GoPro HERO4 Session vs. Silver


In an effort to produce more video content for my blog, yeh know, get all connected with my readers more via that whole moving picture phenomenon, I picked up a GoPro on Amazon.

I started off with the GoPro Session, but eventually swapped it out for the GoPro Silver. Also in the market for a GoPro? I'm going to tell you why I swapped in an effort to help you make the best purchasing decision for yourself. There's benefits to both the models, it just depends on what is most important to you with your new action camera!


GoPro Session Pros:

$199 on Amazon (originally $399)

  • Audio Quality: Will the videos you'll be taking be heavily reliant on audio? Say you plan to take it to many music festivals, or talk to the camera a lot?
  • The Session has 2 microphones, one on the front and one on the back. The session will automatically switch between the two depending on which will get the best sound in that environment. This is perfect for if you're moving around lots, and say the front microphone is picking up a lot of wind noise.
  • The Session is completely waterproof without a case, which all the other GoPro's require. The cases on other GoPros tend to muffle sound that get's picked up, which is not an issue with the session as it's case-less.
  • No Effort Waterproofing: Want to jump in and out of the water frequently, without having to prepare your camera? The Session doesn't require you to put a waterproof case on it, meaning you can shoot videos in the water right when the mood strikes!
  • It's Teeny Tiny: Alright, so this really didn't make any difference to me as the GoPro cameras are pretty compact to begin with, but if for some reason having the smallest possible action camera is vital to you, the Session is the way to go.
  • Price: The Session has been in the news for not one, but TWO price drops! It began at $399 like the Silver, however it dropped in price by $100, and then again shortly later by another $100 to set it at $199. The price dropped after sales weren't as stellar as GoPro hoped, so now at $199, it's a fantastic price to get your first GoPro at if you're looking to get an action camera without a hefty price tag.

GoPro Session Cons:

  • No Back Touch Display: This was the real deal breaker for me that led me to exchanging the camera. Before purchasing I figured the lack of display wouldn't be an issue as there's an app which connects to your phone and you can see what the GoPro sees through the app. Basically a display on your phone. Perfect right? While the app did work really well, linking the Session to the app took maybe 30 seconds - a minute each time. While that doesn't sound like a long time, the benefit of a GoPro is the quick ability to take shots in fast action environments, and this slowed down the process greatly. The camera does take really wide view shots, so while everything I needed was in the frame, the problem was the lighting. I tested the Session while on a bar crawl of all places, and the lighting inside each bar and outdoors varied greatly. This led to needing to change the settings, which I learned is really cumbersome with the app. 

  • Built-In Battery: Built in battery could be seen as a pro or con. For me it's more a con. If I'm traveling, I'll likely be using my camera for hours without stopping to recharge. Not being able to swap out the battery for a new one wasn't really appealing.


GoPro Silver Pros:

$329 on Amazon (regular $399)

  • Video Quality: The Silver has more video setting options than the Session, most notably 4k video quality, and a narrow field of view. 4k is perfect for when you really want to capture every detail in your beautiful destination with stunning quality. This narrow field of view is good for if you're taking any videos with your face in it. Talking to the camera and don't want your nose blown out of proportion and looking way larger than it is? The narrow field of view is the setting for you. 
  • Back Touch Display: The back display makes changing camera settings super simple, and speedy! Not to mention you can check you're getting everything you want in the shot. Granted, with the very wide shots on the GoPro you're basically guaranteed to get in everything you want, but it's nice to have reassurance.
  • Battery Swapping: The Silver's battery isn't built in, so you can buy and charge up some extras, then bring them on the road and swap out batteries as others loose their charge. This means you'll never be slowed down by needing to stop and recharge like with the Session.

GoPro Silver Cons:

  • Muffled Audio: The Silver requires a case to become waterproof, and also to attach the camera to any accessories (which it will be likely 90% of the time). The case at times leads to slightly muffled audio. 

  • Price: In comparison to the Session, the Silver is twice the price, so there's that. 
  • Battery Life: The great thing about the back touch display is it's superrrr handy. The downfall is using it often will kill your Silver's battery more quickly. The good news however is you can purchase an extra battery to have charged up with you while you're out for the day and swap it in. 

Looking for more of the gear I use on trips? I have a complete list of my tried and most trusted products on this page.

You'll also find a complete guide to the best GoPro starter accessories in a coming post! To catch that post when it goes live, you can pop in your email below! You'll also be all set to receive blog news, notifications of the best travel deals around the interwebs, and of course most importantly, acquire travel bestie status (it's a pretty big deal).


So tell me, are you considering a GoPro? What adventures will you take your new action camera on? Also, have a question not answered in this post or need more advice before you make a purchase? I'm happy to help out, leave me a question in the comments and I'll be sure to get back to you!