GoPro HERO Session
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HERO Session packs the power of GoPro into a convenient, grab-and-go, everyday camera. Perfect for the first–time GoPro user, or as a second camera, HERO Session is our simplest camera to use. A single button powers on the camera and starts recording automatically, then when you stop recording, the camera automatically powers itself off. With 1080p60 video and 8MP photo capture, HERO Session delivers the stunning image quality that has made GoPro famous, and its rugged, waterproof design is our first to eliminate the need for a separate housing. So small, so simple, HERO Session is perfect to take on any adventure.
What's in the box?
- HERO Session Camera
- The Standard Frame
- Curved Adhesive Mount
- Flat Adhesive Mount
- Mounting Buckle + Hardware
- Micro-USB Cable
Most helpful customer reviews
196 of 205 people found the following review helpful.
The Session has become my favorite camera to bring along on adventures!
By James R.
After owning GoPro's Hero 2 and Hero 3, the Session (formerly named the Session 4) is a nice break from the usual. You can go to GoPro's website to read the specs (resolutions, etc.) for yourself, I'll just talk about real-world camera usage.
The main difference of the Session in GoPro's lineup is the form factor; I found that the smaller, cube-shaped Session made it more versatile for my primary usage, which is to film my mountain biking adventures. It's lighter than the standard Hero, and the shape makes it a lot easier to put in places without being an obstruction (such as below the visor of my helmet without blocking my view) or without being awkward (when mounted to the side of my helmet, the Session's weight doesn't pull my helmet to one side like the standard Hero cameras). part of this is thanks to the Session not requiring an outer housing to make it waterproof, which trims the bulk a lot. Instead I can just use the small mounting frame, and I run the Session "naked" with the lens exposed with no problem, since it has a removable/replaceable lens (with my Hero 2/3 I had to run the camera inside the bulky case to get waterproofing and protection for the Hero 2/3's non-replaceable lens). The Session mounting frame is compatible with all of the current GoPro style mounts and accessories available.
Control-wise, the Session is easy and quick once you have your settings selected beforehand. One button turns the camera on and starts recording, and the same button turns the camera off and stops recording, similar to how Contour action cameras worked. This means less battery drain, no more "is it on?" questions, and no leaving it on accidentally. There is a small LCD screen to check card space, battery life, and record mode, bit it's nowhere near the battery killer that the add-on LCD backpacks of the Hero 2/3 were. The only other physical control on the Session is a small select button at the bottom if you have to turn on the built-in WiFi (to connect to the GoPro app or GoPro remote) or make small setting changes on the LCD screen.
Speaking of settings and adjustments, all of this is done primarily through the Gopro app. Compared to when the app first came out a few years ago, the current version is very good and easy to use. It's easy to pair with your smartphone, and setting the camera up to what you need isn't complicated at all. Once you pair the app to the Session, you get an almost lag-free live video preview to adust camera angles, etc. and every adjustment is a tap or a swipe away.
Battery life is rated at about 2 hours continuous, and although I did not actually record continuously for 2 hours straight, I can say that the Session easily outlasted a whole day of recording my rides through the trails of Whistler Bike Park, with enough battery life to spare for reviewing a few video clips through the GoPro app at the dinner table while waiting for my food to arrive. However, bear in mind that the Session has a built-in, non-removable battery. That means that, unlike the regular Hero cameras, once the battery is at 0%, you have to charge it up again before you can continue; you can't just swap in an extra battery like you can with the larger Hero cameras.
A few small specifications to address - this Session does not do 4k. If you want 4k, you get the Session 5. You also get voice control, cloud uploading, and video stabilization with the Session 5. You'll also have to spend an extra $100 for the Session 5. Now for some people they need those extra features, but personally I don't. I don't need 4k (I don't have any 4k TV's or other equipment to begin with), I don't really use voice control of any kind, and I don't need to upload my videos to another cloud service. The video stabilization might be a plus, but the videos I've shot with my Session are very good as is - even if I'm riding my mountain bike along a rough trail. Your requirements may vary, but my requirements fit the Session just fine.
All in all the Session has become my favorite camera to bring along on adventures (I have the two Hero cameras mentioned earlier as well as a Contour Plus 2). The size of the Session makes it the easy choice, it's super easy to use, and the video is great. The non-removable battery is the only reason why I did not give the camera 5 stars. On a side note, lucky for me I waited a little bit, and I only paid $199 (at first release this Session was $299).
356 of 375 people found the following review helpful.
First foray into the GoPro universe - It's great!
By A. Dude
The Session is the latest camera from GoPro. It is a great little camera with a good resolution overall. It's not the same level of detail as seen with the Hero Silver, however for people like me who find themselves in the woods for days at a time, it's awesome to be able to have a lightweight and compact form factor to pack in.
-The Hero Session features a one-click operation. Click the main button once, video recording starts at the specified default resolution. You can set this with the camera itself via the buttons or in the remote control app on your phone/pad. If you hold the main button for 3 seconds, it will start a time lapse. Easy peasy.
Here's what resolutions it's capable of via the GoPro website:
I1440p 30, 25 Ultra Wide 1920 x 1440
1080p 60, 50, 30, 25 Ultra Wide, Medium 1920 x 1080
1080p SuperView 48, 30, 25 Ultra Wide 1920 x 1080
960p 60, 50, 30, 25 Ultra Wide 1280 x 960
720p 100, 60, 50, 30, 25 Ultra Wide, Medium 1280 x 720
720p SuperView 60, 50, 30, 25 Ultra Wide 1280 x 720
Superview is basically expanding the field of view horizontally and vertically a bit more, perhaps 3-5mm. You do end up getting that 'fisheye' effect when using it, but that's sort of nice sometimes. There are a few videos explaining how to apply the 4:3 crop to the video in post and eliminating the 4:3 aspect ratio when using this ultra-wide view and preserving the 16x9 ratio, but I won't go into that here.
Anyways, after you have your fun mounting your GoPro on your horse/cat/bike/helmet/walking stick/ferret, you can import these motion pictures into your editor of choice, or just use the free GoPro Studio application found on the GoPro website under 'support' to convert, edit and export your killer clip footage dude! I personally just stick with the GoPro Studio software as I like the simplicity. I'm out there taking pictures of bears, landscapes and whatever else my assignments call for. I also use it for trail documentation on the AT and surrounding vistas in various states that I like to hike. Videography isn't my primary hobby so I'm alright with a lower resolution and a more simplified workflow, not to mention the smaller files taking up space on the card and ease of post work at the end.
- I paired the Session with the suction cup mount for use inside/outside my car, a Peak Designs P.O.V. harness for my pack, a 64GB Sandisk MicroSD and an Anker Astro 6700 mAh battery pack for when I'm on the go and need to shoot more footage of trails and sunsets and junk. The GoPro Session been rained on, fallen on, attacked by my kitten, tossed in the mud, had food spilled on it, dropped and even found it's way into a campfire once (briefly, VERY briefly!).. It keeps chugging right along. It's not totally indestructible, but it's as close as I've felt like I can dish out, honestly. And for $200, it's a no-brainer. You're not going to feel like you lost a child or a full-frame camera or anything if something drastic were to happen to it. On the other hand, a $400 purchase might, depending on your financial status, give you heart palpitations if destroyed.
-The major complaints for me anyway, seem to stem around how the WiFi won't turn off when the camera does. If you have it remotely connected to your device and you stop recording, the camera will keep blinking blue, indicating that the WiFi is still active. This obviously eats up some of the battery and I really wish that there was an option to either keep this feature on or be able to turn off the wifi upon stopping a recording to help conserve some more of that precious battery. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's something to note and hopefully something they can change via another FW update.
-There seems to be a delay when attempting to enter the settings menu while the device is turned off. If you have the camera off and press the (We're just going to call it the 'menu' button for lack of a better term) menu button, it takes a few seconds for it to register and get you into the menu system. Sometimes it seems it doesn't want to even do that. A small annoyance, but one I found nonetheless.
-Battery life seems to be holding up to around what GoPro claims, which is about 1 Hr and 45 mins or so at 1080p 60fps. That's pretty respectable considering the size of the camera and how lightweight it is. Just great. Again, the external battery pack might be a good thing to have as a backup if you're concerned about that becoming an issue.
===Final thoughts: For those who don't need 4k resolution and want a more compact package, or for those who wish to play around with videography, the GoPro Session is where to start looking. It's the entry level option, however you do get quite a lot for the money. I recommend it.
590 of 641 people found the following review helpful.
Not the absolute best action camera, but very good especially for the price.
Purchased this little guy for my Thailand trip. Took it snorkeling, gave it some time in the sea.
I have an advanced photography background and am quite picky so take that into consideration when reading my review.
Overall I recommend the GoPro Hero Session with one caveat -- for the price.
Do you prioritize stealth and portability? Then buy this over the typical GoPros. Image quality in photo mode will be about the same (This guy has taken some pretty nice looking images I must admit) It's black so you don't look like your typical GoPro user and it's not so quite obvious you're being a tourist. Less of a target, in my opinion.
The video quality is quite good and colorful and sharp. You'll see reviews sort of bash this GoPro compared to the larger silver or black and they're right, those GoPros do edge out the session in quality but only while viewing full size on a large screen. For YouTube and your computer, you won't notice a difference.
This does not need a case to be waterproofed. Very cool feature about it. So its footprint is tiny.
The battery life is just OK but the cool thing is you can charge it via USB. No need to pull out a clunky battery and charger and put it in the wall. I charged this sucker using my portable charger and micro USB cable on the go! http://amzn.to/28Y1tPT Almost NOBODY makes this point.
The only thing I don't like is when you are in a fast paced environment and you need to record quickly, the Session can be inconsistent in its response. You often ask yourself is it in photo mode or video mode? I've often done the opposite of what I intended to do. You get used to it, but it's frustrating.
Overall I thought about trading it for the bigger GoPro but the session has its own charm about it.