Extreme made easy: GoPro HERO4 Session review
1 Intro & Design
GoPro HERO4 Session review
|Waterproof, ruggedized, incredibly-small and lightweight, the Session is a no-brainer to toss in your bag or coat pocket before heading out on an adventure.|
The GoPro HERO4 Session is the company's latest action camera release. Unlike GoPros before it, the Session is completely waterproof without the need for any housing. It is also the smallest, lightest GoPro to date, 50% smaller than the HERO4 (Black or Silver) and 40% lighter.
The GoPro HERO4 Session is capable of video capture at the following resolutions and frame rates:
|Video Resolution||Frame rate|
|1920 x 1440||30 fps, 25 fps|
|1920 x 1080||60 fps, 50 fps, 48 fps (in Ultra Wide mode only), 30 fps, 25 fps|
|1280 x 960||60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps|
|1280 x 720||100 fps, 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps|
|848 x 480||120 fps, 100 fps|
The Session has dual microphones - one on the front and another on the back - for improved audio quality. The camera will automatically choose to prioritize one mic over the over, depending on the scenario. Stills can be captured at a frame rate as fast as 10 fps (limited to 1 sec bursts). Images are captured at 8MP resulting in a 3264 x 2448 still.
The Session can also capture time-lapses. Available intervals include 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60 secs.
Auto Low Light, a feature that determines video frame-rate based on lighting conditions, gives the promise of better low light video quality, something that action cams are not particularly good at. It's worth noting that video files will playback at the selected frame-rate and resolution when using Auto Low Light.
ProTune, an option that allows users to dial in more advanced settings, is available on the HERO4 Session. Selecting ProTune allows users to set their ISO limit (either ISO 400 or ISO 1600), and toggle sharpness on and off. The Session also features a spot meter mode, that, as you may have guessed, determines exposure based on a small point in the center of the frame.
In addition to the unit itself, the GoPro HERO4 Session ships with just enough to get you started, including: a standard frame, a low-profile frame, one curved adhesive mount, one flat adhesive mount, a ball joint buckle and mounting buckles. A Micro-USB cable is also included for charging and transferring files directly from the GoPro to a computer.
Compared to Siblings
The price of the GoPro HERO4 Session recently dropped to $200. Here's how it sizes up against GoPro's other current offerings:
|HERO4 Session||HERO4 Black||HERO4 Silver||HERO+|
|Max Video Resolution||
4K (UHD) 2160/30p
4K (UHD) 2160/15p
|Photo Resolution||3264 x 2448||4000 x 3000||4000 x 3000||3264 x 2448|
|Waterproof (without a housing)||Yes||No||No||No|
|Max Still Burst||10 fps||30 fps||10 fps||5 fps|
|Weight||74 g||152 g||147 g||123 g|
The HERO4 unit itself is a tiny 1.5" cube. The body has only two buttons: the large record button on top, located directly in front of the LCD, and a small Info/Wi-Fi button on the lower portion of the back (see lower image). Press the record button once to turn the camera on and start capture - by default the video will be 1080/30p. Press and hold the record button for two seconds to start a time-lapse. By default it will shoot a photo every half-second. In both cases, hitting the record button again stops capture and powers the device down.
Users can change video and still capture settings, in addition to turning on Wi-Fi by hitting the Info/Wi-Fi button and poking through the options. However, the two-button ergonomics can make for a pretty confusing user experience. We found it much easier to change settings by using the GoPro app.
The LCD on top displays the battery life, recording mode, resolution and clip length (when capturing video), or the number of photos left (if you’re shooting a time-lapse). A small switch on the side of unit, when pressed, reveals the Micro-SD card slot and Micro-USB port (see below).
The HERO4 Session is impressively tough. The body is coated in a rubber-like material, and the door containing the Micro-USB port and microSD slot appears well-sealed. We're not entirely sure what kind of glass the front element is made of, but several run-ins with a flying skateboard didn't even leave a scratch. Seriously, we beat this unit up quite a bit over the course of field testing it, with no damage to speak of.
May 22, 2017
May 23, 2017
May 23, 2017
May 22, 2017
Join DPReview editors Rishi Sanyal and Carey Rose on Facebook Live as they share their experience and answer your questions about the new Sony a9, Wednesday at 9:30 AM Pacific time. Click here for additional details and time zones
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.
DaVinci Resolve is making strong moves to compete with Premiere and Final Cut Pro, including affordable control panels for colorists. According to Premium Beat, they're really good.
If you are not planning to fly your drone commercially you are not required to register it with the FAA anymore. This decision was handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.