How far different is GoPro Session vs Hero 7? Unlike the other models from the company, GoPro Session has been given an unconventional ultra-compact design. Yet, it still offers excellent performance and capabilities. GoPro Hero 7 is the latest flagship model from the company, and in this article, we will help you choose between the two.
What we will discuss below include:
- The design, build quality, and durability of each action camera
- The features and connectivity options on each action camera
- Which model that is generally easier to use
- The comparison of their image and audio quality
- The battery life of GoPro Session vs Hero 7
GoPro Session: Design and Features
Let us start with GoPro Session. This action camera is designed for people who want a simple one-button unit that will allow them to jump into the action right away. Instead of fumbling with complicated settings, they prefer to focus on their adventures, and they just want to get decent POV videos. See also: GoPro Hero vs Session
If we compare the size to the other cameras in the family, GoPro Session is roughly 50% smaller and 40% lighter. It has a cube shape which is very compact, lightweight, and portable. Despite the size, however, the company has managed to fit a lot of stuff inside it, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Remember that the latest GoPro cameras are waterproof without requiring any additional housing? GoPro Session vs Hero 7 are the same. They can dive as deep as 33 feet (10 meters) under water just fine. They also won’t complain when exposed to rain or tossed into snow.
The minimalist profile of GoPro Session has been streamlined to a single button for power, shutter, and start/stop recording. There is no LCD screen for image preview; the small display on the top is only for showing the current settings. There is a small LED indicator that will glow red during recording, and blue when enabling the Wi-Fi.
On the back, there is another button for toggling the Wi-Fi on and off, cycling through the status display, and tagging moments during a recording. On one side, a sealed door covers the Micro USB port and the MicroSD slot. The battery is built-in, so you won’t be able to swap it, but you can still use the camera while charging.
GoPro Session: In Use
If you want a simple point-and-shoot camera, GoPro Session is an excellent choice. After it is turned on, you just need to aim it and press the shutter button. When operating alone, GoPro Session only has two standard modes: video recording in 1080p/30fps and time-lapse with a 0.5-second interval. However, you can pair the camera with your smartphone and use the GoPro Capture app to access other resolutions and modes.
The GoPro Capture app is incredibly user-friendly and easy to use. The initial pairing is quick, and the live view is quite responsive and stable. There can be some delay, but the delay never takes more than a second.
GoPro Session is smart enough to rotate its field of view when shooting upside-down. However, it can only rotate 180 degrees and not 90 degrees, meaning that it won’t be able to work sideways. Also, the field of view will only rotate before you start recording. Once it has started recording, the orientation is locked.
Thanks to the ultra-compact design, GoPro Session can be very versatile in terms of mounting. There are various mounting options available, including a head strap, chest harness, and jaw clamp. If you don’t like using adhesive mounts, you will love GoPro Session’s vast range of mounting options.
In terms of battery life, GoPro Session vs Hero 7 is slightly better. When recording in 1080p/30fps, GoPro Session is able to last for about 2 hours. That is with the Wi-Fi enabled. The camera can power off automatically after being idle for some time, and this will help to extend the battery life.
GoPro Session: Image and Audio Quality
GoPro Session can record in a maximum resolution 1440p at 30fps, or in Full HD (1080p) at a frame rate of 30fps or 60fps. When tested, the videos look very smooth. The images are quite sharp and detailed. Although the higher models can offer noticeably better image quality, this particular model is already very good.
Surprisingly, GoPro Session does have ProTune, which will enable you to adjust advanced parameters like the ISO value and sharpness. Although ProTune is only available in certain resolutions and frame rates, it is still very useful for enthusiasts and professionals. GoPro Session also has Spot Meter, which will adapting to different light conditions easier.
The photos are very good-looking. Although the photo resolution is capped at 8MP, the image quality is quite comparable to the more expensive GoPro models. The colors are solid and accurate.
Finally, the dual mics perform a pretty good job in capturing clear, detailed audio. They can minimize minor noise, though they won’t be able to attenuate loud wind noise. Keep in mind that GoPro Session doesn’t have built-in image stabilization, so you may want to purchase a physical stabilizer accessory in order to capture stable footage.
GoPro Hero 7: Design and Features
Now, we’ll take a look at GoPro Hero 7. It will feel familiar right away if you have ever used another GoPro camera in the past. It does come with a slightly different color, this time with a darker gray finish, though you will still get a grippy rubberized surface which is quite resistant to slipping.
Just like the last few predecessors, GoPro Hero 7 is waterproof to 33 feet (10 meters) without a housing. For this model, you can purchase the optional Super Suit housing which will increase the waterproof limit to 198 feet (60 meters).
The company also says that the microphone membrane has been improved. The new design is claimed to help improve the audio quality by minimizing mechanical vibrations that may occur during heavy-impact actions, such as bike off-roading.
GoPro Hero 7 still uses a touchscreen with some buttons for control. However, the menu system has been changed slightly. There are a few new features, such as the ability to limit clips to 15 or 30 seconds. All the video options, including the field of view and ProTune, have been moved into the same group, so making adjustments will be quicker and more straightforward.
GoPro Hero 7 still retains the voice control support. You will be able to control this camera using voice commands. It is able to understand multiple languages. The voice control support is particularly useful in situations where you can’t access the camera with your hands.
GoPro Hero 7: In Use
One of the biggest new features on this camera, and perhaps one that you should consider when choosing between GoPro Session vs Hero 7, is the Hypersmooth image stabilization. People already know that GoPro’s image stabilization is great. But the company has improved it even further with Hypersmooth.
You can enable Hypersmooth in pretty much any resolution – even when recording in 4K at 60fps. This is really impressive. Previous models were unable to use image stabilization when recording in 4K. To make it even more amazing, the performance is actually very good. The company claims that Hypersmooth is comparable to the Karma Grip gimbal. When tested, it is indeed able to minimize serious shakiness to tolerable levels, almost like you are actually using the gimbal.
The camera is now also able to live-stream via the mobile app. So far, it can only live-stream to Facebook, but the support for YouTube is said to be added soon. On the mobile app, you can adjust the resolution and choose who to share the live-stream with.
The battery life is generally good. When recording in 1080p at 30fps, the camera can last for about 1 hour 45 minutes. However, the 4K/60fps setting is restricted for short clips only. This is because the camera will get really hot after recording in the said setting for 30 minutes or so, and it may shut-off suddenly due to overheating.
GoPro Hero 7: Image and Audio Quality
GoPro Hero 7 actually uses the same sensor size, processor, and lens as its predecessor, GoPro Hero 6. As the effect, you can expect the image quality to be largely similar as its predecessor. However, don’t forget that you get improved image stabilization that you can use in the highest resolution.
Needless to say, the image quality is impressive. There are a lot of fine details, and the colors are really rich, vibrant, and accurate. The dynamic range is excellent. There is no smudginess or noise that often plagues 1/2.3-inch sensors. Outdoor shots are consistently great, and indoor shots are mostly good except in places with very minimal light.
The maximum resolution for the still images is 12MP, so you can easily get shots for large-sized prints. GoPro Hero 7 also has ProTune controls which will allow you to fine-tune the image quality. You can even change the color profile, whether you are fine with GoPro’s standard color correction or you want a ‘flat’ profile that will allow you to grade it later with an editing software.
But, even without post-production work, the results are already good. The audio quality is noticeably improved compared to previous models. It is clearer and more detailed. It is, however, still prone to heavy wind noise, which is quite understandable. If necessary, there is a mic input port which will allow you to use an external mic to capture better audio quality.
GoPro Session vs Hero 7
In general, GoPro Hero 7 is much better. It can capture 4K videos at 60fps with the Hypersmooth image stabilization enabled. The performance is really impressive. In addition, it can capture audio with better quality, and it has a higher photo resolution. GoPro Session, on the other hand, is the alternative for people who just want a simple point-and-shoot camera.