GoPro HERO4 Session (Waterproof Camera, 8MP)
- Smallest, lightest with built in Wi Fi and Bluetooth,HiLight Tag enables you to mark key moments while recording or playing back video
- Durable and waterproof to 33 feet (10 meter), no housing needed
- Easy one button control, power up and capture videos or photos with a single press
GoPro HERO4 Session (Waterproof Camera, 8MP) Prices
|Price history for GoPro HERO4 Session (Waterproof Camera, 8MP)|
The GoPro HERO4 Session is the latest addition to the GoPro family. As compared to the traditional designs, it is the smallest and lightest, yet it comes with an eight-megapixel camera featuring built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is a perfect companion for outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and thrill-seekers.
- Waterproof Body: HERO4 Session can withstand underwater depths up to 33 feet (10 meters) without needing an additional housing.
- Wireless Connections: It can be connected to a Wi-Fi network, enabling you to share photos and videos instantly. It also includes Bluetooth functionality.
- Control at Your Fingertips: With a one-button control, start capturing exciting footage with just a single press.
- Professional Video Quality: HERO4 Session can record videos up to 1440p30, 1080p60, and 720p100 resolution, providing professional-grade quality for your footage.
- Photography: It also features the capability to take photos of up to 8 megapixels and with a 12 fps burst mode.
- HiLight Tag: It allows you to tag interesting moments during recording or playback for easy searching.
- Durable Design: HERO4 Session also comes with a sturdy body that can withstand challenging environments.
The GoPro HERO4 Session is designed to deliver exceptional footage under any condition while remaining compact and easy-to-use. It is undoubtedly an ideal choice for anyone who wants to capture their thrilling adventures while keeping things simple and hassle-free.
Specification: GoPro HERO4 Session (Waterproof Camera, 8MP)
Daniel Wisehart –
I use this every morning during a 60-90 minute swim. It is invaluable to seeing what I am doing underwater and in improving everything about my swimming. Mounted with the suction cup mount–which took a little experimenting to make it stick consistently–I shoot 1920×1440 videos at 30 FPS in wide frame mode. An hour of video shot at this resolution and frame rate will give you 5, 12 minute long clips that are ~2.25 GB each. I found the free GoPro software only so-so and bought another commercial package
Camtasia for Mac 2 [Download
] to do my editing.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much you can see underwater: there is no problem seeing the far end of a 25 yard pool. At least there is no problem until you start aerating the water with your kick. If you are doing lots of kicking with your heels just about to break the surface you will bring a lot of air into the water and visibility will drop to about 15 yards until you stop and rest.
I bought the suggested 32 GB microSDHC Flash Memory Card, but for the length of my swims a 16 GB might have been sufficient if I didn’t mind losing the end of a 90 minute swim. Without external power plugged in–something you cannot do in the pool with the camera underwater–the battery will drain before you fill up the 32 GB Flash Card. Note that whatever Flash Card you do select, it go into the Session at a bit of a downward angle: don’t let this concern you when you are first installing it.
Lexar High-Performance microSDHC 633x 32GB UHS-I/U1 w/USB 3.0 Reader Flash Memory Card – LSDMI32GBB1NL633R
After I learned how to operate the camera, the only problem I have had is from accidentally hitting the camera while I am splitting a lane. This may cause the camera to stop recording, so you have to look for the blinking red light as you swim by. Oh, but note, when you first see yourself swimming, you are probably going to think, “do I really look like that underwater”? It is like hearing yourself on an audio recording the first time: it is not what you expect. This is not the camera’s fault and you will only benefit from fixing what you see that you do not like.
The camera is a bit tough to learn to use at first because the interface is non-intuitive. There is a YouTube video on using it that I recommend you watch. The key is that you hit either of the two buttons briefly and then you wait a few seconds while the camera is quiet and dark before it starts into the mode you were looking for. If you hold either button until the camera makes a sound and turns on the display, you probably will not get what you want. Once it is turned on it is easy to step through the various pages, but I recommend you use a phone or tablet to do most everything except start and stop the recording and turn wireless (Bluetooth) on and off.
A note about the suction cup mounts–and I have owned a few of them. Underwater they would initially stick and then fall off while I was swimming. I first figured out that if I applied them to the glass dome over an underwater light, that they would stick much better. I have since learned that if I want the suction mount to stick underwater in other smooth, painted areas of the pool, I have to press the mount down and then slide it along the wall until it won’t slide any more or sliding becomes very difficult. Then I apply the lever to hold the suction. Done like this the mount will usually hold for an hour or more.
MazeTechno Suction Cup Mount for Gopro HERO 4 Silver Black Session 3+ 3 2 1 HD (Diameter 9cm)
You probably already know this, but Bluetooth only penetrates a couple of inches of water, it that, so if you are going to review your swimming at the pool using your tablet or phone, you are going to have to pull the camera out of the water each time you want to review.
If you have a friend who will video you while you swim, a monopod is a great addition. They walk along the side of the pool, holding the camera–on the end of the monopod–above and below the water or even both during the same lap. They can give you a “from behind” or “from in front” or “from the side” view of just what you are doing. Videos made this way and edited down to shorter clips can be uploaded on Dropbox and passed to the popular GoSwim website for your coach or theirs to review with you. The ability to move this camera from air into the water and back into the air without additional cases or worrying about fogging up the lens is fantastic and crucial to this type of holistic recording of your swimming.
Both the video and the sound work great in either air or water. I learn a lot by listening to my kick while surf kicking and to my stroke while pulling with a pull buoy.
The current version of the free GoPro software does not seem to allow exporting video at full 1920×1440 resolution when multiple clips are put together. This is one of the reasons I use another–for money–software package. Otherwise the GoPro software seemed adequate, but not exceptional. Note that the Session does record at a high bit rate and so some commercial software packages have trouble working with the files and will sometimes freeze while previewing a raw video.
Overall a great addition for swimmers who want to improve their swimming.
Update, 2-1/2 months later: I use the camera every day and I still like it a lot, but the battery has begun to die.
GoPro has a table on their website that shows what battery life to expect from the Session in various modes with WiFi off and on and originally, my Session did better than the table says to expect. That table says I should expect 1 hr 55 min in 1440p, 30 fps, WiFi turned off, which is how I normally use it. After less than 90 days I am down to 1 hr 31 min, which does not sound like a big loss, but there is no way to open the Session or replace the battery and some of my swim sessions last longer than the battery now. How much record time will I have after six months or a year? I am afraid to find out. So far GoPro customer support has only said this is expected: “The battery life span is within the range.”
I lowered my rating to four stars because this is still a really great camera, but I think its useful life may be fairly short. When the battery life falls to less than 60 minutes I will have to consider buying something else.
Amazon Customer –
Snorkeled with the GoPro session for a short amount of time. Went in the sun. The direct sunlight on the Gopro produced a dew ring on the inside of the lens. So it leaks… great. Are you serious GoPro? 2 starts due to the fact that its extremely portable and captures decent video, but I obviously cannot go higher than two stars. Returned.
Cliente de Amazon –
La cámara está excelente,
No he tenido ningún problema con ella, el único inconveniente fue el empaque, ya que no es la caja de GoPro si no una caja normal, no entiendo por qué venia así, la iba a devolver por eso pero la cámara funcionaba bien así que no vi la necesidad.
Carol Tang –
I have researched, read and watched countless reviews, forums postings, videos and even wall street analysts’ reports before deciding on GoPro Session.
Most reviewers opined that GoPro Session is not good. Most reviewers are merely recycling other early reviews singling out only the video quality as the decider without delving on the real-life applications. I will attempt to condense my research and write a short review.
At this point in time if you are considering an action camera, you might have narrowed down to just these few options:
GoPro Hero 4 Session vs Polaroid Cube+
– Not waterproof. Separate purchase of housing is required for Polaroid cube resulting a bigger form factor. GoPro Session mounting cage/frame/holder has cutouts on every side not only to allow ease of access to the buttons and the door with waterproofing gasket protecting the sensitive micro USB connector and the Micro SD memory card but also reduces overall weight. Despite it’s lightweight design and deceiving frail appearance, it is very sturdy and capable of withstanding high torque and lateral tensile load when users twist them on the inevitable tight ball joint mount. This is a partly due to a clever stress analysis that removed unnecessary parts that are not subjected to loads and stresses combined with a high quality and strong plastic.
– horrendous audio quality; near inaudible. up until today’s published review, Polaroid Cube+ has yet to resolve the audio problem BUT are still shipping with this defect. The average amazon rating is less than 2.9 from the inital 4.5. And ranking has plunged from top 10 to 32 in less than 3 weeks after launch. GoPro has an ingenious dual mic design that will shut off one if it detects too much noise caused by wind draught, a common problem faced during action sports. How good is GoPro audio? Watch the video titled “GoPro: Street Violinist” (even though it might not be recorded using GoPro Session)
– Outsourced hardware and software design. The company behind Polaroid Cube+ is C&A Marketing, a Polaroid licensee who contracted the design of Polaroid Cube+ to Ammunition, a design firm led by the former industrial designer at Apple. So initial positive reviews hyped by this heavyweight partnership are now drowned out by reliability and quality issues on both hardware and software such as audio and connectivity problems. GoPro has more than 1000 employees designing all cameras and software in-house.
– Overly bright and not true-to-life colours. Polaroid video could be quite deceiving. Let me explain further, it’s video might look vibrant and appealing but on closer scrutiny it lacks colour range with too much over compensation resulting in unrealistic or not true-to-life colours. Unless you only intend to use these cameras during the brightest hour of the day, such difference will be more pronounce during low light condition or at indoor making GoPro Session more versatile for anytime or conditions of the day. Although I won’t denied the video quality by Polaroid Cube+ looks sharper especially on the edges, GoPro Session has narrowed this gap with the latest firmware version 1.5 with significant improvements and enhancements on image quality and ease of operation.
– GoPro has an huge and growing ecosystem of mounts and supported by third parties for myriad situations and uses. Polaroid’s mounts are only a handful and their design is a after thought. You could validate my claims easily by searching for polaroid cube accessories on ebay or amazon. So most Polaroid owners leveraged and relied heavily on GoPro mounts by using a crudely third-party designed tripod adapter with a “GoPro” end. This adapter requires the use of a Polaroid tripod mount because Polaroid did not design a cage/frame/holder unlike GoPro mounting frames. So you would by now figure out how much the Polaroid cube + third party adapter + polaroid tripod mount will protrude out unless you don’t mind looking like Yip Yips, the twins Martians in Sesame Street show. Furthermore, Polaroid Cube tripod mount is not well designed and lacks the ground-up design like the low profile or the ball joint GoPro mounting cage/frame allowing swift orientation to multiple angles and henceforth directions.
– Polaroid Field of view (FOV) is fixed at 120 degree versus GoPro Session’s wider and adjustable up to 170 degree. That makes Polaroid’s video footage not dissimilar to those shot by a normal camera phone.
– Build quality. If you are spoilt and indulged with Apple-like built quality, GoPro Session feels more like $399 than a Polaroid Cube+ at $149.
So finally the price factor. The difference between a $239 GoPro Session narrows after adding up the prices of a third party adapter, a polaroid tripod mount, a waterproof housing to polaroid cube+ priced at $149 and that is not counting the additional three GoPro mounts (low profile, ball joint and standard mounts) and another two GoPro mounting cages (one rear and one side attachment) and another two GoPro mounts with adhesives (curved and flat) for quick attach and release of the GoPro Session that are all included with GoPro Session. $160 is a steep discount when it was initially positioned on par with the $399 Hero 4 Silver.
GoPro Hero 4 Session vs GoPro Hero 4 Silver
– $100 price difference is a deal breaker. GoPro Session is now cheaper. GoPro Session coupled with clever ball joint mount allows swift multiple-angle orientation. This design is unique only to GoPro Session because it’s mounting cage design allows it to be attached to the quick released buckle either on the rear or the side of the camera unlike the Silver’s and Polaroid Cube’s design which have the attachments only at right angle to the camera lens limiting its orientation options.
– Smaller. Cubic design reduces profile dimensions resulting in a less clunky form. Although you can wear it round your neck with a neck strap but it is more suitable to be clipped onto the straps of a haversack or bag without being toss all around when worn around your neck. It has a cool auto 180 degree rotate feature in case the cubic design having all sides equal brings confusion to which is the right way up.
– Black. Inconspicuous and more discrete allowing more candid shots.
– No separate waterproof housing required.
– Built-in LCD for ease of operation is sadly missed but I can live with the view offered via smartphone with wifi connection. You hardly get it wrong pointing it in the wrong direction since it’s FOV is so wide at 170 degree. And firmware version 1.5 now allows the selection of video recording options directly from GoPro Session without the need to connect to smartphone, a feature previously not possible. This firmware was released three months after launch and that shows GoPro connects to its community of users, addressing most of the initial inconveniences faced by the early adopters.
– Low profile design. This reduces the chance of the camera being caught or ripped off. And the overall final package with the mount looks smarter too.
GoPro Hero 4 Session vs Smartphone (iPhone and android phone)
I find this comparison too stretched, more so when authored by the brainy Wall Street analysts. Because i personally would not want to risk damaging or losing a smartphone mounting them to places other than holding them with my hands. i also do not wish to look ridiculous and silly. Most tasks and situations such as water sports or mundane tasks like cycling or even cooking and etc are not even technically possible or manageable single-handedly with camera phones. I also do not have problems handing over GoPro Session to a 3 year old kid, surely not a smartphone unless it is bubble-wrapped with armoured casing.
Smartphone also lacks wide angle FOV. And avid photographers will tell you composition of photos from such action camera tucked in most places inaccessible to normal camera will produce amazing video footages and creative still shots from different perspectives. Analysts also lament that GoPro is plagued with high inventory overhang but i received mine with the most updated firmware version 1.5 released on Oct 6 on Nov 20, which was just 6 weeks ago? So I believe with the new pricing and new enhancements made possible with the latest firmware update, GoPro Session will soon catch up with their best selling model Silver.
Finally to conclude I am not even using GoPro Session wholly for sports or holiday trips but merely to document family life. I disagreed that an “action” camera has niche uses. Go view the videos on GoPro channels and the most-watched videos are non-sports related. But be warned as these videos are sticky but sometimes motivating and lifting.
GoPro Session uses will only propagate beyond action sports chronicling and documenting everyday life like a wearable camera without the photographer being too caught up and not living the moment. They might even be handy sometimes in resolving disputes. That day, when further improvements condenses the camera in size and weight with longer battery life and sharper optics allowing them to be worn all day unobtrusively if designed like a socially acceptable accessory is not so distant . For now, GoPro Session is moving in that right direction and checked all boxes in my books. I might just buy another one.
Canadian Car Guy –
It was a choice between this and the Polaroid Cube, and although the Hero Session is nearly twice the price, the already established large amount of inexpensive mounts made the difference. Apparently the newest version of the Cube has sound issues as well. The mounts for the cube start at $40 each, so the GoPro makes a lot more sense if you feel that you are going to need several mounts, since buying 3 mounts would make the Cube cost just as much.
The seller shipped the in time and delivered in time. Genuine product. I love the camera it capture crisp clear picture like a pro camera.
Ricardo Q –
Item came in 2 days before specified date which was great. The body of the camera it self has seen some wear and tear. For the price it’s like buying a used camera. However it is in100% working condition and definitely recommend it.