GoPro has had its share of difficulties of late, but it can’t be denied that its Hero and Session action cameras are the best in the business. The company faces strong challenges from Garmin and YI Technology in particular, but GoPro has shown a knack for innovation and placed its action cameras in the hands of not only adventure seekers but photographers of all walks of life.
We were very excited when the GoPro Hero6 Black was launched last September, bringing a number of key improvements such as 4K video at 60fps and Full HD video at 240fps for ultra slow-motion movies, not to mention GoPro’s home-grown GP1 processor.
But we were a little surprised there was no mention last year of a new Session. The Session, GoPro’s junior action camera, may be smaller in size and spec but still packs a powerful punch that appeals to a number of people.
We suspect that a GoPro Hero6 Session could be announced this year, and if so these are the specs we think we’ll see, sprinkled with a few from our wishlist.
01 GP1 processor
GoPro took a gamble, making a big investment in developing its home-grown GP1 processor and ditching the third-party element it had used for years. The result upon its debut in the Hero6 Black was double the video frame rates of previous Hero Black camera, improved dynamic range, low-light performance and video stabilisation.
This is GoPro’s baby, its own technology. It’s going to want to show off this technology and demonstrate its prowess, so it’s a no-brainer that GoPro will incorporate this technology into all of its subsequent new cameras.
02 4K at 60fps
This was the headline spec of the GoPro Hero6 Black, and we’re pretty certain we’ll see it in the Hero6 Session, as well.
Video is progressing at such a rapid rate that 4K at 60fps is what people demand now, and anything less will seem pedestrian. And GoPro right now needs to be seen to be on the cutting edge and pushing the envelope further.
03 HD at 240fps
This was another headline spec on the Hero6 Black, and was something GoPro users had been demanding for some time. The 240fps HD frame rate was, in fact, one of our favourite features on the Hero6 Black and because of the aforementioned reasons we feel confident GoPro will include it again here among the Hero6 Session feature set.
04 12 megapixel stills
This resolution has been a staple of GoPro cameras for years, and the image quality produced by the Hero and Session cameras is at the top of the field for cameras in this class. We expect no less from the GoPro Hero6 Session.
05 Enhanced voice controls
With the GoPro Hero5 Session the company introduced voice commands, which opened whole new creative worlds for its users. Being able to tell the camera what to do from yards away enables you to capture all sorts of spectacular scenes.
In the GoPro Hero6 Session we are pretty confident that GoPro will include all of the enhanced voice command capabilities it added to the Hero6 Black and Fusion 360 camera.
06 Live streaming to Facebook and YouTube
One from our wishlist here, but as we said, GoPro is a company that needs to be innovative at a crucial period in its history. We think live streaming capability is just the headline-grabbing spec that GoPro needs to make it the Adobe of action cameras.
We predicted that live streaming would be added to the GoPro Hero6 Black, and we were wrong… but we don’t think we’re wrong this time. Here’s why:
This hunger for live, unedited and uncensored footage is rapidly growing, and whilst every smartphone is capable of live streaming, with the appropriate app, relatively few products other than smartphones offer this function. This would be a bold land grab by GoPro. As we said in our original prediction:
There are many features that I’d like to see, but foremost for myself and the team here at Camera Jabber would be the ability to live broadcast direct from the new camera. By direct, I mean linked in with the app on my smartphone.
This would ensure that I don’t flatten my phone within the first half hour of being at an event and the quality of the footage captured by the GoPro would hopefully be superior.
07 Improved built-in image stabilisation
The GoPro Hero5 Session had built-in image stabilisation, and we reckon that GoPro will up its game and offer an enhanced version of this IBIS system in the Hero6 Session.
08 Multi-cam capability
The kind-of-an-action-camera-but-kind-of-not Sony RX0 introduced multi-camming to this kind of camera, but how many people do you know who can afford a Sony RX0.
In another land-grab move we think GoPro could introduce multi-cam capability to the Hero6 Session. Because of the Session’s small size, it suits groups and outdoor activities, and multi-camming could really appeal to these users. Let’s put it in perspective…
If you and two of your friends are out for a ride on your mountain bikes and have GoPro Hero6 Session cameras filming, you would be able to link these cameras together so that all three are communicating, in a way.
If you then fall off your bike, the GoPro Hero6 Session’s motion sensor would detect this and send a signal out to the other cameras. Then, when editing, the Hero6 Session will have identified that moment when you fell, so GoPro’s Quik Stories will recognise this and prioritise the other footage from this moment in time, making your editing process smoother.
09 Waterproof to 10 metres
This is hardly a prediction, but one of the GoPro Hero6 Session specs we can say for certainty. The Hero Session 5 is already waterproof to this depth, as is the Hero6 Black.
10 Karma Grip compatibility
GoPro has told us that the Karma Grip will continue despite the company pulling the Karma drone from the market several months ago. Therefore, we’re certain the GoPro Hero6 Session will be compatible with the Karma Grip just as the Hero 5 Session is. However, you will need to buy the Session-compatible cage for the Karma Grip.
Why would the Hero6 Session have such great specs?
In some ways you can look at these GoPro Hero6 Session specs we’ve listed and think, No way GoPro would undercut the Hero6 Black by giving its junior action camera such amazing specs. But this instinctive thought is really a testament to how good the Hero6 Black really is!
Don’t forget that the Hero6 Black has a touchscreen and full shutter control, along Touch Zoom and many innovative features that make it such a great camera to use.
We don’t think the Hero6 Session will include these features, but it will have plenty on its specs sheet to keep photographers engaged.