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GoPro introduces tiny new Hero4 Session cube-like camera

Hero4-Session-Cycling-Mountain-Bike

Please note: My Full In-Depth Review is now published and available.  Please click on over to that post to get my final impressions of the unit. Enjoy!

Today GoPro has introduced its tiniest camera to date, the Hero4 Session.  This small cube-like camera shoots up to 1440p footage (that’s a little above your standard 1080p HD), as well as works with the existing GoPro mount lineup.  Most notably, the entire pod is fully waterproofed down to 33ft (10m) – ideal for just about anything water-related except diving.

Of course, information about the camera is still pretty fresh.  I’ve been talking with GoPro the last few days, but my Hero4 Session for review is a bit tangled up in customs right now – it happens every once in a while…usually at the most inopportune times.

Still, here’s the low-down for now.  I’ll update this post with more detailed hands-on imagery as I get actual hands-on time.  So consider this a bit of a living post.

The Technical Low-Down:

The Hero4 Session from a spec standpoint is sorta a marriage between the Hero4 Silver and the recently introduced Hero+ LCD camera.  That means it sits below the Hero4 Silver and Hero4 Black, but is above the much cheaper Hero Base unit.  Of course, the biggest difference is size.  If you look at the Hero4 Session compared to any of the other GoPro Hero4 units, it’s a sizeable difference when you include the case:

image

Weight-wise, the units differ quite a bit too – with the Hero4 Session sitting at 74g being internally waterproofed, versus the Hero4 Silver/Black at 147g with a waterproof case (or 84g totally non-waterproof).

Many might look back at the Polaroid Cube action camera as being similar in size.  However as a buyer of that camera, it was a mess when it came to specs and most importantly – quality.  Your disposable camera with the wind-up shutter made better pictures than that thing did.

Getting back to the Session though, looking at the technical capabilities the main differences here between this and the Hero4 Silver is that the Silver has the higher end 2.7K and 4K footage capabilities (and higher frame rates).  While the Hero4 Session tops out at 1440p, which is a notch above 1080p.  Thankfully though, the Hero4 Session does manage to squeak out up to 100FPS (frames per second) on 720p.  This is notable because with the smaller form factor it’d be ideal for higher frame rate shots where only the smallest of cameras could fit easily.

Here’s a quick breakdown of just the top-end resolutions (of at least 24FPS) and 720p top frame rates for each of the units on the ever expanding GoPro lineup:

GoPro Hero4 Black – $499: 4K/30 (and 240FPS @ 720p)
GoPro Hero4 Silver – $399: 2.7K/30 (and 120FPS @ 720p)
GoPro Hero4 Session – $399: 1440p/30 (and 100FPS @ 720p)
GoPro Hero+ LCD – $299: 1080p/60 (and 60FPS @ 720p)
GoPro Hero Base (2014) –$129: 1080p/30 (and 60FPS @ 720p)

Phew! So many current-generation options.  Of course, a mere resolution spec really isn’t all that matters.  For example, I personally use a small fleet of GoPro Hero4 Silver’s over the Hero4 Black.  Why? Because I like the very color-crisp screen on the back of the Hero4 Silver (not on the Hero4 Black), but still value the extra features the Hero4 Silver has that the Hero+ LCD lacks.

Of course, with the smaller form factor of the Hero4 session you lose that larger screen.  And in fact, you lose all configuration on the unit, though you do retain a tiny little screen showing you status.  That means in order to tweak and configure settings you must have a compatible smartphone (iOS/Android/Windows Phone).  It’ll do that connectivity over WiFi with Bluetooth Smart.  The downside though is that you can’t just switch settings on the fly easily.

Instead, you’ll do either a short or long press on one of the two buttons depending on if you want video or stills.  But those stills will only be in the time-lapse mode, but that’s fine honestly. Since that’s often what I use when I want to capture photos anyway while on the go, as it ensures I get the right shot versus missing it slightly.  So if I get a few extra throw-away shots, that’s OK.  The other button meanwhile acts only as a power button.

It’s just a bit odd given they have two buttons and a tiny screen they just wouldn’t copy the same button pressing options they’ve had for the last half a decade or so.

GoProHero4Session-Skiing

In any event, in line with the Hero4 Silver is the unit’s ability to enable Protune functionality, which is skipped on the lower end Hero+ LCD model (despite being the same price as the Hero4 Session).  More advanced users will use Protune to get a bit more out of the video color range, used in post production.  They’ve also kept the Auto Image Rotation functionality on the Hero4 Session, which was introduced earlier this year on the higher end GoPro units.  The feature ensures that the image is rotated correctly upwards even if you mount the camera upside-down.  It can also be turned off though, in the event you’re inverting yourself (a strong violation of my personal policy to never have my ass above my head, a rule I’ve adopted from one of our friends).

image

On the mounting front, the unit is fully compatible with all existing GoPro mounts, both GoPro branded ones as well as all the 3rd party ones.  They’ve also introduced a new ball joint mount system with the frames, seen below on the left side of the image.  The ‘frames’ are designed such that you can turn the camera any which way in the mount to find the right angle, which is different from past GoPro cameras which only mount to the bottom.

image

They’ve also added in some floaty mounts too – for when you’re closer to the water.  Like previous floaty mounts, these ensure that if the unit detaches from you – it’ll just float to the surface.

GoProHero4Session-WaterFloaty

Finally – as we get into the battery side of things, the internal 1030mAh battery does fairly well at a claimed 2-hours.  That’s inline with most action cams these days.  Some are a bit higher and some are a bit lower, but most tend to find the sweet spot in that approximately 2-hour range.

However, the biggest challenge with the Hero4 Session battery is that it’s not removable.  This means you can’t swap batteries.  Rather, it’s built-in – just like a GPS watch or the Hero base unit.  You’ll charge it via a micro-USB cable – which is an interesting change for GoPro, as all previous cameras have used a mini-USB port instead.

GoPro Comparison Charts:

I’ve added the GoPro Hero4 Session into the product comparison tool.  It’s here that you can mix and match the different action cameras against each other, creating various comparisons.  For the purposes of the below chart, I’ve just gone with the current generation GoPro models.  But you can easily make your own charts with other products using the tool.

Function/FeatureGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated February 5th, 2017 @ 5:41 pmNew Window
Price$199$129$299$399$499
AvailabilityJuly 13th, 2015GlobalJune 7th, 2015GlobalGlobal
WiFi BuiltinYesNoYesYesYes
Bluetooth to PhoneYesNoYesYesYes
Recording LightYesYesYesYesYes
GPS builtinNoNoNoNoNo
Altimeter builtinNoNoNoNoNo
Water Resistant10M with integrated case40m with included case40m with included case40m with included case40m with included case
AccellerometerNoNoNoNoNo
Video Preview ScreenNoNoYesYesAccessory
Voice ControlNoNoNo
BatteryGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Recharges viaMicro-USBMini-USBMini-USBMini-USBMini-USB
Removable batteryNo1180 mAh (non-removable)NoYes / 1160 mAhYes / 1160 mAh
Recording Time2 hoursUp to 2.5 hours2.5 Hours2 HoursUp to 1hr 50min, 65min at 4K
Secondary attached batteryNoNoNoAccessoryAccessory
StorageGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Storage Card TypeMicro-SDMicroSD CardMicroSDMicro-SDMicroSD Card
Maximum Card Size64GB32GB64GB64GB64GB
VideoGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Records 360* VideoNoNoNoNoNo
4KNoNoNo12.5/15 fps24/25/30 fps
2.7KNoNoNo24/25/30 fps24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
1440p25/30 FPSNoNo24/25/30/48 fps24/25/30/48/50/60/80 fps
1080p25/30/48/50/60 FPS30 fps25/30/50/60 fps24/25/30/48/50/60 fps24/25/30/48/50/60/80/90/120 fps
960p25/30/50/60 FPSNoNo50/60/100 fps50/60/120 fps
720p25/30/50/60/100 FPS60 fps50/60 fps35/50/60/100/120 fps25/30/50/60/120/240 fps
WVGA100/120 FPSNoNo240 fps240 fps
Automatic Image RotationYesNoNoYes (Feb 2015 update)Yes (Feb 2015 update)
Image StabilizationNoNoNo
Looping RecordingsYesYesYesYes
Timelapse Mode (constructs timelapse video)NO (REQUIRES DESKTOP SOFTWARE)No (requires desktop software)No (requires desktop software)Yes (Feb 2015 update)Yes (Feb 2015 update)
Travelapse ModeNoNoNo
Pro Settings ModeYesYes
AudioGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Internal MicrophoneYesYesYesYesYes
Supports Bluetooth MicrophonesNoNoNo
Pro mode with seperate tracksNoNoNo
PhotoGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Megapixels8 MP5MP8MP12 MP12 MP
Timelapse Mode (photos on interval)0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60S0.50.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s
Burst ModeUP TO 10 PHOTOS/SECONDUp to 5 photos/secondUp to 5 photos/secondUp to 30 photos/secondUp to 30 photos/second
Continuous Shooting ModeYesNoNoYesYes
Concurrent w/video modeNoNoNoYesYes
Records 360* PhotoNoNoNoNoNo
Pro Settings ModeYesYes
RAW photo creation supportNoNoNo
SportsGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Skiing ModeNoNoNoNoNo
Control from sport computerNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Sensor ConnectivityNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Sensor ConnectivityNoNoNo
ANT+ Profile TypesNoNoNoNoNo
Overlays sport data on recordingNoNoNoNoNo
PhoneGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
App platforms availableIOS/ANDROID/WINDOWS PHONENot compatibleiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows Phone
Use as remote controlYesNoYesYesYes
Stream live video previewYesNoYesYesYes
Record video from cameraYesNoYesYesYes
Multi-camera live control/previewNoNoNoNONo
SoftwareGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
App for computerGoPro StudioGoPro StudioGoPro StudioGoPro StudioGoPro Studio
AccessoryGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Remote control button/keyYesNot compatibleYesYesYes
Diving caseSnorkeling onlyIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Mount TypesGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Head StrapYEsYesYesYesYes
Helmet StrapYesYesYesYesYes
Handlebar/SeatpostYEsYesYEsYesYes
TripodYEsYesYEsYesYes
Suction CupYesYesYEsYesYes
Chest HarnessYesYesYEsYesYes
Wrist Strap/HousingYEsYesYEsYesYes
Roll BarYEsYesYEsYesYes
SurfboardYesYesYEsYesYes
Curved AdhesiveYesYesYesYesYes
Flat AdhesiveYesYesYesYesYes
Adjustable Mounting ArmsYesYesYesYesYes
Device ConnectionsGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
USB Connector TypeMicro-USBMini-USBMini-USBMini-USBMini-USB
Micro-HDMINoNoNoYesYes
Composite VideoNoNoNoAdapter AvailableAdapter Available
Audio 3.5mm Stereo MicNoNoNoAdapter AvailableAdapter Available
PurchaseGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkN/ALinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGoPro Hero4 SessionGoPro Hero (Base)GoPro Hero+ LCDGoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro Hero4 Black
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Remember again, you can whip up your own comparison chart using the product comparison tool.

My Thoughts:

GoProHero4Session-Kayaking

Overall this is a very impressive unit – at least on size and specs given the size.  For example, the 2 hour battery life as well as the 1440p resolution wouldn’t have been something I’d have expected in that small of form factor.  Additionally, keeping with the GoPro mounting system means it’s an easy transition to make for owners of other GoPro cameras.

Price-wise it’s so-so, maybe perhaps a bit high at $399US/429EUR.  I would have expected them to go a bit lower – such as $299 or perhaps $349US, especially given the non-replaceable battery.  On the flip side, with a smaller form factor they can increase the price and get away with it.  Hopefully we’ll see them tweak the button configuration to allow for the same mode controls as the Hero units have had for ages (with only two buttons).

The real question will be image quality.  Obviously GoPro is one of the leaders when it comes to video/image quality in the Hero lineup – and has been for some time.  But with this new smaller form factor it’s likely that compromises would have been made.  That seems to be the case as the early media loaner unit feedback that has trickled out from a few different outlets have made comments about video quality.  But as it often the case – I’ll have to see it for myself to make that determination.  Perceived video quality (beyond the specs) can surprisingly often be a somewhat subjective thing, especially in varying light conditions.

With that – I look forward to playing with the unit more in the coming weeks!

Thanks for reading!

Update – support the site! Found what you read above useful?  If so – then you can support the site here by ordering the GoPro Hero4 Session via Clever Training.  They’re accepting orders for the unit, which GoPro says should start shipping Monday, July 12th.  In addition, by being a DCR reader you can save 10% on your cart with coupon code DCR10BTF (and free US shipping)!

Note that I’ve been using the Hero4 Session the last week, and will start posting my thoughts on it here over the following days, with a In-Depth review likely in late July.  In short, I love the smallness of it, and the quality is ‘good enough’ for most of my purposes.  My only disappointment is really the buttons, which are fairly convoluted and non-consistent in use.  But, when using it with the smart remote or phone it’s spot-on sweet.

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65 Comments

  1. jb

    Targeting cyclists (“more aero”) you would have thought they would have set up the ANT+ profile so you can add power metrics… like the garmin virb. At the price point, I, being a weight weenie, would not buy….

    • But you can merge the GoPro footage with your Garmin Edge device via VIRB Edit (and most cyclists use one anyway).

    • jb

      im going to have a look at this in the next few days. thanks Ray :-)

    • Vlad Nebolsin

      VIRB Edit works fine with… Virb camera video/data only I’m afraid!

      Spent hours trying to combine GoPro video footage with Garmin watch produced gps files, but after initial 3-5k it’s getting out of sync. Yes, you can split the video to clips and then manipulate with gps file start time, but it will take time and will require some video editing skills.

    • Richard Garrett

      It works BEST with a Virb Elite camera but it does work.

      The files from my Virb basic camera get out of sync just as the files from my Virb Elite do if I’m not using the GPS data it records as well to keep everything in sync.

      Yes, it’s a pain. For larger file sizes, you will have to stretch or compress your video clip to try to make up for the extra (or missing) frames in the video.

    • Tom

      I tried this for the first time last week and thought the Virb Edit software was extremely easy to use to combine data from my Fenix 2 with video from my GoPro Hero 3+.

      For some reason it seemed slightly off (2-3 second delay) and elevation didn’t work with GPX file, but when I switched to using the original FIT file it worked perfectly. That said I started both devices within 1 second of each other so I don’t know how easy it is to use if you have to use the tool to adjust start time.

      I think GoPro would be best off building their own software tool, making it idiot proof like Garmin’s and advertising that. That should satisfy the cycling crowd. Now for skiers/snowboarders that want speed data and probably don’t have a watch that is another issue.

    • Grega Juvancic

      But for the price of 1 GoPro you could have 2 or 3 VIRB’s (they were around 100$, if one could still find any) ;)

      For non-Virb cameras there is free software called DashWare, but you have to sync telemetry manually. A bit time consuming, but still works. :D

    • Jeff S

      Try Dashware – it’s now free – and it allows you to sync up your telemetry from your Garmin with your GoPro video – I seem to recall that GoPro bought them or at least has some strategic alliance with them. It works great!

    • mpulsiv

      @ Richard Garrett

      What do you mean it’s out of sync? Are you merging video footage with data files (e.g. FIT file)? I can see that being out of sync for any camera without GPS. What about Virb Elite, which writes video + FIT file. Everything should be in alignment if not then there’s no reason to consider Garmin Virb Elite.

    • Steve G

      Is it aero?
      Are there aero penalties for mounting any action camera?

  2. Drew W

    Basically you really have to want a smaller form factor for this to make sense. It’s the same price of the silver and you get fewer video/photo options? I also thought about the Polaroid Cube when I first saw this, but the cube was priced under $100. I would have been more excited about this if it was $199 or $299, but not for $399.

    When is GoPro going to get on board with GPS & catch up to the VIRB in that arena?

    • You get slightly fewer video/photo options (for example, lack of video timelapse mode). In many ways, it’s kinda like the new Garmin Edge 25 unit – less options but a much smaller form factor.

    • jb

      Sure Ray…. but they the price of the Edge 25 is almost 50% less than the 510 say? (assuming 510 as a benchmark)

    • Drew W

      The only problem is that the price point did not change. This is similar to the Wahoo SNAP where they are going after a market that has a place & a need that they can fill, but they are shooting themselves in the foot with ridiculous pricing strategies that makes the consumer wonder if it is worth getting a lesser product when they can get the better one for the same price or slightly more.

      I get it. Smaller is easier & better with gadgets, but if this strategy was implemented everywhere, you would be able to buy a Toyota Corolla for the same price of a Toyota Land Cruiser. I mean, the Corolla is smaller and people want smaller, so let’s pack 80% of the features from the Land Cruiser into the Corolla and sell it for $80k.

    • WPI

      Along the same lines as Drew, How can this stand a chance with Polaroid Cube+? It was recently announced, with preorders available today. Live streaming to any smartphone. 8MP image. Waterproof case. Handy magnetic mount. The only downfall that I can see is a 90min battery, however I can justify this with the $149 price. I can buy two of these, resulting in 3 hours of battery and still have $100 in my pocket. Is there a feature that I am missing?

      link to polaroidcube.com

    • With the Edge 25, there are significantly less features than the Edge 520 (or even 510). It’s like a bicycle vs a motorcycle.

      As for the Hero4 Session, it’s appealing to those that want small cameras in visible locations (i.e. your head). So it’s honestly not as important for a cyclist that’s mounted it to the bike (especially if you did a previous gen Hero with just the skelaton case like I usually do). But instead, more interesting to one mounting it on a helmet, a ski tip, etc… And of course, people will clamor for that functionality and pay for it.

      Mostly though, I see this as the start of the next line that will ultimately replace the larger Hero4 units. It’ll probably take a year, but I’m guessing if we fast forward to fall 2016, we’ll find all of their new units in this form factor but with far higher specs (I could see a scenario where they keep one larger-screen unit, but even that might be slim pickings).

    • As for the Cube…

      Actually, let me back up a second. One of the things I think people enjoy about the blog is I call it like it is. So, I’ll do that in more brutality than normal.

      The Polaroid Cube+ will likely be complete crap – similar to the original Cube. I had really high hopes for it. It even matched my little Parisian bike beautifully. I didn’t need it to be super-awesome, just ‘OK’. But even there it failed. The quality is by far one of the worst I’ve seen in action cams in years. As in, a GoPro from 5 years ago beats this thing.

      The reason? Well, it’s not actually made by Polaroid. See both Polaroid and Kodak now only license their branding. 99% of the time that branding is licensed to no-name companies that manufacture low-quality products – often in Asia. These products have equally low-quality software apps/components with little to no support. There’s no direct connection to Polaroid or Kodak, and ownership is the same. I saw this with both of their recent entrants (that I bought). Asking simple support questions got spun into a never-ending hole, because they don’t actually have true support orgs. They have a handful of people who front the product.

      So it’s pretty much a ‘you get what you pay for’, except way worse because of the brand licensing agreements. At least in the past you could have trusted those brands. Now, not at all. To put it in a bit more perspective – the Kodak booth at CES this year was little more than a double-wide cubicle with nothing more than white curtain and signs printed out of the copy room. Hardly suiteable for a company with such global recognition.

      All that said – I’ll certainly order one and try it out. And perhaps I’ll be wrong (would love to be, as it’s a cute little camera). But…I’ve also ridden this train before.

    • Jay

      But I’m ever grateful for your in depth reviews and bringing together the community of users/potential users to bounce ideas off… Its funny, the first point i go to read about a new gadget is not on the manufacturer but your site lol (I’m sure I’m not alone)

    • WPI

      Well said and I agree. There is a reason that Polaroid and Kodak are considered as “retro” brands. However, I do hope that this helps GoPro rethink their price point.

    • Bachoo

      Im sorry. You only use brutal honesty with certain companies. Most of the big names who play nice with you get treated with kids gloves.

      This is more than a tad over priced. Be honest about that.

    • Strange, I say the exact same thing about all sorts of companies – Garmin, Polar, and otherwise.

      But then it appears you don’t read what I wrote – since I wrote in this post:

      “Price-wise it’s so-so, maybe perhaps a bit high at $399US/429EUR. I would have expected them to go a bit lower – such as $299 or perhaps $349US, especially given the non-replaceable battery”

      But it’s really quite debateable. The form factor will appeal to certain people, and in today’s market there is simply no smaller camera at that form factor (with equal video quality, even if less than the Hero4 silver). So thus they can charge a premium. People may not like it (people always want things cheaper), but that doesn’t change the reality that people will pay it.

  3. I agree, this seems way too pricey for only 1080p60

    • Steven Shaw

      It is pricey when compared to the silver when considering the features, but the form factor is much better. I have a silver, but think this new model will be much better for helmets. For other applications where weight/size is less important then the silver would be better.

  4. Burnnerman

    I think your Hero4 silver specs should have been 720p not 120p.

  5. Sandro

    Noooo!!! Would please companies stop releasing products??? We need the Epix review!

    Just kidding, awesome work.

  6. foot

    I owned several GoPro. But now I’ve bought SJ4000 for $69 and I not scared to lose it anymore.

  7. Wired: “Image quality isn’t very good…. The images you get off the Silver are far superior—no contest…. selling a dumbed-down camera at the same price as the full-featured model doesn’t make any sense for consumers.” link to wired.com

  8. Hi Ray, I wonder if you are going to review the brand new Monoprice MHD Sport 2.0 Action Camera (link to monoprice.com). I’ve seen reviews from previous generation (not so good), but apparently they got this new version right. And the price point is killer: $150 ($200 with the wrist remote). I’d love to buy one of these action cameras but it’s really hard to justify spending more than $250.. considering what I will be using it for. Thanks for another great review!

    • I hadn’t planned to, though, will definitely keep and eye on interest (yours is the first request). Always keeping an eye on options, especially the lesser known ones. Appreciate it!

      (Tip: The only concern I usually see with some of the cheaper action cams, aside from quality, is that usually the software apps/etc tend to be fairly rough. Meaning if you’re just using the cam part and don’t at all care about software you’re usually good – but if you need things like phone/desktop apps – it tends to fall apart. Not sure if that’s the case here, but just saying in general.)

    • Nice! Thanks for getting back to me. You made a valid point: software. Sometimes the hardware is find but the software is terrible.. and then you have a bad product. I hope more people are interested on that camera.

  9. Don Rhummy

    Am I correct in understanding that you cannot add on an external battery? You’re stuck at 2 hours?

  10. Steven Shaw

    Shame about the battery, but this would work so much better on a helmet, where the loss of screen isn’t a big issue. Existing gopros feel quite heavy to me on a helmet, not too bad on a motorbike (although it does stick out to the side quite a bit), but definately whilst cycling or climbing younfeel the weight. I’m actually quite tempted.

    Surely there should be some hero 5s before long though?

    • It’ll definitely be interesting to see if GoPro keeps up their famously annual Sept/Oct release cycle for newer cameras. I’ve got no idea, but very interested to see how this impacts things.

  11. Kevin

    Built-in waterproofing makes the argument for itself for water sports (excluding diving). No more housings and anti-moisture beads (antifog) and all that bother. Shame though, I just bought a 4K monitor for gaming / content creation so 4K would actually have been useful.

  12. Mez

    Expensive!
    Easy to justify the extra $100 for the Black considering the massive bump in rez/fps. Add to that settings you can change from the actual camera, and a protective case… because it IS going to bite the dust sooner or later.
    It’s a lot to spend on an action cam with essentially zero protection, and its not like the current 4’s are big.

  13. Marcel

    Typo?
    You write “In any event, in line with the Hero4 Silver is the unit’s ability to enable Protune functionality, which is skipped on the lower end Hero+ LCD model (despite being the same price as the Hero4 Session). ”
    That reads like you mean the Hero+LCD is the same price as the session, while you meant the Hero4 silver is the same price as the Hero4 Session Right? Or am I just having trouble reading? ;)

  14. Craig

    I really just want something on the front and rear of my bike that can last for a 4 or 5 hour ride keeping an eye on things. I’ll never look at the footage unless there’s some sort of incident. The form factor on this thing is great, however, after 60km this thing will be dead and nothing watching my back for the next 2 or 3 hours.

  15. John K

    Wow……$579 AU for this…..are GoPro the new Apple……?

  16. Tom

    I agree with Ray that this is probably the start of their next line…as in the Hero 5’s will all be this form factor. The features are cool, but I think the biggest development is that GoPro finally ditched the cases and made the unit itself rugged and waterproof. Less crap to keep track of, much simpler/cleaner.

  17. Jimbo

    I just watched on youtube the Velon footage from the Tour de France.
    They were using the new Session.
    So, Ray – they got some to France past customs.

  18. mark smith

    How many times do you think the battery can be re-charged before the unit has to thrown in the trash !

    maybe someone will figure out how to take it apart & solder in a replacement ?

    • Kingart

      I would not want to take down a waterproof housing for changing the battery. It certainly can be done but it might compromise your waterproof seal and certainly the the warranty. The non removable battery nailed the coffin for some of us.

      Anyone who snowboarded or used their GoPro in snowing winter knows that when the camera is exposed to low temperature, your battery life is essentially halfed. So good luck with the Session! Carry a few of them may be! Changing the batteries on GoPro sucks already (small tabs, have to pull out of waterproof casing)

  19. mpulsiv

    Looks like they squeezed a smaller sensor in the session model. All details are washed out compared Hero 4 silver. Go to 4:40 mark in this video link to youtu.be

  20. Alvaro

    I was looking for this info. Really good!!

    I’m going to buy this new GoPro, looks awesome!

  21. Adam

    battery life in 60s time lapse mode? Does it actually turn on and off between shots

    (yeah, i need 90hrs of timelapse :)

    • I don’t know off hand how long, but certainly not 90hrs worth.

    • Adam

      relates to the podcast timelapse question for 90hrs also — the event we’re both talking about is Paris-Brest-Paris — a randonneuring event.

      link to cam-do.com

      this and related products turn off the gopro between shots and thus extend the battery life rather than gopro’s mode which seems to leave the power on.

  22. BTW Wired has a review of it, they show the video quality problems very well. The link will take you to the point in the vid where they compare quality:

    link to youtube.com

    • I’m not sure I’d say they are ‘problems’. It’s simply that it has lesser quality. Which is sorta funny, because the quality on it is basically on par with the Hero3+ lineup. Which, in turn is equal to or better than most things except the Hero4 (and perhaps the Sony 4K cams, but the horrid software on those cams sorta give it an overall lesser grade).

      Not saying don’t get Silver (as I think that makes the most sense for many people), but it’s just a bit strange that everyone is saying it somehow has bad quality.

  23. Jens Westergren

    Comparing size and weight it´s similar to the Shimano camera, would you say they are comparable performance wise as well?

    • Terry

      Would be good to hear Rays thoughts on this??

      I have a shimano cam myself to go with the fly 6 on the bike, the fly 12 is just too big and heavy else I’d probably opt for that

    • From a video quality standpoint, they’re in the same ballpark. Comparing to the Fly6, it’s far better than that. It’s slightly better than the Fly12.

    • Terry

      Thanks Ray, the 6 was always just useful for the light/camera combo as would the 12 have been if it wasn’t so big! Loads of reviews stating its struggling on the k-pro mount so looks like I may stick with the shimano cam for now

    • If you’re going for a ride longer than an hour (and you record continuously), the Session is a poor choice.

    • Terry

      Same issue with the shimano cam but I’d be lying if I said I’m out on my propel for hours on end.

  24. Alex

    Since battery is not removable – is it possible to charge it on the go? I.e. can it run on external power?

  25. I’ve just done a couple of comparison videos with the original Garmin VIRB. I actually found both have strengths and weaknesses. They are summer cycling videos, with a low sun, so lots of variable exposures through the trees

    link to titaniumgeek.com

    The VIRB tends to over expose, and lose detail, whilst having an overall better picture quality. The GoPro Sessions, doesnt overexpose nearly as badly, but the picture is always…murky for want of a better phrase.

  26. Kendall bohman

    Is this your recommendation with the 100 price drop?

  27. John

    “Price-wise it’s so-so, maybe perhaps a bit high at $399US/429EUR. I would have expected them to go a bit lower – such as $299 or perhaps $349US, especially given the non-replaceable battery.”

    And.. GoPro dropped the price of the Hero4 Session to US$299, as of today. :-)