DJI OM 4 Review: A Easy But Cinematic Gimbal

“The DJI OM 4 is beginner-friendly, but contains some advanced-looking camera strikes.”

Execs

  • Simple to make use of
  • Fast magnetic attachment
  • Pre-programmed strikes in Tales
  • Good stabilization
  • Superior app instruments

Cons

  • Some modes are hidden
  • Observe mode would not use full pan vary

Gimbals combine stabilization with cinematic camera motion, however the mixture typically creates a system that’s geared towards skilled customers. That’s not the case, nonetheless, with the DJI OM 4. The three-axis gimbal that wants little balancing can have even novice customers up and operating — actually or figuratively — in only a few fast tutorial movies.

Designed from an organization identified for its drones, the DJI OM 4 is about greater than taking the shake out. With Story mode, the OM 4 will even add cinematic camera motion with a couple of faucets, whereas modes like Dynamic Zoom mimic superior dolly zoom strategies. Gesture management with monitoring even opens up the gimbal to be used by vloggers. 

The DJI OM 4 creates the perfect mix between beginner-friendly options and superior cinematic results — but it surely’s not fairly excellent. As a photographer — not a videographer — I took DJI’s newest gimbal out to see simply how newbie-friendly it’s.

Specs and Options

The DJI OM 4 is a three-axis motorized smartphone gimbal that features a number of tweaks from the earlier model, together with a stronger motor. It’s suitable with any cellphone that’s lower than 3.3 inches extensive and 10.23 ounces, with an app for each iOS and Android. (I examined the OM 4 with an iPhone 11 Professional).

The gimbal affords a very good vary of movement between roughly 333 levels to 343 levels on every of the three axes. The gimbal will cease panning as soon as it reaches all the way in which round to the entrance of the gimbal deal with, and it has a tilt vary from concerning the sky to the bottom.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

Past merely stabilizing video, the gimbal contains a number of completely different modes to help with artistic pictures. Observe mode will comply with an individual or animal, and with gesture controls on, may be activated by placing your hand up, palm towards the camera. Sport mode is designed for utilizing the gimbal whereas lively.

One in all my favourite facets of the gimbal is the completely different modes that simplify including professional-looking camera movement. Inception mode will use the joystick to spin the camera as an alternative of panning or tilting. Dynamic Zoom or Dolly Zoom zooms in or out however retains the topic in the identical place, altering the background as an alternative. Hyperlapses and timelapses are additionally included, in addition to panoramas, together with an choice to clone your self in a single photograph.

Design

The DJI OM 4 makes use of two completely different mount choices — a skinny steel plate that stays completely fastened to the system or a detachable smartphone clamp. DJI says that the plate is quicker and doesn’t want rebalancing, however shouldn’t be used over a case. I used the clamp possibility.

The spring-loaded clamp was impressively nonetheless in a position to seize onto and stability my iPhone 11 Professional with its case. The clamp, nonetheless, does must be completely aligned to get the horizon straight. I frequently wanted to nudge one facet of the clamp to get the cellphone completely balanced. The app additionally homes an possibility for re-balancing the gimbal for telephones which might be skewed to at least one facet even with a correct alignment, and can doubtless be needed to make use of equipment like add-on lenses.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

As soon as the clamp or plate is in place, mounting the smartphone to the gimbal is so simple as lining up the 2 dots on every magnet. I often wanted to tweak the place of the clamp as soon as mounted to get an ideal stability.

The deal with affords an ergonomic design that places virtually each management inside straightforward attain. The entrance homes the joystick for re-directing the gimbal, a file button, and a mode button that each switches between video and stills and from vertical to horizontal orientation. Close to the tip of the thumb sits a zoom toggle in conjunction with the deal with — I might simply barely attain this management with out adjusting my entire hand and customers with small arms could not fairly like that button placement. 

On the again is the set off to lock the gimbal in a single path. Two faucets on the set off re-centers the gimbal, whereas three faucets switches to the front-facing camera contained in the DJI app.

After recording, the highest arm of the gimbal folds down on itself, shortening the general top of the gimbal. At roughly 6.5 inches tall folded, the one pocket it’s going to slot in are outsized coat packets or cargo pants, however will solely add about 14 ounces of weight to a bag. The gimbal additionally ships with an elective folding tripod base for utilizing the gimbal on a tabletop.

The DJI App: A cameraman in your arms

The controls on the gimbal nonetheless carried over to the iPhone’s native camera app — however the gimbal’s finest options are tucked contained in the DJI Mimo app. From in-app tutorials to automating camera methods, the app is impressively well-built and easy to make use of. The preliminary app set-up was easy and didn’t include the complications that some Bluetooth units trigger on the primary connection.

For probably the most half, the app helps freshmen get began rapidly. Mimo launches with a built-in tutorial that walked me by the completely different controls and shortcuts. Then, once I inevitably forgot precisely the place these controls had been, I might head to the tutorial part for a fast refresher.

The primary portion of the app, nonetheless, is the camera mode. A lot of the choices and controls really feel identical to utilizing the fundamental camera app on my iPhone, together with a mode slider beneath the file button and the identical faucet to focus and slide to regulate publicity.

Story mode was my favourite a part of the complete app — and I very hardly ever really share social media Tales. The characteristic creates completely different movement results utilizing the gimbal that I wouldn’t in any other case know seize, then places all the things collectively into an edited, simply shareable clip, full with music. The characteristic is each an effective way to create spotlight clips for straightforward sharing, and for placing collectively professional-looking video results with out really figuring out shoot or edit them.

The Story shortcut from contained in the camera mode means that you can shoot and edit a video on the similar time. On this mode, the app and gimbal work collectively to mechanically create quick, edited movies with movement results based mostly on the template that you just select. For instance, the gimbal can create a 360 video pan, add tilt results, or create movement blur between cuts with quick gimbal motion. 

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

The app will depend down till recording begins, then mechanically transfer the gimbal to create the impact. The method is repeated for every clip within the template. Some templates use camera methods, whereas others merely add music, textual content, and filters. The customized template possibility means that you can customise the camera motion (however, sadly, not elements just like the size of the clip). Tales may be saved as drafts, so you’ll be able to shoot the clips at completely different instances of the day.

Accessing the Tales from the house web page — as an alternative of the camera mode — edits video that you just’ve already shot with templates that embody clip transitions, music, filters, and textual content. Whereas it doesn’t add the camera results for you, that is the mode that you’d need to use if recording a once-in-a-lifetime shot, for the reason that capturing mode counts down and stops after a couple of seconds, relying on the template that you just select.

My solely criticism on the app is that I want Tales would do much more, together with longer movies and customized clip size. When utilizing Tales in selfie mode, a few of the motions are additionally reversed in a means that doesn’t all the time make sense, like tilting the camera down as an alternative of up when utilizing the entrance camera.

Ease of Use

As a photographer and never a videographer, I can depend the variety of gimbals that I’ve tried on one hand. But, the OM 4 was straightforward to leap in and begin utilizing immediately. On the similar time, the OM 4 dumbs down extra superior camera methods sufficient for nearly anybody to shoot, because of the app’s built-in tutorials and completely different modes.

For fundamental operation, I used to be up and operating after only a few minutes of enjoying round. The gimbal’s stabilization is superb — I used the OM 4 rollerblading and even whereas jogging backward with wonderful outcomes. 

The OM 4’s skill to comply with a topic in entrance of the camera is sweet, although not fairly excellent. With a single topic staying in entrance of the gimbal, corresponding to for vlogging or creating tutorial movies, the gimbal’s efficiency is superb. The gimbal has bother following topics that transfer to the facet of the gimbal, properly earlier than the pan restrict is reached, nonetheless. When monitoring folks, the gimbal did typically change and comply with a unique particular person.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

That’s to not say a little bit of follow and time spent with the gimbal isn’t useful. The gimbal has completely different shortcuts utilizing the identical button and I needed to shoot with it a couple of instances to recollect all of them, like that one click on of the mode button modifications the mode from photograph to video, two clicks modifications from vertical to horizontal, and three switches to standby mode.

With a couple of tutorials, I used to be up and capturing with only a little bit of follow. Accessing the extra superior modes, nonetheless, took extra persistence largely as a result of they aren’t organized in a single spot. Lots of the superior capturing modes are situated within the mode dial on the underside of the display within the camera mode. However, to activate Inception mode and spin the camera, for instance, you need to go into the settings and alter the comply with mode.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

Others aren’t even a labeled button in any respect and even a part of the unique in-app tutorials — getting into underslung mode, for capturing low angles, is activated by tipping the gimbal upside-down. Low slung mode, entered by holding the set off and tilting the gimbal ahead, didn’t work for me; I couldn’t alter the angle of the smartphone to shoot something however the flooring.

The OM 4 additionally wasn’t very third-party tripod pleasant. Whereas I had no points utilizing the included tripod, once I used a full-height tripod, I bumped into a couple of challenges. In Story mode, a few of the automated actions shook the camera, an odd error that didn’t repeat when utilizing on the included tripod. Tightening the tripod screw mount helped, however didn’t remove the difficulty. The patterned ridges on the underside of the gimbal additionally tore off a few of the grip on my tripod’s mounting plate.

Our Take

The DJI OM 4 isn’t only a smartphone gimbal — it’s a software that provides cinematic strikes for even novice customers. The well-designed app, straightforward mounting system, plethora of capturing modes, and transportable design makes the gimbal concurrently easy and leading edge, a mixture that’s close to unattainable to do properly.

Whereas the DJI OM 4 is eons forward of the gimbals the corporate was creating only a few years in the past, it’s not excellent. The modes might be higher organized and some of the extra superior options require some digging. I couldn’t get the low angle capturing modes to work properly, comply with mode didn’t use the total pan vary, and the OM 4 didn’t play good with a third-party tripod.

Is there a greater different?

Smartphone gimbals have gotten extra widespread — and there’s a little bit of competitors. None, nonetheless, appear to be fairly as beginner-friendly because the no-balancing design and intuitive app of the OM 4. The Zhiyun Easy 4 is a little bit bit extra reasonably priced however really has extra superior controls. Superior customers will like the main focus dial in addition to the opposite bodily and app-based controls, however freshmen could also be extra intimidated by the extras.

How lengthy will it final?

The DJI OM 4 already prompted us to obtain a firmware replace, a very good signal that the OM 4 will proceed to see new enhancements by way of software program. Barring any main mishaps, the OM 4 ought to final for a couple of years, because of these updates, a stable design, and a mount system suitable with quite a lot of smartphones.

Must you purchase it?

In case you’ve by no means tried a gimbal earlier than however you need to remove the shake out of your movies and add cinematic camera actions with the push of some buttons, purchase the DJI OM 4. The OM 4 is extremely beginner-friendly with no balancing, in-app tutorials, and automatic camera strikes with Tales.

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