GoPro Hero 4 . What We Might Expect. 4K 30 fps. 2K 120 fps.


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The GoPro Hero 3 Black packs quite a punch using the older Ambarella A7 chip. The new GoPro Hero 4 should push these limits even further with the advent of the new Ambarella A9 SoC chip. GoPro tends to announce new product info around the same time as Apple. If GoPro uses the new Ambarella A9 chip we can expect some serious upgrades to the GoPro Hero 4 camera.  Here is a breakdown of the A9 chip specifications. Just imagine, a 4K 30 fps camera for under $400.

Here is a breakdown of the new Ambarella A9 SoC chip.


The Ambarella A9 SoC enables development of the next generation of mirrorless, sports, and digital still cameras (DSCs) with leading- edge video features and exceptional still image quality.

In addition to 4K Ultra HD video resolution at 30 frames per second, the A9 supports high frame-rate video for capturing fast-action sports with 1080p video at 120 frames per second or 720p video at 240 frames per second.

The A9 includes dual core ARM® CortexTM-A9 CPUs providing the performance required for advanced applications including wireless connectivity to smartphones for video streaming or image sharing.

Key Features

4K Ultra HD H.264 Encoder

° High Profile with B-frames for high efficiency

Super High Frame Rate Modes

° 1080p120 and 720p240 for action videography

Advanced Imaging

° 700Mpixels/s oversampling performance
° Multi-exposure HDR and WDR tone mapping ° Electronic image stabilization (EIS)
° Improved MCTF with advanced sharpening

Advanced Imaging

° 700Mpixels/s oversampling performance
° Multi-exposure HDR and WDR tone mapping

Wi-FiTM Connectivity

° Remote viewfinder, playback
° Upload pictures and video to social media

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General Specifications

Processor Cores

° Dual Core ARM® CortexTM-A9 @ up to 1 GHz • NEONTM and FPU acceleration

° Ambarella Image and Video DSPs ° Cryptography Engine

Sensor and Video I/O

° Dual sensor interfaces
• 12-lane SLVDS/HiSPiTM/subLVDS, 4-lane

MIPITM, or 16-bit
• 1-lane SLVDS/MIPI

° BT.601/656/1120 video in and BT.656/1120 out ° 24-bit RGB out, HDMI® 1.4a with PHY out
° PAL/NTSC composite SD video out

Front End Sensor Processing

° 32 MPixels maximum resolution
° 700 MHz maximum pixel rate
° Lens shading, fixed pattern noise correction ° Multi-exposure HDR
° WDR local exposure

Video Encoding

° H.264 codec BP/MP/HP Level 5.1 and MJPEG ° 4K Ultra HD encode performance
° 1080p120, 720p240 modes
° Low bitrate/high quality encoding

° On-the-fly change of multiple encoding parameters ° Flexible GOP configuration
° Multiple CBR and VBR rate control modes

Image Processing

° 3D motion compensated noise reduction (MCTF) ° Electronic Image stabilization (EIS)
° Adjustable AE/AWB/AF
° High quality polyphase scalers

° Crop, mirror, flip, 90° rotation

Memory Interfaces

° 32-bit data bus
° Dual SMIO with SDXC SDTM Card Support
° NAND flash, SLC with ECC
° Boot from NAND, SPI EEPROM, USB or eMMC

Peripheral Interfaces

° GMAC Ethernet with GMII / MII
° USB2.0 HS Device or Host w/PHY
° Multiple I2S, SSI/SPI, IDC, and UART
° Multiple PWM, Stepper, and ADC channels
° Many GPIO ports, PWM, Steppers, IR, ADC
° Watchdog Timer, multiple general purpose timers, JTAG


° 32nm Low Power CMOS
° <1W for 1080p60 encode
° <2W for Ultra HD 4K encode
° Operating temperature 0°C to 70°C
° TFBGA package with 404 balls, 15×15 mm, 0.65 mm pitch

Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • seb

    just when is the bigger question???????

  • goforjared

    I expect to hear something by mid September? Around the same time as the new iPhone 😉
    Thanks for the comment!

  • Martin

    id love a version with interchangeabie lenses.

  • Goforjared

    C-mount could work.

  • Pingback: When do you think the Hero4 will be released? - Page 4

  • Chung

    Can’t Wait!
    Waited since the hero 2 and 3… Definitely have to get the 4 if it’s worth it

  • brian

    I was thinking about buying the gopro 3… I think I’m just gonna wait for the 4

  • Steve

    GoPro and BestBuy dropped the price of Black Edition down to $329…getting rid of inventory before the GoPro 4 announcement?

  • ericdabbs

    All I want from GoPro is a super enlarged battery. 1050/1100 maH ain’t cutting anymore if you got to film a bunch of stuff. The GoPro 4 needs a minimum 1500-1600 maH battery.

  • wes

    Will it be even smaller then the 3?

  • Chad W

    Its already out as i understand here

  • whatsdafus

    um, thats a troll joke vide. A pink gopro? voice command? come on!

  • dmitry

  • goforjared

    have you tried the wasabi batts?

  • Jim Lahey

    Bigger battery + better powersaving options, like standby mode. I use POV-cameras for trekking and a GoPro H3 isn´t an option. Any rumors about the battery?

  • crrrrazyEngineer

    This Ambarella chip is such a joke. Capture all that data and still you’d only get USB 2.0 (it’ll take forever to get that data out of the memory!). Also, there is a reason they don’t publish power numbers… It runs waaaay HOT!!!!

  • Eugene

    read directly from SD card, quite fast

  • Ryan Gramza

    ragecams has interchangeable lenses for the hero3 plus for bokeh focus and cinematic no fish eye

  • Ryan Gramza

    ragecams has interchangeable c-cs mount lenses for the hero3 plus for bokeh focus and cinematic no fish eye coming soon

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