The GoPro Hero4 Session is the first from the GoPro family to change its shape. Instead of the usual rectangle, this one’s a cube. It’s also the smallest and lightest of the cameras. Our first impression of the GoPro Hero4 Session is how solid it feels. The camera is waterproof right out of the box and can go down to 10 meters under water. There are two mics, one on the front corner near the lens and one on the back. Flashing LEDs and a tiny display lets you know what the camera is doing.
It’s fairly easy to operate with just 2 buttons. One big button to start and stop recording. And a smaller side button to toggle through modes, or tag moments during recording, to make the scene easier to find later when editing. This is also where it is a little tedious, to configure the record settings you have to pair the device with your phone. So you need to know in advance whether you want to record in standard or wide screen or you’ll find yourself fumbling about to configure the camera whilst bouncing on your raft down the water rapids.
The battery gives you 2 hours of continuous recording and the easy on/off button lets you conserve battery power when there’s not much going on. You can record in 1080p at 60fps, or 720p at 100fps for standard and wide screen. There’s also a configurable 8 mega-pixel time lapse mode which can be turned on by pressing the record button for 3 seconds.
The quality of the video is good, but not super sharp and the dynamic range is average. You’ll see from the time-lapse that we shot below, the blue sky should have been a little more vibrant and the sunset should have been less washed out. It didn’t seem to capture the detail in the water ripples and mountains look a little blurred. If video quality is the highest priority, then you should check out the Hero4 Black. Where the Session shines is the mount versatility, the camera can be rotated in the casing to sit the way you need it to.
At $449.95 RRP, it’s not a cheap camera but it’s super solid. Things we tried with it – it’s great for capturing video in small spaces such as on a plane, as it’s a small camera with super wide angle. We’ve stuck it on top of an elephant’s head, he pulled it off very quickly…. and we gave it to a 3 year old on a GoPro selfie stick and captured some really fun video.