GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres

GoPro expands its range and drowns the competition in one fell swoop

GoPro aims to shake up the camera market yet again with its lighter, smaller and waterproof Hero4 Session action cam.

Weight is down 40 per cent and the size is down by 50 per cent when it is compared to the flagship Hero4 Black. There's no need for cumbersome housing either because the Session’s body is waterproof to 10 metres.

All of this means the camera can get closer to the action by fitting into previously inaccessible nooks-and-crannies.

A smaller footprint leaves little room for buttons and controls. The camera has only one actionable button and approximately 180 settings, and yet its shooting modes have been streamlined, said Chris Kinman, the media relations manager of GoPro.

“This is a grab and go camera. It doesn’t require a deep dive into the settings. It requires you to press just a single button”, said Kinman.

How the button is pressed determines the shooting mode. A short press powers the camera and automatically starts recording a Full HD video, whereas a long press turns it on and starts an 8 megapixel timelapse video.

The battery is large enough to continuously record for two hours, said Kinman. “It has an integrated battery. When it’s not recording, it’s not on and it’s not using any power.”

Additional shooting modes include 1080p@60fps, 720p@100fps and 1440p@30fps.
Additional shooting modes include 1080p@60fps, 720p@100fps and 1440p@30fps.

Granular settings can be tweaked from the standard GoPro app, and although new mounts have been introduced, it will work with GoPro’s existing range of accessories.

The camera slides into the middle of GoPro’s range, beneath the Hero4 Silver, and is being pushed as a companion camera or an ideal purchase for water activities.

It is the only camera in GoPro’s range to be waterproof without a protective casing; a feature formerly reserved for Sony’s hero action camera, the X1000V.

Clever microphones better capture audio in wet situations. “It records sound with a dual-mic system. The camera dynamically adjusts from front [microphone] to the back [microphone] to figure out which one to use.

“A channeling system whisks away water” and makes sure there’s “no water bubbles in your microphone”, said Kinman.

Action camera showdown: Sony X1000V versus GoPro Hero4 Black

Bundled in the sales kit are two mounts; one of which anchors the camera from the side for improved low profile shots.

Read more: Olympus TG-850 review

The camera will go on sale in Australia on 12 July for $579.99.

Kinman doesn’t expect the camera to cannibalise its existing range of Hero4 cameras. “It’s going to get into nooks and crannies that our previous cameras couldn’t.”

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Tags action cameraGoProSony X1000VprotuneHero4Session

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Tony Ibrahim
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