Gear Guide: First Look at GoPro Hero Session

hero-session

We finally got our hands on the latest from GoPro — the Session. This is a camera that I’ve been dying to test out ever since I first saw the design. Yes, GoPro cameras can be obnoxious as hell at festivals (nobody wants to watch your movie about flame dancers, Marissa) but damn, if they don’t capture some envy worthy pictures. I picked up a $199 GoPro Hero4 Session on my way to the airport for the second round of 100 Nights of Summer — my now annual European tour of 15 festivals in 15 weekends in 15 different countries.

Initial Thoughts: Wow. This camera is tiny even by GoPro standards. It’s a simple design featuring a lightweight cube. Unlike the other models, this one doesn’t require a case and is waterproof to 30 meters. There’s just two buttons and a very small menu screen, and that’s about it.

Setup and First Run: You’re going to want a manual for this, or better yet, just watch a 5-minute tutorial on YouTube. Inserting the MicroSD card for the first time is a little strange and feels like you’re going to snap it in half. Until you get used to it, the menu can be confusing as well. That’s okay because after my first test video, a charming indie flick in which my father yells about salami, I downloaded the GoPro app, which can be used to control all camera functions.

Download the App: The Session doesn’t need much screen space because we live in a wired world and the GoPro app immediately feels like an extension of the camera. You can change settings, delete videos/photos, and use the screen as a viewfinder. As with most of my electronic gear, connecting wirelessly is always a bit more complicated than I would like, but still not too difficult.

Accessories: Despite looking like a smaller cousin of it’s GoPro relatives, the Session is compatible with the extensive line of accessories for these cameras. I started out small, purchasing a small lightweight and generic branded selife stick for $18.

Final Thoughts: After a few days, I’m already impressed with the power of this tiny camera and should be a welcome addition to my electronic traveling arsenal. At $199, the Session is the cheapest entry point into the GoPro line and am curious to see how often I’ll use it this summer with all the festival fans.