GoPro HERO4 Session

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING

  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session
  • GoPro HERO4 Session

The small Hero4 Session is GoPro’s easiest-to-use action cam, and does a pretty good job. If only it wasn’t so expensive.

- Les Shu , Digital Trends 

The GoPro Hero 4 Session is a fantastic feat of engineering – it manages to do so much yet remain so small.

- Evan Kypreos , TrustedReviews 

Specs / Features


Smallest, lightest GoPro yet | Durable and waterproof to 33' (10m), no housing needed | Easy one-button control, power up and capture videos or photos with a single press | Professional quality up to 1440p30, 1080p60 and 720p100 video | 8MP photos with 10 fps Burst

Smallest, lightest GoPro yet | Durable and waterproof to 33' (10m), no housing needed | Easy one-button control, power up and capture videos or photos with a single press | Professional quality up to 1440p30, 1080p60 and 720p100 video | 8MP photos with 10 fps Burst

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Specification

Brand GoPro
Model CHDHS-101
Size 3 x 3 cm (1.2 x 1.2 in)

Reviews summary

7.8/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 17 reviews

What's good  

  • Compact size and easy-to-use controls
  • Native waterproofing
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Compatible with other GoPro accessories

What's bad  

  • Lack of fine detail in video
  • Difficult to know if videos framed properly
  • Non-removable battery

It can be hard to innovate a product, especially when the previous iterations were so popular it allowed a company to dominate segment of the market. Faced with this exact problem, GoPro has decided to take what was good about the camera and revamp it with the Hero4 Session. The Session maintains its boxy look and measures a mere 1.5 inches all around, which is 50 percent smaller than the other Hero4 cameras. Experts could easily slip this into their bag or even pockets should they choose. Because of its small size, they also were able to mount it in more locations like on the spokes of a bicycle. Best of all, it is waterproof right out of the box without the need for a protective case.

GoPro designed the camera to be the point-and-shoot of the action camera world. It touts only two buttons for ease of use. Besides being waterproof critics discovered it was actually quite rugged. Despite dropping it several times and banging it up, it worked flawlessly. This is thanks to the textured rubber around the body of the Session and the glass covering for the wide angle lens. While it sports a different shape, it is still compatible with previous accessories and some new ones made specifically for the Session.

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One of the biggest drawbacks of its simplicity and size is when reviewers attempted to use it by hand. There was no way for them to know if their shots were framed properly or if the lens was pointing at what they wanted to record. Since everything is controlled with only two buttons, they also realized it was difficult to know when they were shooting video or time lapse photos.

Unsurprisingly, the Session does not record 4K video, though it still offers plenty of options. The default is set to 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS), but it can record up to 100 FPS for lower resolutions. Although it has a lower bitrate than the larger Hero4 options, critics still consider video quality fairly impressive especially in outdoor light. They were able to capture video with vibrant and accurate colors. Upon closer inspection, they noticed videos lacked fine detail and suffered from compression artifacts. These became more pronounced when they shot in indoor or low-light situations.

A highlight of the Session is its audio quality. It features two microphones – one in the front and one in the back. The camera switches dynamically between the two in order to reduce wind noise. While experts warn it doesn't remove all wind noise, CNET states, "It works much better than you might think…Considering the mics are completely exposed, it's pretty impressive."

As for battery life, reviewers were able to get around two hours with Wi-Fi off and recording at 1080p at 30 FPS. Once they turned on Wi-Fi and changed to higher resolution or faster FPS, the battery life drained much faster. As well, they warn that it performs worse in colder temperatures. Unfortunately, the battery itself is non-removable so they needed to be careful to ration out their usage to make it last until they were able to charge it.

Reviewers generally recommend the GoPro Hero4 Session for those that want an action camera without breaking the bank. PC Mag states, "…for the casual shooters, the no-fuss operation, native waterproofing, and compact design make the Session a very appealing entrant into the crowded action cam space."

Reviews (7.8/10 Avg. rating)


Probably the best small camera on the market

from Make Use Of

The Session is delivers everything your average GoPro fanatic could want from a compact version of the world’s most recognisable action camera, including professional settings, full smartphone control, and waterproofing that doesn’t rely on external housing.

You might find... More

The Session is delivers everything your average GoPro fanatic could want from a compact version of the world’s most recognisable action camera, including professional settings, full smartphone control, and waterproofing that doesn’t rely on external housing.

You might find the camera’s lack of a removable battery a little limiting, and more attachments in the box would have been nice — but ultimately if you’re looking for a super compact GoPro, the Session will bring a smile to your face with its compact size, excellent video quality, and vastly improved sound.

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Too niche for any practical user

from OutdoorGearLab

While we are really excited to see GoPro finally break the mold and try a different body shape and size, we feel like the Session is just too niche for any practical user. The difficult operation is simply not worth the marginally smaller size. We're really excited to see how this new body casing... More

While we are really excited to see GoPro finally break the mold and try a different body shape and size, we feel like the Session is just too niche for any practical user. The difficult operation is simply not worth the marginally smaller size. We're really excited to see how this new body casing and built-in housing get loaded up with features in the future, but for now, we'll be sticking to our GoPro Hero 4 Silver and Black.

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A few minor niggles aside, the Session is a great action camera

from Expert Reviews

GoPro's Hero4 Session has recently seen an official price drop, from its original £330 launch price down to £249, making it a much more tempting prospect. It also now no longer encroaches on the better-equipped GoPro Hero4 Silver, so if you want something a little smaller it's a solid... More

GoPro's Hero4 Session has recently seen an official price drop, from its original £330 launch price down to £249, making it a much more tempting prospect. It also now no longer encroaches on the better-equipped GoPro Hero4 Silver, so if you want something a little smaller it's a solid choice.

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The smallest and lightest GoPro yet

from TechRadar

GoPro is still the dominant force in the action camera market, and with the launch of the Session it shows that the company is willing to innovate to stay at the top.

The Session's small size, box design and simple operation make it an ideal choice for those who want to capture the action... More

GoPro is still the dominant force in the action camera market, and with the launch of the Session it shows that the company is willing to innovate to stay at the top.

The Session's small size, box design and simple operation make it an ideal choice for those who want to capture the action with the minimum of fuss.

However that same simplicity of design and operation limits your ability to change settings without the use of the mobile app, and the price makes it hard to justify when compared with stiff competition from the likes of TomTom, Garmin and Veho.

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GoPro's tiny Session lives in the shadow of its big brothers

from Digital Trends

There’s a lot to like about the smallest, simplest GoPro, but its biggest hurdle is its price. At $400 it’s too cheap to appeal to casual users the same way Polaroid’s $99 Cube does, and it also costs the same as the Silver, a camera that offers more features and stronger perfor... More

There’s a lot to like about the smallest, simplest GoPro, but its biggest hurdle is its price. At $400 it’s too cheap to appeal to casual users the same way Polaroid’s $99 Cube does, and it also costs the same as the Silver, a camera that offers more features and stronger performance (it’s also our favorite GoPro at the moment). If you won’t benefit from the Session’s compact size and rugged body, you are better off buying the Silver, even if you never use the pro features; there’s also Sony’s Action Cam Mini, which also delivers better performance.

But there are buyers who will find the Session appealing, like extreme sports enthusiasts who don’t want to be saddled by a heavy camera on their head or body, and want something that’s super-easy to use. But you are trading performance for convenience, and whether you’re also willing to justify the price is entirely up to you.

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It’s as good as it needs to be

from Stuff

The video may not be absolutely mind-blowing, but it’s as good as it needs to be – and the real selling point of the Session is its size and weight. Wearing a GoPro is now totally hassle-free.

It’s not cheap at £330 (and that’s without extra mounts – th... More

The video may not be absolutely mind-blowing, but it’s as good as it needs to be – and the real selling point of the Session is its size and weight. Wearing a GoPro is now totally hassle-free.

It’s not cheap at £330 (and that’s without extra mounts – the head mount and QuickClip come together in a £20 set, and the chest harness is £35), but if you’re familiar with GoPros then that should come as little surprise. The company’s cameras have always been a little on the pricey side, but people have always been willing to pay because of the construction, the operation and the performance. This is all here, and it’s in a brilliantly compact package.

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It's significantly smaller and lighter

from PCWorld

GoPro pioneered the action camera category, and although rivals are clawing at its feet with competing iterations, the Hero4 Session is another large step forward. No competing camera can take it on in both performance and size. When it is worn, the small and light profile helps it hide in the ba... More

GoPro pioneered the action camera category, and although rivals are clawing at its feet with competing iterations, the Hero4 Session is another large step forward. No competing camera can take it on in both performance and size. When it is worn, the small and light profile helps it hide in the background, for that sense of freedom.

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Great action cam

from The Gadget Show

As the smallest, tiniest GoPro in the range, this should be on your shopping list if you really need an action cam you can literally put anywhere, as it won't weigh you down and your only concern will be about losing it. The video quality is not as good as some of its larger siblings, it doesn't... More

As the smallest, tiniest GoPro in the range, this should be on your shopping list if you really need an action cam you can literally put anywhere, as it won't weigh you down and your only concern will be about losing it. The video quality is not as good as some of its larger siblings, it doesn't have a built-in screen and lacks a removable battery, plus it's pretty pricey too - but for solid 1080p, 60fps video in a remarkably tiny package, this is great action cam.

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Fantastic feat of engineering

from TrustedReviews

If you want a tough action camera that’s as small as currently possible, then get your credit card out right now.

For the rest of you the Hero4 Session is a bit of a luxury. The similarly priced GoPro Hero 4 Silver captures better-quality video, is more water resistant, has a remova... More

If you want a tough action camera that’s as small as currently possible, then get your credit card out right now.

For the rest of you the Hero4 Session is a bit of a luxury. The similarly priced GoPro Hero 4 Silver captures better-quality video, is more water resistant, has a removable battery and an LCD screen. The only area the Session beats it – aside from design and size – is the clarity of audio it records.

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It's still quite good and more fun to use than other action cams

from PC Magazine

If the goal for creating the GoPro Hero4 Session truly was to create a competitor to its other cameras, I'd say GoPro succeeded. It's not just a variation on what it already has in its lineup, but complements them, delivering a small, lightweight camera that can go where the other Heros can't. An... More

If the goal for creating the GoPro Hero4 Session truly was to create a competitor to its other cameras, I'd say GoPro succeeded. It's not just a variation on what it already has in its lineup, but complements them, delivering a small, lightweight camera that can go where the other Heros can't. And now that its price is half of what it started at it's a much more compelling option, whether it's your only camera or as a secondary camera to get another point of view.

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Amazon.com Reviews Summary

490 from Amazon.com

490 Amazon.com shoppers shared a review for the GoPro HERO4 Session. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.com customer reviews.

8.6/10

Amazon.ca Reviews Summary

8 from Amazon.ca

8 Amazon.ca shoppers shared a review for the GoPro HERO4 Session. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.ca customer reviews.

9.2/10

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