Describe the GoPro HERO Session Camera in three words: compact, lightweight, waterproof! (and cheap in comparison to the other GoPros!)
You guys know I love the outdoors, and a lot of my posts cover hillwalking, exploring Scotland and swinging from trees. So after I booked a trip to Croatia, I knew I wanted to do water sports. And if you do water sports… you need to an action camera to your travel gear! Cue my hunt on Amazon for a cheap alternative to a GoPro.
I had looked at unbranded action cameras, but ultimately I was torn between the Polaroid Cube and the GoPro Hero Session. Both are around the same size and weight, and had garnered all positive views. My only issue with the Polaroid Cube was that it wasn’t waterproof – it needed a separate waterproof housing.
So I went ahead and bought the GoPro HERO Session and packed it in my hand luggage for Split, Croatia.
My Experience using the GoPro Hero Session
My first use of the camera was during our kayaking, cliff jumping and snorkelling session around Marjan Hill. I had it attached to a flotation handle which allowed me to handle, point and shoot the camera with more accuracy – and if I dropped it, it would float and not sink to the bottom of the ocean. (highly recommend!).
It was very easy to handle while I was busy swimming or trying to paddle/steer the kayak. It’s small and lightweight so didn’t burden me and was easy to just grab and shoot when needed. I also found it very easy and discreet filming ourselves in the streets and at the beach, I wasn’t big enough to draw attention from onlookers if you’re camera shy like me.
Video Quality & Example
I’ve embeded my YouTube video from our trip kayaking, cliff jumping and snorkelling in Split to showcase the quality of the video in daylight. I was actually really surprised by the quality of the footage considering I didn’t have a head or chest strap and just held it in my hands.
It also gives you an idea of how it handles movement, being under water, focusing on fish and jumping 7 metres from a cliff into the sea.
Taking Still Photographs
I knew I would be a terrible videographer, so captured the some stills as well in case the video quality didn’t turn out great. Again, I was pleasantly surprised considering it is suppose to be a cheaper model of the famous GoPro Hero cameras.
The only thing that annoyed me about the outcome of some of the photos was that I had left water on the front of the camera so some looked blurred. So if it’s your first time using a waterproof action camera, remember to wipe the screen clear when taking photos and videos. duh!
Here are some examples:
Accessories for your GoPro Session
Although you don’t need waterproof housing for this camera, I highly recommend that you get a floating handle / stick if you are using the camera in water. It makes it so much easier to hold, point and shoot, and if you somehow drop it, your camera will float back to the surface; and not down into the abyss.
I chose to search Amazon for combo deal where I could get a couple of accessories alongside the floating handle. I ended up buying the floating handle, chest strap and wrist strap from here on Amazon which was perfect for our water sports and hill walking adventures in Croatia. I was happy to see the handle and camera survived the impact of my cliff jumping!
We tried using the GoPro without the grip handle and it was easy enough, the camera is very lightweight and easy to use. However, we found that our fingers were covering the lens on a couple of occasions so worth investing in an affordable handle/stick at the very least.
– Standard frame, and flat and curved mount is included
– One Button Control
– Time Lapse
– Burst Photos (10 frames per second)
– Bluetooth & Wifi
– The app lets you see what you are shooting in live time
Why The GoPro Hero Session is a Travel Essential
– It’s waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing
– It’s very durable, so perfect for action sports and water activities. Play hard!
– It’s the lightest Go Pro yet (can take literally anywhere, easily fits in your pocket)
– It’s the smallest Go Pro yet (very discreet if you’re shy filming in public like me)
Cons of using the GoPro Hero Session
I wanted to produce a balanced review of the Go Pro Session but to be honest, I struggled coming up with some limitations, but here goes:
– It’s only waterproof down to 33ft, so only safe for snorkelling
– There’s no screen to see what you’re filming (however, you can use the app on your phone as a viewfinder)
– The quality isn’t as good as the more expensive GoPro’s
Being relatively budget-friendly travellers, the GoPro HERO Session Camera is perfect for our trips away and now a must-have travel essential. It’s lightweight, compact, durable and most importantly, waterproof! It’s also very easy to use despite only having one or two buttons and no screen. The instructions are straightforward and you can start recording right away.
If you can afford it, the GoPro HERO5 Session Camera is probably a better choice for overall quality, but if you want an affordable action / waterproof camera or don’t want to commit to such a big spend, then the GoPro Sessions is a must.
I’m looking forward to using the chest and head strap now for more hill walking, munro bagging and biking adventures in Scotland and abroad.
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