo (captures timelapse photos simultaneously with recording video (intervals of 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds)
  • White Balance options
  • Color Profile options
  • ISO Limit options
  • Sharpness options
  • Exposure Value Compensation (EV Comp) options

The Silver and Black also have a better quality lens, although that’s hard to quantify. If you’re shooting for clients or commercially, the Silver and Black offers more flexibility and better quality. But if you’re shooting for yourself, family, and friends, the HERO+ LCD still offers excellent quality.

How to Choose Between the GoPro HERO+ LCD and HERO4 Silver

Ultimately, both are very capable cameras that you can use to capture great footage or photos. There’s no question that the Silver is a better camera. It does everything the HERO+ LCD does and quite a lot more, and the quality of its video and photos is better. But it’s also $100 more expensive. If that’s not a big deciding factor for you, go with the Silver.

But if your budget is tight, the HERO+ LCD is still a very impressive camera. If you’re trying to decide whether it meets your needs, the first things to consider are whether it has the video modes you need and that you are comfortable with having an internal battery that can’t be replaced or swapped for a freshly charged one. Then consider things like how critical having the best possible video quality is to you, whether you plan to use the still photos function much, and whether you’d like to have extra features like TimeLapse Video and night photo modes. Beyond that you start getting into the nitty-gritty of things exposure compensation, white balance controls, and external microphones. GoPro is betting–and probably quite rightly–that the HERO+ LCD is going to meet the needs of many users who don’t need a lot of those more advanced features.

Where to Buy

These are both discontinued models, so it’s hard to find them new. But there’s a good chance of finding them used. I buy most of my used gear from KEH; you can check their current GoPro inventory here. (It’s also a great place to get cash for your old gear.)

  1. When it was released, this camera was known as just the HERO. In 2018, GoPro released another camera also called the HERO. I’ve adopted GoPro’s naming convention of HERO (2014) and HERO (2018) to avoid confusion about which I’m referring to here.[]

The Latest Model: GoPro HERO11 Black

Released in the fall of 2022, the HERO11 is GoPro's current model. Well, actually two models.

First, there's the flagship Black that has all the bells and whistles and sets the standard for action cameras.

GoPro HERO11 Black
  • Shoot 5.3K60 & 4K120 video at up to 120Mbps bitrate
  • Take 27MP photos
  • Waterproof to 33ft / 10m without a separate housing
  • Built-in mount point
  • HyperSmooth 5.0 In-camera Video Stabilization creates smooth video without a gimbal
  • Shoot up to 8x slow motion

A couple of months later, they released Black Mini. It's smaller and shares many of the flagship models capabilities, but it's also stripped-down in important ways. For instance, it doesn't have a touchscreen, its battery isn't removable, and it shoots video only (so no photo mode).

GoPro HERO11 Black Mini
  • Shoot 5.3K60 & 4K120 video at up to 120Mbps bitrate
  • Compact form factor
  • Waterproof to 33ft / 10m without a separate housing
  • 2x built-in mount point
  • HyperSmooth 5.0 in-camera video stabilization
  • Shoot up to 8x slow motion @ 2.7K
  • Built-in battery
David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. I've been shooting with GoPros for years, starting with the HD HERO, and have owned and used every model since. More »

35 thoughts on “GoPro HERO+ LCD vs HERO4 Silver”

  1. About the memory card.
    You also need a fast memory card for GoPro+ LCD because otherwise the whole camera will freeze during video shoot (needed the hard reset) and it can also damage the photos.
    I have GoPro+ LCD and I was forced to buy a fast memory card matching the GoPro recommendations (see link in the article). Do not buy a cheep card!!! It is not that worth.

  2. My gf just got me a Hero+ LCD for my birthday. After reading this I’m disappointed she didn’t get me the Hero4 Silver. I should’ve gotten another girlfriend! (just kidding)

  3. I have a Hero+ LCD which has done a good job for a short time….it flooded. I own a dive resort in Mexico and dive every day. If I understand you correctly the Hero 4 Silver has the same type LCD screen built into the camera back. The cost difference is justifiable to me because I use it daily in my business and promotions. Do you recommend the Hero 4 Silver for my application? This is quite confusing to me because my Hero + lasted me only a very short time. But the LCD screen is necessary to me.

    • Yes, the Silver has the same LCD screen. The new HERO5 Black also has an even better (clearer, sharper, and brighter) screen, although that’s a bit pricier, and while it’s somewhat waterproof without a separate housing, you’d still need a housing for diving. And with the HERO4 Silver, you could still use any red filters etc you were using with the HERO+ LCD. The HERO5 Black takes different filters.

      You’ll also notice an improvement in video quality from the HERO+ LCD to the HERO4 Silver–it has a better sensor.

  4. Hi, im really torn between getting the Hero 4 Silver £229 or the Hero+ LCD £150 on sale for Black Friday, I am aware that the silver is better quality in almost all respects but with an £80 difference is it worth me settling for the Hero+ LCD if i plan on using it mostly for holidays and scuba diving?

    • The better quality sensor in the Silver will be very noticeable with the underwater shots. For the regular holiday shooting in good light it’ll be less noticeable.

  5. I have just acquired a Hero Base model that I am going to use in conjunction with my housed Cannon G12. Would it be possible to convert to +LCD by adding the LCD backplate?
    Also would the red and violet filters be compatible?
    Would there be generic parts for the LCD and filters as extreme qualty is not essential?

    • No, it’s not. The basic HERO isn’t compatible with the LCD BacPac.

      Some filters are compatible with the HERO, but make sure they’re clip-on ones and make sure they specify. Any filter that goes between the lens and the housing obviously isn’t going to work.

  6. I was wondering if you could help me pick between the Hero + LCD and the Hero 4 Silver. There’s a $160 difference between the two and I’m not sure if it’s worth it for MY uses. I’m a photographer and I have a Canon Rebel t4i dslr. I am on a budget and lately I’ve been wanting to get a wide angle lens. But after going to a recent trip to Lake Michigan and lugging around my expensive, non waterpoof / sand resistant camera, I’ve decided to look into the go pros’. Now I’m not sure which one I should end up buying. The silver is obviously better and it’s my dream choice, but i have to be realistic and see if it’s worth it for my needs. I love getting beautiful wide angle pictures, and I loveee making videos. All in all, I want nice quality footage. I’m also worried about the battery not being able to be taken out of the LCD one. But then again, one is $199 and the other is $358, quite a big difference. I was hoping if maybe you could point me to the right direction of picking the perfect one for my needs. I surely would hate to get the LCD and regret not paying the extra $150 or vice versa.


  7. What cable do I exactly need for watching my playback videos on my vizio 53″ HD TV.I have the HERO+LCD and can’t figure out what SD HD adapter I need just for watching videos on my TV.

  8. Hello… What is the best for you Silver or black? I know right the advantages and disadvantage but i want more any suggestion to make a right choice. Thanks

    • I find myself reaching for the Silver most often for general shooting unless I need one of the video modes that only the Black has.

  9. hey with the attached housing how about the sound? it still no problem? or the sound seems little low with the housing attached? thx.

  10. Is there a way or a need to use the anti fog inserts in the Hero+LCD? They don’t fit as instructed because of the integrated housing… I will be taking it with me diving and wanted to make sure I don’t fog up.

    • No, there’s not. But because of the integrated housing it shouldn’t fog up because it’s sealed against humid air getting between the lens and the lens port cover.

  11. I just got the HERO + LCD for Christmas and I am considering returning for the Silver.

    I understand the camera is built in the housing and as I do a LOT outdoors I am concerned the case will get scratched up, specifically where the camera lens is. Once this happens I do not believe I can replace the case and would have to purchase another GOPRO in it’s entirety.

    Is this true?

  12. I was considering the Hero LCD, but now I am going to get the Silver. It does all and more than I plan to do with the camera. The LCD has too many limitations. The non removable battery is a deal killer!

  13. Thank you! Great review… With the Silver, I’m wondering how well the quality will be for zooming in post production. How far can you push it? With the audio reviews I’ve read and heard, it seems to sound great! For me, it’s the tie breaker being that it has an external input. I’m considering mostly for this and rechargeable/removable batteries/case. If the stability is really what it seems, with use of the appropriate accessories, the price is undeniable!

  14. Does the Hero plus lcd have the capability to add a red filter for underwater photos and videos? Do either have an electronic underwater setting?

    • Yes, so long as you use a clip-on one on the front (as opposed to inside the housing). Like [easyazon_link identifier=”B00J9RO2CW” locale=”US” tag=”05060702-20″]this one[/easyazon_link]–there are also less expensive 3rd-party versions. There’s no underwater setting.

      • So either one has a clip on the outside filter only correct? I wonder why they do this with electronics. I have an old Lumix I use with a case that has an underwater setting that works great.

  15. Hi David

    I’m a cop, and I’m wondering if you could provide some advice on which GoPro to go with? (I’ve been looking at the Hero 4 Silver)

    The main reason I use it for is providing evidence in court, and reviewing incidents (fights, conversations, intercepts searches, etc). So I need something that records in great detail, with a wide angle, in varying light conditions – whether I’m running, driving or walking.

    What would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I have no idea about using the footage in evidence or any of the legal side of things, obviously, but on the purely technical side all the GoPros will record in high resolution and have very wide-angle lenses. The biggest issue you’re likely to face is battery life. Without plugging into an external power source, the best you can hope for is up to 2 hrs of recording, although most of the time you’ll get less than that. You’ll also need to manage the memory card since they don’t have the capability to automatically starting to wipe over the earliest footage when the card gets full. The Silver is probably the most versatile for all-round use in the GoPro range, so is probably a good bet. If you don’t need a removable battery or larger than 1080HD recording, the HERO+ LCD is also worth a look. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the body-mounted camera setups that some police departments have adopted, but I do know that Taser and others do make specialized cameras for such use (like this one).

  16. On the verge of buying a GoPro after returning the Muvi k2 NPNG to the shop (luckily got my money back) I saw the release of the HERO+ LCD, tempted by the price curiosity made me search for a decent review and brought me here. Outstanding review helped in deciding to go for the Silver, keep up providing the web with your clear and sound articles ! Thanks !

  17. Thank to your excellent review and sharing of opinion – keep up your fantastic work! I already stepped down from getting the Black edition. However, I am now struggling between the Hero 4 Silver and the Hero 3+.

    I primarily want to use it during my trips and water sport activities (mostly for scuba diving). Would a HERO3+ be sufficient underwater since there is no white balancing etc.?

    • Both will work very well. The HERO3+ is still a very capable camera and you can get excellent results from it. I’ve used them underwater many times. A red filter helps a lot with color balancing and goes a long way to addressing the white balance issue. There are a number of different styles–here are some–and you can even get ones that are customized tones to compensate for the light are particular depths. But the sensor in the HERO4 models is an improvement over the sensor in the HERO3+ models–not that the HERO3+ sensor is bad at all–so there is quality improvement there with the newer model. Whichever you go with, for diving I’d recommend both a red filter and [easyazon_link identifier=”B00DVMJP96″ locale=”US” tag=”05060702-20″]anti-fog inserts[/easyazon_link].

  18. I literally just bought the Hero 4 Silver a month ago, mainly for the LCD screen! It sucks to hear this was released so close, but thanks for the side-by-side comparison! It really helped me feel better about my purchase. Definitely still would have gotten the Silver, especially for the removable battery option! I have 2 extra batteries for swapping. Great article!


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