New GoPro Camera Arrives; Ski Season Can't Show Up Fast Enough

They've already become their own advertisement, product, and terminology, and now GoPro is adding another cool camera to its line of sporty, sturdy tech toys...

Sure it's cute, but how well does it shoot?
(Image courtesy petapixel.com.)

You've probably seen them shooting on bike trails and at adventurous events around you, and you've almost certainly seen some of the video material captured on one.  Since their launch in 2002, GoPro have worked hard to become a world-renowned Camera For The Common Man (so much so that last year, their CEO made more money than any other American company chief.)

Now, the company has launched a new camera to capture all of your summer shenanigans, and this time, it's more streamlined for your surfboard / cycle helmet / ATV / dog's harness / etc.  According to Wired,  the Hero4 Session GoPro will be commercially available on July 12th, at a cost of $400.  Shaped (and nearly sized) the same as an ice cube, the Session is ideal for remembering your wildest excursions, or just shooting your avant-garde movie about the life of your goldfish from inside the tank.


As a sequel to the previous hit GoPro film, "Surfer Seal."
(Image courtesy diyphotography.net.)

At a weight of a mere 2.6 ounces, and measuring only 1.5 inches cubed, the usual drag of the former rectangular GoPros is now averted (wearing those things on your helmet all day can get tiring!)  The nominal obtrusiveness in turn can help enable smoother shots.  For shooting specs, the GoPro Session allows:

• 1080p at 60 and 30fps (SuperView at 48 or 30fps)
• 1440p at 30fps
• 960p at 60 or 30fps
• 720 at 100, 60, or 30fps (SuperView 60 or 30fps)
• WVGA at 120fps
• Stills at 8MP with 10fps bursts


The usual array of funky mounts, including this hand strap, are available
for all of your risky / risque shooting needs.
(Image courtesy techcrunch.com.)

While the more cinematic 24 fps isn't included as has been in previous models, they must have figured that most people are probably not shooting a major motion picture on the thing.  Another sub-optimal change is that settings must be altered via a GoPro wifi remote or on the GoPro smartphone app, instead of onboard the camera itself.

Regarding the camera's trademark underwater usability, the clear plastic housing that protected former GoPro models is not necessary for the Session.  The camera is immersible to 33 feet underwater, all on its own.  The microphones are specially designed to drain water quickly so that audio, even when wet, can stay sharp.

It also has a special floaty housing, to help immortalize the riveting drama
of you lazing around in the pool.
(Image courtesy expertreviews.co.uk.)

Unfortunately, the image quality of the Session is not up to the same standards as the previous models, like the GoPro Hero4 Silver.  With limited dynamic range and muted color, the Session isn't the top choice for shots, if your gnarly ski vid is going to be dropping jaws worldwide.  As the Silver (at the same price as the Session) also features more amenable options for water immersion, shooting specs, and settings adjustments, plus an LCD screen for footage framing/access, for some users it may be worth retaining a little more bulk for a better-quality image experience.


But if you don't mind sacrificing image quality for interesting angles, Session is so on.
(Image courtesy mashable.com.)

Still, the ability to blend in well while still capturing decent action imagery will likely prove popular with fans of the devices.  "I think this is going to expand our customer base," GoPro CEO Nick Woodman told The Verge. "I think a lot of people still scratch their head when they look at our cameras."

They won't be scratching their heads for long once they start rocking this tiny GoPro on a helmet mount...don't want to ruin the shot!


Check out some sporty Session shenanigans in this official video by GoPro.
Then get the hell outside!




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