GoPro released its newly designed GoPro HERO4 Session earlier this month and the tiny square camera, which captures both still and video images, looks wildly different from its older counterparts (such as the HERO4 Silver). This one is sleek and black and completely waterproof without requiring a special plastic case (like my ancient first-generation GoPro). New mounts include a hand strap (pictured below), and I love the soft squishy orange Floaty you can tuck the GoPro in so that if were to fall off a mount, it would float on the surface of a lake, pool or ocean. The accompanying GoPro app allows you to preview photos and video and control the camera directly from your phone.
Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the most technologically inclined; I was able to connect my new camera to the phone app, but then had trouble figuring out how to turn the camera’s built-in wifi off and then back on again (I had to call in my 13-year-old son, my husband, and even tech-savvy friends Captain and Clark from across the country for advice). I’ve since managed to figure out how to use the camera, and negotiate the app… though I’ve likely barely scratched the surface of all the cool things the new GoPro HERO4 Session can do.
I’m looking forward to taking the camera on some tropical trips this fall, namely for capturing colorful underwater snorkeling shots. Like other GoPro versions, the HERO4 Session is absolutely built and equipped for outdoor adventure; I envision it accompanying me on skiing, scuba diving, ziplining and other active pursuits in the future. And I need to mess around with the still-photo options, since its natural “fish eye” lens (aka “barrel distortion”), typically results in some unusual perspectives. I simply haven’t had the time yet to just “take pictures” with it. (Note, there is no preview screen on the GoPro HERO4 Session, so you can’t see what you’re snapping pictures of, unless you are also using the phone app simultaneously to “preview” your shot–not easy when you’re out adventuring!)
However, I did dig into the video mode a bit, when I asked some friends and family (of the human and canine variety) to capture some various scenes while vacationing on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, over the last couple weeks.
My daughter wore the hand-strap mount while tubing on the lake:
My 9-year-old friend Caroline wore it on her hand while riding shotgun on a go-kart:
My brother wore it on a head-strap mount while jumping into the lake from a rope swing:
And finally, Oscar the pug showed us his perspective of life at the lake:
Again, my family and I had fun figuring out different ways to use the GoPro HERO4 Session. I think it’s best for adventurous folks who will find entertainment strapping it on themselves–or a skateboard, bicycle or other piece of sporting equipment. It certainly doesn’t replace my DSLR or longtime favorite Olympus Tough waterproof and shockproof camera, but adds a different element for capturing vacation videos and images to illustrate my blog posts here and simply share snippets of my travels on social media.
Thanks to GoPro for providing me with the HERO4 Session, which retails for $399.99. Check out #HERO4Session on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more GoPro videos and photos.