The GoPro is the ‘must have’ camera for action and adventures, with GoPro’s becoming more and more popular the brand has recently realised their forth generation of the camera which features three new models, the GoPro Hero 4 Black, the GoPro Hero 4 Silver and the GoPro Hero 4 Session.
While the GoPro Hero 4 black is priced considerable higher than any other GoPro, the Hero 4 Silver and Hero 4 Session have a very similar retail price therefore here is how they compare if you are trying to choose between the two.
The are a lot of similarities between the GoPro Hero 4 Silver and the Hero 4 Session however there are also some key differences between the two that will make one of the GoPro’s a better fit for certain people than other people.
Overall the Hero 4 Silver produces higher quality photos and videos and has a built in LCD touch screen so that you can playback the footage straight away, it also has several more options and settings. The main point of the GoPro Hero session is to sacrifice the lower video and photo quality for the benefits of having a lighter, smaller and more portable GoPro Camera which can be a huge benefit depending on what you use the GoPro for.
Size and Design
The main feature of the Hero 4 Session is its size however none of the GoPro models are exactly large or heavy. However the Hero 4 Session is the smallest, and lightest GoPro yet, with it being 50% smaller than the Hero 4 Silver and 40% lighter, This means that it is more portable than ever and you almost forget its there when wearing it.
The GoPro Hero 4 session is very much geared up for someone who uses the GoPro to film extreme sports and action as its lightweight and much easier to attach to you for longer periods of time.
Hero 4 Silver VS Hero 4 Session
Just so you can get an idea of the actual measurements of each GoPro, the Hero 4 Silver measures 2.1 x 1.4 x 0.94 inches and weighs just 81 grams and the Hero 4 Session measures 2.1 x 1.4 x 0.94 inches and weighs just 74 grams.
One of the key features of GoPro’s is that they are waterproof and can be used to take high quality underwater footage, however there is a key difference between the GoPro Hero 4 Session and Hero 4 Silver regarding this feature.
The Hero 4 Silver isn’t waterproof without it being cased in waterproof housing which then makes it waterproof up to 40 metres, However the Hero 4 Session doesn’t require a separate waterproof case, as the camera itself is waterproof although it is only waterproof down to 10 metres, which is quite a bit less than the waterproof housing that is compatible with the Hero 4 Silver although 10 metres should still be enough for recording footage of most things in the water such as swimming and surfing, However if you are planning to record footage diving you’re probably better of buying the Hero 4 Silver which will give you greater depths underwater.
Photo and Video Quality
The Photo and Video quality of the Hero 4 Silver is better than the Hero 4 Session, with the Silver having many more different video modes and settings.
The maximum video quality of the Hero 4 Silver is 4K Videos at 15fps and the Hero 4 Session can only take up to 1440p videos, Another key difference is the sized photos, The Hero 4 Session features a 8MP camera and the Hero 4 Silver has a 12MP camera which allows you to take much larger and high quality photos. As I said at the start of this post the Session is all about sacrificing the lower quality video’s for the benefits of having a much smaller camera.
For more comparisons on the different video and shooting modes both the cameras feature check out the below table, as you can see the Hero 4 Silver has many more video modes than the Hero 4 Session.
Hero 4 Silver VS Hero 4 Session Video Mode Comparison
In terms of photo quality again the Hero 4 Silver has better photo quality with the photos being higher quality and a larger size. Both cameras have the ablity to produce time lapse photos where it shoots a series of photos and these can then be downloaded to your computer and can be used with the GoPro studio software to put together into a video.
The Hero 4 Silver also has a night lapse mode where it uses long exposure settings which enables you to produce higher quality footage at night.
The audio of all GoPro cameras is pretty decent however again there are a few minor differences between the audio of the Hero 4 Silver and the Hero 4 Session. The Hero 4 Silver has a built in microphone which you can also add external microphones too, however when the camera is in the plastic waterproof housing this blocks out a lot of the noise and therefore has a negative effect on the audio of the camera when being used underwater. Although when using the Hero 4 Silver out the water the audio appears pretty decent, You can also purchase a skeleton backdoor for the Hero 4 Silver which improves the audio slightly.
The Hero 4 Session has two built in microphones, one on the front of the camera and another on the back of the camera, The camera automatically chooses which microphone to prioritise depending on the environment and situation. As the Hero 4 Session doesn’t require additional housing to be used underwater the audio quality underwater is also pretty decent, at least when compared to the Hero 4 Silver.
Accessories, Mounts and Housing
GoPro Hero 4 Mounting and Housing
Most of the mounts, accessories and housings that GoPro offer will be compatible with both the Hero 4 Silver and the Hero 4 Session however there are a few differences simply because the shapes of the cameras are very different.
One of the biggest differences is that with the Silver its recommended that you buy spare batteries so that you can simply take one battery out and replace it with a fully charged one however with the Hero 4 Session the batteries aren’t removable.
If you choose to purchase the Hero 4 Silver you will also most likely want some waterproof housing and accessories for it, with the Hero 4 Session it is already waterproof therefore purchasing this housing isn’t necessary.
Both cameras require and take microSD cards up to 64GB which you will need to purchase separate to the camera.
The battery life for any GoPro isn’t great however this isn’t surprising considering GoPro cameras are such small and powerful devices, although the Battery life of the Hero 4 Session is slightly better than the Hero 4 Silver however one of the biggest differences is that with the GoPro Hero 4 Session the batteries cannot be removed which means to charge the camera you need to plug it into a power source, this means that as soon as the battery runs out you can’t capture anymore footage until its fully charged again.
With the Hero 4 Silver the batteries can be removed which means that as soon as one battery runs out you can replace it with a fully charged one, and worry about recharging the batteries later, This gives you much more time to capture footage especially when you are looking to capture for long periods of time.
GoPro Hero4 Session Vs Hero4 Silver Verdict
In my opinion the GoPro Hero 4 Silver is a much better higher quality camera which will allow you to playback your footage stright away instead of having to wait to plug the device into a camera or connect it up with your smartphone. The Hero 4 Silver is much likely to be a better fit camera for the majority of users, its also a huge benefit that you can replace the batteries unlike the Hero 4 Session where you need to physically plug the camera into a socket in order for it to charge.
Although if size and weights are a critical part when you are buying a camera then I would highly recommend the Hero 4 Session as it is so portable, small and lightweight that a lot of the time you will forget its even attached to you.
Available to Buy
Hero 4 Silver –
Hero 4 Session –