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.
The Camera Store has reported that on May 15, 2019 their store was robbed of a Sony lens and camera, and an employee subsequently sprayed with bear spray while attempting to apprehend the suspect.
Voigtländer's 21mm F1.4 Nokton lens for the Sony E mount has been officially announced.
Google complies with an executive order and resulting blacklists that prohibits US companies to do business with certain foreign entities.
Dutch public broadcaster VPRO has published a documentary called '#followme' that takes a behind-the-scenes look at how some Instagram influencers game the system trough shady tactics.
Nikon says it will fix affected Z6 and Z7 camera units free of charge (including shipping), even if the camera is out of warranty.
Looking to get in on the instant camera fun? We tried every model and think the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 strikes the right balance between price and features – the Instax Wide 300 is our choice if you crave a larger format.
We talked to executives from Ricoh about the company's broad portfolio of imaging products, the GR III's warm reception and what they make of the surge in popularity of mirrorless cameras.
A new week, a new special edition Leica.
Reuben Wu's ethereal landscapes are lit by drone-mounted light sources rather than the sun or the moon. We talked with him about his process, the equipment he uses and what inspires him.
Earlier today, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice stating that recreational drone users are limited to where they can operate.
Chris and Jordan take a look at Canon's latest, tiniest Rebel and get a serious sense of déjà vu as they take a look at its still and video capabilities.
Nature photographer Erez Marom shares his experience shooting the famous Ijen volcano in Indonesia – from the best time to begin the hike to the crater to the equipment needed to withstand the toxic environment.
While Canon and Nikon have lost double-digit percentages year-over-year for their respective imaging divisions, Sony has managed to come out in the green, albeit not by much.
Photo software developer On1 has introduced an update of its raw processing application that it claims is up to 50x faster than the previous version and which includes a host of new features.
Don't expect any new features or functionality. These updates are simply to improve the overall stability of eight Sony camera systems.
A rotating mechanism on the Asus ZenFone 6 does away with the need for a front-facing camera.
Canon's diminutive Rebel SL3 (also known as the EOS 250D and EOS Kiss X10) is currently the smallest DSLR on the market, but it comes with a proven sensor, an updated processor, and more. We've taken our review copy to New Orleans and back, and put it in front of our studio test scene – see how it stacks up.
Instagram has brought live the update to its Explore tab that brings more content and better organization to the forefront of the user interface.
No one ever said 1TB of storage in a form factor smaller than your thumbnail would come cheap.
Honor has already revealed some sample photos including EXIF-data from its upcoming 20 Pro flagship phone.
The latest in a line of celebrities caught using pictures without permission, singer Ariana Grande is being sued over images she posted on Instagram.
Now that we've wrapped up our final review of Sony's mid-range a6400, we're taking it into account as a whole; here's how we think it stacks up for some common photographic use cases.
Nikon has released firmware version 2.0 for its full-frame Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, and its all about autofocus. The update adds Eye AF, improves performance in low light, and allows for full-time auto-exposure subject tracking at 12 fps.
Adobe has released an update to Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera Raw that includes a new tool it calls 'Texture.'
DJI has strayed away from drones and gimbals to unveil what might be one of its worst-kept secrets, the Osmo Action.
The latest high-end smartphone from OnePlus comes with all-new camera modules for rear and front.
Profoto has released the A1X, an upgraded version of its A1 speedlight that features improved battery life, faster recycling times, an updated display and up to 20 channels.
The Osmo Action is DJI’s first entry into the action cam space. The 4K rugged action camera utilizes DJI’s built-in stabilization technology, offers dual screens, and like the Osmo Pocket, is simple to use. Take a closer look.
Researchers in China have created a camera that can record through the atmospheric pollutants of Shanghai to pick out objects just 60cm (2ft) high at a distance of 45 kilometers (28 miles).