GoPro Whittles Down Hero4 Action Cam
GoPro on Monday announced the Hero4 Session, a 1-inch cube video camera that weighs just 2.6 ounces -- less than half the heft of an iPhone.
Unlike previous GoPro models, you won't need a case to protect it from getting wet. It's designed to withstand a soaking in up to 10 meters of water.
However, while the camera is light in weight, it's also light on features -- and if you decide to buy it, it'll lighten your wallet.
At US$400, "I think the price is fairly steep," said Chris Chute, a digital imaging analyst with IDC.
"I'm surprised ... at that price point. I would have thought it would have been priced slightly lower, although GoPro can sustain a higher price point because its brand equity is so strong," he told TechNewsWorld.
"It's essentially the same price as a GoPro Silver, which has better specs," noted Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.
Easier to Use
Some features absent from Session are 4K recording, a replaceable or swappable battery, and higher frame-recording rates.
Absence of 4K recording isn't likely to blunt sales of the new GoPro too badly, according to IDC's Chute.
"4K is slowly becoming relevant to consumers, but it's still very niche," he said, "so I don't think this is going to hurt this model."
Frame rates for the new unit are 30 fps for 1440p, and 60 fps for 1080p. Other Hero models have faster frame rates that let a shooter capture super-slow motion video at the camera's maximum resolution. The unit can capture 8-MP still images in single shot, burst or time-lapse mode.
Session is easier to use than other Hero models. For instance, it has single buttons for powering on/start recording and for power off/stop recording. The unit automatically rotates images to accommodate the orientation of the camera.
It has a dual microphone system, so if the front mic senses too much wind, for instance, the Session will switch to a rear-facing mic that's shielded from the wind. Underwater sound recording also has been improved.
Most Convenient GoPro Yet
A small LCD screen on top of the unit displays a minimum of information -- mode, battery life and connection status -- so settings need to be managed from GoPro's smartphone app.
Included with Session are GoPro's standard and low-profile frame mounts for increased mounting versatility, and a new ball joint buckle mount.
"With Hero4 Session, we challenged ourselves to produce the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro possible," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO. "Hero4 Session combines the best of our engineering and user-experience know-how to deliver our most convenient life-capture solution, yet."