GoPro has done it yet again! By shrinking its latest offering, the GoPro Hero4 Session, to the size of a mere ice cube, the company has come out with the smallest GoPro ever.
This time it is not just about functionality or the lenses, we are talking a major design overhaul since the launch of the original Digital Hero in 2007. Even better, the new Hero4 Session is case-less, meaning, it does not need a protective covering to survive your adventures. This GoPro took three years to build and perfect.
At one and a half inch cube and weighing just 2.6 ounces, the Hero4 Session is waterproof up to 10 meters and shockproof without a protective case. The device with 8 MP and 170-degree wide angle lens is built with a sturdy rubber material that seems resistant to knocks and drops. A new built-in microphone system comprises a membrane for draining excess water trapped inside which means, the camera audio clarity is not affected on leaving the water. A rear-facing microphone is automatically activated in high-wind noise conditions. The camera can detect how it is mounted and automatically adjusts its video recording angle. Another mechanism allows the camera to be rotated in a mounting frame while continuously recording the video the right side up without disruptions.
A power button on the top with a red circle turns on the camera for recording and the same button, touched a second time, stops the recording and turns off the camera. The button has to be pressed hard to activate, it is immune to common bumps and falls. There is another small button on the back which lights up the LCD display. These are the only two buttons on the tiny camera which make it easy to use.
However, certain sacrifices had to be made to shrink its size – the new GoPro does not have the 4k recording capability of the high-end models, nor does it comes with a replaceable battery. The top mounted LCD is also very small and displays limited settings apart from mode, battery life and connection status. General camera settings like video capture resolution, frame rate, GoPro Tune have to be adjusted using the companion GoPro smartphone app. However on the other hand, the LCD offers sharp, crisp viewing clarity.
The camera can record at up to 60 fps at 1080p and only includes 100fps slow-motion capture at 720p but has a decent low light capability and takes great moving target shots. Even without the 4K recording, the video quality is great for HD viewing. The camera also includes low-energy Bluetooth to conserve battery when the device is connected to the app, giving it the ability to remain on standby up to 6 days.
The GoPro Hero4 Session has been priced at $400, the higher-end of the GoPro range and comes in a package that included two mounting frames, two mounts and new, smaller mounting buckles. With this, the Hero series gets its fifth camera.