GoPro HERO5 Session Camera Review: Black Friday 2019

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GoPro HERO5 Session Camera Review: Black Friday 2019

 

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hey this is Ryan RevZilla scammer man as most of you know we’ve been using GoPros for a number of years now to shoot our bike reviews so I was pretty excited to get my hands on the Hero 5 black and the Hero 5 session so I think GoPro set out to make a more usable camera but also create a holistic experience that removes some of the friction from making a video frankly making a video is hard work so it seems to me the GoPro is just trying to make that process a little bit easier so I’m going to pull over here and jump in the garage and give you my review of the Hero 5 black and Hero 5 session with a bit of a motorcyclist bias of course here’s how I’m going to approach this review I’m going to start by talking about the top new features of these two cameras and then I’m going to move on to some comparison footage between all four of these cameras if you don’t care about top new features feel free to click the menu and skip ahead to the comparison footage let’s jump right in so in the hero 5 line gone is the hero4 black hero4 silver and hero4 session although technically i’m pretty sure the hero4 session has simply been rebranded the hero session now the hero 5 black comes in at a hundred bucks less than the hero4 black when it was released so that’s three ninety-nine the hero 5 session $2.99 the hero session $1.99 construction I’m going to focus mainly on the hero 5 black because the hero 5 session and the hero4 session construction is exactly the same besides the fact that now with the hero 5 session they’ve moved to a USBC port in lieu of the micro USB port on the hero4 session so if you want my general thoughts on the session construction just click the info button and take a look at my hero 4 session review so back to the hero 5 black this guy is now waterproof to 33 feet without a housing so instead you get a frame in the box now there’s still dive housing is available but those are sold separately for 50 bucks so motorcycles have been asking me the question what if my lens gets all scratched up since this guy isn’t in a housing anymore well check this out GoPro sells replacement lenses for 20 bucks now a few moto vloggers out there you might be wondering hey looks like that side doors attached now can I still run a wired mic when it’s in the housing well it’s true they redesigned the side door so it doesn’t just fall off like it did with the hero 4 line but it’s still removable just keep in mind you’re sacrificing your waterproof ability and the adapter cable to go from USB C to your wired mic is 50 bucks so on that note we’ll flip over to the other side door and in here you’re going to see your redesigned battery now unfortunately you can’t use your hero 4 batteries but this higher-capacity so I’ll talk about that in a few minutes also in here you’ll notice your micro SD card slot so flipping over to the back and I’m going to pick up my hero4 black here notice the omission of the battery BacPac connector also you don’t get a blue flashing light anymore to tell you that Wi-Fi is on both those things kind of a bummer although the new touch display is a dream really nice quality big better functionality than your hero4 silver screen so it makes it really easy to frame your shot and change settings and last GoPro move to their One Touch record design inspired by the hero4 session so good job GoPro now to the guts video stabilization is now available on the hero 5 black and hero 5 session it’s about time gopro came out with this let’s take a look it looked to me like video stabilization did the most while I was hand-holding the cameras it definitely took the edge off that typical shaky action cam footage you’d see although if you’re mounting these to a super rattling motorcycle I wouldn’t expect them to work wonders I also didn’t like it in some situations on cars because it gave a sort of floating feel to the footage during hard cornering voice control is now available on the hero 5 black and the hero 5 session but is it useful for motorcycling look Road it’s not recording works off of the real test I know it’s ridiculous to expect voice-control to work at high speeds but I was pleasantly surprised that with my bike idling in a stoplight voice control actually worked if I yelled loud enough now GoPro also has the Remo which is a separate voice control remote that communicates with your GoPro so I’ll bet stick in one of those in your helmet would give you hands-free operation but they’re 80 bucks and that’s a pretty steep price tag in my opinion keep in mind the Smart Remote that you might have had for your hero4 line will also work with the Hero 5 line so if you’re the kind of person that likes to take photos with your GoPro then you’ll probably be intrigued by the ability to take RAW and wide dynamic range photos wdr mode works ok it basically evens out scenes of high contrast and bakes that into the JPEG raw mode on the other hand captures more information in the file for post-processing don’t expect the same level of flexibility that you get out of your raw DSLR photos but in an extreme adjustment between the JPEG and the raw photo it’s pretty easy to see that the raw photo allows you to stretch a little more range out of things like exposures highlights shadows and color temperature keep in mind though that raw mode is currently only available in the wide field of view and also it records to dot GPR format I wasn’t initially familiar with that format and I had to update my software so just make sure that whatever photo editor you’re using is up-to-date and will accept the dot GPR format now on to apps with the release of the Hero 5 line GoPro rolled out three new apps to streamline the process of making a video capture quick and splice capture is the replacement for their old app this allows you to change settings and preview your image from your smartphone it works just as well as the old app now if you don’t like the process of editing video you’ll probably like quick it allows you to select photos and videos and it creates a mash-up cut to music but still allows you the ability to change some things like mood clip order length and you can share straight to social media splice offers a more traditional approach to video editing but on your smartphone it’s basically a very powerful editing program but in the palm of your hand well I don’t see myself using this app I see how powerful this app is and I think there’s people out there that are going to use it to its full potential next up GoPro rolled out GoPro plus it’s a subscription-based service that allows you to auto upload your up to 1080p footage directly from your GoPro to the cloud it’s five bucks a month and with that you get a 20% discount on accessories like sticky mounts batteries cases etc now for a couple notables the hero 5 black and hero 5 session capture location metadata and the photos and videos big deal this feature pales in comparison to the Garmin VirB ultra thirty’s ability to overlay all sorts of graphical information on your video maybe that functionality will come in a later update but for now GoPro is way late to the game on this one one final notable to mention before we move on to comparisons if you don’t like that typical fisheye effect that you get with the GoPro then you’ll probably like linear field of view this crops the image associated with the super view and wide field of view modes I find myself using it quite a bit now onto comparisons I’m going to show you battery image quality low-light and wind reduction tests pitting these cameras against each other now I already mentioned the omission of the battery BacPac connector total bummer but this test is going to be straight up all cameras recording in 1080p internal battery now obviously your battery life is going to vary based on recording settings Wi-Fi connected devices but either way I was impressed by the hero 5 blacks 2 hours and 13 minutes of record time blowing the hero4 black out of the water now unfortunately the hero 5 session loses out to the hero4 session but I might be willing to forgive its poor battery life because of its increased image quality however I’ll always recommend keeping some spare batteries and a portable charger on hand next up is image quality the Hero 5 black and the hero4 black image quality are very comparable the only difference I’ll note is that when zooming way in the hero4 black actually looked a little bit sharper now you’d be hard-pressed to see a difference if not upskilled and i have to wonder if this even matters considering most people nowadays are viewing video on their smartphones the real story here for me rested the hero 5 session and the hero4 session the hero4 session looks ok during still recording but how often is your action camera still once in motion the hero4 session image starts to look a little muddier and not quite as sharp as the hero 5 session besides appearing a little bit darker in the image I’d even go as far grouping the Hero 5 session with the Hero 5 black and the hero4 black now I won’t spend too much time on 4k because I feel most of you out there won’t be recording in 4k but it is worth mentioning that the Hero 5 session now has 4k and it actually looks good now it still reads a little darker than the hero 5 black and the hero4 black and 4k just like we saw in 1080p but that doesn’t bother me too much considering the added benefit you get with 4k just keep in mind you can only record in the wide field-of-view and 4k with the hero 5 session but with the hero 5 black and the hero4 black you can record superview 4k but that’s at 24 frames a second also video stabilization not available in 4k low-light i’ve had a lot of people out there asking me about low-light performance of these cameras and i think it’s because a lot of you out there are using your action cameras has sort of dashcams for your motorcycles I found that the hero five black and the hero4 black were again virtually identical the hero five session looked good too but the hero4 session looked a lot grainy er to me so while these three cameras went out in the low-light competition I personally can’t imagine spending more than a couple hundred bucks on a dashcam dedicated camera so I think you could still more than get away with the hero4 session for that purpose now wind reduction technically a new feature of the Hero 5 black but I’m lumping it in with comparisons which I’ll explain in a sec another good unlike test candidate I couldn’t believe how well this feature worked especially considering the dual mic setup of the hero4 session was originally supposed to help with this issue but I wasn’t completely satisfied if you were using this solely for motorcycling I just leave it on all the time at this stage of the game GoPro is no longer the sole option for capturing footage from angles and places that was never before possible although I do think that GoPro has shifted their focus to creating an entire experience that allows you as the user to more easily create content and share with the world I think the new line of GoPros barely edged out the competition but the usability factors and streamlined nature of creating a video from beginning to end the GoPro now offers is going to be a big selling point for a lot of people well there you have it I hope at the very least this has helped make your decision a little bit easier be sure to click the info button to go to the product page to see what other people are saying about the Hero 5 black and the Hero 5 session and if you have any questions feel free to hit me up in the comment section below and last don’t forget to subscribe to us here at RevZilla to stay up to date with the latest in gear parts and the occasional action camera review I’m Ryan and I’ll see you next time you.

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