Finally, updated versions of the action cam pioneer GoPro’s Hero line-up are available to purchase. However, gone is the silver mid-range model, as now there are only two new models instead of three. This year we have the Hero 5 Black and the Hero 5 Session, which are aimed at different ends of the market. But how do they compare to each other? Read on for the details.
GoPro Hero 5 Black vs. GoPro Hero 5 Session – sizes and weights compared
These actions cameras are different in size and weight. Compared to the previous Hero 4 Black, the Hero 5 Black is of a similar overall size, but it is much less bulky due to it not needing a case to be waterproof. Its overall dimensions are 44.5mm x 62mm x 32mm, and it weighs in at a spritely 117 grams, which is much lighter than a smartphone such as the iPhone 7, which weighs 138 grams.
In comparison, the Hero 5 Session is much more compact and lightweight than its sibling. Its overall dimensions are 38mm x 38mm x 36mm, and it weighs in at a remarkable 74 grams, which means that if you need to place it into your jeans or jacket pocket, it is small enough and light enough for you to do so.
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The two cameras differ considerably where on-board controls are concerned. Starting with the Hero 5 Black, gone are the three manual buttons found on its predecessor. Instead, there’s a 2-inch touchscreen and only one button for switching on the camera and recording.
The Hero 5 session has been designed to be an almost point and shoot type of camera. With only one button and no touch screen, users need to use the GoPro app to see what they’re shooting.
Both cameras benefit from the ability to be controlled via voice, meaning that a simple “GoPro, start recording,” is enough for either camera to do just that. The cameras can understand seven languages, which gives them wider appeal.
Fields of view, apertures, and sensors compared
Is commonly known that all action cameras, not just those from GoPro, can shoot wide-angle footage. However, the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session are capable of capturing footage in different fields of view, such as medium, super-view, and the latest linear view, which is a wide-angled shot that enables the fish-eye effect to be reduced. Both the Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Hero Session have f/2.8 apertures.
The Hero 5 Black has a 12-megapixel sensor which is capable of recording in 4K at up to 30fps. In comparison, the smaller camera has a 10-megapixel sensor but is also capable of recording in 4K at 30fps.
Full HD and 4K recording
As standard, all GoPro cameras can record in full HD 1080p, but the frame rates and fields of view do get better as the cameras get more expensive. For instance, the Black can record full HD at 120fps in both wide and narrow fields of view, while the latest Session is capable of only 90fps in 1080p and only in a wide-angle view.
However, both devices can have their fps manipulated, depending on which field of view you prefer. So the Hero 5 Black can have 60/50/48fps in super-view-wide medium, linear, or narrow, and the Session is capable of 60/50fps in super-view, wide, and linear.
Again, both cameras are similar in that they can record in 4K at 30/25fps, but they are anything but equal in their abilities. While the Hero 5 Black can shoot 4K at 24fps in super-view, and wide field views, the Session cannot. Additionally, it has more options available to record at 1440p and 2.7k, meaning that overall, it is more versatile.
Starting with the Hero 5 Black, gone is the need for a case to be waterproof. It is capable of being taken down 10 meters, which is 33 feet, right out of the box. Another new addition is a 2-inch touchscreen which allows the user to frame shots, play back footage, trim footage, and change settings. Additionally, there’s a small LCD on the front which shows the resolution being used, battery life, and memory remaining.
With the Hero 5 Session, you get a simple one-button control and a USB Type-C port for connecting the charging dock.
Both cameras come with that plastic look GoPro users are used to. However, they are both rugged devices capable of more than a knock or two. Also both come with plastic cages that have the standard GoPro mount built in, so you can connect them to anywhere, such as a helmet, handlebars, chest strap, etc.
Right now these cameras are much cheaper than their siblings were when they first launched, with the Hero 5 Black costing $399 and the Hero 5 Session costing $299.