Standing in a similar entry-level price range, GoPro Hero vs Session are great choices for people who are seeking a budget-friendly, yet durable and reliable action camera. However, these two models have a lot of differences in terms of design and features. So, make sure that you choose the action camera that suits your need best.
Continue reading to learn more about:
- The comparison of their dimensions
- How durable and waterproof these action cameras are
- The comparison of their video and audio quality
- The photography features of GoPro Hero vs Session
- Why you should consider choosing the Session over the Hero
GoPro Hero – Overview
GoPro Hero is quite unique; unlike the other models in the family, it doesn’t have any number. It is currently standing at the bottom of the line-up, serving as an affordable entry point for people who want to get a taste of a GoPro action camera. See also: Olfi OneFive 4K vs GoPro Hero 7
The appearance is really similar to its predecessors as well as the more expensive siblings. However, the internal specs of GoPro Hero have been greatly streamlined, hence the much more affordable price. Although it is standing at the bottom of the line-up, that doesn’t mean that GoPro Hero is a replacement or substitute for GoPro Hero Session – these two cameras are very different from the inside and the outside.
Nevertheless, GoPro Hero makes an excellent choice if you want to record videos with a drone. Its conventional shape means that it is compatible with most gimbals will fit properly. It also has an HDMI port.
GoPro Hero Session – Overview
It is obvious immediately that GoPro Hero Session does not follow the usual design of an action camera. It is shaped like a cube, with a total size that is roughly half of a typical GoPro camera. It is very compact, lightweight, and portable.
However, the minimalist design means that there are some things that GoPro Hero vs Session has to leave behind. Firstly, there is no preview screen. So, you will need to guess whether the camera is shooting exactly what you want, or use the GoPro mobile app. There is an optional remote control for starting/stopping recording and taking stills, but it doesn’t give you a preview screen.
Secondly, despite having two mics, the camera can only use one of them at a time, and only record in mono. The camera can automatically switch between the front mic and the rear mic in order to get the best quality audio with the least wind noise. In practice, the camera is still fairly prone to wind noise. The lack of an ability to record in stereo may be a slight drawback for some people.
This camera isn’t really suitable for use with a drone. Its unconventional design makes it not compatible with some gimbals. Also, it doesn’t have any video output port. Using the Wi-Fi connection for FPV isn’t exactly a viable method.
Design, Size, and Weight
GoPro Hero is significantly larger than GoPro Hero Session. It favors the typical rectangular design like that of GoPro Hero 7, along with the built-in 2-inch touchscreen. As the effect, GoPro Hero has lowered the price bar for a “full-size” GoPro action camera that has a built-in touchscreen.
The touchscreen has made GoPro Hero a lot easier to use, especially for beginners. You can access all the features and settings right on the camera. The menu system is efficient and easy to navigate. You won’t need to rely on the mobile app all the time just for controlling the camera or reviewing footage.
Both cameras here are small and easily pocketable. GoPro Hero measures 2.5 inches x 1.8 inches x 1.3 inches and weighs 117g. On the other hand, GoPro Hero Session measures 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches x 1.4 inches and weighs 73g.
While GoPro Hero Session can be a little bit more flexible with the mounting options, getting the extra usability provided by a touchscreen on GoPro Hero is probably worth more than having the world’s smallest action camera. Not to mention that the HDMI port can be really handy for connecting the unit to an external display monitor.
GoPro Hero vs Session are waterproof. They both can go as deep as 33ft under water without wearing any additional housing. With Older GoPro models, you need to equip an additional housing on the camera in order to use it under water. But with the latest models, you get a waterproof body that can withstand rain and go under water just fine.
This means that there are fewer pieces that you need to work with. Also, your camera can stay small and simple. One potential downside is that you lose an additional layer of protection; with older models, if you manage to crack the waterproof housing, you can just replace it and the cost is fairly cheap. With newer models, if you crack the body, you may need to replace the entire camera.
However, an additional housing is still available if you wish to keep an extra layer of protection or if you want to dive really deep. The Super Suit additional housing for GoPro Hero can increase the waterproof limit of the camera to 196 feet. Meanwhile, if you want to give GoPro Hero Session an additional housing, you will need to buy a third-party item.
Keep in mind that these cameras don’t float. So, there is a risk that they will get drowned if you lose them in water. It is great idea to add some flotation to your camera, such as a floating handle or a floating strap, so that you won’t lose your camera during your water adventure.
Video and Audio
The video capabilities of GoPro Hero vs Session are mostly similar. The maximum video resolution on both cameras is 1440p, and you can choose to record at 60 fps in this setting. Although they are unable to record 4K videos, the 1440p setting already offers impressive image quality. In addition, they can also record in 1080p at 60 fps.
However, there is a notable difference. GoPro Hero doesn’t have the SuperView mode. The field of view is linear, albeit adjustable between narrow, medium, and wide. GoPro Hero Session, on the other hand, comes with the SuperView mode, which will record the footage with a fish-eye effect – it is useful for recording fast actions, as it can create the impression as if you are moving faster.
Additionally, GoPro Hero doesn’t support recording at very high frame rates, such as 100fps or 120fps, so it is not suitable for making slow-mo videos. On the other hand, GoPro Hero Session does support recording in 720p at 120 fps, which will allow you to create smooth and detailed slow-mo videos.
GoPro Hero wins in terms of audio quality, though. It has a three-mic system which can record in stereo. The overall audio quality is more accurate and detailed. On the other hand, GoPro Hero Session can only use one mic at a time, either the front mic or the rear mic, and can only record in mono.
Both GoPro Hero and GoPro Hero Session capture still images in 10MP. However, GoPro Hero is more limited in terms of still image features than GoPro Hero Session.
GoPro Hero has a 10-fps photo burst, meaning that it will take ten shots per second. It also has a time-lapse mode with a 0.5-second interval between shots. However, you can’t adjust the time-lapse interval.
GoPro Hero Session also has a 10-fps photo burst, but the time-lapse interval is adjustable between 0.5 seconds and up to 60 seconds. So, this camera offers a greater range of control.
Perhaps the more significant difference is the ProTune support. ProTune is a special feature of certain GoPro cameras which will allow the users to adjust advanced parameters, such as ISO, exposure compensation, and white balance. It will also deliver higher-quality images, as it applies less compression. People who want to enhance their videos and photos in post-production with professional software will appreciate the ProTune support.
GoPro Hero doesn’t have ProTune support, so it is not suitable for people who want to do some post-production work. It is a much simpler camera. GoPro Hero Session, on the other hand, comes with ProTune support; you can access the advanced parameters through the mobile app.
Last but not least, these two cameras have different battery design. GoPro Hero has a slightly larger battery, which has a capacity of 1220mAh. It is removable. GoPro Hero Session has a non-removable 1000mAh battery.
Despite the slightly bigger capacity, GoPro Hero probably won’t last any longer than GoPro Hero Session because the extra power is going to be used for the display screen. However, the removable design is still a benefit, as it will allow you to just swap batteries when the current one is running low.
GoPro Hero vs Session
These two cameras have very different benefits. GoPro Hero is good if you need an affordable camera for use with a drone; it is compatible with most gimbals and it has an HDMI port. However, GoPro Hero Session is the way to go if getting the best possible image quality is your top priority. GoPro Hero Session has ProTune, and it also has a wider range of capabilities with SuperView and the adjustable time-lapse.