GoPro HERO4 Session
The GoPro HERO4 Session isn’t the best action cam available. It’s not even the best GoPro available. But it is small, rugged, simple, and takes a decent wide-angle shot, which makes it a solid choice for someone looking for another perspective on something already being shot by other cameras.
My current production setup includes a trio of cameras that are actually an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. I wanted another camera that would balance out the downsides of those devices, namely that they’re not meant to be bumped around too much, and are designed to be omni-devices that are good at everything, not single-use gadgets that I can rely on to do one thing really well.
I looked for a while at the vast array of GoPros available, and then looked at adjacent offerings, like those made by Sony, and even the little Cube+ made by Polaroid. I liked the idea of a one-button, wide-angle camera that I could just set down somewhere and forget. Something that didn’t even have a screen for me to look at and worry over; anything I shot with it would by default be almost lomographic in nature, shot from the hip.
But after a little research, I found that the Cube+ wasn’t getting great reviews, and that the higher-level GoPros were probably more machine than I needed. Finding the Session was wonderful, because it combined the craftsmanship of the GoPros with the convenience and one-touch ease of the Cube+. It was also priced right between the two; not too expensive.
My experience with this device thus far has been that it’s really wonderful as a ‘set it and forget it’ camera. I’ll set up my other cameras, the ones that I’m really working hard to achieve good composition and sound with, and then I’ll pop this little guy somewhere apart from the others, at an angle that I think would be interesting, but ultimately could be worthless. A bit of a tossup that works well perhaps half the time.
This camera is waterproof. It can be set up without any stands, tripods, or mounts. It’s also capable of shooting time-lapse photos (though you’ll want to download the free GoPro Studio software to use them; otherwise they’re just a cluster of similar photos).
It’s been a good buy for me, despite it not being a main component of my shooting arsenal.