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GoPro’s action camera gets smaller, lighter

By Chris Griffith

The Hero4 Session is smaller and lighter than the Hero4 and waterproof to 10m. Source: Supplied

GoPro has launched a small version of its Hero4 camera that’s also waterproof without needing add-on casing. It will sell from Sunday locally.

Known as the Hero4 Session, it’s 50 per cent smaller and 40 per cent lighter than the regular GoPro and waterproof to 10 metres.

GoPro spokesman Chris Kinman said the new camera targeted extreme sports enthusiasts after a lighter, less obtrusive camera and families wanting a robust, easy to operate one.

The majority of functions are controlled by one button.

The Hero4 Session has two microphones and Mr Kinman said when it records, it can dynamically switch between them to reduce wind or water noise.

He said a channelling system jettisoned water around the mics to eliminate “muffle” as the camera leaves the water. You can buy a flotation wrap called Floaty to keep the camera afloat.

The new GoPro comes with two frames. One is a standard frame with thumbscrew mounts at the bottom and is similar to other Hero4 models, the second is a low profile frame and has thumbscrew mounts at the back of the camera.

The camera is compatible with regular GoPro camera mounts. Being square-shaped it can be mounted inside a helmet frame.

“It’s going to get into nooks and crannies that our previous cameras couldn’t,” said GoPro’s Chris Kinman. “It’s quite a departure from our current form factor.” He said the Hero4 Session had been on the drawing board for almost three years.

“This really will speak to a person who is about simplicity — a limited number of steps to get the content they need capturing.

This is something that doesn’t require a lot of thought process,” he told The Australian. “This is a camera than mum and dad don’t have to worry about if it is in the water. I think it will absolutely speak to more the family.”

A single shutter button press activates video while holding down the button starts time lapse shooting at a 0.5 second intervals by default. In Australia it will sell for $579.95 from Sunday with the 2 frames and a ball-joint swivel quick release mount included.

There’s no 4K video recording as on top-end Hero4 models. The camera defaults to shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second but also shoots 720p 100 fps, 1080p 60 fps, and 1440p 30fps. It snaps 8 megapixel stills.

The Hero4 Session has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and it can be controlled by a smart remote or the GoPro app. GoPro claims two hours of constant use on one charge. The battery is rechargeable. “When it’s not recording it’s not using any power,” Mr Kinman said.

You can tag footage in real time for playback and there’s an option for looping recording crash cam style. The camera supports taking bursts of stills and camera settings are adjustable.

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