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GoPro’s New Hero4 Session: Smaller, Lighter, Simpler

By Anthony Thurston on July 6th 2015

GoPro has announced their latest HERO action camera, and it is a stark departure from what we are used to from GoPro in terms of design. Highlighting the ‘HERO4 Session’ announcement is that the new camera is only half the size of previous HERO cameras, as well as 40% of the weight.


The new camera takes on a cube shape, which is quite different from the designs we have seen from GoPro in the past. In addition to the cubed design, the GoPro HERO4 Session simplifies the camera operation greatly, featuring only one button.

Most of the control of the camera will have to be done through a connected smartphone through a GoPro App. It’s an interesting decision, but it’s one that keeps the size of the HERO4 Session so small.

Another key feature of the new HERO4 Session is that it is completely waterproof, eliminating the need for an extra big and bulky accessory.This allows photographers and videographers using the GoPro HERO4 to take it out in the elements without having to fear.

As for the tech specs, the GoPro HERO4 Session features an 8MP sensor, video recording 1080p at 60FPS, 720p at 100FPS, 1440p at 30FPS, 2 hour battery life, Wifi & Bluetooth, Protune, Auto Low Light, and Superview.

The HERO4 Session will be available starting July 12th for $400, which you can buy from GoPro‘s official website or through online retailers like B&H here. Oddly enough, you can not pre-order the new HERO4 Session, so you will have to wait until July 12th to get one. You can, however, sign up to be notified by B&H when the HERO4 session is in stock and available for purchase – something I recommend if you are interested.

What are your thoughts on this new GoPro HERO4 Session? What do you think of the design change and overall feature set of the new camera? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Richard Hammer

    Annoyingly similar to the Polaroid Cube, which I’ve owned and enjoyed for about a year now. The Cube is not as robust as this GoPro is, obviously, but it’s a fun little camera to toss around.

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  2. J D

    Not for me. I already have the Hero 4 Black and it does what I need but seeing stuff like this is cool. It means that GoPro is listening to what their users are saying and are not just relying on a stale product to keep selling.

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  3. Graham Curran

    So would I then need a waterproof case for my smart phone instead?

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Many applications a smaller GoPro would be ideal for don’t involve you following along with it. You just need the screen initially to see it’s framed properly, then set it and forget it.

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    • Jimmy Arcade

      I had the same thought, Graham…

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    • Jimmy Arcade

      Dustin, while it’s true that in some situations you can set the mode with the smart phone app, imagine having to go back to the smart phone every time you need to adjust the mode, video resolution, frame rate, field of view, etc… To Graham’s point, if you are surfing–for example–and you need to change a setting, you either need the phone with you or you need to get out of the water, adjust the setting, and get back in the water.

      One thing that the author or the article didn’t mention is the fact that you can also control the Hero4 Session with the Smart Remote that GoPro already sells. Taking into account the convenience and range of the Smart Remote, I suspect most people involved in extreme sports would opt for the Smart Remote, over the smart phone app option. It’s already waterproof and offers a range of up to 600 feet; a smart up-sell for GoPro.

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  4. Jimmy Arcade

    I think it’s a cool concept, but the fact that you have to control it from your smart phone and it’s nearly the same price as a full-featured GoPro Hero4 Silver and only $100 less than the Hero4 Black, would give me very little incentive to purchase this. The bigger question is, does the market have need for a smaller version? The one advantage I see for a smaller version is easier mounting on surfboards and the like, as well as a lighter weight for attachment to smaller drones.

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    • Raymond Craig

      Exactly what I was thinking. I’m most concerned with battery life especially if you have to control with the app. I know with the Hero4 Black you lose a lot of battery life when wi-fi is turned on for the app and this must have an even smaller (built-in) battery.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I think the big push was for people who liked how small the GoPros were but they weren’t quite small enough yet.
      I have to admit that with some applications even a small GoPro was too bulky so this will definitely have it’s applications.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    I love the idea that it will be waterproof from the start.

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