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GoPro Hero 4 session mounted on my Arai RX-Q

It seems that everyone has a GoPro now (even someone who may not have to). Among motorcyclists are many fun moments caught with them.

I finally gave up temptation and bought a camera to mount on my helmet. I bought the "newest and greatest", Go Pro Hero 4 Session . For the purchase of this type, I'm usually quite methodical: read reviews, compare models, etc. I'm sorry to not do that in this case, because my experience with the Hero 4 session eventually was a disappointment.

My expectations may have been unjustly high; With ubiquitous HD GoPro videos on YouTube / Vimeo, I assumed this model (which supports 1

440p30 video footage) would provide great video. Regardless of how I changed the camera settings (which is limited), the recorded video even under the best lighting conditions was a bit mediocre. In low light, it was useless, even with the camera's low-light function.

Here are some pictures from the video file recorded directly on the microSD card (Note: These have been saved as high quality JPEG instead of ~ 2.1MB PNGs but I could not detect any differences between these and original video frames) :

Apart from video quality, there were other issues:

  • GoPro desktop software for importing videos is clunky. It installs a hidden auto importer that runs continuously and an useless system tray without asking
  • Access to camera settings can only be done via the GoPro mobile app. Connecting iPhone to GoPro requires you to turn on GoPro's built-in WiFi (disconnects iPhone from regular WiFi, then connects to camera) and connects via Bluetooth. (I still do not know why both of them are required.)
  • Documentation is missing. The device seems simple and you expect intuitive operation, but there are a number of uncoded (and non-obvious) features. For example, I could only figure out how to do a hard factory reset or shutdown (when the camera is frozen) by searching third party websites, there was no information in the online manual on GoPro's website.

Ok. So, after getting my grip out of the way, I should point out some of the Hero 4 session's better features:

The assembly process was simple and fast

  • Incredibly compact and light
  • It was easy and quick to mount it on the helmet
  • The various mountings + camera's ability to rotate / reverse provide plenty of flexibility for creative shooting
  • Waterproof, and worked very well designed / durable
  • Single recording is simple, one-button on / off controls

For many people, especially those who do active / outdoor shooting, this camera is probably a good choice . But if you're looking for high quality video, you might want to consider another camera (maybe Hero 4 Silver). For me, I am looking for a new alternative – the Hero 4 session did not live up to what I had hoped for.


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