Deciding which GoPro to buy is nearly as hard as fitting all your stuff into your suitcase when going on an adventure. To make your situation easier this time, we’ve compared all three GoPro models that are currently available on the market - the GoPro series including GoPro Hero5 Black, GoPro Hero5 Session and GoPro Hero Session - and put together a pretty neat (and super informative) GoPro buying guide for you. We know, right?
Based on their ability, capability and facility, they all have their pros and cons, which we’re eager to share with you in case you’re planning on getting your hands on a GoPro in the future.
But first and foremost, the ultimate question is: what are the differences between GoPros? Or more precisely: which GoPro should you get?
Let’s find out the answer!
When it comes to photography, there are some major differences between GoPros. One of the most important features is the resolution of the photo. In this respect, Hero5 Black is the best as it can shoot photos of 12 megapixels and enables you to shoot RAW photos as well. This number is only 10 and 8 megapixels regarding Hero5 Session and Hero Session, respectively.
FOV (Field of View)
All three GoPro models offer an ultra-wide angle all-glass lens with reduced distortion, which means that you can take a photo of a huge landscape or fully capture a smaller scene in a limited amount of space without the photo becoming distorted. Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session have five options to change the field of you (narrow, medium, linear, wide, superview) but Hero Session has only 2 major sets (medium, wide).
Low Light performance
According to the official GoPro website, Hero5 Black performs at a professional grade while Hero5 Session and Hero session at a consumer grade in low light. This means that you’re less likely to miss any good shots with Hero5 Black even if you’re taking photos in a low light situation.
It’s also worth checking out the burst mode which allows you to take several photos in close succession. This can be very useful when shooting moving subjects, like a skateboarder doing a killer trick, children playing together or an animal moving. This mode is available on all of the cameras but you will get the best results with Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session as they can take 30 photos in one second, while for Session this number is only 10.
Recording high quality videos is crucial if you want to become a professional creator. Before you decide which GoPro to buy, let’s see the difference between GoPros regarding their video features! As expected, just like in the case of the photo features, Hero5 Black has the best attributes among the available GoPro models. But let’s see the details!
Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session can make 4K videos, which is truly impressive considering these cameras are not bigger than a golf ball. However, the maximum video resolution of Hero Session is only 1440p, which isn’t bad at all but for somebody whose main goal is to create videos at the highest quality, may not be enough.
Maximum FPS (Frames Per Second)
If you want to create amazing slow motion shots, you need to have a camera which can record a significant number of pictures in one second. Once again, the winner is the flagship model Hero5 Black as it can record at 240 FPS while Hero5 Session and Hero Session only at 120 FPS. But for someone who isn’t really interested in slow motion videos, we can admit that 120 FPS is more than enough.
There are different types of gimbals on the market (for example, Sybrillo) but in some GoPro models you can find an in-built electronic stabilizer as well. These will prevent your footage from becoming too shaky if you’re not using a gimbal. The new Hero5 offers much smoother footage out of the box while Hero Session doesn’t have built-in stabilization.
FOV (Field of View)
If you thought the different GoPro series only satisfy the needs of the wide angle lens lovers, you’d be surprised! Actually, the new GoPro Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session have five FOV settings (narrow, linear, medium, wide, superview) so you can find the setting that suits the scene the best. However, if you own a Hero Session, you can only choose from medium, wide and superview. So if you need to shoot in narrower areas, one of the newer Gopro models would be the smartest choice.
If you’re a time-lapse enthusiast, you probably know that you can create a time-lapse from a series of still photos or a simple video footage. Even though both of them are considered to be time-lapses, you’ll get slightly different results when using these two techniques. So if you’re wondering which mode is available in the case of different types of GoPros, you might want to continue reading!
The time-lapse video mode is only available on Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session. However, the more traditional time-lapse photo mode is available on all three GoPro models with the same frame interval settings: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60 seconds.
You can easily identify the major differences between the mentioned three GoPro stars based on the chart above. GoPro Hero5 Black proves to be the best in several aspects. While the Sessions have only one status screen, the Black not only has an LCD screen but a touchscreen interface, on which you can change the settings.
If you’d like to use your action cam in deep water, the obvious choice is Hero5 Black. Used with a Super Suit housing, you can even dive as deep as 60 meters. Still, any of the Sessions can also be a good choice if you don’t want to go deeper down than 10 metres.
Another dominant detail is the removable Li-ion battery, which is available only in GoPro Hero5 Black. The two Sessions are equipped with 1030 Li-ion battery but in exchange for the smaller size, a compromise has to be made with the non-replaceable battery.
One of the most comfortable functions is the Auto Upload to the cloud. Fortunately, both Hero5 cameras have this feature. However, if you feel inclined to get a Hero Session, an SD or SDHC card of up to 128 GB is still an option.
The currently available GoPro series have wi-fi and Bluetooth for wireless connections. Therefore, you can easily control them by your mobile phone or by your GoPro’s remote control. USB-C facilitates the connection to charge devices, connect to external microphones or transfer your photos and videos. Please note that Hero Session has only a micro-USB connection. Another unique feature of GoPro Hero5 Black is its micro-HDMI output, that helps you easily attach your camera directly to any display.
Besides all the basic information, Hero5 has some extra aspects as well. Have you ever wondered how comfortable and useful voice control would be in extreme situations? The Hero5 models provide a chance to enjoy this super cool function! Of course, a simple 1-button control is available too.
If this isn’t enough for you, don’t forget Hero5 Black has a built-in GPS and takes pride in creating RAW and WDR files too. This function makes the editing processes much easier and even more professional.
To sum up, here’s a shortened list of the choices that are available to you if want to capture your adventures. Are you a dedicated vlogger with a great passion for traveling and eating your way around the world? Or you prefer climbing one of the highest mountains? Interested in making the most out of your summer festival experience?
No matter what adventure you’re after, you’ll most definitely find your true match among the different types of GoPros we’ve listed in this article just to make the decision easier for you. So let’s see what we’ve got!
GoPro Hero5 Black - The professional one
Pros: additional still image functions / waterproof without a case / possibly the best GoPro camera to date
Cons: old batteries incompatible / touchscreen responsiveness / battery drains quickly if touch screen's running
GoPro Hero5 Session - The best value for your money
Pros: great image quality / possible to record timelapse in video mode / small size opens up mounting options
Cons: non-removable battery / no WDR or RAW support for still images / no GPS
GoPro Hero Session - Your entry-level GoPro
Pros: great video quality / improved audio / small size opens up mountin options / waterproof without bulky housing
Cons: can only do timelapse in photo mode / no live-recording preview
Thank you for taking the time to read through our Ultimate 2017 GoPro Comparison Guide. It was a lot of fun to compile it for y’all GoPro lovers!
But what about YOU over there?
Have you found the perfect GoPro for your own adventures? If so, let us know your reasons and ideas - comment below, don’t hold back your opinion!
If you haven’t, we hope that our guide comparing GoPro models will help you exploring the most notable differences in GoPros and you’ll be able to make your decision. Until then, good luck and peace out!🖖🏽