I’m a fairly adventurous sort. Camping, festivals, exploring new places, you name it and I like to go out and experience it. One of the issues with this is that due to some of the rough “terrain” I deal with going out and doing things is that for me to get pictures and videos of some of the cooler things I have to risk fairly expensive equipment in those outings. You could say I should just be more careful, but in the heat of the moment sometimes the safety of my recording gear is pushed to the side.
To deal with this issue I began looking into cameras meant for this exact purpose. The obvious choice here was the GoPro. It’s world renowned for its durability, small size, and the fact that it can take some really quality videos and pictures. Plus, with a price point at just about $300 it was not a bad investment if it is as durable as they claim. It’s expensive to always replace pricey cameras because I dropped it while hiking or in a strange city.
Personally, I had never used one before. But, I placed the order on amazon for the GoPro Hero5 Session and took it for some field testing on a road trip to the mountains.
I was not disappointed.
This is the first criteria I tested. I own a fairly nice DSLR already, so I wasn’t expecting anything of that quality off the bat but I still wanted to be able to take some nice shots while out there.
I will say with certainty that my expectations were exceeded by the image clarity of this little device. Still not better than my normal camera I use while in society, but I have no complaints here.
The pictures were HD and vibrant. Which is what you would expect from a good 10-megapixel camera. I was pretty impressed already with this little camera.
Here is the main reason I purchased this in the first place. I had the idea of using a head mount and wearing the camera around and just recording what I saw.
Well, it worked great on some levels for this. The video quality was astounding, don’t get me wrong it does exactly what it claims. 4K high definition videos with the utmost in clarity. It picked up colors in the foliage that I didn’t even notice while out there, while in cities and festivals you could easily see the smallest details such as lettering on signs.
The issue I had was one most people probably wouldn’t run into, and it’s no fault of the device itself.
Now here is where my issue was. It’s something I didn’t even think about and for most, it wouldn’t really be an issue I don’t think. However, the sound isn’t that great. I was hoping I’d be able to pick up the conversations my friends and I were having, and sometimes it did. Other times not so well.
It seems fairly inconsistent. I believe there may be some directional issues with the onboard microphone they’re using. Sound sometimes seem distorted or it will pick up the slight breeze that’s going on instead of a person’s voice.
I was unable to find an easy solution for this, however, there does seem to be third party microphones out there that may help things.
GoPro makes no claims about the sound quality of their camera, so it’s hard to hold it against them too much. Still, this was the one area I found disappointment in.
There is one button on this camera that controls most of the functions. One touch powers it on and starts recording, tap it some more and you’re taking pictures.
This actually takes a bit to get used to, but it’s highly convenient. I have no qualms with this system. It’s an absolute necessity for taking action shots and considering the size of the camera. The only thing I’ll say about it is that it takes a bit to get used to. Not a big deal.
The Hero5 Session also comes with voice control if you so wish, which is very nice if you’re busy with your hands like I tend to be.
The controls are simple and minimalistic, which is actually a good thing in this case.
The battery life here is pretty nice as well. You can get about 2 hours of recording at 1080p on a single charge. That’s a whole lot of quality video for a single battery.
Oh boy. Yeah, it is durable. I tested this thing underwater. I’ve accidentally dropped it more times than I can count. I’ve left it in the hot sun on the dashboard of my car. Nothing phases it.
This was the main selling point for me anyways. Everything else can just be mediocre, which it is not by any stretch of the imagination, just as long as I stop breaking my expensive gear.
I did not test the underwater claims to their fullest (33 ft), that’s pretty deep by the way if you guys have never been diving, but as far as I could tell it should have no issues with it.
To sum it up:
This is a tiny, versatile, and an incredibly durable little camera that you can take just about anywhere. I’ve taken it to concerts, the beach, the mountains, and many more places and have had no issues with it.
I totally recommend this GoPro Hero5 Session to anyone who likes to go exploring, like myself. The one issue is that if you’re looking to use it for something such as a professional video production, you will definitely need to look into grabbing an additional microphone for the camera.
Being said, video quality and picture quality are some of the best on the market while still being exceptionally tough.
Go get you a GoPro adventurer!