As promised a few weeks back I am now going to do a brief review of the brilliant GoPro HERO 4 Session Action Camera. Did I say ‘brilliant’? I meant ‘simple’ and ‘easy to use’.
This is my 3rd GoPro. I started with a HERO 960 a few years ago and instantly fell in love with photographing and filming myself slowly riding through trees and down muddy slopes.
I progressed to the HERO 3 (Black) and was instantly deflated. Battery life disappointed and this was the main cause for my disliking of this model. Buying spare batteries seemed to help a little but generally it just drained batteries. The HERO 3 + came out shortly afterwards, with improved battery performance and my love affair with GoPro started to wane.
Prices went up, specifications went nuts and I longed for my simple HERO 960 again and started to look at alternatives. Yes, even those cheap Far Eastern copies. I vowed never to buy another GoPro especially as the pricing was in 2, 3 and 4 times alternatives on the market.
Then, out of the blue they dropped the price of the HERO 4 Session to £159 and even included a 32GB memory card with it. I was in love again! With the price at least!
Its so small and cool looking, why wouldn’t I want one?
Let’c cut to the chase. So far I am loving this addition to the family. Battery life is not an issue (for the time being at least). Automatically switching on and off when recording means less button pushing and more power saving. So far I haven’t run into any problems with the battery – and I have been using it in situations where I am sure I would have had problems with my HERO 3.
The simplicity of the controls and minimal features to faff about with just makes it a pleasure to use.
As an existing customer of GoPro I have a few mounts and adapters so the £159 bundle without any body, bar or helmet adapters wasn’t really an issue. It did come with a few sticky mounts (one with a swivel option) and 2 different “cages”. One allows the camera to sit at a right angle to the mount and the other sets it at a perfect angle for POV footage. On this note too, the new firmware detects the right way up and you don’t have to flip your video in post editing or remember to set it in the camera options.
What I’d really like is a bar mount that I can swivel in multiple directions, to face forward, at the hands, at the rider etc
My GoPro experience was back to where I felt it should be. Simple operation, no fuss with settings, battery life (so far) seems to be fine and the same great wide angle action footage from behind my bars or from the top of my head.
My long term concern in the built in battery. Maybe there will be a service option for when it begins to perform badly. Until then I will just enjoy its simplicity.
Almost forgot to say what a great recorder of video this little machine is too! I have always been impressed with GoPro and this is no exception.
I use Vimeo and YouTube and mostly record at 30fps 1080. The results are perfect for watching back on my 42″ TV in my lounge.
I bought mine direct from GoPro as the pricing was the same as anywhere else and they were offering a free 32GB microSD card.