What do you know about GoPro? GoPro is arguably the most popular camera in the world. When it comes to recording your favorite activity or capturing those memories of a trip, GoPro is exactly what you need. The GoPro Hero 5 Session is one of the latest and greatest additions to the lineup. It has some features that may not be as mainstream as others, but those features make the perfect fit for those who want those features over those features available to all.
In this blog, we will discuss GoPro Hero 5 Session
GoPro Hero 5 Session Review
- Photos: Up to 10MP, 30 fps burst, time-lapse mode
- Videos: Up to 30 fps in UHD 4K, up to 60 fps in 1440p, up to 90 fps in 1080p
- Waterproof to 33′
- Simple one-button control
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Advanced wind-noise reduction
- Voice control
- Digital video stabilization
- Automatic upload to the cloud
- Great picture quality
- Great video quality
- Sensitive dual microphones
- Mounting options are endless for small sizes
- Simple operation
- Tiny action camera
- Non-removable battery
- There is no WDR or RAW support available for still images
- No GPS
- there is a noticeable change in sound quality from being still to being in motion, which leads to very distracting shifts in the audio if you accelerate or decelerate.
Although the GoPro Hero 5 Session looks identical to its predecessor, it boasts 4k image quality and voice control. It also has video stabilization, video stabilisation, and USB-C connectivity. Additionally, it offers updated frame rates and higher resolutions. We have ridden it on a variety of terrains and in different climatic conditions and feel we know how it performs.
Design and Gopro Accessories
The form factor of the Hero 5 Session is identical in every respect to the older model, the Hero 4 Session
Because it is smaller than GoPro’s larger cameras, the Hero5 Session will be more appealing. This makes mounting it in difficult positions easier. It makes a great secondary camera to use with multi-camera shoots. For example, you can leg-mount while climbing. The Session’s shape and size make it easy to hold the camera for quick videos.
The Hero, 5 Session screen is so small that it can be a bit annoying to use. In fact, it didn’t even have the fancy 4K video recording. I recommend using the GoPro Capture app instead of adjusting any settings.
The design of the Session has not changed much from its original. The camera is still a cute cube-shaped one, but it’s slightly larger. This won’t be something you’ll notice unless you put the two cameras next to one another, however – and even then, it’s barely noticeable.
The main advantage of the original Session’s waterproofing was that it didn’t require external housing. This has been copied by Hero5 Black. The Hero 5 Session will happily reach 10m without any fuss.
There are two microphones, one at the front and one at the back. The camera can switch between them dynamically depending on wind noise and other external conditions. The camera doesn’t have an external housing that could block the microphones. This makes sound recording much better, and the Hero 5 Session supports advanced wind noise reduction.
The microphones can also be used to trigger the Hero 5 Session’s voice-triggered actions. You can also use the microphones to command the Hero 5 Black: “GoPro take a photo” or “GoPro start recording“, and the camera will respond accordingly.
This is true if you can be heard by the microphones. The microphones struggled to hear me in noisy outdoor environments, such as an ice rink. If you are dependent on voice commands, a wrist-based remote control with a microphone may be more reliable.
The camera has a small portion of an LCD panel at the top that supports quick recording. This is similar to previous GoPro cameras. After a single press, the camera will turn on and begin recording. Another press stops the recording and turns off the camera.
The camera’s rear has a multi-function power switch that can be used together with the shutter button to navigate through the basic menu system. The camera can be used to set capture modes and change settings. In-camera software also has the same improvements as the original Session.
One of these enhancements was the ability to access a Photo mode to capture still images. This feature was not available in the original Session, so you had to use the app to capture time-lapse or burst images.
The camera’s software stability has been greatly improved. I tested it and found that it did not hang or lock up nearly as often as earlier Hero Session software versions.
You can adjust the settings such as resolution and field of view. The Hero 5 Session, Hero5 Black now have the ability to turn on and off electronic image stabilization. This is not available when shooting in 4K, however, like the Hero5 Black.
You’ll find the microSD card slot and a USB C port along the edge. The Hero 5 Session does not have an external display output like the Micro HDMI on the Hero 5 Black. An external microphone is supported, but it was not available in the original Session. You will need an adapter.
The Hero 5 Session’s biggest omission is its lack of a touchscreen display. If you want to give more thought to how your shots are framed, you will need to use the companion application. There is also no basic in-camera editing.
In terms of capabilities, the Session is different from the Black because it lacks a color LCD to frame and playback. Instead, the top of the Session has a monochrome LCD screen that displays modes and status. On-device controls, however, are limited to physical buttons. The top has a dual-purpose shutter and power button. A button for switching shooting modes is located at the back.
You will receive a USB Type C to USB cable and a helmet mount in your box. If you’re interested in taking it surfing or mountain biking, there are a variety of mounts that can be added to the box.
My experience is that when I shoot first-person video, it’s important to ensure the camera isn’t pointed too high/low. This will allow you to have a live view output and not need to adjust the settings. It can be a good idea to spend some time in the app before you start shooting.
The box also includes a mounting frame that wraps around Hero5 Sessions and serves as a standard GoPro mounting point.
The camera comes with a ball-head mount. This allows you to adjust the angle and spin the camera around to change between a first-person view and the following perspective. It is especially useful when you are racing down steep slopes at high speed.
These two mounts are included with a standard, low profile mount and flat and curved adhesive mounts in the box
GoPro Hero 5 Session- Connectivity, Apps, and Software
Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi are supported by the Hero5 Session. You can pair the camera with both the Android and iOS GoPro Capture apps to remotely control it, as well as power it on. This allows you to easily change the camera settings, and it also gives you a live view to overcoming the lack of an integrated display.
It is usually smooth and trouble-free. Only occasionally did I experience connection problems. There is a slight delay in the live view if you are paired up, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. The Capture app works exactly the same way as the GoPro Hero5 Black. You also have the Quik app available if you need to quickly edit your footage.
GoPro’s desktop software for video editing is very easy to use. The software is easy to use for editing multiple shots, but if you are used to more advanced editing suites, you may find it a bit basic.
These are an option if you wish, but they do a great job as an entry to video editing. The GoPro Studio desktop software was used to edit the video test footage.
GoPro’s app has received a recent update that introduces QuikStories, a new feature. These are a little like Instagram Stories or Google Photos’ automated assistant. The app will automatically create a highlight video at the end of each day based on what content was added to your GoPro Hero 5 session camera. You can get content from your camera much faster and still have manual control if necessary.
GoPro Hero 5 Session Image Stabilization
The Hero, 5 Black’s image stabilization is not as sophisticated as you would expect for a camera of this size. It’s not terrible, but it can sometimes be noticeable as ‘wavy’ at certain places. Many people also feel a floating sensation.
The handlebars are where the camera mounts on the handlebars. This is the most noticeable wavy effect. You may feel as if you are sitting on a rocking chair or sideways because the stabilization tends to overcompensate. This camera is best mounted on the body. A helmet mount or chest mount will work well and produce sharp, punchy video.
GoPro Hero 5 Session- Image & Video Quality
The Hero 5 Session is just like all GoPro cameras. Its one-touch controls make it easy to use. The shutter button at the top can be pressed to turn on the camera and begin recording in a matter of seconds. To save your footage, press it again and then turn off the camera.
With a simple push of the Mode button on the back, you can switch between video and photo modes. You can also see the settings that you have applied and battery information on the LCD display.
The Session does not have a touchscreen, so you can’t dig into the settings without opening GoPro’s Capture app. The Black’s touch screen display was something I missed, even though it was sometimes finicky. It also had the benefit of not draining your phone’s battery.
It is simple enough to use and far more responsive than Black’s slow touchscreen. You can adjust the field-of-view, video quality, ISO, and exposure levels. Quik allows you to make quick edits, such as splicing footage together with just a few clicks.
The Hero 5 Session’s biggest improvement is the ability to capture a 4K video. The Hero5 Black’s footage is only available at 30 frames per second. The video quality was excellent. I was impressed by how detailed and sharp my test footage was. It is a big improvement over last year’s Session. The video is recorded at 60Mbits/sec, which is a significant increase from 25Mbits/sec. This makes a big difference in its overall quality.
Lower resolutions have higher frame rates, with a maximum speed of 120fps at720p. Although the resolution and frame rate pairings may be a bit less than its more expensive counterparts, 1,440p can still achieve a maximum of 60fps at 720p. However, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained on your adventures.
The Session’s color saturation is similar to the Hero 5 Black. I find it a little too cold, even though it was recorded in overcast conditions. Low light is not a great choice for the Session. Noise issues are far more frequent than footage with lots of natural lighting, and colors look a bit muted. Its dual microphone, which is much louder than its predecessor, is now better at picking up sound thanks to improved wind noise reduction.
The Hero 5 Session can also take stills using the 10-megapixel camera. However, this is not the Hero 5 Session’s strongest suit. The colors are bright enough but lack detail. Many shots were also very underexposed, especially when they were compared to the Hero 5 Black shots. It’s not possible to save unusable shots that were taken with the Session because it doesn’t have the RAW export like its Black sibling.
The Session’s battery life is a major advantage. While I was out and about, the battery barely dropped below 40%. This is a significant improvement over the Hero5 Black’s 1hr 40mins. You can expect almost two hours of uninterrupted recording time, storage space permitting.
GoPro Hero 5 Session- Battery Life
The Session includes a 1000mAh lithium-ion built-in battery. Here are some examples of how the Session performed with Protune turned on, native white balance off, connections off, and the camera set at 1080p 50fps.
The Session took 1 hour and 58-second video during a BikeRadar group ride at the Forest of Dean. Before the battery died, it showed less than 10%. This is not unreasonable considering the low-single digits Celsius temperatures.
The 32GB card ran out of memory when I left it on my desk to do a full-to empty run-down. After clearing the card and continuing to record, we had 1 hour, 50 mins, and 15 seconds total of recorded video.
This last example shows that the environment is very controlled and image stabilization did not have to do much work, but it does show that you can get some decent run time if the conditions are right.
GoPro Hero5 Session- Cold Weather Performance
The camera stopped recording after 20 minutes during a pre-work ride on the road over the UK’s recent cold snap. Temperatures ranged from 0 to 5 Celsius. The battery was initially thought to have died, but when I arrived at work, the battery showed 70% remaining.
This means that the GoPro Hero5 Session cannot be used in cold conditions. According to the manual, “Low or high temperatures may temporarily reduce the battery life or cause the camera to temporarily stop functioning properly.”
Is There Another Alternative?
We recommend the Hero5 Black if you have the budget. It is still the GoPro you should own and the best action camera. The Session is our favorite action camera due to its lightweight and simple design. However, Black will be a better choice if you only have one action camera.
Even if GPS telemetry is not something you use today, it may be useful in the future. The Black allows you to disable wind noise reduction. This gives you greater control over the audio quality, slow motion. An optional adapter provides external mic support, which makes it even better.
The Hero5 Session is the best second camera or action cam for those rare situations where a bigger one won’t work.
GoPro Capture (iOS/Android)
- You can use your iOS or Android device to view and playback live shots, control your GoPro and share the footage.
- The live preview allows you to frame the perfect shot.
- Remote control for all camera functions
- – Upload photos and videos to Instagram and Facebook.
GoPro Quik (iOS/Android)
- You can edit videos in just a few taps
- To find the best moments, analyze your videos and photos
- -Synchronizes all effects and transitions to the beat of the music.
- You can personalize your story using text, music, filters and more
GoPro Quik | Desktop (Mac/Windows)
- Just a few clicks and you can import and edit your videos.
- -Convert your footage into edited videos that can be synchronized to music
- Automatically import your photos/videos, and share your top shots
- GoPro Studio is included in the bundle for advanced editing
GoPro Plus (Cloud Subscription)
- You can access your GoPro footage from wherever you are and share it with others.
- Automatic upload to the cloud
- Access your footage online, then use Quik on your computer or phone to edit it.
- You can enjoy your photos and videos on your TV or phone using the AirPlay and Apple TV options
- Enjoy an expanded library with soundtracks to enhance your footage
You can check other GoPro reviews here:
Although the Hero 5 Session may not offer all the features of other action cameras, it is still a fantastic piece of kit. The Session is an action camera that does the job very well, with a few minor niggles.
Although it’s not as versatile as GoPro’s Hero 5 Black, it’s a great deal if you have limited cash. You can get a Hero4 Session for as low as PS149 if you don’t care about 4K video quality or a new microphone. You can get everything you need for just PS100, provided you are willing to give up a few extras.