GoPro Hero Black 4 production fault: 3 cameras, all faulty!

This morning I was about  to finalize a new blog in the series about motorcycle riding in Europe summer (2016). But something else turned up in my head, something that cannot get enough exposure. About the world famous camera from GoPro, and model Hero Black 4.

So, here it GoPro’es..

Slightly before or around my return to riding motorcycles after 32+ years, I thought about riding through Europe. To the Alps, ride in the mountains, have a real adventure. Experience things like… well this…

Just crossed the mountain pass Timmelsjoch over to Italy - July 2016

Just crossed the mountain pass Timmelsjoch over to Italy – July 2016

From plan to execuion, summer 2016 I journeyed down to central Europe and the Alps. Seen the published blogs. No? Check them out! More to come …. but that’s actually besides the point, in this context. Yep done with advertising my blog now… sort of. So….

So the Mrs. heard me talking about this, going on about it ad nauseum, taking pictures and, perhaps, shoot some films while riding. I’d gotten the inspiration from tons of movies on Youtube, they were major contributions to the idea of riding through Europe, and into the Alps. Believe I might have shared some links with her.

Fast forward, spring came, my birthday and .. surprise, she’d gotten me a camera! Thorough as she is, did lots of research and got what supposedly was one of the best you can get. A GoPro Hero Black 4.

I was exited, she was exited on my behalf.

From excitement to disappointment

A couple of weeks passed, then finally I had time to test it. Mounted it on my helmet and set out to film. Actually come to think of it, I did my first filming on may 17th, the Norwegian national day.

While I thought I’d detected some oddities with the brand new GoPro camera on a prior short test, coming home from the trip and uploading the recording to my PC it became evident something was wrong. With Wifi on on can clearly hear a distinct helicopter sound on the clips when it is relatively quiet.

Here’s one clip that illustrates the issue quite well…


Apologies for the very primitive editing. But they prove my point. Clearly something is wrong with the camera. What’s wrong with it? Well.. listen to what this guy has to say…

A lengthy support issue – no solution

After this I didn’t do any recordings. Instead called the dealer and got a new camera. I’d done a fair bit of research and knew the problem was far more extensive than I initially thought. Several cases on the net about people having the same issues. Asked them if this was ok, they hoped it was.

Turned out they were wrong. Number two had exactly the same problems. So, I went on motorcycle riding through parts of Europe, but without the camera. Bummer! When I came home I actually phoned GoPro support in the US with my own time and money.

Together with support we tried lots of things, none of which had any effect whatsoever. I knew it wouldn’t, the support guy knew it wouldn’t.

He told me to shop the camera to them and they’d send me a new one.

For who’s money? And who’s time? I had already spend a tremendous amount of effort, time and energy on the thing.

Third Camera – Same bloody problem!

Yes indeed, I told the dealer to check it before I picked it up. I told the dealer I was not interested in yet another camera from the same batch. What did they give me? Yes indeed, another camera from exactly the same batch! They did however say, if the third one (as I expected it would) had the same issue, I would get my money back.

I called them a few days ago. Money back.. BUT.. I actually wanted a camera that works!

My advice: if you want a GoPro Hero 4, silver or black model, make sure you don’t buy one with hardware issues. In fact, considering the ordeal you might face, do not buy anything not tested & verified and faultless!

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