Conclusion

All clips in the above video were shots using a GoPro HERO4 Session and edited in GoPro Studio.

The GoPro HERO4 Session is the most-user-friendly GoPro to date. It offers good image quality (albeit not quite as good as some of the higher-end GoPro models), good battery life and can be mounted just about anywhere, thanks to its small, light, waterproof design.

At $200, the HERO4 Session is worth every penny (and possibly more). If you are not concerned about having the absolute highest quality action camera video quality possible, the Session is a great option. When used with the GoPro app and GoPro Studio, users have plenty of control over the footage they capture and their final product. Furthermore, for the video novice, the Session ships ready-to-record with minimal fuss - just put a memory card in it, point, and shoot.

Still, we have some complaints: The lack of image stabilization can result in shaky footage. And the jello effect can be problematic when the camera is affixed to objects vibrating rapidly (like the front fender of a motorcycle). Also the lack of buttons (it has a grand total of two), seems like an attempt by designers to keep the ergonomics simple, but in fact, it makes them more complex (seriously, one more button would make it MUCH easier to use without the need for the app).

And pairing the camera with a device can be a real headache. Still, we think its one of the most-rounded action cameras available, and frankly a blast to use.

What we like:

  • Good battery life
  • Small, waterproof, rugged design
  • Auto Low Light mode is useful
  • Decent video quality
  • LCD screen
  • Good audio quality
  • Free app and editing software

What we don’t:

  • No 4K capture
  • Pairing with a device can be finicky
  • Rolling shutter can be an issue
  • Lack of buttons is annoying
  • No image stabilization 

Rating:

Whether you’re a budding filmmaker looking for an action cam to add to your video-making toolbox, an adrenaline junky in need of an affordable, rugged camera to capture your most-extreme moments, or someone simply looking an easy-to-use product to record memories of friends, family and pets, the HERO4 Session is a very solid choice.

Special thanks to Pacific Northwest-based Ram Mounts for hooking us up with some excellent, high quality mounting solutions for our testing.