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The GoPro – Latest Hero 5 Black and Session

GoPro was easily the most talked about product at the Broadcast India show (2016) and the impact it created was contagious. They are THE first—if not only—name most people think of when it comes to action cameras. It’s not just because the company conquered the market early, but also because its cameras have remained the best and most widely used for a long while.
However, in recent months GoPro‘s latest flagship camera (the Hero4 Black) has been usurped by the likes of the high-end Garmin Virb Ultra 30 and the solid yet affordable Yi 4K Action Camera. Now GoPro has answered its challengers with not one but two new cameras, the Hero5 Black and the diminutive Hero5 Session. These new shooters update the capabilities found in the older GoPro models, and they add new features—like voice control and built-in GPS—that the contenders introduced in their new models. After testing the new GoPro cam¬eras alongside their older versions and the latest cameras from the competition, one can say that GoPro has done just enough work to recapture the throne it very briefly lost. They’ve both finally been unveiled, putting all the speculation to rest. Here’s everything you need to know about GoPro’s Hero 5 cameras.

Like their predecessors, the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session are small and easy to mount. However, there are several important areas where they differ considerably. Let’s get down to that first.
The Hero 5 Black is the high-end device in the new range, so to distinguish itself from the Session, it has a touchscreen on the back. The inclusion of the touchscreen makes the Hero5 Black much more intuitive to use and is designed so that anyone can figure out how to use the camera without prior instruction. This will be a very big deal to you if instruction manuals really aren’t your thing. The screen provides enough space for plain-English descriptions of each
function along with graphical examples, rather than the terse abbreviations you get on a non-touchscreen model. Being able to see the effects of a settings change makes it much easier to use than having to know what the settings do beforehand. The Hero 5 Black also uses three control buttons for changing settings while viewing it’s small front-facing LCD panel. It also has a larger form factor. The Hero 5 Black can take 12-megapixel stills, while the Hero 5 Ses¬sion can do 10-megapixel stills. The extra 2 megapixels of the Hero5 Black also translate into higher resolution still shots, which again have a higher maximum ISO limit than on the Hero 5 Session. You also get a built-in HDR mode on the flagship model. Perhaps more important than either of these factors is that the Hero5 black can additionally output raw image files which contain more information than standard jpegs and can be processed later to eke out the very best pos¬sible image quality from the camera’s sensor.
It also supports and faster capture, resulting in higher maximum frame rates for smoother video. They can also capture wide-angle photos and videos, with the Hero 5 Black able to shoot in RAW. It can also record stereo audio, and it has active noise cancellation built in, thanks to three on-board microphones, for “audio that’s as good as the video quality.” To support its additional features and that big touchscreen, the Hero5 Black uses a larger 1220mAh re¬chargeable Li-ion battery than the 1000mAh version of the Hero5 Session. The Hero5 Black battery is also removable, whereas the Hero5 session is not. This is important to keep in mind as a Hero 5 Session will need to be kept charged, whereas the Hero 5 Black can be instantly replenished by popping in a spare battery. The Hero5 Black also offers more options when it comes to exposure settings, including a white balance options, a faster maximum shutter speed and a higher maximum ISO setting, which allows for shooting in darker situations than the Hero5 Session. It also allows for the record¬ing of a separate audio track, a function not available on the lower-priced model. Another feature exclusive to the Hero5 Black is the inclusion of a GPS system which can geotag your images in much the same way as a smartphone camera.
Otherwise, the two action cameras are pretty similar. In general, the Hero5 Black does everything the Hero5 Session can do, but with higher quality and more flexible options. There’s built-in voice control with support for seven languages (English, Ger¬man, French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese) at launch and more to follow. With this feature, these cameras should be able to react to your voice commands (such as “GoPro take a photo”). Both cameras feature a built-in waterproof casing. They can withstand water pressure up to 10 meters without the need for a separate housing.
The company is also calling the Hero 5 Session its “most rugged GoPro yet”. There’s a new cloud connection feature that will see your GoPro Hero 5 auto-uploading footage to your GoPro+ account over Wi-Fi while the camera is charging. You can then use the new GoPro+ mobile app to edit your foot¬age. GoPro has also introduced a Quick Key fob that features a built-in SD card slot, so you can quickly transfer footage from your camera to your smartphone. Both cameras are compatible with existing GoPro mounts, including the newly announced GoPro Karma drone.
The Hero 5 Black costs $399, while and Hero 5 Session costs $299. Though there’s not much difference in applications of these two cameras, yet if budget is your concern and the primary purpose for using the action camera is mostly mounting-and-shooting, one can conveniently opt for the Session owing to its form factor and ease of mount¬ing – I mean there’s not much use of the screen in the Black model when all you want to do is mount it on your helmet and shoot.